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  1. #1
    Forum Member AZFF25's Avatar
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    Default Restoring Brass Soda Ash fire extinguishers?

    I need some advice from anyone out there who has restored a Brass Soda Ash fire extinguisher. What is the best method for bringing a shine back to the brass?
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    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Brasso and a whole lotta elbow grease.
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    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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    Forum Member firecat1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZFF25 View Post
    I need some advice from anyone out there who has restored a Brass Soda Ash fire extinguisher. What is the best method for bringing a shine back to the brass?
    I've restored a couple of really old brass urns and started out with table salt and half a lemon. Dip the lemon in the salt and start rubbing the surface gently. Use more salt as needed, replace lemon half when all the inside fiber is completely gone to mush. Hope this helps.

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    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firecat1 View Post
    I've restored a couple of really old brass urns and started out with table salt and half a lemon. Dip the lemon in the salt and start rubbing the surface gently. Use more salt as needed, replace lemon half when all the inside fiber is completely gone to mush. Hope this helps.
    But where's the Tequila in all this?
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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    Forum Member AZFF25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcaldwell View Post
    Brasso and a whole lotta elbow grease.


    ......Yes.....I remember Brasso and a whole lotta elbow grease from my military day's.
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    Forum Member firecat1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcaldwell View Post
    But where's the Tequila in all this?
    In the bottle right next to my work area.

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    Forum Member firecat1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZFF25 View Post
    ......Yes.....I remember Brasso and a whole lotta elbow grease from my military day's.
    I really hated that stuff.........got the plated insignia as soon as I could.

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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZFF25 View Post
    I need some advice from anyone out there who has restored a Brass Soda Ash fire extinguisher. What is the best method for bringing a shine back to the brass?

    I have an antique "pump action" American LaFrance fire extinghuisher. I polished mine with Never Dull magic wadding polish and an old microfiber towel, then did a second polishing with Meguiar's Gold Class all metal restorer (available in the car care section of your local Auto Zone, O'Reilly's, etc.)
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Forum Member edge1317's Avatar
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    I'm surprised no one has mentioned ketchup, it works great, it has alot of acid in it. I don't know how it compares to the rest of the suggestions but it cleaned up VERY nice after using ketchup.

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    Forum Member firecat1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edge1317 View Post
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned ketchup, it works great, it has alot of acid in it. I don't know how it compares to the rest of the suggestions but it cleaned up VERY nice after using ketchup.
    Did you have to let the ketchup sit on the object for a few minutes? (ketchup, it's not just for fries anymore)

  11. #11
    Forum Member edge1317's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firecat1 View Post
    Did you have to let the ketchup sit on the object for a few minutes? (ketchup, it's not just for fries anymore)
    I find it works best if you put it on the object rub/smear it in real good, let it set for a few minutes and then rub it in real hard for a couple minutes then wipe it off, repeat until desired results.

    A rag or paper toweling will do fine.

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    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    I have seen some that were acid dipped, but I wouldn't suggest that for any museum-quality stuff, especially where acid might get trapped behind rivited name plates, in seams, etc.

    They did turn out nice, though.
    ullrichk
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    You can also use Grape Kool-Aid... I made a 5 gallon bucket up and let a old brass 2.5" playpipe nozzle soak in it over night and it came very clean... Then used little brass-o to get the real bad spot's...

    By the way if read the back of a Kool-Aid package says not to store or use metal pitcher's... Make you think what's it's doing to your inside's....

    Jason

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    Forum Member fireman4949's Avatar
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    Super-fine brass wool (not steel wool, as it will scratch the softer brass)dipped in a dilute solution of Phosphoric acid (Ospho is one brand name product) and just a little elbow grease. Thoroughly rinse with water and immediately dry with a soft cloth...Nothing better! The results will simply blow you away!

    No matter what method you decide upon, the finish will be susceptible to oxidation (tarnishing) again if not treated very soon after cleaning. A good paste wax will work for a few months to year or so, but several thin spray coats of a quality, clear lacquer will last for many, many years to come.

    I used this process on several old extinguishers that are in my den more than 8 years ago, not to mention having polished huge amounts of brass on my boat...Still looks like the day I finished it.




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    I also cleaned/polished one. Use the Brasso, Never Dull, and Wenol. None made the job easy. Lots of time and elbow grease. After I was done I thought, what about glass bedding it to get the tarnish off then polish with a buffer and polishing compound.
    IACOJ - Senior Jake

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