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Author Topic: cleaning old key  (Read 683 times)
AE7GL
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Posts: 62




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« on: December 23, 2005, 12:24:04 PM »

I hope this is the right place for this question.

I'm trying to clean up an old Bunnell key so I can use it. It has some type of greyish coating on it. What I first thought was corrosion. I have tried using lemon juice as well as a pastes made from lemon juice and baking soda and from lemon juice and salt. I also tried using ketchup. (Please don't laugh. These were all recommended for cleaning brass pans and such and I only used them on a little area on the bottom of the base.) None had any effect other than to polish whatever this coating is. I'm starting to wonder if this is some type of paint. I have no idea at this point, although I checked it with a VOM and it is conductive. I'm hoping someone can tell me what this is and how to clean this off.

I've posted some pictures at:

http://members.cox.net/spam_stinks/pictures.htm



Thanks,
Charlie
KD7ZKF
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WILLY
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Posts: 286




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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2005, 03:04:20 PM »

Visit this web page:  www.nevrdull.com
and read about that product.  

I've used it at times over the years, and found it to work very well.

In your specific case, I recommend that you get further advice before you try it though.  Although I doubt it would damage your key, you need to ask someone other than myself.  Probably someone will comment here soon.
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AE7GL
Member

Posts: 62




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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2005, 05:45:57 PM »

Actually I have some of that I use to shine the aluminum wheels on my motorcycle. I wonder if that might be too abrasive though.
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WILLY
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Posts: 286




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« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2005, 07:08:04 AM »

 by KD7ZKF on December 23, 2005     

"Actually I have some of that I use to shine the aluminum wheels on my motorcycle. I wonder if that might be too abrasive though. "

I had hoped that someone with more experience with it would have commented by now.

Personally, I doubt it would be too abrasive.  That is the great feature of Nev-R-Dull, if we are talking about the same stuff that I remember.

It was like heavy cotton balls, impregnated with some sort of stuff that was not as thick as a paste -  went on in a manner and appearance similar to car wax.  It had no grit feeling at all.

I don't know what the chemical is though.    If it were me,  I'd probably follow the same procedure you have already used -   try it in a small unseen place.
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KG9HV
Member

Posts: 38




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« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2005, 01:00:18 PM »

I have a can of NEVR-DULL here that I used on my old
WW2 J-38. It cleaned it up and made it shine. It isn't
abrasive and left a nice finish. I got mine at a auto
supply store. I recommend it.
Merry Christmas
KG9HV
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KG4HEB
Member

Posts: 58




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« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2005, 12:01:36 PM »

Wooooo Nelly . The best advice to you is to NOT use Nevr-dull . Nevr-dull will put fine scratches all over . You may not see these scratches looking at it head on, but look at it at an angle. I have cleaned 50 of these Bunnells, Western Union, AT&T keys . The best thing you can use on these keys is MURATIC ACID . You can purchase this by the gallon for less then 2 bucks at a hardware store . It's also known as brick cleaner or masonary cleaner . I work for a plating company and we use Muratic acid to clean steel, iron and brass . Here is what you do : Purchase the MURATIC ACID . DO NOT  mix water with like the bottle says . It Will weaken it and take you 5x's longer to clean it . Pure the acid in a plastic bowl (no the acid will not eat threw the plastic) big enough to submerge the key . Strip the key of the bakelite knobs and backbone . The backbone is nickel sometimes chrome plated steel . The acid will strip the plating and you will have to get it replated for about 10 bucks . Take the remaining key apart and put all this in the bowl (be careful this acid will burn the h*ll out of ya, something like rubber gloves or something to hold the parts other than your hand ) for about 15-30 min till clean. Once you submerge the key it will bubble and fizz and fumes will rise so do this outside . The acid will not eat through the key, only strip away the dirt and tarnish, laquer and give it it's true beauty . Once the bubbles stop and the key looks clean . Put it in another bowl filled with vinigar for a 1-2 min. Vinigar is a mild acid that will delute the muratic acid and wash it off the key . Then simply rinse off with water and dry, wipe real good . Replace all the parts and wa-la . Now for keys that are not that dirty the best thing is BRASSO . You can get BRASSO at Wal-Mart . Its gives it a real good shine whith out any abrassives . Good luck , 73, Sam
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KG4HEB
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Posts: 58




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« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2005, 12:06:19 PM »

The abrassive in Never-Dull is Cotton Seeds . Because the company uses egyptian cotton (maybe) or just some cheap cotton which is real seedy . I use to work in a cotton mill also. 73
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KG4HEB
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Posts: 58




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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2005, 12:19:51 PM »

I just checked out the pics . Take everthing in the picture , the shorting bar unattached, the srew, base and any other metal parts other then the backbone . Now, follow the instructions above and I guarantee you will be very pleased, more then if you use Nevr-dull .
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AE7GL
Member

Posts: 62




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« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2005, 09:01:09 PM »

Muratic acid? OK, I 'll pick up some and give it a try.

Thanks,
Charlie
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KG4HEB
Member

Posts: 58




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« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2005, 12:01:37 PM »

I can get it at "84 lumber " but I am sure other hardware stores carry it . Most of it comes in a white gallon jug . When you say "Muratic acid". They may say "Huh?", so you may want to also tell them it is used as a brick cleaner or masonary cleaner . Becareful with this stuff and use it outside . Just one wiff of these fumes can take your breath away and it will burn your skin big time . But let me tell ya, the job this stuff does at cleaning metal ( Brass, copper, steel etc. ) is fantastic and there is no scrubbing . Just drop it in and let it sit till it's clean, which is usually 2min - 1hr. depending on how dirty. From the looks of your key it should only take about 10-15 min., if you use the acid with out water. Let us know how it turns out . 73, Sam
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