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Posted: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 6:09 PM
Joined: 11/04/2010
Posts: 6

Hello everyone,

I'm working on a boat that is just finishing up a long yard period.  Much of the interior has been entirely rehauled, including the installation of LOTS of brass.  I'm interested in hearing any tips or suggestions for maintaining and especially for protecting brass.  There seem to be a variety of approaches, from polish to wax to oil to laquer, and some even suggest clear coating of gold plating.  I've even heard of using a silicone lubricant as a protectant.  What has worked best for you?

At the moment, I'm most interested in oil options.  I've read about using linseed, tung and olive oils.  Any experience with any of these options?  I'd like to protect the brass as best I can with the least invasive option.  Wax leaves build-up, laquer can chip or yellow, etc...

I appreciate any input!

Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 4:41 AM
Joined: 04/11/2013
Posts: 2

I worked on one classic yacht where the stewardess would polish up the brass and then wrap it all tightly with Saran Wrap.  Seemed to work pretty well but must be careful to get as few wrinkles in it as possible.  This was on a private boat though with long periods between owner visits so maybe not a good option if yours is a busy charter boat.
Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 10:00 AM
Ammonia is the best thing for very very dirty brass, then use Brasso then finish with good quality wax to protect
RW Christie_2
Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 2:15 PM
Joined: 14/07/2011
Posts: 2

If the brass is still like new and has not tarnished you should consider having it coated with either a nanotechnology based coating or an air curing ceramic.  These are very thin coatings that are virtually invisible and unlike clear coats which can crack, chip, flake or peel.

Using oils leaves a greasy film that attracts dust, dirt and grime which further adds to your maintenance workload.   Silicones also attract dirt and grime.  If you feel that you must use a protectant use Corrosion Block.

If you decide to have the surfaces coated, don't use any penetrants or oils as it will make it very difficult to remove and properly seal.

If you're in S FL contact GlassTech at 561 596 2085 to learn more.

Posted: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 3:30 AM
Joined: 11/04/2010
Posts: 6

Thanks everyone!  Looks like we're going to go with more gold-plating, which has worked wonderfully.  Probably won't do that for the sink though...
Capt Aeronaut
Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014 10:49 AM
Joined: 31/08/2012
Posts: 4

Don't know how large the items are that you are dealing with, but if they are knobs from drawers or similar size you may consider this.  A vibrating tumbler such as those used for cleaning ammunition cartridge brass for reloading would work wonders.  The media used to tumble them is often finely ground walnut shells impregnated with jeweler's rouge.  You could dump your parts in a tumbler or have a friend with one do so and work on other details as the brass polishes.  Obviously this will not work for handrails and furniture.  You can buy the tumblers on-line via MidwayUSA, Bass Pro.  I have a friend that lets me use his Lyman-brand tumbler and some icky brass comes out looking like new money.
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