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What's best to polish old nickel plating?

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#1
ReGaL Music

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I'm doing a restoration of an old Radio King snare. The nickle plating on the rims, lugs, snare gates, and throw off is quite faded. The color is basically a dull gray. (see pics)

What would you recommend I use to polish the metal and how much of the shine/luster can I expect to get back.

I've done one of the lugs using "Brasso" and it does look better, but certainly not bright.

I've read that a product called Simichrome is very good. Any of you ever use it?

Should all of my polishing be just by hand or would using a buffing pad on a drill be good?

The tension rods have a good bit of rust on them and I'm not sure they were even nickle plated. I plan to use a little steel wool on them.

Thanks for any help.
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#2
mlayton

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ive used both of the products that youve mentioned and i know where you are coming from. here's what i would do. take the hardware off and soak it overnight in a dawn detergent bath. this will eliminate the urge to brillo any at all. then check out ace hardware of wherever else that sells cape code polishing cloths. they will give you the highest lustre with the least amount of effort in my opinion. you'll be pleased i think. good luck. :icon_smile:


mike

#3
ludslinger tex

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ive used both of the products that youve mentioned and i know where you are coming from. here's what i would do. take the hardware off and soak it overnight in a dawn detergent bath. this will eliminate the urge to brillo any at all. then check out ace hardware of wherever else that sells cape code polishing cloths. they will give you the highest lustre with the least amount of effort in my opinion. you'll be pleased i think. good luck. :icon_smile:


mike


I had a lot of luck with Flitz Polish. It is not cheap though at around 40.00. But it's acid free and comes in a can that looks like it is a quart of paint but they sell it by weight at 2 lbs. I haven't tried the cape cod cloths.
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#4
grumpy409

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Greetings Everyone, I had some nickel plated bongo hoops which Flitz Metal polish in the gray tube cleaned very well. I believe you can buy it directly from the manufacturer. I bought mine from eBay.
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#5
JDZ

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Another for Flitz!

Dave
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#6
jonesy

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Mike put me onto Cape Cod clothes and they really do work. The nickel on my Jazz Fest snare came up very close to the chrome on the rest of my kit.
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#7
tillerva

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I have some Flitz too; our Ace Hardware has it in small bottles, for about $8.
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#8
mlayton

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can anybody give us a comparison between the flitz and the cape cods?


mike

#9
tillerva

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Actually, I have not been able to get good results with Flitz or anything, at least compared to some of the nickel I've seen from others on here, but I have not tried Cape Cods but plan to soon. Flitz does an amazing job on chrome; that and Nevrdull.
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#10
mlayton

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i will say then that the cape cods will blow you away. and its so easy to use. very impressive.


mike

#11
carl1969

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CAPE CODs all the way. Less time, less elbow grease, no fumes or oders to deal with. They made the old nasty faded white nickel shine like chrome with that wet luster look after I was done on my WFL kit. Go to thier site and order a large can which comes with 10 or more pads, gloves and a polishing rag for $18. its well worth it.
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#12
torydrum

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Maas polish works very well for nickel.
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#13
Dave H.

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I love the MAAS polish myself. I have got it at Walgreens before.

Dave Huffman :occasion5:
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#14
checker758

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What would you recommend I use to polish the metal and how much of the shine/luster can I expect to get back.

I've done one of the lugs using "Brasso" and it does look better, but certainly not bright.

I've read that a product called Simichrome is very good. Any of you ever use it?

Should all of my polishing be just by hand or would using a buffing pad on a drill be good?

The tension rods have a good bit of rust on them and I'm not sure they were even nickle plated. I plan to use a little steel wool on them.

Thanks for any help.


I feel your pain. I just spent the last two weeks working on the nickel plating on an early '60s Ludwig Club Date I picked up that was in great condition except for some seriously oxidized and pitted hardware. I tried soaking everything in detergent, tried a few different over the counter metal polishes, and expended a LOT of elbow grease.

I wasn't getting the kind of results I'd hoped for, so I decided to look into having all the nickel plated parts replated. I learned that this is a VERY labor intensive process - and intensive rhymes with expensive. It could have cost up to $1000 to have all the nickel parts from my little Club Date re-done.

There was another option though. The small shop I'd taken the parts to for possible re-plating said they night be able to polish up the parts that were made with brass or pot metal as the base metal (steel parts like BD claws rust underneath the nickel and can't be fixed with stripping and replating at about $15 per piece.) They soaked the hoops and lugs in some sort of solution that takes off the oxidation, and then polished them all up on a heavy duty industrial metal polishing wheel. It doesn't do anything to any of the underlying pitting, but it really brought out whatever shine was left in the old nickel. See pics below. First is a nickel plated lug as I got it. Second is a lug after everthing I was able to do to clean and polish it. (On this one I used Blue Magic polish, which has worked well for me on chrome, and other less oxidized nickel. I also tried Brasso and Turtle Wax chrome polish with similar results.) Third pic is a lug after the professional cleaning and polishing.

I was pretty happy with the results. I was able to get 6 hoops, 24 lugs, and the tom and cymbal mounts done for $100, in about an hour. After spending 20+ hours on everything already (and only getting about 2/3 of the way through everything), it seemed like a pretty good deal.

One thing seems clear: as long as there's nickel left to be polished, it can probably be made to shine like a mirror. But when you have rust coming through like on the tension rods, you'll never get that area to shine again without replating.

Scott

Edited by checker758, 02 November 2009 - 02:47 PM.

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#15
Ludwig Von Buzzthoven

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I posted a question about Eagle One Nevr-Dull after a friend of mine who owns a few Harleys recommended it to me. A DFO guys used it and said it was great stuff.

I agree! I used it to clean up a vintage Supra, and it really came out well.

Buzz
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#16
mlayton

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theres some stuff i use on my harley on aluminum stuff. its called white diamond. its in liquid form. works on all metals too. it is superb. but for some reason i only use it on the bike.


mike

#17
60s Drummer

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Any good automotive metal polish works great to shine and protect nickel plating. Semichrome is good, I like Mother's Metal Polish.
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