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Thread: Cleaning Brass Nails

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    Blind Shooter Kojiro's Avatar
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    Default Cleaning Brass Nails

    Has anyone come up with a good, cheap/free way to clean brass nails? I know that you can use a bullet casing tumbler, but I don't really want to invest the $50 or so in one right now. My method so far as been to put Brasso on a cloth, put the nail in a drill, and then just buff it that way. The problem is that it is one nail at a time. I just got my second machine and I don't want to spend hours individually polishing the nails.

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    Tokie Owens tincan39's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Brass Nails

    If you want to send them to me, I could put them in my ball mill with some fine sand and water.

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    Eye Shooter Spyder138's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Brass Nails

    Be careful not to mar the nail if you are using a drill to polish. You can use a cloth and a cotton shoestring to polish the exposed nail without removing from the playfield. There are quite a few threads here about nail polishing using everything from vinegar soaks to rock tumblers and vibration tumblers. I understand you don’t want to part with $50 right now. All your other real options seem manual and time consuming. After doing a couple machines maybe you’ll change your mind and consider the investment in a tumbler of some sort. I prefer my brass shell casing vibrator with walnut shells and brasso over my rock tumbler. It’s nice just to toss everything in, walk away for 12 hours and come back to sparkling brass nails. I can use that time to work on, or better yet, play a machine.

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    Blind Shooter Kojiro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Brass Nails

    tincan: thanks for the offer, but I think by the time I send them to IL and back I could probably just polish them here.

    spyder: I am polishing them after having removed them from the playfield. My machine is in 1000 parts being completely restored. I put the pointed end of the nail into the electric drill, tighten it, put some brasso on a polishing cloth, and spin the nail around to polish.

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    Blind Shooter Kojiro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Brass Nails

    Subquestion: Do all machines have brass nails? Or are some nails made of other metals?

    My second machine has some very dark gray nails in it. They are either VERY tarnished brass, or made of a different metal.

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    Pachi Puro pachiwall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Brass Nails

    VERY tarnished brass.

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    Blind Shooter Kojiro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Brass Nails

    Good. I would not like a machine to have some pewter looking nails. The nails look so nice when they are completely polished.

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    Default Re: Cleaning Brass Nails

    I use the Miracle polishing cloth. It is the best I have found/used. I had to order them on line......I could not find them locally.

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    Tokie Owens tincan39's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Brass Nails

    Remember the the old Tarn-X use for silver and copper. All you had to do was rub some on and tarnish disappeared. I wonder how that stuff would work? I think you can still find it. Tim

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    Tokie Owens super monkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Brass Nails

    Tarn-x would work. I it is an acid based etching agent. It actually removes some of the base metal as well as the oxide. There are several other possible chemical agents but I would not recommend them, some are unsafe for home use.

    The nails will oxides immediately after etched most metals do. Polishing leaves some oxide behind aw well. It is my opinion that etched looks worse then polished metals but depending on how bad they are it still might be a viable option. Just beware the stuff will smell bad.

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    Fever Hunter scottie banks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Brass Nails

    How big are these nails....
    you might try useing S.O.S. pads....you would still be cleaning one nail at a time ,but it might be a bit faster
    scottie
    SCOTTIE

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    Blind Shooter Kojiro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Brass Nails

    Scottie...the nails are are the ones that are on the playfield.

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    Tokie Owens tincan39's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Brass Nails

    Ok This is what I did. bought a wine cork puller from Walmart $4.95 I cut off the bottom part that set on bottle top, just leaving two pegs. I cut off the corkscrew and using Demaral tool ground a slot for nail to fit in. It pulls nail straight out. I put the nail in a cup 3or 4 oz. vinegar . Nail got bright within minutes. After I took them out and rinsed them off, they got a little dull. I left them out for two days and they never seemed to dull up anymore. I think they don't tarnish at a fast rate after they get that first bit of tarnish on them. You got to keep the air from the nail to keep it from tarnishing. I wish I would of tried this before I put them all back in. I really believe that this will work. Take fiberglass resin [teaspoon] mix with acetone [2 oz] clean nails with the vinegar and dry and quickly put nails in the mix. Stir nails a bit and dump excess resin/acetone off and put nails in a ice cream bucket and shake until they dry. Will dry very quick. I think this will work very well and keep nails bright for long time.

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    Eye Shooter hkp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Brass Nails

    Citrus based oils can do a good job removing tarnish, but won't polish the nails. Tumbling them is the fastest way, but unfortunately has some expense. You might want to look in CL to see if you can find a cheap rock tumbler, and use that with corn cob, or walnut shell media.

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    Tokie Owens tincan39's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Brass Nails

    Well there is many ways to clean the nails of tarnish, but to keep them from tarnishing again is the problem. I suggest a coating to keep the nail from contacting the air and re-tarnishing. Waxing may work, but a lot of work to wax each nail.

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    Gibisans - Japan West compirate's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Brass Nails

    The heads are never in contact with anything, perhaps a clear coating on a sponge, then push the heads into it?

    人生は恐れなければ、とても素晴らしいものなんだよ。
    人生に必要なもの。それは勇気と想像力、そして少しのお金だ。

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    Default Re: Cleaning Brass Nails

    I was in the U.S. Army for 23 years and really didn't like using Brasso to clean and polish my brass so then I got the Gold plated stuff and no worries . For my pachinko machines I found the Miracle cloth in 2003 with coconut oil polishes and seals whatever metal your polishing with just the heat from your hand while cleaning them. Then wiping it with clean microfiber cloth and the brass nails I did back in 2003 are still bright and shiny .


    Whatever you decide enjoy the Addiction
    Last edited by takethecastle57; 04-22-2018 at 03:17 AM.
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    Tokie Owens tincan39's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Brass Nails

    The nails are in contact with the air which has Oxygen in it. That causes the oxidation of the nail. My method shields the brass from the Oxygen with a very thin coating of fiberglass resin. I think you could also use pine resin.

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