Lacquering metals

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I have only tried to lacquer some metal once.
I first buffed the metal to polish it then wiped it down with denatured alcohol to get any waxes/residue off. After the lacquer (said it worked for metal) dried it was easy to get off. Any amount of firm handling and it would start scratching right off.
Anyone used any lacquer to preserve a polished metal?
Mike
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On 2/21/12 9:24 AM, Michael Joel wrote:

Cymbal companies use it as a protective coat. It works great to keep cymbals from tarnishing from skin oils.
However, it does nothing to prevent oak rust. :-)
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On 02/21/2012 09:52 AM, -MIKE- wrote:

Clear lacquer works great over brass; they've been doing it for years on brass instruments like trumpets and trombones. I don't know if the cymbal companies use lacquer or something else (and of course, cymbals are made of bronze, not brass), but it seems to work well in that context too, at least until you've worn the coating off with repeated thrashings. :-)
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On 2/21/12 10:23 AM, Steve Turner wrote:

George did a lot of research on this when he owned his drum shop in Akron. He was offering a cymbal polishing service and wanted to be able to replace the coating the manufacturers put on. He spoke with the "Big 3" and they all said they used lacquer. Of course, they was that term gets thrown around by woodworkers, who knows if it's actually lacquer that cymbal makers use. :-)
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On 02/21/2012 10:29 AM, -MIKE- wrote:

Whatever it is, they must be using a *very* thin coat. I remember cleaning and polishing up one of my cymbals back in late seventies and spraying it with a moderate coat of lacquer to see what the effect would be. I might as well have draped a washcloth over the dumb thing. It sounded like a pizza box. :-)
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On 2/21/2012 10:23 AM, Steve Turner wrote:

I did this very thing once, exactly 49 years ago this summer, in England, using what was sold over the counter at the time as "egg shell varnish" (? I have no idea). I polished the brass and put on two coats of same with a nail polish brush.
An 18th century French carriage clock, which thereafter sat on my parents dresser for 47 of those 49 years without being touched, and although the brass did tarnish, it has only done so in the last two of those 49 years:
https://picasaweb.google.com/111355467778981859077/EWoodShopJustStuff#5711622993203924674
This thread is of vital interest to me as my original intention was to re-do it every fifty years ... one more year to go before the first scheduled maintenance. :)
(for the curious: the rocks on top belong to one of our pups (a true rockhound), and are part of her prized collection of rare jewel pebbles which she collects on walks, carries back to the house in her mouth, then drops on the kitchen floor next to the window ... apparently only because she can't reach the sill).
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On 2/21/2012 11:43 AM, Swingman wrote:

https://picasaweb.google.com/111355467778981859077/EWoodShopJustStuff#5711622993203924674
That's kind of like garage furniture, if you just buy it or it is given it to you, it's just not the same! Some in my family have "hoarding" tendencies too. I think she drops them on the kitchen floor for your approval--maybe an "atta-girl" or something like that! : )
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Swingman wrote:

That's cute :)
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Refers to the finished texture/appearance - not high gloss.
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On 02/21/2012 09:24 AM, Michael Joel wrote:

Forget what you've done with lacquer in the woodworking realm; if you want to put lacquer on metal and have it last you need to think in terms of automotive painting processes. It kinda depends on what kind of "metal" we're talking about here, but in general a good primer is a must, preferable an "etching" primer that (as I understand it) has some amount of acid content gives it very strong adherence to the metal. And these days there are far better paints available for metal than just "lacquer" (presumably we're talking about good ol' nitrocellulose lacquer here). Maybe "nailshooter" Robert will chime in here, but barring that the simplest thing you could do to address the problem would be to go down to your local automotive supply store and see what they have available in rattle cans. Any of that is bound to be better than just straight lacquer over metal.
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On 02/21/2012 09:59 AM, Steve Turner wrote:

Of course, I just realized you're probably talking about a clear coat over metal, in which case most of what I just said is not really applicable. :-) In this case, it probably is going to be pretty dependant on what kind of metal you're going over. Aluminum, for example, is notoriously difficult to get any kind of paint to stick to it.
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On Tue, 21 Feb 2012 11:01:22 -0500, "Mike Marlow"

I am aware of the differences in auto lacquer. You are right in that I should have taken the time to test it with an auto lacquer (acrylic).
Product I tried was simply a can of Minwax clear lacquer - claiming to be a good metal finish. Directions have no mention of etching base or any base (except a possible use of a sanding sealer - which of course is n/a). It most likely would be a good metal finish - it the item is to be placed out of reach and out of use.
The item being covered was a set of piano pedals and hinges. Pedals are usually solid brass, nickel (plated), or cast iron with a plating of brass or nickel. Hinges are usually solid brass.
Such items are usually polished and then lacquered to protect the metal's polish. The desired end result is of course a highly polished metal that does not tarnish quickly.
---- as a side topic ---
What are people's expectations of being able to protect items such as piano pedals? Of course these get a good rubbing from shoes.
Acrylic Lacquer I do not believe will hold up long. A conversion laqcuer seems more trouble than it is worth. Same for other conversion finishes.
So - some form of a polly? Easy to apply - trouble is of course long drying times - but this is usually ok since a small dust free area should be easy to come by.
Also - these items generally lose their plating - pedals especially. I have thought of trying to color them back by applying a colored finish (I doubt most customers would be willing to pay the expense of true replating). Opinions on this?
Thanks Mike
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Ah, thats much better information. I thought it was steel or other malleable iron.
I have painted over brass with clear rustoleum and no problems. Just give it a few days to harden. Use acetone to clean first, then buff any residue off with a soft cloth.
On 2/21/2012 1:04 PM, Michael Joel wrote:

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I have no idea of the expense of replating, but I would suggest you speak with your local Harley motorcycle guy/expert about replating. Those guys replate their chrome parts and custom made parts. Those replating guys are already be set up for replating small parts. I would think they would know something, to lead you to a correct answer or source for replating your piano petals.... appropriate estimates, etc. They might even know something about applying a clearcoat finish onto metal.
Sonny
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On Tue, 21 Feb 2012 13:21:19 -0500, "Mike Marlow"

Nope - I am still very much a novice, but have done studying. So far some knowledge mixed with some skill - very possibly more knowledge than skill :) - or possibly very little of each lol
Mike
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On Tue, 21 Feb 2012 13:21:19 -0500, "Mike Marlow"

As I said before, still learing and getting experience with that actual use of the things I've been reading about, so forgive me asking if this has an obvious answer - what are you referring to as clear coat? I do not recall hearing any particular finish just called clear coat.
Thanks Mike
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Sorry Mike - automotive clear coat - the stuff that is on your car. It's a urethane and is a catalytic finish. Very nasty stuff - very nasty (isocyanate), so you do not want to breath it in at all. If you can smell it, you are hurting yourself. But - it's one hell of a finish. Best left to those with the right equipment and protective resources. My protective gear costs more than the shop equipment some of us have in this forum - because that's the level of protection you need to shoot this stuff. *********************************** For those that do not know about this stuff, they need to know that a fresh air supply system must be used, not a respirator. It does permanent damage to the liver and nervous system.
That said, I converted a full face respirator to a fresh air system by putting a fitting where the chemical filter was, and used some 1 1/4" sump pump hose and a small squirrel cage blower.
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So after looking around the internet, there are a few products made for bare metal.
Just do a search. It is expensive, but available.
Some are single part, some are two part finishes.
So in answer to lacquer, I don't think it will stick without a mechanical bond, and/or a primer. Since you are polishing, there is no tooth for a mechanical bond.
On 2/21/2012 10:24 AM, Michael Joel wrote:

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tiredofspam wrote:

I have used lacquer on polished brass. The trick is to get all the polish off Stick type metal polishes have a grease or wax base. After the buffing you should clean the metal with acetone as someone has already mentioned I don't think alcohol will cut it.
A light coat of rattle can lacquer with another coat when dry. This will not last where the shoes rub but in general will last several years of light use.
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Misstake may have been the alcohol. That may have lefe a little resadue from buffing. I clean with lacquer thinner when going to lacquer on metal. No problems here. WW
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