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Old October 30, 2017, 07:30 PM   #1
rebs
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brass furniture on a ML

how do you guys polish and remove scratches from the brass on your muzzle loaders ?
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Old October 30, 2017, 08:34 PM   #2
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A product in a small blue can called "Never Dull" works great on brass -- and will turn your fingers black too! (But that will wash off...) It smells like it has turpentine in it, and it looks like raw untreated cotton balls -- but it works great.

Some others will go in the other direction, and wipe down all their brass parts with a cleaning patch that has powder fouling on it. Instead of "never dull" -- you'll get an "always dull" dark patina and aged look to the brass -- so it all depends upon what look you want.

Scratches are tougher...

Don't have any suggestions for those, but if they're too deep and you file or polish too much/too deep, you can actually polish in a "creek bed" or depression where the scratch (the "creek" itself) used to be... It too will be visible, although maybe not as unsightly.

I'd bet the powder-fouled patches and the old/antiqued-looking patina would help to discolor and HIDE the scratches more than they'd show on a brightly polished piece though. Find some old brass keys, scratch them, then treat each one differently to see which hides the scratches better, and to see which "look" you like better.

Hope this helps.

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Old October 30, 2017, 09:40 PM   #3
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I hate shiny brass and scratches just prove it's been used.
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Old October 30, 2017, 10:41 PM   #4
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There's only one way you can remove a scratch and it's elbow grease and starting with a rough grit emery paper, blend it. Then a finer grade. Then a finer grade. Eventually, it will be gone (and the brass thinned). Trouble is it is likely to be scratched again. OK, best way is to either live with it or polish it such that it is super shiny.
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Old October 31, 2017, 06:23 AM   #5
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the scratches I am asking about are very shallow like someone sanded the brass when building the rifle. What about a dremel tool with a polishing wheel ?
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Old October 31, 2017, 08:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
What about a dremel tool with a polishing wheel ?
Guns and Dremel tools usually don't mix.
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Old October 31, 2017, 09:18 AM   #7
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Demel tools are poor choice, fine sand paper used with backer will give a first class finish. Use wet or dry paper and work across the scratch with the paper then the next grit at 90 degrees to that. Progress to finer and finer grits till the surface is smooth and even. A bit of polishing compound will give a bright finish that will be true and with out the cheap wavy look of buffing.
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Old October 31, 2017, 10:57 AM   #8
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Thank you for all the replies, I appreciate it
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Old October 31, 2017, 12:09 PM   #9
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Brasso for just polishing. A cloth buffing wheel and jeweller's rouge for scratches. (The only time a rotary tool is useful. Depending on how deep the scratch is, of course.) Followed by clear lacquer.
Emery cloth(aka wet/dry sandpaper) will add to the scratches and take longer.
Mind you, if you're hunting with the thing, you really don't want shiney brass. Birchwood Casey makes a brass blackener, but regular cold bluing work as well.
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Old October 31, 2017, 12:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Guns and Dremel tools usually don't mix.
Yup. I always say, "Power tools let me screw things up faster!"

I like to keep my brass polished on my guns. I use some blue stuff I forget what it's called. I think it's Mothers but I can't remember.

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Old October 31, 2017, 01:28 PM   #11
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Lots of them old timers had more business to attend to. Plus I think dull, patina brass more attractive.
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Old October 31, 2017, 02:27 PM   #12
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Lots of them old timers had more business to attend to. Plus I think dull, patina brass more attractive.
Most period guns like Hawken and other plains rifles didn't have brass. The TC, CVA, Investarms etc look more like Tryon trade rifles from the mid 1870's.
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Old October 31, 2017, 05:50 PM   #13
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Brasso -- each 2nd or 3rd time I clean from an outing.

.02. David.
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Old October 31, 2017, 06:34 PM   #14
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I just let it acquire a natural patina. It's not unattractive and it takes so little work. Besides, if you use your gun to go hunting with, highly polished brass is like the opposite of camouflage.
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Old October 31, 2017, 07:57 PM   #15
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If it is a kit build, the builder probably didn't do a good job of it. Remove from the stock and keep using fine grit paper - 600 and 800 should do it. Then hand polish with a soft cloth and polishing compound - auto rubbing compound works. You can use a buffing well with compound on a grinder but be careful as the wheel can "catch" the piece if not careful - especially trigger guards. Be careful to not "over do" it as you can buff some of the detqils off such as sharp corners, etc.
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Old October 31, 2017, 07:58 PM   #16
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All of my guns are military arms. I'm pretty sure those boys were required to keep them nice and bright and in good order.

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Old October 31, 2017, 10:13 PM   #17
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Soldiers and sailors were told to polish thing to keep them out of trouble. Shiny barrels look good but give away position on the march.
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Old November 1, 2017, 05:43 AM   #18
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Yes, but in those days, army uniforms were the opposite of camouflage. The British Red Coat's uniform was not designed to make the soldiers inconspicuous, but to make friendly soldiers easy to identify on the battlefield.
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Old November 1, 2017, 05:49 AM   #19
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Thank you guys for all the replies. This rifle is for range shooting only so the brass being shiny doesn't matter. I mainly just don't like the fine scratches in it. The builder did a great job on blueing the barrel and finishing the stock. Is it normal for a builder to use sand paper on the brass leaving very fine scratches ?
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Old November 1, 2017, 07:23 AM   #20
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May have quit at 320. Take the brass off and o to 400, 600, 1500, then polish.
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Old November 1, 2017, 08:57 AM   #21
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is it normal that a builder would use sand paper on the brass ?
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Old November 1, 2017, 09:19 AM   #22
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If it's like most of the kits I've seen the brass would have been pretty rough. A buffing wheel would have been best but yeah most use sandpaper to smooth it out.
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Old November 1, 2017, 09:23 AM   #23
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Reb, you never said what type of rifle you're dealing with. Is this a custom rifle or a kit gun? A high dollar long rifle will have well finished brass where as a basic southern mountain will be less refined. Some builders use steel wool with brasso for the final polish for the appearance they want to achieve.
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Old November 1, 2017, 10:18 AM   #24
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From what I gather on his other posts it's a TC Hawken.
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Old November 1, 2017, 12:34 PM   #25
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your right it is a TC Hawkin 50 cal built as a kit
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