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polishing gold plated parts


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15 replies to this topic

#1 rollsrazor

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 16:31

When gold plated parts are dull or scratched, are there any polishes or other methods of repair that do not greatly risk removing the gold plating? Thank You, Steve

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#2 Ron Z

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 19:17

Anything that polishes will remove something, especially if removing scratches. Not all plating is equally thick. A 51 clip will withstand much more polishing than a Sonnet clip, on which the plating will come off if you breathe on it and polish on your shirt. OK, maybe not that bad, but it's really thin.

That being the case, I consider a jeweler's cloth to be the safest thing to use. The Sunshine cloth works, and there are others out there that are pretty good too. Simicrome is safer than buffing, which is far safer than metal polishes like Brasso. Which I would never use on a pen!

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#3 Dongara

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 09:19

You could also try a normal pencil eraser. I prefer the white Faber Castell brand. It is an extremely soft abrasive and I use it for removing stains and oxidation from metal.

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#4 Firefyter-Emt

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 03:07

I will second the jewelers cloth. I have two tiny rolled up sections in ink sample bottles. I keep one in my desk, and one in my car. They work amazingly well to polish the gold caps on the 51's.
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#5 Osmaroid

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 15:54

QUOTE (rollsrazor @ Jul 1 2009, 12:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When gold plated parts are dull or scratched, are there any polishes or other methods of repair that do not greatly risk removing the gold plating? Thank You, Steve



Having ruined several lightly gold plated clips and levers using Flitz, I was looking for something gentler, particularly for lightly plated items with heavy tarnish. I bought a can of Silvo from the local hardware store and have had great results with it. The can states it is for "silver, gold, chrome, mirrors, nickel" Although the polish looks like any of a multitude of other polishes on the cloth, as far as I can tell it is not abrasive and works more by chemical action. I have a number of Inkographs, which appear to have a gold plated layer about one atom thick! Other polishes have instantly removed the plating, but gentle use of Silvo appears to have merely cleaned it. I will add that I also tried Weiman metal polish, advertised for similar use, but without the success I got from Silvo. I am a relative newcomer to pen restoration and am still very much in the learning stage, so would like to know from the more experienced whether I am missing something here.

#6 kirchh

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 16:05

QUOTE (Osmaroid @ Jul 9 2009, 11:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (rollsrazor @ Jul 1 2009, 12:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When gold plated parts are dull or scratched, are there any polishes or other methods of repair that do not greatly risk removing the gold plating? Thank You, Steve

Having ruined several lightly gold plated clips and levers using Flitz, I was looking for something gentler, particularly for lightly plated items with heavy tarnish. I bought a can of Silvo from the local hardware store and have had great results with it. The can states it is for "silver, gold, chrome, mirrors, nickel" Although the polish looks like any of a multitude of other polishes on the cloth, as far as I can tell it is not abrasive and works more by chemical action. I have a number of Inkographs, which appear to have a gold plated layer about one atom thick! Other polishes have instantly removed the plating, but gentle use of Silvo appears to have merely cleaned it. I will add that I also tried Weiman metal polish, advertised for similar use, but without the success I got from Silvo. I am a relative newcomer to pen restoration and am still very much in the learning stage, so would like to know from the more experienced whether I am missing something here.

Silvo does contain an abrasive (crystalline silica). I haven't used it, so I can't comment on its aggressivenes.

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#7 Osmaroid

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 19:16

QUOTE (kirchh @ Jul 9 2009, 12:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Osmaroid @ Jul 9 2009, 11:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (rollsrazor @ Jul 1 2009, 12:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When gold plated parts are dull or scratched, are there any polishes or other methods of repair that do not greatly risk removing the gold plating? Thank You, Steve

Having ruined several lightly gold plated clips and levers using Flitz, I was looking for something gentler, particularly for lightly plated items with heavy tarnish. I bought a can of Silvo from the local hardware store and have had great results with it. The can states it is for "silver, gold, chrome, mirrors, nickel" Although the polish looks like any of a multitude of other polishes on the cloth, as far as I can tell it is not abrasive and works more by chemical action. I have a number of Inkographs, which appear to have a gold plated layer about one atom thick! Other polishes have instantly removed the plating, but gentle use of Silvo appears to have merely cleaned it. I will add that I also tried Weiman metal polish, advertised for similar use, but without the success I got from Silvo. I am a relative newcomer to pen restoration and am still very much in the learning stage, so would like to know from the more experienced whether I am missing something here.

Silvo does contain an abrasive (crystalline silica). I haven't used it, so I can't comment on its aggressivenes.

--Daniel


Thanks for setting me straight re abrasive content. I will add one other item. I believe Silvo is sold as cleaning pads - I used the liquid version, not the pads. Wikipedia lists it as having a much finer abrasive than Brasso, which might explain my success with it to date.
















#8 Rlowenote

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 16:31

Being new to the Fountain Pen World I've been using the tools and supplies at hand. One of these items is Flitz that I used to clean up many Silverplated C-Melody Saxophones. At one time I called Flitz to ask about the "abrasiveness" of their product which says on the can "non-abrasive". I was informed that it is a "chemical action" and the main abrasive involved is the "polishing applicator" (the rag or t-shirt) used. He told me that "micro-fiber" cloths were the most non-abrasive cloth readily available, but even the "heavy handed rubbing" (and maybe the dirt/grit removed) could become the abrasive.

#9 Tweel

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 16:52

I'm open to the concept of non-abrasive, chemical removal of tarnish*, but I'm pretty sure that Flitz has abrasives, and not even the finest. I use Flitz as the first "cut" to remove scratches from plastic pens -- obviously not a case of chemical tarnish removal -- followed by Mother's Mag & Aluminum Polish, which is finer.

(*My favorite for gold, gold plate, and just plain brass is 3M Tarni-Shield. That's also billed as being a chemical polish, and I really have never seen any evidence that it sands the surface. In fact, just applying it to the surface without any rubbing, then rinsing it off, will visibly brighten the metal. And having used it for many years, I've never seen any sort of long-term ill effects, either. EDIT: That sounds like a freaking ad! I have no connection to the manufacturer, etc. :lol: )

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Edited by Tweel, 21 August 2009 - 16:58.

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#10 kirchh

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 13:31

Being new to the Fountain Pen World I've been using the tools and supplies at hand. One of these items is Flitz that I used to clean up many Silverplated C-Melody Saxophones. At one time I called Flitz to ask about the "abrasiveness" of their product which says on the can "non-abrasive". I was informed that it is a "chemical action" and the main abrasive involved is the "polishing applicator" (the rag or t-shirt) used. He told me that "micro-fiber" cloths were the most non-abrasive cloth readily available, but even the "heavy handed rubbing" (and maybe the dirt/grit removed) could become the abrasive.

Which Flitz product are you referring to?

--Daniel

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#11 Rlowenote

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 16:33

Being new to the Fountain Pen World I've been using the tools and supplies at hand. One of these items is Flitz that I used to clean up many Silverplated C-Melody Saxophones. At one time I called Flitz to ask about the "abrasiveness" of their product which says on the can "non-abrasive". I was informed that it is a "chemical action" and the main abrasive involved is the "polishing applicator" (the rag or t-shirt) used. He told me that "micro-fiber" cloths were the most non-abrasive cloth readily available, but even the "heavy handed rubbing" (and maybe the dirt/grit removed) could become the abrasive.

Which Flitz product are you referring to?

--Daniel


I'm using their "Metal, Plastic & Fiberglass Polish & Paint Restorer" in the 2 Lb. can. Reading on their website it says not to use on "electro-plated" finishes. But I thought most plating was by "electro" type. I don't use on Gold Plating, since I've even removed the gold color on nibs with just rubbing. It's even used to polish the lens on modern headlights (saw the result at the Fair), but I haven't tried it yet.

Ralph

#12 algabatz

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 19:37

QUOTE (rollsrazor @ Jul 1 2009, 06:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When gold plated parts are dull or scratched, are there any polishes or other methods of repair that do not greatly risk removing the gold plating? Thank You, Steve



Someone recommended POL metal polish, which evidently contains small plastic microballs, instead of abrasive particles, that should clean without removing. It's made by Silver Owl who makes Winol.

Has anyone tried it?
One ingredient is kerosine, wouldn't that be hazardous to the plastic?


/Tony

#13 ZeissIkon

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 01:13

QUOTE (algabatz @ Sep 7 2009, 03:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
One ingredient is kerosine, wouldn't that be hazardous to the plastic?


I'd avoid anything containing any petroleum distillate on an acrylic or polystyrene pen, or on hard rubber (including ebonite feeds or sections). It won't hurt celluloid in the least, however. I'd bet fairly long odds that the manufacturers of POL never envisioned its use on fountain pens...
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#14 bittersweetfarm

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 02:38

I'm coming out of lurkdom to chime in with another endorsement for the Sunshine cloth - it makes 14K nibs look new again, and seems quite gentle in the process.
I've used it very very lightly on plated nibs and furnishings, and it helps there, too (with the caveat that the plating on some pens is so thin that it will disappear if you breathe on it....)
Ann

#15 pen2paper

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 10:55

Flitz IS abrasive.

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#16 piembi

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 16:51

+1 for the jewelers cloth.

I don't expect an used or vintage pen to look like a brand new pen and the jewelers cloth does polish it nicely.






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