Cleaning solid brass CW keys...

Discussion in 'Radio Circuits, Repair & Performance' started by KG4NEL, Apr 13, 2012.

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  1. KG4NEL

    KG4NEL Ham Member QRZ Page

    So I recently picked up a WWII-era Bunnell key, sort of a bigger clone of a British 8 amp. It has a typical "patina" on it, and although I'm not looking for museum quality by any means, I'd like to clean it up a bit and get some more shine out of it :)

    I've heard of Simichrome from my trumpet-playing days, but does anyone have first-hand experience with cleaning/polishing brass like this without getting discoloration? What works, what to avoid like the plague...thanks in advance!
  2. KB4QAA

    KB4QAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Avoid 80 grit sandpaper!

    Simichrome and Flitz are probably two of the best paste/polishes that are least likely to scratch or damage. Also Miracle Wadding found in automotive stores is good.

    Brasso has changed their age old formula in recent years and reports are that it does not work as well, but I have not tried it.
  3. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use a product called "Bar Keeper's Friend" which can be found in many supermarkets in the section where furniture polish, etc., are stocked. It is a fine powder that is applied with a cloth and a little bit of water.

    Attached is a photo of my J-38 that I restored with the product.

    Glen, K9STH

  4. K1ZJH

    K1ZJH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Owers!!! That is a very pretty key, Glen!!!

  5. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here is my Vibroplex Original, that I got for Christmas 1960, that I restored with the same Bar Keeper's Friend. I did repaint the base.

    Also, My J-37 key that was restored with the same.

    Glen, K9STH

    Vibroplex-original-1.JPG J-37.JPG
  6. AH6OY

    AH6OY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hardware stores have brass cleaners and normally the easy to use stuff that fiber wadding with the cleaner already in it. You just pinch how much you want to clean with out of the tin can.
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