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Want to start a brass dipping business- help!


Sir, I am restoring a home built circa 1893 in sw VA. I had one light fixture dipped and rewired. Now that concern is out of business. I want to learn how to dip my own parts to finish my project myself and create a business on the side for myself at home both cleaning and rewiring this jewels. Anyone who can offer advice or information on how I can proceed or be an apprentice somewhere please let me know.

Bobby Henley
- Hillsville, Virginia, USA


Well , lets see, there are brain surgeons, heart surgeons, orthopedic surgeons and lot of other kinds. Dip does not say anything! water, hot water, acid, caustic, plating, paint or electropolish and dozens of other possibilities. It makes an unbelievable amount of difference if it is bronze, brass, silver, gold, steel, stainless steel, aluminum, zinc, nickel, cobalt and if an alloy, which one. After that, what is the final finish, bare or plated or anodized or lacquered? Provide enough of the proper information and you will still probably be referred to a professional shop in your mailing area. Like surgery, this stuff takes some hands on experience for antiques.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida


Hi, I recently stripped some brass doorknobs of paint. I remember years ago that I once dipped a brass light fixture in a substance, I think it was an acid, maybe a solvent. It bubbled and the fixture came out nice. Any idea what would do that, or do you have a suggestion.

Thank you.

Patricia Marvin
- Lawrence, Kansas

Well, we know which of the four isn't you, Patricia. I'm not familiar with a bubbling action, but any bright brass (or brass that was intended to stay bright) needs a lacquer coating which much be stripped with lacquer thinner [affil link] --so I'd guess that is what you are recalling. After removing the old lacquer, though, you need to brighten/polish the brass. On other letters people have recommended cleaning first with vinegar and salt, then restoring the warm brass look with a commercial brass polish like Brasso [affil link].

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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