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Old 05-07-2022, 10:07   #1
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Best way to restore brass/bronze? ports

Just purchased this 1976 boat. I think the ports are brass or bronze, not sure. But have a patina on them and not shiny. I would like to restore them. Too much conflicting info on googling this, was hoping that others here with specific experience could offer what to do/use. Thanks.
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Old 05-07-2022, 10:27   #2
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Best way to restore brass/bronze? ports

I hope you like polishing…..cause there’s a lot of it in your future if you want those to shine and stay shiny.

At a point in my life when I wanted shiny things I used Brasso and a cotton rag.
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Old 05-07-2022, 10:32   #3
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Re: Best way to restore brass/bronze? ports

Brasso and a soft wheel or rag.
But I like them that way myself.
They wont stay shiny if you ever get them there. However, starting fresh they may stay a more consistent color for quite a while.
If you get them shiny then you can coat them with acrylic lacquer, but now you have something else to keep coated and maintained.

I suggest you take one portlite off the frame and take it home and do it, then decide if you really want to!
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Old 05-07-2022, 10:42   #4
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Re: Best way to restore brass/bronze? ports

Thanks. Just really want to get the patina and crustiness off. Don't really care to keep them shiny all the time, just bring up a bit.
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Old 05-07-2022, 10:57   #5
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Re: Best way to restore brass/bronze? ports

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Originally Posted by jbinbi View Post
Thanks. Just really want to get the patina and crustiness off. Don't really care to keep them shiny all the time, just bring up a bit.
You might just try naval jelly. It has a little acid in it. Use a small brush like an acid brush, leave on a minute or two and rinse off. You could try with them in place and plastic below, but better to just remove if it's easy. No hard work and it will take the worst green off I think.
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Old 05-07-2022, 11:35   #6
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Re: Best way to restore brass/bronze? ports

Fair isle have a nice explainer,
https://youtu.be/SXJfKxUvnvA
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Old 05-07-2022, 13:29   #7
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Re: Best way to restore brass/bronze? ports

Noxon works very well on bronze ports. Your ports are bronze.
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Old 05-07-2022, 14:03   #8
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Re: Best way to restore brass/bronze? ports

Thanks. I used Noxon on these types of portholes 40 years ago. was thinking that something better had been made in all these years, but glad to hear that is still a good solution.
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Old 05-07-2022, 14:55   #9
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Re: Best way to restore brass/bronze? ports

Nature intends that steel should be brown, and that bronze shall be green. You'll be fighting Mother Nature.

If you don't mind your ports being green outside, you'll only have to clean up half of each one. However, as Cheekako said, they won't stay shiny, even below decks. Just easier to keep up below. It will be labor intensive, but if you have time, and want to spend it that way rather than going sailing, I hope you can get them to where you're happy with them.


Actually, showing my ignorance here, but I wouldn't have thought to find bronze portlights on a catamaran, because of the weight. If you go ahead with the project, please show a pic when you've finished, should look really nice.

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Old 06-07-2022, 16:01   #10
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Re: Best way to restore brass/bronze? ports

We first removed the ports and then cleaned ours up with a right angle grinder and wire brush. Then we removed the residue with either acetone or alcohol in a paper towel. Finally we coated the bronze with PropPurr™. We did not coat surfaces that would see caulk since the PropPurr forms a chemically bonded thin silicone coating on the surface.

On some ports the surface turned to a dark bronze patina and stayed that way for 8 years... last checked. The ones that lasted the longest were the ones that saw the least salt water. Even those only developed a light green tint.
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Old 06-07-2022, 16:16   #11
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Re: Best way to restore brass/bronze? ports

Soaking in a vinegar and salt solution for a day or two will remove the heavy oxide. Then polish with a polishing buff wheel and brass polishing compound.

When back in service, let them develop a patina on the outside and just polish the interior side every so often if you so desire. Avoid at all costs the temptation to spray with clear laquer!
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Old 06-07-2022, 22:10   #12
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Re: Best way to restore brass/bronze? ports

For this I use Bar Keepers Friend, found in most grocery stores. I make a paste with the power and some water and scrub with bronze wool. It knocks the patina quickly. I follow up with a good metal polish like Flitz to get final shine.
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Old 06-07-2022, 22:20   #13
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Re: Best way to restore brass/bronze? ports

Take to Electroplaters and Metal Polishers they will acid dip and polish my company would also apply two pot car clear to seal but I not available take to car painters
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Old 06-07-2022, 23:39   #14
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Re: Best way to restore brass/bronze? ports

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
I hope you like polishing…..cause there’s a lot of it in your future if you want those to shine and stay shiny.

At a point in my life when I wanted shiny things I used Brasso and a cotton rag.
Look for Zapon Spray and spray it with this after cleaning. Should last for years.
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Old 07-07-2022, 05:10   #15
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Re: Best way to restore brass/bronze? ports

They look like bronze with glass. We would be careful not to start a leak. The screws look like machine screws probably no Tef Gel LOL...and it’s not a good idea to do anything serious to these ports (like acid )because if you start a leak removing the glass will be very difficult.
Polish up the interior side if you wish till it’s brown but to get it gold and keep it gold, you are in for a lot of work.
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