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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It's possible this question does not belong on this forum or maybe in this section. If that is the case, please feel free to move or delete...no hard feelings.

I found a ship's telegraph presumably engine room as it has a huge bell in it. I don't think bridge telegraphs have large bells...

The previous owner, who conveniently left it for me for my rounds of dumpster diving, painted the brass exterior, interior, bell and other accessible parts with a brass colored paint. I would like to remove said paint, rig it up to telegraph it's own bell and mount it on a nice wooden pedestal for my basement. maybe the wooden pedestal part might keep this thread... :dance3:

I don't want to sand it or scrape it (fear of leaving scratches) and I don't want to use any chemical stripper that might hurt or discolor the brass...I suppose I could sand it and then "Brasso" it until my arms fall off...

Any ideas...?

Thanks in advance, Nick...

EDIT...the bell is about 9-10" diameter...
 

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The first thing that came to mind was chemicals but you don't wont to go that route . The next thing I was thinking is soda blasting , but that may be costly
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The first thing that came to mind was chemicals but you don't wont to go that route . The next thing I was thinking is soda blasting , but that may be costly
I wouldn't mind the chemicals as long as I could be sure it won't hurt the brass...
 

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Soda blasting will remove paint from Corvettes without damaging the fiberglass under the paint and I've been told that it will work the same way with painted wood. If the telegraph was mine I would find someone who can soda blast it and see what they think. Harbor Freight sells a small soda blast unit, if you insist on doing it yourself, but you are going to use a lot of baking soda, so find a good source for it like a bakery supply near you.

The citrus strippers might work. I have no experience here, so you should put some scrap brass in a small quantity of citrus stripper and see what happens to the brass before tackling the ship's telegraph.

Charley
 

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brake fluid or acetone and ATF at a 1/1 ratio...
finish clean up w/ turps...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
brake fluid or acetone and ATF at a 1/1 ratio...
finish clean up w/ turps...
I'm guessing this is another one of "Sticks's Mixes" that doesn't come with a label...

Would I paint it on and let it sit for a while, repeat if necessary... or would I make enough to cover it in a 5-gal bucket and let it sit till it calls me on the phone...?
 

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I'm guessing this is another one of "Sticks's Mixes" that doesn't come with a label...

Would I paint it on and let it sit for a while, repeat if necessary... or would I make enough to cover it in a 5-gal bucket and let it sit till it calls me on the phone...?
soak or paint it on... little goes a long way... wrap the bell in a cotton towel and soak the towel... use a white one...
remove the towel and scrape the sludge of w. a plastic putty knife...
don't bother asking what happens if you use a synthetic fabric towel or one that has been dyed...

since you are dealing w/ a ship's bell (paint formula/MSDS unknown) consider the probability of the paint being a lead and/or copper base being pretty good... it may fizz/boil/pop/what not a bit.... kinda like mixing Rice Crispies and Alka-Selzer together...

if you want a way meaner paint remover/stripper....

Equal parts of acetone, methanol (wood alcohol), methylene chloride and tolulene...
BTW... that last stripper was the reverse engineered recipe for Fornby's or Hope's furniture stripper....

I trust you will be doing this out doors while holding your breath and using chemical gloves ...
 

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any film left on the bell will clean up very nicely w/ a distilled white vinegar wash...

just never forget you are dealing with unknown paint.. small segment to start 1st..
 

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Ah,, the old brake fluid on the duco, trick......hehehe....
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you, Stick...

Good point on the unknown MSDS...it'll definitely be an outside job...gloves and all. Besides, if I stink up the house in the winter it'll be the last bell I toll...

...btw...I'm gonna print your post and slap it on the side of the jug I put the mix in...I'm callin' it a label. I'll send you a preview...

Happy New Year...Nick
 

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Duco....

duco???
or am I afraid to ask???
duco = car paint ( I believe made by Dupont a while ago) ( Aussie slang)

If some one REALLY annoyed one, one could spray a small amount of brake fluid on their car.. I heard this a long time ago. Brake fluid has probably changed these days....

PS - not something that I ever did, just heard is all........
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
duco = car paint ( I believe made by Dupont a while ago) ( Aussie slang)

If some one REALLY annoyed one, one could spray a small amount of brake fluid on their car.. I heard this a long time ago. Brake fluid has probably changed these days....

PS - not something that I ever did, just heard is all........
ooooooohhh...methinks we might be seein' a wild side to James... :)

Happy New Year, James...
 

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You can use a normal paint stripper, but stay away from any acid or citrus. Stick,s formula works well, but when cleaning with vinegar, use it at 1/4 to 1/3 strenght. Acid will leach out the zinc, leaving the surface a copper color.
 

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duco = car paint ( I believe made by Dupont a while ago) ( Aussie slang)

If some one REALLY annoyed one, one could spray a small amount of brake fluid on their car.. I heard this a long time ago. Brake fluid has probably changed these days....

PS - not something that I ever did, just heard is all........
Ahhhhh.
the original DuPont lacquer that brake fluid melted...

heard tell huh....
 

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I have used paint stripper on brass and copper without ever having a problem. But brake fluid would probable work and would be a lot cheaper.
 

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I knew a lady in KY who bought an old ice box- oak with brass hardware. I asked her how she cleaned off about 8 coats of paint on the hardware. She soaked it in ketchup!
 

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I knew a lady in KY who bought an old ice box- oak with brass hardware. I asked her how she cleaned off about 8 coats of paint on the hardware. She soaked it in ketchup!
GREAT!!!!!!!!

can't do ketchup on burgers any more....
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I knew a lady in KY who bought an old ice box- oak with brass hardware. I asked her how she cleaned off about 8 coats of paint on the hardware. She soaked it in ketchup!
aaahhhh...the good ole days, when vegetables were used to feed, clean and fertilize...without a respirator or containment suit...

BTW, John...how much ketchup did it take to soak that fridge... :)

Nick
 
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