Bronze Prop Polishing

denis barden
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Bronze Prop Polishing

Post by denis barden » Wed May 20, 2020 9:56 am

Got this guy last night,not sure where abouts he will be living in the garden yet.
He would weigh about 200 kgs
Can anybody advise me how to polish up this guy?
Please advise only if you have polished Bronze before
Cheers Denis
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DougieK
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Re: Bronze Prop Polishing

Post by DougieK » Wed May 20, 2020 10:07 am

I think Ducky has a lot of experience polishing his prop, he might be the man to ask.
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Re: Bronze Prop Polishing

Post by purple5ive » Wed May 20, 2020 10:24 am

Brasso.
Ive used it to polish brass many times.
if you have a car polisher then use that or a drill. otherwise you will be there a while.

https://www.bunnings.com.au/brasso-250m ... h_p4465767
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Re: Bronze Prop Polishing

Post by 4liters » Wed May 20, 2020 10:33 am

DougieK wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 10:07 am
I think Ducky has a lot of experience polishing his prop, he might be the man to ask.
I reckon he's buffed a few helmets in his time too if you need advice on that.
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denis barden
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Re: Bronze Prop Polishing

Post by denis barden » Wed May 20, 2020 11:55 am

I dont want them Helmets

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Re: Bronze Prop Polishing

Post by Nude up » Wed May 20, 2020 12:39 pm

3m make a product called scotchbrite comes in 3 colours red ,green and white course medium and fine the also make them on discs that fit to an arbor that goes in your drill. I would start at the course using brasso or autosol then work my way to the fine.
If you can not find any flick me a pm I might have some.

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Re: Bronze Prop Polishing

Post by KeenAds » Wed May 20, 2020 1:26 pm

Leave it the way it is has that nice rustic character.

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Re: Bronze Prop Polishing

Post by russellh2 » Wed May 20, 2020 3:19 pm

Contact a Chrome plater in your area / region and ask if they can Strip it for you - Might cost a few bucks but the result will be stunning - If not Plater, see in you can find a Metal polishing company.

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Re: Bronze Prop Polishing

Post by Bugatti » Wed May 20, 2020 6:23 pm

WOW Denis, that's a Beautie :gj:

Not sure where you got it from but if there are another 7 there, then I shall take all 8 please :-D

I worked in an Architectural Signage Company for a few years (one of the best and enjoyable jobs I've ever had) and we polished lots of metals. That Prop is going to be a labour of love and the "polish" finish is all dependant on how much love you put in , , , , and a very big can of elbow grease. I love jobs like that prop of yours :-D

Firstly Denis, my apologies for "over" explaining as I'm aware you are far from an "entry level" ability. I thought it might help others by including basics.

It is all about the prep you put in and step downs of sanding grits. Give it a good wash first, to remove crap and any "grit". Grit is your enemy when "finishing" any metal, and this is the same with every step down of sanding. Grit caught under the sandpaper is just going to cause scratches, which then are going to take more time to sand out.


I'd use Wet and Dry. Start off with 400 to remove any corrosion and tarnish. For your first sand, use a hard rubber sanding block as a backing block to the Wet & Dry. This keeps the surface "flat" when sanding (takes off any high points/imperfections rather than a softer block which would just roll over the highs). A softer backing block would only follow over highs (& lows)

Now, the spindle is going to be harder to do with a block, so "palm" holding the sandpaper is ok. Palm sanding on the flatter surfaces would cause minor "waves" and "indents" which are only going to appear on the finishing finer sanding/polishing. Try and avoid that as much as possible, even though you may be tempted to palm or finger sand in a small area to eliminate a scratch. Around the spindle and tighter curves it is going to be unavoidable though.

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You'll notice the surface getting flatter (smoother) and a mill finish coming through, a satin finish, as the sand marks are fine. Once the surface is smooth (no highs and lows) swap to a softer (but still firm) backing block and a step down to 600 grit Wet & Dry, then 800 and 1000 as you go. Don't be tempted to use one of those gritted sanding blocks as a backing block, as the "grit" from the sanding block dislodges and gets under the Wet & Dry and causes scratches in the surface. I just cut a block out of that hard plastic packing foam (the plastic ones not the polystyrene ones).

With every step down to a finer grit paper, make sure the previous sanding mill finish has been eliminated with the new finer sanding finish. Not doing this makes those "larger" mill finishing marks show up later with finer sanding and/or polishing. Then it's a step back up with coarser paper and more work to eliminate them.

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Oh, and always switch sanding perpendicularly as you see fit. This helps eliminate unseen grooves of sanding only in one direction over the same area, that show up later in the finishing process.

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Nude up wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 12:39 pm

3m make a product called scotchbrite comes in 3 colours red ,green and white course medium and fine the also make them on discs that fit to an arbor that goes in your drill.

Those 3M Scotchbrite pads are an awesome product (they come in many grits). They come in discs and flat rectangular pads. I personally am not a fan of the discs BUT many are and they do save a lot of effort and time. They are a bit harder to "control" the finish BUT ideal for larger areas. I use the rectangular pads.

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This is a "cheaper" version of the 3M pads. They are still ok but for your prop I'd get the 3M, especially for the "finer" grits.

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The rectangular 3M pads are ideal for the spindle area, they (you) can get into and along all the curves etc. You can use the 3M pads/discs for most of the job if you wish but the initial sand of 400/600 should be Wet & Dry (hard rubber then soft rubber backing blocks) as this is going to get the surface flatter/smoother. The pads, discs have a tendency to "follow" the imperfections and not knock them off too well.



NOW , , , , the "polish" or "finish" all depends on what you are after. A very "fine" mill finish (1000/1200 grit) on Bronze is still going to have a "shine" (with a slight satin look) but not a "mirror" finish that only a polishing compound can give.


There are a few products but you can't go past Brasso for ease, cost and a nice polished finish.

You can use an electric buff, especially for the flatter parts, remembering to "roll off the edge" and not onto the edge. Or hand polishing, with a soft cloth (old flannelle sheets or soft T-shirt material). A bit of a trick when polishing, dampen the cloth with water (ring it out well) this allows more time and polish ability with the Brasso instead of a dry cloth "soaking up", "drying out" the liquid/moisture of the Brasso and it not lasting as long fluid.

Oh, good Ol Mr Sheen , , , , not that it'll polish metal, but what it would do is give the finished product a slight wax coating which would make it last a bit longer before tarnishing.


Good luck Denis, it is going to come up an absolute gem I'm sure. Probably too good for the garden , , , , would be a great base for a glass topped Coffee Table :tu:


Cheers, Bugs

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Re: Bronze Prop Polishing

Post by ducky » Wed May 20, 2020 8:43 pm

4liters wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 10:33 am
DougieK wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 10:07 am
I think Ducky has a lot of experience polishing his prop, he might be the man to ask.
I reckon he's buffed a few helmets in his time too if you need advice on that.
As much as I’d like to deny this I must admit I’m highly experienced. I’d start with a gentle touch. Don’t want to remove too much material in one go. As you get more experienced you can experiment with more grittier stuff which will get the task done faster and you’ll wonder how you’ve lived your life without them. It’s a slippery slope though.
Last edited by ducky on Wed May 20, 2020 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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