Restoring Bronze winches

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by fhrussell, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. fhrussell
    Joined: Dec 2004
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    Location: Long Island, NY

    fhrussell Boatbuilder

    Can anyone recommend a restoration process for bronze fittings and winches? I have a few old Merriman's that are highly "patina-ed". I tried Noxon, but at this rate, I'll be polishing until 2010. The fittings are a bit of a mess too. Once the corrosion is removed, I'd like to keep them in a polished state for as long as possible. Is there is a laquer that is suitable. Thanks again.....
     
  2. D'ARTOIS
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: The Netherlands

    D'ARTOIS Senior Member

    Have you tried machine polishing? As done in the foundries? Copper/messing and the like are mostly cleaned in a mixture of Sulphuric and Nitric acid. Then they are fully degreased and polished. I would go for machine polishing, you know what I mean, using an industrial polishing machine. High speed rotating cotton wheels, and beeswax.
     
  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    If you use your winches at all the laquer will wear off. Also, laquer would make the surface slippery; it's supposed to grip the lines. Steel wool is a good starter for cleaning bronze. Work your way to polishing paste.
     
  4. fhrussell
    Joined: Dec 2004
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    Location: Long Island, NY

    fhrussell Boatbuilder

    I've read that steel wool is not a good idea, but bronze wool is the way to go. Apparently, the steel can lodge in the softer bronze and then rust. It's probably not much of an issue, I'd imagine. The oxidation is tenacious and not going easily..... Even the steel wool alone is not getting much done. The Noxon doesn't seem to add any benefits, either. Actually, even on the less oxidized area, Noxon does very little to help and can't understand why the company would even recommend it's use for bronze. :mad:
     
  5. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I think 3M scrubby pads may work well. They make them in several grits.
     
  6. PowerTech
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: FL,Keys

    PowerTech Senior Member

    What about naval jelly.or take some waterd doun muratic acid to it with some of them 3M scruby pads Gonzo mentioned ..hose it off and go to it with some Brasso.Thats a brass polish you get at drug stores.
     
  7. fhrussell
    Joined: Dec 2004
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    Location: Long Island, NY

    fhrussell Boatbuilder

    Update

    Update...... soaked everything in mineral spirits to remove grime and grease. Watered it all down and attacked it with the 3M pads (medium) which have done the most to help me feel like I'm getting somewhere. After feeling more optimistic, I went to Home Depot to get some more bronze wool, #M pads, wire disk bit, and polishing bits w/ emory, white rouge, and tipoli for buffing. I'm going to go with the tipoli to start and try the white rouge after. They are looking better, but still have aways to go. The Dremel bits will come in handy for the palls and teeth. Soaking all of that as I write. Thanks for all the suggestions, folks.....
     
  8. lincoln berrang
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Location: spain

    lincoln berrang New Member

    the fastest way to polish bronze,or stainless steel and other metals is produced by 3m. it is inexpensive, can be used with any small angle/grinder or handdrill. it is called a roloc disc, about 2inches diameter, and it screws onto a rubber backing pad.there are many grades of disc,a coarse disc will dress stainless welds to seamless,however for your application, you need 3m scotchbrite roloc exl 25 fin. unitised wheel m.o.s.15100r.p.m.use with care on edges or sharp corners as it can round them off, bronze is pretty soft. final polishing can be done with a 3m hookit backing pad and finessit disc, and white polishing paste or soap. the small investment is worthwhile, you will find you use them for many different applications. if the bearings or main shaft are worn or corroded, fit a vesconite sleeve, the winch will work better than when new.
     
  9. Peter Baker
    Joined: Jun 2005
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    Location: NewZealand

    Peter Baker New Member

    I have some bronze mushroom van's wich a stuck in the threat.
    any Idea how to free them up ??
     
  10. lincoln berrang
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Location: spain

    lincoln berrang New Member

    please rephrase your question
     

  11. weheritage
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Eastern Shore Mobile Bay

    weheritage Junior Member

    I recently cleaned all of my bronze Meriman turnbuckles (14 in all) and the bronze mast goose necks buy using a bead blaster where I work. This is a machine that is a large box with what might be referred as a sand blaster in it. The best aggregate to use is Walnut or Pecan shells. If a sand like aggregate is used the finer the better. I did not have shells so after blasting them I used my electric drill fitted with a steel brush to finish the job. A bronze brush is preferred. They all look terrific
     

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