What I did today....
Just a little more buffing required, but a pleasant afternoon in the workshop.
That's nice work Nevin. I like working with brass when it is curved like that. It's a different story trying to get flat radiator panels to look like that. Well done.
Allan from over the dutch
Please post pictures of the tools used to do this fine work and an explanation of the process.
Very nice! Very nice indeed!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Very nice. Can you do mine??
Keep it save
Did you anneal the brass before straightening or did you work it cold ?
Do you have any photos of the straightening procedure? How did you get it so smooth?
Thanks for the kind words. I am strictly a novice at this, and self taught. Allan is right that a curved piece like that is much easier than a flat piece.
The tools are basically anything that is a reasonable dolly, and an assortment of small hammers. I mostly use a chipping hammer and an upholstery hammer. Most important is a file. This highlights the highpoints. Sandpaper on the inside also showed me where to tap. When I got it close enough, different grades of sandpaper produced the smooth finish. I think it went 120, then 220, and eventually 800 grit. I finished with autosol polish.
I do not anneal the brass, but work it cold. I find it surprisingly forgiving. I find it relaxing when there is no pressure on.
Please note, I am self taught and may be doing it all wrong. This is not a how-to, but something works for me. Find a trashy piece of brass and try it!
Here are a couple of pics of the inside showing the process of identifying the high and low points. I'll tap the brass against the flat of the vise so I know I'm not stretching the brass. I roll it around, making lots of small indentations... checking the outside with the file, and the inside with sandpaper over and over.
Very nice work and fun for us to see. I think you will be happier if you do anneal it to keep it from age cracking but you are certainly on the right track. Brass is so pretty.
Very nice, and informative. Thank you for posting.
Could you tell more about the annealing process please?
Annealing is what you do in church just before you pray
Beautiful work Nevin
Nevin, like you I am self taught. Your use of file and sandpaper mirror my efforts finding the high/low spots. I use a single cut file to reduce the chance of unwanted scratches. About the only thing I would add for those interested is the use of a hardwood buck. Depending on the piece being worked on and its shape, I use a piece of wood, held in my vice, as a tool to work dents out without hammering at first. For example on Nevin's lamp chimney, I would hold the piece against the wooden buck and push on it to get the big dent out at first.
I also use a buck when beating out the smaller dents. Once a high spot is identified, I position the piece on the buck before attacking the high spot. The support behind helps to reduce any overstrike in the dent knocking. It's a bit like the shot bag panel beaters use.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
"Heeeeeeeres Dennis"!! That was a good one Dennis, you just keep getting better and better. Like I've said before, you've missed your calling. Better get to L.A. for some auditions!
As I have said in the past, I use a carriage bolt of the right size with the lettering ground off of the head. I use it to push on the dents with the head against the inner side of the dent. Sometimes the dent is held in a vise. You just have to use some sense about what you are doing, go slow and don't use too much force.
There is probably better info on annealing brass on the internet, but I heat it until it is slightly red and then quickly quench it in a bucket of cold water. This relieves the stresses from working it or vibration from driving or age. After annealing it it is soft and can be worked more easily. I use a propane torch as too much heat can lead to other problems. It is not difficult to do but might be wise to practice on something less valuable to start with.
Another tip is to heat the brass in a darkened room so you can see the red glow better. You don't have to quench it in water unless you want it to cool faster. Here is a little thing from the HCCA site:
I Have hung copper gaskets on a coat hanger and use a propane torch and work across till I see a color change. Go from top to bottom as you are going from side to side. Very little heat is needed. Scott
Nevin, could you post a photo of the hammers you used? very interesting - good job.