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Thread: clear-coat for brass?
12-12-2011, 09:14 AM #1
clear-coat for brass?
I've made some bullet shaped brass salt and pepper shakers for Christmas gifts, ( yes, I stole Eric's idea), and need to keep the brass shiny. Is there such a thing as food grade clear coat? What do most people use?
12-12-2011, 10:39 AM #2
I have no idea as to food grade, but I used some aerosol clear coat a few years back for a brass-topped side table. It has held up well. It is ordinary clear lacquer, as I recall. Found it in a hardware or box store. I can get the brand name if you want.
12-12-2011, 10:43 AM #3
I don't think 'food grade' is an issue. I've used clear gloss 'Varathane' polyurethane on polished brass, and it is very tough.
12-12-2011, 10:58 AM #4
If you have polished your brass,you will find that metal lacquer will peel off like Saran wrap unless you have THOROUGHLY cleaned the brass with Stoddard solvent( refined mineral spirits used by dry cleaners),or some other non oily solvent.
It is surprising how much black crud will come out of a polished surface of brass when you wash the solvent over it. Just keeps oozing out for some time.
When you get the black crud to stop oozing out,and wipe the solvent off,and give a few days for everything to get dry,you may apply the lacquer,and it won't peel off.
We used this procedure in lacquering the Brinkley surveyor's compass I have posted here. It was coated with a golden tinted clear coat of lacquer. Brass trumpets are also coated with a transparent gold tinted metal lacquer.
12-12-2011, 10:58 AM #5
Whatever you use, CLEANING will have more determination on how long it lasts than anything. A speck of any contamination under the clear will cause a tarnish bloom under the clear coat. I've always just kept brass polished as I've never had any luck clearing over it with any lasting effect. Easier to polish again when it dulls (or maybe just my Navy time talking) than to strip and re-clear...
12-12-2011, 11:00 AM #6
12-12-2011, 11:01 AM #7
Buff out the tool marks with tripoli cutting compound.
Buff to a shine with red rouge compound.
Remove all traces of rouge and its wax binder with hot water and some liquid dishwashing detergent, and dry thoroughly
Optional final wipe down with laquer thinner
Spray with rattle can clear lacquer, multiple coats as desired.
This is basically how brass musical instruments are finished.
12-12-2011, 11:03 AM #8
After cleaning as suggested, I would bake the brass to cure the coating. Can't suggest a temperature, I would start at 250 - 300F. Practice on some scrap.
12-12-2011, 11:05 AM #9
12-12-2011, 11:14 AM #10
After posting my comments, I went to my favorite place, Google. I found this.
Copper.org: Corrosion Protection & Resistance: Clear organic finishes
It says nothing about baking temperature but has a lot of other information.
A side note: all solvent based coatings are porous due to the evaporation of the solvent, hence multiple coating are required for maximum protection. The other issue is the salt (sodium chloride) will rapidly discolor brass.
12-12-2011, 12:49 PM #11
When restoring antique clocks I use "TESTORS'' hot fuel proof clear finish. Holds up well. Won't peel,unlike auto clearcoat,which did. It is available where model airplanes are sold.
12-12-2011, 02:35 PM #12
I used a product called "protectaclear" from these guys. How to Restore Metal, Protect Metal & Keep Metal Looking It's Best.
I just followed their cleaning recommendations and my salt and pepper shakers look as good today as they did a year ago. I tried both the brush-on and spray and liked the brush-on better. It is self leveling so if you don't have runs you can barely tell there is a coating. With the spray it looked like I had more of a matte finish. I talked to one of their tech-support guys and he said I didn't apply it properly as it should be perfectly clear and smooth. Oh well. I got the brush-on and it worked fine.
12-12-2011, 03:25 PM #13
I R, will you be coating the inside of the salt shaker as well to protect against damp salt?.
12-12-2011, 09:37 PM #14
Clear laquer is the coating that's simple and effective. And like was said the cleaning prep is the important step.
Beverage cans drawn from aluminum are coated with laquer on the inside for a barrier so that there is no beverage in contact with the aluminum. To speed up production the cans are heated after coating to dry the coating.
12-12-2011, 09:50 PM #15
So a general cleaning then lacquer cleaner, or another process? I'm asking for me, as well as the OP.
I chalked it up to 'magic' or perhaps I needed to spin the cat in the opposite direction under a new moon instead of full moon. Perhaps it was just my cleaning regimen.
12-12-2011, 11:53 PM #16
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12-13-2011, 06:48 AM #17
Incralac / Permalac
I would have to imagine that the corrosive nature of the salt on non ferrous could create some problems down the road regardless of the coating, but choosing something like these two products will minimize the effects MUCH better than a rattle can off the shelf from the local hardware
Talas - Incralac - Solvent Based
PERMALAC - Product Description
12-13-2011, 10:47 AM #18
Sorry for the late reply. I do actually have to cut metal around here every now and then. I was out in the shop til about 9:30 last night making an expanding mandrel to do the od engraving on my 4 th axis.
I'll go through these links and do some reading.
This will be the first set I put a coating on. I've just been recommending "Brasso".
I didn't think about the salt vs. brass issue, so they will get a coat on the bore.
Good to here from you. I scaled up a .44 mag wad-cutter for my shakers.
I'll post some pics when I finish the next set.
12-13-2011, 01:16 PM #19
Sounds like a nice project. I also coated both inside and outside of my shakers.
My retarded Christmas project for this year is bullet head-stamp drink coasters. This time I'm doing all aluminum with hopefully close to brass colored anodizing. No coating issues with this one. I'll also post pictures when I get done.
12-13-2011, 02:48 PM #20
I hear ya on the anodizing. I just bought the anodizing starter kit from the moonlight telescopes guy. Just another learning curve. If I had any sense, I would go back to making beer.