View Full Version : Blasting

02-09-2015, 02:54 PM
Has anyone tried blasting to clean brass plate and if so what medium did you use to get a fair polish?

02-09-2015, 03:05 PM
Brass can be cleaned with any of the "light" abrasive mediums--peanut shells, plastics,etc.--but you're going to be left with a textured surface that will need to be polished if you want a smooth finish. I'm not sure if you can electro-polish brass but that might be something to investigate...

02-09-2015, 03:05 PM
You could try baking soda. Whatever you use it must be very fine ands soft to get any kind of polish.

Alistair Hosie
02-09-2015, 03:09 PM
Any mild metal polish should do look for one with quite light abrasives in it.Some of them use whitening, chalk ,talcum ,and as said baking soda, others more aggresively use pumice powder which can also be ground very small.Have you thought of mild T cut.Alistair

02-09-2015, 03:22 PM
Much decorative brass is coated with lacquer. You might give it a soak in lacquer thinner before blasting. No point in blasting off what can easily be dissolved off.

02-09-2015, 05:26 PM
Has anyone tried blasting to clean brass plate and if so what medium did you use to get a fair polish?

Usually TNT dis-forms the plate so badly, there is no need to polish it.

brian Rupnow
02-09-2015, 05:31 PM
Do a little research on chemical polishes. I don't think anything will polish brass in a "blast" type application.---Brian

02-09-2015, 05:42 PM
As Brian said, I don't think you can get a polished finish from any type of blasting.

I recently discovered that a 50/50 mixture of Pine-Sol and water, in an ultrasonic cleaner, can clean up brass really well, to a high luster. It seems to depend on the grade of brass though, some gets shiny, and some gets a frosted look. If you don't have an ultrasonic cleaner, try just soaking overnight. (This is also a great mix for cleaning carburetors.)

02-09-2015, 06:04 PM
Brass musical instruments are initially buffed with a stitched muslin wheel and tripoli buffing compound. This goes quickly, so you can over do it.

Finish color buffing is done with a loose cotton wheel and red rouge compound.

If you want to try other polishes by hand: Wright's brass polish, Simichrome, or Brasso.

Is this a plate (flat sheet) of solid brass or plated brass? if plated brass, be careful as the brass layer is thin and any mechanical polishing will go through the plating very quickly.

I don't think that any air-blasted grit is going to "polish". Brass is soft, so an air blasted grit is going to produce a very "matte" finish.


02-09-2015, 06:51 PM
Brasso is about a hundred years old and still works well...

02-09-2015, 08:42 PM
Barkeepers Friend will clean & brighten brass very quickly. Polishing is another story. A buffing wheel of course works, and Never Dull does too. Fine sandpaper also has its place. Then finishing with Never dull or a cotton buff.

02-09-2015, 11:01 PM
The thing to remember about Brasso is that it is actually a two-component product. The mildly abrasive liquid is in the can, but the ELBOW GREASE is in your arm. It will NOT work without BOTH parts, preferably LOTS of the latter:)!

Paul Alciatore
02-10-2015, 12:35 AM
Anybody who has ever been in military service will tell you, Brasso and, if I recall correctly, the varnish can be easily removed by boiling it for a few minutes.

I don't see why Brasso could not be used with a cloth buffing wheel if you want to save on the elbow grease. But then, I have never done it that way.

02-10-2015, 01:01 AM
I also saw the title and wondered who was going to blow something up! After you get off any varnish/lacquer, block sand with a rubber block and down to about 1200 grit, then try NeverDull or Brasso. Yep, spent plenty of time with both products...if it moves, salute it, if it don't, paint it (haze gray) or if it shouldn't be painted, polish it!