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How do I protect turned copper finish?

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  • #31
    Not copper coloured, but would gold plating be an option? Ian
    All of the gear, no idea...

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    • #32
      Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post

      If you do try the walnut oil (cheap at the grocery store) I would hang it up in the sun for a week or two. Dries a bit slower than linseed but it comes out tough as leather same as linseed.
      To be fair along the way from oil to hard film it'll be tacky as blazes for some time in the middle.

      All in all I'm thinking that the lacquer is the best bet. It dries quickly to the point where you can easily handle it within a half hour at most. The downside is that it's generally better applied with some manner of spray equipment to avoid brush marks.. Or dipped if the weights are small enough to fit into the can and you have a way to hang them so drips or runs don't form.
      Chilliwack BC, Canada

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      • #33
        Originally posted by BCRider View Post

        To be fair along the way from oil to hard film it'll be tacky as blazes for some time in the middle.

        All in all I'm thinking that the lacquer is the best bet. It dries quickly to the point where you can easily handle it within a half hour at most. The downside is that it's generally better applied with some manner of spray equipment to avoid brush marks.. Or dipped if the weights are small enough to fit into the can and you have a way to hang them so drips or runs don't form.
        True, that. Now that I think of it, you could get the same effect by dipping it in clear polyurethane that wood workers use, and let it dry overnight.
        25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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        • #34
          Just a thought, I have a B&L microscope circa 1915, was in daily use by a local physician, still bright and shiny brass. Know a guy who collects theodolites, also all bright and shiny also. Wonder what they used. When I get a little time today, I'll check some of the old formularys and see what I can find.

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          • #35
            I've had great results with Varathane oil-based polyurethane on copper. Indoor use and going on 12yrs.
            Southwest Utah

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            • #36
              Well, I checked the old formularies, and they called for ingredients like benjamin tears, mastic, etc. However, one of my gunsmithing books had the answer. Go to a music store and purchase some of the clear varnish for brass instruments. Who woulda thunk? So obvious.

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              • #37
                In the musical instrument repair trade, the usual finish for polished brass is a lacquer. The old traditional finish was nitrocellulose lacquer. This is still used for spot repairs. A common brand is Nikolas 2105 in spray cans. Most of the instrument repair suppliers carry it. It is also available with a gold dye to assist in matching colors. It isn't a perfect product as it wears with a lot of handling.

                A more modern finish is an epoxy lacquer that requires baking to cure. On brand used is Seagraves. This requires curing at 325F for about 15 minutes. Yes, it is a big deal to have a sousaphone-sized oven. The epoxy lacquer last much longer, but is more difficult to remove when necessary. Because of the baking requirements, the epoxy is usually used for full refinishes only.

                -Jess

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                • #38
                  There's always options.

                  FWIW I opted to finish the steel top on my grinding area with a couple of coats of water based polyurethane. The finish on it was a swirl brushed look from a flap disc. I tested a piece and the water didn't cause any issues with rusting and it stuck well. So on with two coats from a cheap disposable roller. I did get a couple of brownish spots where the varnish stayed thick and held the water for a trifle too long. If I did it again I'd go with the oil based. But the finish is holding up against the grinding and laying tools and stuff on it and not rusting from the cooling water dunked all over the place really well after about 7 years now. And the swirl pattern didn't go dull on me either. So some pattern layout weights would do well coated with polyurethane too.
                  Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                  • #39
                    In High School we used hair net. I thought is was a joke too.

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                    • #40
                      For something that won't be handled much I can see that working. But hair spray is water soluble.... otherwise it would never wash out..... so while it might work for display items I doubt it would protect something being handled a lot for very long.
                      Chilliwack BC, Canada

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