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Thread: bronze polishing

  1. #71
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Lindstrom, MN
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    2,391

    Default Re: bronze polishing

    OK guys, we prefer to fuel boats with diesel because gasoline tends to go whump in the night. Same for Coleman fuel, not so much with paint thinner. Then there is So Cal, and the SCAQMD, where paint thinner and naphtha are only a fond memory. In the spirit of taking things out of context, "SCAQMD requires residents to not burn wood in their fireplaces" Coleman fuel, white gas, is the lighter boiling fraction of VM&P naphtha. It would be a lot safer to use another solvent that doesn't evaporate as fast. If you live on the left coast, your shadowy government overseers have taken away your freedom to use the stuff you need, so you need to do an end run around the rules and regulations. Thorne, do yo like my tin foil hat?

    You left coasters can still buy lamp oil, which is pretty much the same as odorless mineral spirits. It won't dry up as fast, stink as much or blow up, but still is a good cleaning solvent. Takes label gum off a treat. D-Limonene is also a good substitute for turpentine and naphtha here. Trust me, this is easier to read than anything I write: https://www.popularwoodworking.com/a...r_on_solvents/

    Diatomaceous (Fullers EDIT: NOT Fullers) earth is available in the garden center for killing slugs. If you are a slug, this is like eating broken glass. Actually, it is broken glass, but natural broken glass skeletons. Buy the cheap stuff. Miracle grow apparently puts fertilizer in theirs, which is not good for cleaning.

    Diatomaceous earth looks like this up close:
    Last edited by MN Dave; 02-11-2019 at 02:56 PM.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  2. #72
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
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    27,034

    Default Re: bronze polishing

    Diatomaceous earth is interesting stuff. It's also used for filtration - swimming pools & maple syrup to name 2 examples.

    If wanting pure DE, buying filtration grade (OK - DE sold for filtration purposes) might make sense.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  3. #73
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    12,117

    Default Re: bronze polishing

    The reason for using Naptha for the replication of Bennet's Brilliant Shine polish is two fold. First, it is what was used for the vehicle in the original polish. Second, it is also the solvent which was used, until a few years ago, as commercial dry cleaning fluid. Naptha is an extremely
    efficient grease solvent! And, it evaporates extreamly fast. The diatomaceous earth is indeed the skeletons of tiny sea creatures known as Diatoms. The powder is a fine abrasive and also a very efficient grease and dirt absorbent. After its use it leaves a brilliant, grease and dirt free surface on all manner of metals. If one is concerned with the use of Naptha and alternative vehicle would be CMT gum and resin remover. But, it is expensive and does not evaporate fast.
    Jay

  4. #74
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: bronze polishing

    My point was that there are suitable alternatives to naphtha legally and readily available in CA. The ones I mentioned are slower to dry, hence safer in terms of flammability, but perhaps too slow. Never having used Bennett's I don't know if the evaporation rate is convenient, too slow or too fast. Since it is a simple mixture of a decent cleaning solvent and easily obtainable abrasive, anyone can make a good substitute once they know what to expect of the ingredients, and can adjust the drying time if so desired. Since I wouldn't tend to use a polish as a degreaaser, I wouldn't be too concerned about the solvent strength as long as it dried without a difficult to remove residue.

    Diatomaceous earth is a very good fine polishing material, although for really sensitive applications, there are abrasives with a more uniform particle size distribution.

    The solvents that I mentioned do dry cleanly and are reasonable alternatives to naphtha when preparing a replacement for Bennet's polish. They are also available in California. While you may have to order limonene, lamp oil is easy to find locally. Odorless lamp oil is slower drying than Naphtha and the lack of smelly compounds make it a slightly weaker solvent. D-limonene is a stronger solvent and is chemically very similar to turpentine. Both are slower to evaporate than Nahtha. The CMT cleaner -- was that CMT 2050? There are at least two types of Naphtha, light and heavy. Heavy is less common, and pretty much same as kerosene.

    Speed Evaporation Rate (Butyl Acetate = 1.0) Examples

    Fast > 3.0
    Light Naphtha(?) = 3.2
    Methyl Ethyl Ketone = 3.8
    Acetone = 5.6
    Hexane = 8.3.

    Medium 0.8 to 3.0
    VM&P Naphtha = 1.2
    95% Ethyl Alcohol = 1.4
    Isopropyl alcohol = 1.5

    Slow < 0.8
    Xylene = 0.6
    Isobutyl Alcohol = 0.6
    Water = 0.3
    Heavy Naphtha= 0.11
    Mineral Spirits = 0.1
    D-Limonene = 0.05
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  5. #75
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Quogue,NY
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    16,722

    Default Re: bronze polishing

    Diatomaceous earth is interesting stuff. It's also used for filtration - swimming pools & maple syrup to name 2 examples.
    And in insect control. Mix diatomaceous earth with confectionary sugar fifty fifty. Place where you see ant ( for example) activity. They come, eat, and bring it back to the nest where the DE tears up their exoskeletons. I cleared a caprenter ant colony from one of my holly trees last summer using that technique ( Taught to me by an exterminator buddy)

    Also, if you spread it in a band around decks, patios and walkways it will kill and deter slugs and snails. They don't like to slide over or through it.


    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  6. #76
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    12,117

    Default Re: bronze polishing

    I think we all try to share that which has been successful for us in the past. Experimenting with a proven product sometimes comes out better than the original and sometimes worse.
    Jay

  7. #77
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    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: bronze polishing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    I think we all try to share that which has been successful for us in the past. Experimenting with a proven product sometimes comes out better than the original and sometimes worse.
    Jay
    Yes, but Bennet's is no longer available. You can't get Naphtha in CA, so it isn't possible for a lot of people to make an exact copy.

    Fortunately, the more important ingredient is diatomaceous earth and the solvent can be substituted with a variety of things. Naphtha is good for degreasing and as you said, the diatomaceous earth absorbs oils, so Bennet's not only dissolved the oil, but might have retained it in the dry powder when it dried up. DE seems to be something of a panacea: ttps://www.diatomaceousearth.com/blogs/learning-center . DE can be mixed with any number of liquids or even used dry on a cotton ball for polishing silver.

    TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
    Fuller's earth is clay (usually montmorillonite) while diatomaceous earth is the accumulated microscopic amorphous silica skeletons of microscopic and near-microscopic aquatic photosynthetic algae called diatoms.
    Uhm, guilty as charged...

    There is some confusion between fullers earth and diatomaceous earth which are different chemically. Over the years I was always lead to believe that they are two names for the same thing. Both materials have many of the same uses, including polishing. They are even found in mixed deposits in the northern end of the FL-GA fullers earth deposit. Both seem to act something like activated charcoal, but FE is more effective there.

    http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/degen.html
    http://www.jaxonfiltration.com/Clays...Materials.html
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  8. #78
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    San Francisco Bay
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    11,742

    Default Re: bronze polishing

    Thanks to Jay's tip, I went to Wright's Copper Cream and never looked back. I still take pieces to a buffing wheel when they are really gross, but keeping brass bright is not all that difficult if it's regularly polished. Like varnish, routine maintenance is the ticket. Otherwise, it takes a lot of elbow grease to get back to that pristine blazing shine.

  9. #79
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    San Francisco Bay
    Posts
    11,742

    Default Re: bronze polishing

    Thanks to Jay's tip, I went to Wright's Copper Cream and never looked back. I still take pieces to a buffing wheel when they are really gross, but keeping brass bright is not all that difficult if it's regularly polished. Like varnish, routine maintenance is the ticket. Otherwise, it takes a lot of elbow grease to get back to that pristine blazing shine.

    Which reminds me, I've got to get to my brass cased ship's clock on the bathroom wall. I just can't seem to convince "the girls" that they don't need to spend so much time in the shower that the whole bathroom turns into a steam bath!

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