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Old 03-27-2020, 04:12 PM   #1
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How to Clean this Bronze?

Looking for some suggestions on how to clean this bronze. Hoping to find an alternative to using a wire brush wheel on my grinder. Maybe soaking or coating with a chemical? Thanks.
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Old 03-27-2020, 04:14 PM   #2
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Old 03-27-2020, 04:35 PM   #3
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Muriatic Acid, just wear gloves.
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Old 03-27-2020, 05:21 PM   #4
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Salt and vinegar

After I removed my seacocks my father cleaned them with a mixture of salt and vinegar. He soaked them in the solution and brushed them clean. Cheap and non toxic!

I googled it and there is a lot of information out there on this combination.
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Old 03-27-2020, 06:36 PM   #5
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Start with a Coca Cola soak. That's right, cola. Then if necessary move on to the vinegar and salt method or silver polish.
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Old 03-27-2020, 06:39 PM   #6
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just use a sandblaster... fun and takes mins...
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Old 03-27-2020, 07:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
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just use a sandblaster... fun and takes mins...
Breath that sand dust deeply... or use a good mask!
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Old 03-27-2020, 07:33 PM   #8
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just use a sandblaster... fun and takes mins...
From the pile that you have that’s what I’d do (or bead blast). I wouldn’t use a wire brush. The brush is harder than the bronze and you can scratch up the surface.

What’s your goal? Just asking.
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Old 03-27-2020, 08:25 PM   #9
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I use a metal polish called Blue Magic with a buffing wheel on a drill.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:01 PM   #10
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Your castings look sort of rough. I'd give soda or bead blasting a try. It should smooth them down a bit.

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Old 03-28-2020, 06:17 AM   #11
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Bronze castings were sold , as cast , usually to be painted a dull brown, or polished.


If you are not going to have them polished , the wire brush cleaning will do fine , the slightly rough surface holds paint very well.
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Old 03-28-2020, 07:11 AM   #12
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Greetings,
Mr. B. I would hesitate before sand or bead blasting. The finish will be matte, extremely difficult and time consuming to polish and to MY eye, is not as attractive as simply removing the patina.


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Old 03-28-2020, 08:58 AM   #13
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RT - You have the shine-concoction material portions to list??
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Old 03-28-2020, 11:16 AM   #14
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Greetings,
Mr. A. If you mean the one's in the video, no. It's probably a bit of this and a dash of that. I don't think it's analytical chemistry. More along the same lines as soaking in Coke/vinegar-salt (Mr. c). It's the acid I suspect. Also heard of boiling in vinegar...
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Old 03-29-2020, 07:03 AM   #15
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Thanks All for the replies. I have some white vinegar on hand so I'm going to soak them in a bucket with some salt. Will post results in a day or two!
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Old 03-30-2020, 06:26 AM   #16
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"I have some white vinegar on hand so I'm going to soak them in a bucket with some salt." #15

There is vinegar that comes in food concentration and a much more powerful concentration for cleaning.

Some hardware stores have the stronger vinegar.
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Old 03-30-2020, 06:59 AM   #17
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Greetings,
Mr. FF. Agreed. Vinegar for fish and chips etc. is about 3%. The strongest cleaning vinegar I could find at Home Despot was 6% but found some 10% at local hardware store.
I use the 10% as my "go-to" rust removing solution when I can immerse the parts. An overnight soak has cleaned pretty well everything I've tried (axe heads, saw blades, nuts and bolts etc. Heating the "vinegar" would most probably hasten any chemical reaction (LOTS of ventilation-best outdoors, if possible).


I don't add salt but for bronze or any non-ferrous materials it may be better.
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Old 03-30-2020, 10:49 PM   #18
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Soaked a few pieces in white vinegar and salt overnight. Very happy with the results. Just need more vinegar and a bigger bucket to finish the rest. Here's a before and after pic.
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Old 03-30-2020, 10:55 PM   #19
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Wow! Much improved. Are you going to polish them?
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Old 03-31-2020, 05:29 AM   #20
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In the Navy, we used bug juice (i.e. Koolaid). Buy the little packets (without sugar) for 20-cents each and use those to soak the bronze/brass/copper in. Its a high concentrate of citric acid and works very well, for little money. Tip - use cherry and it gives the metal a nice reddish glow afterwards. Other colors do a similar job.
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