Do you know if vinegar is as good as muriatic acid to clean crevices in brass? I figure vinegar is safer and less expensive.
If not, where do you buy muriatic acid?
Also, do you know how much it might be to pay someone like a music repair shop to get the dents out of the horn?
I paid $250 at Hershey. A new horn is $600. So depending on how much it cost to repair, I might just sell this and buy a new one at next Hershey.
It appears to be a 1909 horn with no screen on the bell.
I use vinegar after wrapping the brass in cloth, then soak the cloth in vinegar. After an hour the corrosion is easy to remove.
I wouldn't use muriatic acid, but if you do I suggest you apply it carefully with a Q-Tip and then rinse thoroughly. It's quite corrosive, but it does remove oxidation quickly! Here is a safer process I've used:
wow, vinegar salt and flour it is! Thank you PJ.
1909, interesting. Good to know. Thank you Royce. It will do nicely for now.
Permatex makes a product called "Natural Blue". It works great on brass. The product has a lot of good things about it. Doesn't stink, won't hurt you, and you can dump it down the drain when it's spent. Do NOT use it on pot metal, especially if it's nickel plated as it will strip the nickel. Doesn't do much for steel, except being a mild de-greaser. It will also will really clean and brighten any brass that's nickel plated WITHOUT harming the plating. I've used it for years in the antique music box hobby. I keep a mixture in a 5 gallon pail about a 50/50 mix with water. You can do many small brass parts all at once. The container on the right costs around $18.00, and will make many 5 gallon pails of cleaner. It cleans as good as an ultrasonic unit when you use hot water in the mixture.
So here's a question what will take nickel plating off brass with out hurting the brass
Muriatic Acid will clean brass in a minute. But you need to wear gloves and neutralize the acid after you are done with baling soda and water to stop the corrosive action.
Vinegar and Dutch Cleanser works well on brown brass.
Nobody mentioned Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner. Works, nasty stuff, don't leave it on too long. there are probably better ones above. Lots of cautions, gloves, don't get in eyes, ventilate, etc.
I have used Ospho (phosphoric acid) on steel to neutralize rust on that material. Have no idea how it would work on soft metals or brass. Less "hot" than muriatic acid. Both are available at the big box home improvement centers. Muriatic acid is most associated with cleaning cement driveways prior to pressure washing.
I used Brasso on some 73 year old .50 cal machine gun cartridges and a buffer wheel on my bench grinder. Took about 1/2 hour for one bullet. Sprayed with clear gloss lacquer afterwards to keep them looking new.
I use Oxalic acid to remove rust. Will not hurt the paint on metal. No scrubbing. Buy it at West Marine. 1 cup + 1 gal. water use it outside. Works fast.
Darren, will "Natural Blue" work well to clean the inside of a brass radiator?
Haven't tried it in a radiator...sorry. Since it's just brass and solder, it won't damage it. I've cleaned many different parts that were made of brass and soldered, but not a rad.
Muriatic or Hydrochloric should be easily available at any hardware store. Quite cheap, I think my last gallon was about $4.If all else fails a pool supply place will have it.
Toilet bowl cleaner is about 7 - 10% HCl.
Swimming pool companies sell the acid.
Get some wyliers lemonade powder mix and mix it twice As strong as direction but with no sugar and soak the horn and it will clean right up
Some really scary suggestion here. I reproduced the bezels and own the Rubes dies. Vinegar for 30-40 minutes and a good rinse will get it ready and then simply buff. Please no muriatic acid, cleanser or anything else.
Full repairs would be probably $500 or more as you need to disassemble before removing the dents. very time intensive. Difficult to reassemble without wood forms to hold the pieces. You have a nice horn. do not wreck it.