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 Posted: Mon Mar 12th, 2018 05:09 pm
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Bill McDonnell
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New to AFCA and need advice on Polishing Whiz Blades.  I have never polished brass fan blades before.

Any advice out there on this topic...or does anyone do this type of work?  I'm in Collegeville PA







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 Posted: Mon Mar 12th, 2018 05:44 pm
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Lane Shirey
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First use a magnet to verify if they're plated or solid brass. That'll tell you what's OK.  If brass plated, a good cleaning and VERY LIGHT polish with Simichrome or equivalent is all you can do, lest you erode the thin plating layer.

If it's all brass, then buffer is the quickest way to get a nice shine.  Or, clean it with Lysol toilet bowl cleaner or citric acid then Simichrome and elbow grease.

Hope that helps.

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 Posted: Mon Mar 12th, 2018 05:45 pm
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Jim Humphrey
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Bill, assuming you don't have a buffer, and those blades look pretty nice, I'd go to a good hardware store and pick up some brass polish like Simichrome, which is what I prefer.  There are quite a number of good brass polishes, though.  Then set to work with some old T-shirts.  It'll take a while, but it's what I did before I started using buffers.  And even then, I still finish up with a hand polish.

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 Posted: Mon Mar 12th, 2018 10:56 pm
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Lane Shirey
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Bill, if it tests to be all brass, bring it down and I'll polish it for you. You're less than an hour away. No charge...well bring a really good 6 pack of beer to admire them when we're finished. 

Last edited on Mon Mar 12th, 2018 10:58 pm by Lane Shirey

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 Posted: Tue Mar 13th, 2018 12:30 am
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Tom Nordin
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Lane Shirey wrote: Bill, if it tests to be all brass, bring it down and I'll polish it for you. You're less than an hour away. No charge...well bring a really good 6 pack of beer to admire them when we're finished. 
Man, I wanna' move closer to Lane.

Would a good bottle of whiskey suffice?

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 Posted: Tue Mar 13th, 2018 12:35 am
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Lane Shirey
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Uh huh!

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 Posted: Tue Mar 13th, 2018 10:58 pm
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Rick Powell
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Bill McDonnell wrote: New to AFCA and need advice on Polishing Whiz Blades.  I have never polished brass fan blades before.

Any advice out there on this topic...or does anyone do this type of work?  I'm in Collegeville PA







Bill I would leave them like they are, they have a very nice patina to them that I feel leaves a better sense of being an antique.  There arguments for and against polishing, you can always polish, it’s difficult to replicate a nice patina.

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 Posted: Tue Mar 13th, 2018 11:59 pm
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Steve Stephens
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I have seen quite a few fan collectors say that they started out wanting shiny and polished but, later in their collecting, they prefer unrestored with patina.  Think about which way you may go in time and let that guide your choice.   I much prefer the look of an unrestored by good condition original to a repaint, restoration, or highly polished brass.  It gives the fan the antique look they have acquired over many years.

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 Posted: Wed Mar 14th, 2018 08:28 pm
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Bill McDonnell
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Pretty new to this but blade is not magnetic so I assume it's brass.  I really like the look of the polished blades but what do you think?

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 Posted: Wed Mar 14th, 2018 09:06 pm
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Tom Nordin
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I say leave it just the way it is, Bill.  People know brass whether shiny or dulled.  That fan is in such great condition and has the perfect patina throughout - very few others can boast such a combo.


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 Posted: Wed Mar 14th, 2018 09:11 pm
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Bill McDonnell
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I'm thinking maybe I should just buy an extra polished blade.  Are they available?  What do they cost?  :D

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 Posted: Wed Mar 14th, 2018 10:44 pm
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William Dunlap
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I'm firmly in the camp of high luster polish for my brass. It's what is in keeping with the decor of my living space.
But, lately, I've been very much involved in facilitating the needs of others, which includes the possibility of producing a false patina, or what I like to call, Fotina (faux-patina)

I've gathered a couple of methods together and since I'm currently waiting for the correct materials to arrive for my current project(incorrect stuff arrived yesterday :wondering:) I've got some time on my hands.

So I decided to try some of these techniques on test panels and here's the results.

The methods are, Liver of Sulfur solution and Van's gun bluing. These can be applied hot, necessary with the LOS, or cold, applied to highly polished surfaces, or dull, dipped or just wiped on.

014 by William Dunlap, on Flickr


You can see that with the LOS there is definitely pinks and blues imparted to the finish, while the gun blue is more brown with some blue. The blue is definitely maximized over highly polished brass that is heated first.
The lower test panel is divided into highly polished on the left and scrubbed with 0000 steel wool for a bright surface without a mirror like reflection.
The center test panel appears to mimic natural ageing of the brass best. It was applied over a steel wool scrubbed surface using steel wool cold and lightly rubbing until the desired effect was achieved.


Here's the other side of the LOS test panel. This side was highly polished first before treating. There are definitely some orange highlights and some green additionally. Pretty, but not useful for fotina.


016 by William Dunlap, on Flickr

I have a hard time understanding why someone would like to artificially age anything, myself. Would you want your wife artificially aged? I think not. But, that's not for me to judge. I'm just trying to add another skill set to my list here.
I sacrificed for this demonstration. My cottage now smells like a dog fart thanks to the LOS. In fact, my dog is eyeing me suspiciously. Hey, I usually blame these kinds of smells on him!


Luckily, I have a few fans to help clear the air.

I showed this to my neighbor. He suggested that I just leave the stuff in the yard for while. Well, he's right. That would work, too.


Cheers,
Bill



Last edited on Wed Mar 14th, 2018 11:04 pm by William Dunlap

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 Posted: Fri Mar 16th, 2018 05:38 pm
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Bill McDonnell
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Spent the morning with Lane today. My fan was running good but now it's running great. Full PM on the fan. I am so pleased and grateful! Thanks Lane! You have A LOT of fans! :bigfan:tumbs:D

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 Posted: Fri Mar 16th, 2018 09:47 pm
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Lane Shirey
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Bill, it was a pleasure to meet you and talk fans and cars for a while, and I'm glad to help out!  A little spit shine, a new wick, some oil, and your old girl is now ready for another 100 years!    

Hopefully you can make it to our meet on September 15 th. There are also 2 other Northeast meets in Bethlehem and North Jersey. The info is in our events calendar. 


Oh and thanks for the baby Gilbert! 

Hopefully see you again soon ! 

Last edited on Fri Mar 16th, 2018 09:48 pm by Lane Shirey

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