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Thread: Cleaning solid brass CW keys...

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Hillsborough, NC

    Default Cleaning solid brass CW keys...

    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. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    St. Mary's County Md since 2000


    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. #3


    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. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    north central Connecticut


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


  5. #5


    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. #6


    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.
    There is nothing but DX.

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