I have a nice pair of original nickel plated Rushmore headlamps. I need to polish them but don't want to polish through the plating. What is the best polish to use to remove the least amount of the plating???
Mothers...Its the best cleaner/polish I've used... and I used them all...really I've got like 8 different kinds ..Your piece will keep getting better and better as your rag gets blacker and blacker...
Simichrome polish works well on my nickel radiator shell.
"Flitz" is the best all around metal polish I've found. It comes specialized for all different types of metal. The silver polish usually does the best job of all since it is a finer grit for the precious metal, making for a more mirror-like result. Jim Patrick
www.flitz.com then click the red "Shop now".
I am hoping to find what someone has used on nickel plating. These lights are 100 years old and I don't want to polish through the plating.
I have looked at some of the silver polishes and that is where I am leaning. The don't need a lot of work but they are definitely dull.
If it was brass then you pretty much can just keep polishing until you find what you like. With plating you have fewer chances to get it right.
I use a 1hp buffer with white or blue stick compound on nickel. Nickel is pretty hard but if all you want to do is remove the oxide, use the Flitz Jim suggested. A good rubbing with any of the "clear-coat" car polishes will also work well and leaves a protective film.
I like NEVR-DULL magic wadding polish. It is a very gentle polish. I just restored a 26 coupe and it works great on all the nickel. It may work on your Rushmores. It would take some time, but those are some real good lights you have. Wally World cares it and the polish is in a silver can now. Leon
Forgot to mention - If they already look like they were sprayed with silver-grey paint, you may not have much nickel left. Any amount of rubbing could wear through. Most of old nickel plating was around .00025-.0005" in thickness. More modern plating is .0005 to .001" thick and can be buffed vigorously.
Can you post a picture?
Did you really just get six feet of snow, Les?
Bitumen roofing tar works very well for polishing oxidized nickel plating. It removes nothing but the oxidized metal so it is very safe for thin nickel plating.
I thought only modified tar was appropriate. Haha.
I also like never dull.
No I did not get 6' of snow. About 25 miles away near the airport they maybe had a foot but lots of wind (30-40mph) for a couple of days, so some really big drifts. We have had several days of record cold early in the week (-41 C). Obviously caused because all the warm air is over at Dopenhagen.
Maybe but it is too cold to use it right not!
Ken and Leon
Thanks for the suggestions.
I use Semichrome polish on my 1912 Triumph motorcycle. I finished restoration in 1982 and it is a multiple AACA Preservation award winner. We show it a lot and the plating still looks fantastic. I won't use anything else on it.
Thinning it with a bit of kerosene will do the trick for those living in the great white north.
I got some Naver Dull today and tried it on a '26-'27 switch plate that has fairly good but dull plating on it. Might as well have used Modified Bitumen Roofing Tar on it. Can't say I would recommend it for something that wasn't already polished. I have used a Dremel with a buffing pad and a very fine polishing compound and VERY LIGHTLY polished some original nickel plated hubcaps and they came out nice. Didn't remove any plating that wasn't already gone. Just my .02. Dave
I use "Autosol" from Germany on both brass & nickel. Dave C.
Lots of good ideas here. Thx guys
I suppose the kerosene would help. Only -23C here this morning.
I believe Nevr-Dull is abrasive, years ago we used it to remove the black paint off of brass radiators. Sure works good on the brass though.
Keep those low temps and all that snow up there. About 5C here and I'd love it if it was 15C on Christmas Day like it has been many times.