Clear-Coating your brass. I offer my 1913 as a living experiment

Topics Last Day Last Week Tree View    Getting Started Formatting Troubleshooting Program Credits    New Messages Keyword Search Contact Moderators Edit Profile Administration
Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: Clear-Coating your brass. I offer my 1913 as a living experiment
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 08:14 am:

I just finished a partial restoration/detailing of my 1913 Touring. This work included installing a new, leather interior kit from Classtiques, along with a new Top and restoration of the bows. This also included restoration of the brass, and it is there, that I must confess that I have committed a carnal sin among Brass Car enthusiasts:

I clear-coated the brass.

Before I am condemned, and expelled from the club, (Larry Smith, please forgive me, and I hope we can still be friends! :-)) I am here before you to plead my case, and to offer my car as a living experiment as to whether or not brass which is coated, using PROPER and CONTROLLED PROCEDURES will last, and provide excellent protection and appearance.

I chose to do this because I hate polishing brass, yet I love brass cars and have little interest in the post 1916 era. But, I also have a reason to believe that coated brass will stand the test of time. I once had a Maxwell 2-cylinder which had the brass restored and professionally coated. By the time, I got the car, it had been 30 years since the brass was coated and it still looked perfect. So, I chose to go that route, and began an investigation of how to properly coat brass metals by controlled methods, in order to achieve lasting results.

After much searching, I found that Everbrite (www.everbritecoatings.com) offered the best product from what I could determine. Their clear-coats are used in commercial environments and high-traffic areas of hotels, etc. IT's expensive, but well worth the results you get. If you think you are going to cut corners and use a rattle-can of Krylon clear, you're wasting your time and get a premature failure of the coating like you so often hear about.

Here is how I did it:

1, Repair any broken, dented or otherwise components.
2, Completely disassemble each piece of brass down to individual pieces (excluding radiator and steering box/quadrant)
3, Clean away all old polishing compound.
4, Polish using your preferred method - I used Brasso and Neverdull.

(Everything you do from here forward will require laboratory grade, laytex gloves to be worn ANY TIME you TOUCH or HANDLE the brass !!!)

5, When adequately polished, clean with solvent, including back sides when are not polished. Clean these parts like you would a gun... meaning you keep cleaning and drying until you no longer get any contaminants on your clean cloth. This will take HOURS and HOURS and HOURS. You have to clean every crack, crevice.... EVERYTHING.

(All work from here forward was performed in my house where it is climate controlled with central heating and Air)

6, Neutralize the acid left on the surface of the brass by the polishing compound that you used. This is done by mixing a solution of 1/2 cup of Baking Soda to 1/2 gallon of warm water. Thoroughly mix until the baking soda is dissolved. I soak small parts for a few minutes but for larger parts that won't fit in a gallon bucket, I use a soft cloth that is saturated, and I keep rinsing the part and gently wiping it with the neutralizing solution for a minute or two.
7, Thoroughly rinse in warm water.
8, Dry immediately with a soft papertowel, such as bounty, or some brand that is very soft and mild. This will prevent scratches. Do this in good lighting with a slow wiping motion so you do not leave a moisture trail.
9, Wipe immediately with a clean paper-towel (again such as Bounty) moistened with clean and fresh Acetone. IT is important that the final wipe be with Acetone that is reasonably fresh. Acetone absorbs water so avoid acetone that has been sitting on the shelf in your shop for a long time.
10, Allow to air-dry for a minimum of 1 hour in a non-humid environment.
11, Apply 2 coats of Protecta-clear as per instructions using a fine brush or spray. Personally, I found that brushing on the clear worked better and gave better results.
12, Allow 24 hours drying time before handling or installation.

IT took about 3 months for me to finish the brass on my car using this method... and that was working on almost every day. I did every piece of brass, EXCLUDING the radiator and the steering quadrant. I did not want clear on the radiator in the event there is a repair required in the future. And there was no real way to properly treat the steering box and quadrant. So, I resigned myself that I can tolerate polishing those two items. Otherwise, I coated EVERYTHING, right down to the Common-Sense fasteners, and the screws that hold them.

Anyway, here are the results so you can judge for yourself on the appearance. As for how long the coating lasts... I am shooting for 2047 based on how the brass on my Maxwell lasted. But ultimately, time will be the judge. Either way, I am pleased with the final product.

131132133134135136


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed in California on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 09:12 am:

Loooks good. I've seen it done correctly, and it look very nice. The secret is in the prep, and the clear coat quality(not hardware store rattlecan)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Hatch on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 10:04 am:

One question. When you did your water rinse, did you use DI water or maybe distilled water? Would that help with getting clean? Dan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chadwick Azevedo on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 10:11 am:

Any chance I could get a picture of your clock. I think I have one very similar but no glass and need to get that fixed.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tod Wirth - Richfield, WI on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 10:12 am:

You didn't explain one of the BIG advantages that the Everbrite products have!

If you put any type of clear coating on brass, or any other metal, eventually it is going to get damaged, scratched or fail in some way. Now you have to get it off so that you can re-polish the piece and then re-coat it. With a regular clear coat, that will be a major pain. With the Everbrite products, it dissolves with Xylol! Wipe the old coating off with Xylol, re-polish and re-coat.

This stuff is pretty darn durable if you do your prep work. They have two main products, Everbrite and ProtectaClear. I have used both. Use the ProtectaClear on your polished metals.

The biggest project I have done with these products was an enclosed car trailer. A couple of years ago I sprayed my fathers old, faded, red enclosed trailer with Everbrite. The thing still looks great.

If interested, here is a link to their site.....

www.everbritecoatings.com


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Sommers on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 10:15 am:

James,
I was pleased to see the results of your Everbrite coating. I also have a '13 Touring, which I coated with ProtectaClear about two years ago. I coated mostly the small parts that are difficult to keep looking good with traditional methods. My brass looks as good today, as when I first applied it. I am confident that this is a good, long term solution for the care of brass.

For those that might fret about doing damage to the brass, the coating can be easily removed with Xylene.

Mike


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Parker on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 10:38 am:

Mike,

Do you use your lamps?
I drove my '14 to the office this morning with the acetylene and kerosene lit. They don't get very hot but was curious about what the use would have on this coating.

Ken in Texas


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Sommers on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 10:45 am:

Ken,
Yes I do. The literature for ProtectaClear says it can handle up to 400F, but being unsure about my lamps, I only coated only the font of the side and tail light, and the rim of the headlight. That still leaves some polishing, but it is quite manageable.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan B on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 10:51 am:

Great, detailed post. Thanks.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Parker on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 11:26 am:

Mike,
The bonnets and caps on the lamps don't get anywhere near 400 degrees. Sounds like the coating might do well there too.

Ken in Texas


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 11:29 am:

Dan... I used distilled water from the grocery store for some, but also used filtered well water run through a pur-filter. I found negligible difference between the two.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 11:30 am:

Tod - You are correct!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 11:39 am:

One other note guys. For this to work right, the coating has to be complete about the surface. That means that things like the headlamp rims have to be disassembled - meaning you have to grind off the rivets holding the hinges and the thumbscrew. Otherwise, you cant clean under those parts or get the coating in there. Like I said, it's a lot of work, but I plan to never polish anything that was coated ever again!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walter Higgins on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 11:45 am:

So on the headlamp rim for instance, does that mean you removed the hinge, coated the rim, coated the hinge, and then riveted the hinge back on after all of that, or does it just mean you cleaned the surfaces where the hinge mounts, riveted it back on, and then coated the rim / hinge as a single assembly?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 01:09 pm:

Yep, that's going to save a lot of work . . .

Any reports by someone who's done it, on how simple and easy it is to remove with xylene ?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 01:33 pm:

Walter... you clean everything after its apart, then clear everything while it's apart, rivet it back together, and then clear the rivet heads with a paint brush, both inside and out, after its assembled


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 01:40 pm:

Walter... you clean everything after its apart, then clear everything while it's apart, rivet it back together, and then clear the rivet heads with a paint brush, both inside and out, after its assembled


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tod Wirth - Richfield, WI on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 02:18 pm:

Rich,

Xylene (marketed as Xylol) will very easily dissolve and wipe off these coatings. It's not a problem.

I have to say that I commend James on the level he has taken this to and I am sure his work will last a long, long time because of it, but very good results can be achieved without going to the level of disassembly that he has. Just like doing a paint job, there are different levels of prep you can go to to achieve the level of results you want. Yes, you need to get the parts very clean to have proper adhesion but since it is not hard to remove this coating it means it is A LOT easier to repair if your prep is less than perfect and the coating fails in some spot a couple of years down the road.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walter Higgins on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 02:25 pm:

Thanks for the clarification Jim. I've painted riveted panels disassembled, buffed, and then riveted the pieces back on when all is done, so it certainly is doable without cracking the finish and really is the best way to do it clean. With the right tooling it may even be possible to coat the rivet beforehand and not crack the finish when smashed. That's easier done with tubular rivets where the pressure isn't as high. Tidy job!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 03:16 pm:

Tod.. the problem withat not doing a complete disassembly, is that you cannot get the coating to encompass the entire part. So where the coating stops, that is where oxidation starts, and forces the coating to lift.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 07:33 pm:

Wow, Very interesting and thanks for posting. Looks Great!

I was always under the impression that for a long lasting job it had to be baked on? I know I have pretty expensive Baldwin hardware on my front doors that have full sun and beach exposure and still look pristine after many years so it is possible. Good to hear about a product for DIY.

James, I'm interested to hear more about your headlights.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed Fuller on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 08:18 pm:

James,

Great job. Very impressive write up.

Like Gene I am also curious about your headlights.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 09:04 pm:

Gene, Everbrite does not require anything other than a romantic temperature cure, so that's what I went with.

What do you guys want to know about, specifically, regarding the headlamps?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Nevada Bob Middleton on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 11:10 pm:

Dont do it just spent hours cleaning up a brass radiator


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Troy Todd on Friday, April 28, 2017 - 01:15 am:

Looks nice. Some of the stuff on mine has been coated. We actually gold plated some of the small stuff.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Friday, April 28, 2017 - 05:35 am:

Romantic temperature cure? I hate autocorrect. That was supposed to be "room temperature"....!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Friday, April 28, 2017 - 02:13 pm:

James, I think what Ed and I wanted to know is what kind of bulb are you running.

You know bright shinny brass is Very Romantic to some gals...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed in California on Friday, April 28, 2017 - 02:24 pm:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Friday, April 28, 2017 - 10:41 pm:

The headlights on my car were wired for electric sometime back when Ford first introduced electric headlights (1915). I have no proof of this other than the wire they used is from that period, and it was hardened to the point that I had to heat it in order to snake it thorough the openings in the brass radiator when I needed to remove the radiator for service. The lights are wired to run off a battery under the seat so they didn't plan on going very far I guess.. In any event, it was done a long time ago. The lenses are indeed Dillon as shown in the advertisement above.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R. S. Cruickshank on Saturday, April 29, 2017 - 01:09 am:

I did not go through the pain as indicated to get the results. I took my brass (1912) to a man that has a business of polishing brass. He uses band instrument lacquer and told me that he would expect the finish to last 20 years. I'm now into the fifth year with no problems. I will tell you that it appears the brass has mellowed some but not to a point that I am unhappy. (Mellow meaning the silverish color is now a more brass color) Just my 2 cents.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Troy Todd on Saturday, April 29, 2017 - 02:00 am:

The stuff on mine that is clear coated looks OK but you can definitely tell some is and some isn't. Still I would be interested in clearing everything except maybe the radiator. Polishing is a lot of work and they don't give that polish away.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Saturday, April 29, 2017 - 08:59 am:

I took the photo of the "coated" headlamps next to the freshly polished "un-coated" radiator so that a good comparison over time can be visualized. So, if the lamps begin to turn, or mellow, I should be able to tell as soon as I freshly polish the radiator. I went through the pain's I did in hopes that the coated brass maintains it's fresh look for 30 years or even more. I don't want to see them starting to "turn" at all... especially after a term as short as 5 years. But, if they do, then at least we will have some data points! :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed Fuller on Saturday, April 29, 2017 - 09:54 am:

James,

Thanks. I was curious about the lenses. I couldn't tell if they were special lenses or something else.


Add a Message


This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.
Username:  
Password:

Topics Last Day Last Week Tree View    Getting Started Formatting Troubleshooting Program Credits    New Messages Keyword Search Contact Moderators Edit Profile Administration