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Old 09-30-2012, 09:25 AM   #1
Sunrise Point
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Default Metal refinishing?

Can anyone recommend a local place that would refinish and lacquer brass cabinet knobs? I love my cabinet knobs, but after 18 years they are very tarnished.

I have been online looking for replacement knobs and started to wonder if it would be a lot less expensive to have them refinished.

Has anyone ever done this themselves? If so, any suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks!
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:14 PM   #2
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You could DIY that with a buffing wheel on a bench grinder.

It might still be cheapest overall to just get new ones. It's kind of a medium labor intensive process.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunrise Point View Post
Can anyone recommend a local place that would refinish and lacquer brass cabinet knobs? I love my cabinet knobs, but after 18 years they are very tarnished.

I have been online looking for replacement knobs and started to wonder if it would be a lot less expensive to have them refinished.

Has anyone ever done this themselves? If so, any suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks!
try this company they have a huge inventory of items that your looking for
http://www.vandykes.com/default.aspx...FZSd4AodRk8A9w
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:56 PM   #4
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Do it yourself...it's fun and very easy to do.

Remove the knobs.

1. On a newspaper-covered surface, brush the knobs with lacquer remover. (acetone)

2. After the coating is loosened, use grade 0000 steel wool to remove the coating and to polish the brass surface.

3. Rinse the lacquer remover from the brass with a mild soap solution.

4. Apply a high quality, non abrasive, polymer-base automobile wax to seal the surface.

5. Alternatively, you can apply a spray lacquer, but this is more likely to flake off down the road. Though waxing requires continuous care, spray lacquer tends to be a bigger mess to clean up later.
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunrise Point View Post
Can anyone recommend a local place that would refinish and lacquer brass cabinet knobs? I love my cabinet knobs, but after 18 years they are very tarnished.

I have been online looking for replacement knobs and started to wonder if it would be a lot less expensive to have them refinished.

Has anyone ever done this themselves? If so, any suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks!
If you are "Positive" that the knobs ARE Brass..and not just Brass looking, I would just drop the knobs in a soup can of "paint remover" for an hour or two. Repeat the routine until all the knobs are done.

"Laquer Thinner" and "Acetone" are VERY VERY Flamable and I would NOT recommend their use. They both have a very high evaporation rate which puts fumes into the air which can be explosive around any ignition source.

IF you are wrong..and the knobs are NOT Brass, most desolvants will have an adverse effect on the knob material and you will end up throwing them away in the end. My guess is the knobs are likely made of "Pot Metal" made to look like brass. Just my thoughts. NB

Pot Metal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pot_Metal
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:58 PM   #6
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As just pointed out, it is important that you find out whether the existing knobs are plated or truly brass. Manufactures have gotten pretty clever over the years in plating steel, plastic, and pot metal, none of which can be refinished. The easiest way to check what you have now is to use a magnet for plated steel and some lacquer/polish if it is plastic.

I have in the past found brass knobs at places such as Home Depot which were excellent replacements.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:12 AM   #7
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Toss them and buy new after 18 years they don'y owe you a thing. Heck with all the time you save you can go enjoy the fair this coming weekend.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:13 AM   #8
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Toss them and buy new after 18 years they don'y owe you a thing. Heck with all the time you save you can go enjoy the fair this coming weekend.
I agree with most, replace and move on. But being a painter I also would rather save then replace.
A thought that has not been mentioned and it works well for removing old paint from a lot of things for me.
Place the knobs in hot water this will in a lot of instances loosen whatever is on them without damaging the object. A little simple green helps with latex paints but I'm not sure with varnish. Being they are metal you can even put them in boiling water to remove all the old material.
Once the material is removed the rest is easy. Drive a nail into a board and place the knobs on them and replace the protective coating. You can buy a lot of the coatings in a spray can now which makes the job that much easier.
Good luck.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunrise Point View Post
Can anyone recommend a local place that would refinish and lacquer brass cabinet knobs? I love my cabinet knobs, but after 18 years they are very tarnished.

I have been online looking for replacement knobs and started to wonder if it would be a lot less expensive to have them refinished.

Has anyone ever done this themselves? If so, any suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks!
Do you know anyone who reloads their own ammunition?? If so more than likely they have a vibratory tumbler to polish their brass cases. This would make short work of highly polishing your brass knobs if they are in fact brass.

If you don't know anyone who has a tumbler, P.M. me and I can help you out.

Dan
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:58 PM   #10
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Check out: http://www.eastwood.com/aluminum-and...ffing-kit.html
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:17 AM   #11
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I restored an old Victorian home.

I did have most of the original door hardware professionally refinished.
There is also a mail order company that sells many of the older knobs, hinges, and other items from yesteryear.

It is a tad difficult finding a place that actually refinishes these items. I ended up at a small facility in Chelsea, MA that specialized in this. The old brass came out looking like new. There is also the option of having the cleaned brass clear coated so that it will not tarnish.

Most folks do not bother doing such because of the cost, time, and effort.

The simple solution as stated by the excellent solutions above is to clean all yourself.

Or you can just purchase new items off the shelf at any home center.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunrise Point View Post
Can anyone recommend a local place that would refinish and lacquer brass cabinet knobs? I love my cabinet knobs, but after 18 years they are very tarnished.

I have been online looking for replacement knobs and started to wonder if it would be a lot less expensive to have them refinished.

Has anyone ever done this themselves? If so, any suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks!
"Pot-metal" is most likely Zinc, sold as Zamack (Also seen as Zamac or Zamak).

Pot-metal knobs don't tarnish readily: if yours are "real brass", the way to find out is to remove one, and press the unseen side against a grinding wheel. Online, a new grinder will set you back $50 or less.

(Yes, you could use a rock instead).




A "brassy" color indicates real brass. A "silvery" color showing through the brass color would be everything else—and not worth messing with—go ahead and buy new knobs.

Real brass actually brightens up really well with a few minutes on a fine wire wheel. (The below example is a medium wire wheel, which will work a little faster).



Individual wires will fly off, so wear eye protection—and a shirt!

If you require a higher luster, then go to a polishing wheel, and use the white polishing compound. (A huge stick of the stuff will cost only $3—the polishing wheel itself may cost a little more).





Pot-metal knobs also can be cleaned with a wire wheel, but will likely need resurfacing or repainting.
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