View Full Version : re-finishing hardware

mark g
05-11-2003, 05:59 PM
I would gladly give advice to anyone or answer any concerns regarding the do's and don'ts when re-finishing stainless, aluminum or bronze/brass hardware and fixtures.

05-11-2003, 08:49 PM
Great! What is the best thing to use to clean stainless hardware? I am assuming the hardware I need to clean is stainless steel, the underside of the the hardware looks like stainless, but the weathered side is a brown/bronze colored.

mark g
05-13-2003, 05:02 AM
Kelsey from your description it sounds like the whole pc is bronze. The bottom or mounted side where it it is fastened to the deck is still a silver color. What you are seeing is the original chrome plating. Since it is not exposed to the weather the plating is in better condition than the exposed areas. Again, the best bet is the hardware is bronze.
Hope this helped
mark G

05-13-2003, 07:40 AM
Hi mark ,I followed someones advice to get the oxydation (green crud)off of some bronze cleats and stuff.Coca cola did a pretty good job.Now I have dull bronze with some left over chrome spots.What should be the next step to attain a high gloss .I was in the military and know what Brasso can do ,I also know how long it could take.Never dull didn't seem to do much with a small amount of elbow grease.What is the easiest and best way you know of getting it shiny and to keeping it there .Thanks Dan L.

Nicholas Carey
05-13-2003, 01:34 PM
Assuming that your hardware is straight brass/bronze/etc...

Note that this won't remove leftover bits of the chrome-/nickel-plate that used to be there. And...the same procedure will work for stainless or chrome, but the compounds will differ.

1. Get you a grinder (3450 rpm, single speed should do you). Delta makes a fine one.

2. Remove the abrasive wheels, the guards and the fence(s).

3. Install 2 spiral-sewn muslin buffing wheels (fatter is better). Here's a picture of what they look like:


Make sure the buffing wheels aren't too hard. You don't want them too soft either.

4. For non-ferrous metals, get a bar of tripoli buffing compound and a bar or jeweler's rouge.

5. Charge one wheel with tripoli and the other with the rouge.

6. Buff the piece with tripoli until it you have a nice matte/semi-gloss finish on it.

7. Wipe it off and repeat with the jeweler's rouge wheel. When you're done, you should be able to see your face in the workpiece.

8. If the workpiece has really severe corrosion or pitting, you might want to work on it first with a flapper wheel or scotch-brite scuffing wheel and then move to the tripoli.

Careful not to let the wheel catch the workpiece and fling it across the room. :D

Happy polishing.

05-13-2003, 03:34 PM
Nick ,thanks ,I've been wanting/needing a new grinder any way.What should I do to get the small bits of chrome off without gouging the brass/bronze.My digital camera is broke to so I can't send any pics to show what I mean.It's always one step up and two steps back somedays. :rolleyes: Thanks much Dan L.

mark g
05-13-2003, 07:18 PM
Nick Sounds like you have had some experience polishing and buffing. Not much fun and actually dangerous when careless at the buffing wheel. the best way to get the old nickel off is chemically. But at home sanding it carefully with a 180 grit will work. By hand will be tedious. If a belt sander is available it is the best. just bear down lightly so as not to gouge and always try and maintain the shape or contour of the piece. Once the old plate is off follow Nicks great instructions and wear glasses!
Mark G

05-14-2003, 07:51 AM
I have been polishing a lot of hardware that I took off of the 12 ft daysailer I am restoring. Most of the hardware was covered with peeling varnish and paint, and I have been using a buffer and it works great. One thing to keep in mind, is a buffer will "round-off" the sharp edges of metal you are polishing, so be careful to retain the original shape of the peice you are buffing. Here is a photo of a hold I made from a straight peice of bronze. It is hard to tell in the photo, but the tail end has a nice slope to it that I was able to buff the scratches out of it easily.


Here is a photo of a rub strip I made. I cut the star out with a coping saw, and the buffer did a nice job "easing" the sharp edges.


Good luck,
Bob K.