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polishing metal ends.......


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i bought a rather sorry looking metal ended concertina yesterday...... :unsure:

it looks like its spent a considerable amount of its 100 + years on the beach.the ends are pretty green in places.I've wire wooled it all (0000) and now I'm trying to polish it with peek metal polish but its not coming up as shiney as I'd hoped :( . Any advice /help please,

simon

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i bought a rather sorry looking metal ended concertina yesterday...... :unsure:

it looks like its spent a considerable amount of its 100 + years on the beach.the ends are pretty green in places.I've wire wooled it all (0000) and now I'm trying to polish it with peek metal polish but its not coming up as shiney as I'd hoped :( . Any advice /help please,

simon

 

 

Was the wire wool a good idea ? Has it left any scratches ? You may need something a little stronger than Peek because this type of liquid polish is for bringing up a dull ,but otherwise smooth, surface to a shinny state and is not very abrasive in itself.

Some photos would be helpfull.

Can you tell if the ends have been either Nickel or Chrome plated ?

 

I once used toothpaste and an old toothbrush to clean 100 years of Verdgris from the metal parts of an instrument.

You could try something liquid.. like boiling the ends in a large pot with some Rubarb or soaking the ends in a bath of Coca Cola.... I'm sure you can find some better ideas than these on-line.

 

For final polishing you might need a Buffing wheel (mop) and some "Radio Rouge" but buffing the fretted metal ends with a fast spinning mop can be tricky ;)

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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Your method may depend on whether it's plated or solid nickel silver. Can you see anything that would indicate that there is something (plating) peeling off? Polishing nickel silver usually can't be done satisfactorily with polish and a cloth. I used to use nickel silver grills on the concertinas I made, but found they lost their lustre or discoloured after a while. This depended on the person playing it. Some people seem to have more "acid" (?) in their fingertips which would discolour the grills more than others. This is why I now used hand-polished stainless. It is much harder to polish for me, but should remain looking good indefinitely. These should not discolour at all and fingerprints, dirt etc can easily be wiped off with a cloth. Not traditional? I think the old makers would have used it if were available and they had been able to cut it. Nickel silver is mostly copper and cuts very easily with a hand jeweller's saw. I have also seen vintage grills made with plated brass and also aluminium.

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hi geoff,

the wire wool is super fine.......

I searched the archives and have just polished with some duraglit...and now seem to have a pretty good result

the ends are nickel/copper plated....its a 56 key wheatstone treble boydy thingy...... :huh:

Edited by scoopet
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Your method may depend on whether it's plated or solid nickel silver. Can you see anything that would indicate that there is something (plating) peeling off? Polishing nickel silver usually can't be done satisfactorily with polish and a cloth. I used to use nickel silver grills on the concertinas I made, but found they lost their lustre or discoloured after a while. This depended on the person playing it. Some people seem to have more "acid" (?) in their fingertips which would discolour the grills more than others. This is why I now used hand-polished stainless. It is much harder to polish for me, but should remain looking good indefinitely. These should not discolour at all and fingerprints, dirt etc can easily be wiped off with a cloth. Not traditional? I think the old makers would have used it if were available and they had been able to cut it. Nickel silver is mostly copper and cuts very easily with a hand jeweller's saw. I have also seen vintage grills made with plated brass and also aluminium.

 

 

Frank,

am I correct in thinking that the Vintage instruments that had Nickel silver ends were also plated with pure Nickel so as to retain the shine ?

I use Nickel silver on most of my new instruments and you are right that some customers do tarnish that metal quickly but it is only some people, perhaps 10% where this is a real problem.

 

I have at the moment a Wheatstone, belonging to a friend, which has end grills made of "Brittania Metal". It is very shinny too but somehow , I think, this metal imparts a soft ringing tone to the instrument which is quite beautifull. It is ,of course, difficult to tell if it is just that the concertina has a sweet sound anyway or if it is these 'special ends that make the effect.

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Polish the insides too. My dural ended machine sounded much better after I cleaned the tarnish from the inside faces of the ends. It made a surprising difference.

 

...that's what I love about this place. You pick up all sorts of weird esoteric bits of information. Now, will I be able to recall this tidbit in 2 years when I need it?? ;)

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Your method may depend on whether it's plated or solid nickel silver. Can you see anything that would indicate that there is something (plating) peeling off? Polishing nickel silver usually can't be done satisfactorily with polish and a cloth. I used to use nickel silver grills on the concertinas I made, but found they lost their lustre or discoloured after a while. This depended on the person playing it. Some people seem to have more "acid" (?) in their fingertips which would discolour the grills more than others. This is why I now used hand-polished stainless. It is much harder to polish for me, but should remain looking good indefinitely. These should not discolour at all and fingerprints, dirt etc can easily be wiped off with a cloth. Not traditional? I think the old makers would have used it if were available and they had been able to cut it. Nickel silver is mostly copper and cuts very easily with a hand jeweller's saw. I have also seen vintage grills made with plated brass and also aluminium.

 

 

Frank,

am I correct in thinking that the Vintage instruments that had Nickel silver ends were also plated with pure Nickel so as to retain the shine ? I really don't know. I'm not much of a concertina historian as some on this forum are. My comments are from instruments that i have repaired in the past.I use Nickel silver on most of my new instruments and you are right that some customers do tarnish that metal quickly but it is only some people, perhaps 10% where this is a real problem. I'm guessing that there are different grades of nickel silver, depending on the relative amounts of nickel to copper to zinc. The stuff I was able to get had a 65% copper content.I have at the moment a Wheatstone, belonging to a friend, which has end grills made of "Brittania Metal". It is very shinny too but somehow , I think, this metal imparts a soft ringing tone to the instrument which is quite beautifull. It is ,of course, difficult to tell if it is just that the concertina has a sweet sound anyway or if it is these 'special ends that make the effect.

 

My reply above in bold italics.

Edited by Frank Edgley
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