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Old 06-06-2013, 09:22 AM   #16
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Polishing Brass


To be positive if it's brass or plated, try a magnet.
If a magnet sticks, it's plated.
If it doesn't, it's brass.

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Old 06-06-2013, 06:37 PM   #17
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Polishing Brass


Just to look at it am almost certain brass plated.
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:52 PM   #18
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Polishing Brass


on second thought i suppose its brass plated tin however I have been buffing/polishing this for some time and have yet to buff down to the tin. There isn't anything "solid" on the fixture it's all light gauge metal. I just assumed it was brass because I didn't think they bothered plating it.

Doing a little more research the spotting i'm describing is what is apparently called red rot? Does this sound correct? I would say the quality of the chandelier is equivalent to that of a brass musical instrument (i.e. trumpet). There is tubing and then the canopys as seen in the picture I took.

I don't need this to be perfect as it's just a small project for myself but I would like to get it as clean as possible!

I've tried all the simple cleaning solutions (ketchup, never dull, noxon, brasso, etc...) which is why i'm actually buffing it with compound and a buffer wheel.

Thanks all for the input. I may just have to have the pieces re-plated if I can't get rid of the red spotting.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:37 PM   #19
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Polishing Brass


If I'm not mistaken, the "red rot" you refer to is the iron oxide in the base metal of the lamp contaminating the brass layer. If you are going to send it out for re-plating anyway, you could try like 600 grit wet/dry and see if you can get it off before you hit the tin. Then just work up grits until 2000 and buff back out. But I'm sure you'd be into the base metal by then.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:45 AM   #20
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Polishing Brass


Before you attack it with sandpaper, try some very fine steel wool or a very fine scotchbright pad. If it doesn't buff out with either of these, then it is probably some contamination from the base metal that has leached through the brass plating. Even a small defect in the base metal can hold a tiny amount of the suspension solution used during the plating process. Eventually the trapped solution will discolor the plating. Sandpaper will surely grind through the plating.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:31 AM   #21
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Polishing Brass


I've actually tried the 600 sandpaper trick already. I wasn't too brash with it but I did enough where as I thought I'd be at the base metal and wasn't. When I buffed it the "scratches" went away.

I did a little more research and the red rot is actually the copper in the base metal. The base isn't tin, it's actually stamped/extruded brass. As one alloy wears away from oxidation it leaves the copper to shine thru in a faint red spotting. This is apparently common in trumpets or other brass musical instruments. So that being said I found a brass electroplating kit for $50. It's actually what they call brush plating but electroplating none the less. For $50 I may give it a shot. This is just a little side project for me so I don't necessarily have a budget. It's zero LOL

Ill keep y'all posted if I go through with it!

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