What's best for restoring and polishing vintage brass?

klb4556

O.G.
May 18, 2009
2,035
86
Alabama
Hey everybody! Have heard conflicting things about brasso. Is it okay?

My vintage bad I just got today looks amazing but the hardware could use some work. Its dull. Can I vinegar soak? And then use a brass polish? And how long should I soak in vinegar?

And any tips on polishing the turnlock without getting polish on the leather? Thank you!
 

whateve

Authenticator
O.G.
May 10, 2010
59,856
66,401
Don't forget to ask in the Rehab club. It is safe to use Brasso or most other metal polishes. I usually use Wenol or Flitz. Vinegar soaks are great. You can soak for an hour or more as the vinegar won't hurt the leather. If the hardware is in really bad condition, you can often remove the turnlock for cleaning. If you want to polish it while still attached, you can use a piece of plastic wrap with a hole cut in the middle for the turnlock. This works best with the sticky kind of plastic wrap. You might want to polish the metal before you bathe your bag; then you won't have to be as careful, but you'll likely have to touch up the polishing again. I use an old electric toothbrush and fine steel wool. If you have a Dremel, you can use that.

Some older Coaches had solid brass hardware. Others were just brass plated. Some of these had a protective coating to prevent tarnishing. Sometimes part of the coating is gone, and you'll have to polish vigorously to remove it completely. In other cases, if you polish too much, you'll wear off the brass plating completely and silver will shine through.
 

klb4556

O.G.
May 18, 2009
2,035
86
Alabama
Don't forget to ask in the Rehab club. It is safe to use Brasso or most other metal polishes. I usually use Wenol or Flitz. Vinegar soaks are great. You can soak for an hour or more as the vinegar won't hurt the leather. If the hardware is in really bad condition, you can often remove the turnlock for cleaning. If you want to polish it while still attached, you can use a piece of plastic wrap with a hole cut in the middle for the turnlock. This works best with the sticky kind of plastic wrap. You might want to polish the metal before you bathe your bag; then you won't have to be as careful, but you'll likely have to touch up the polishing again. I use an old electric toothbrush and fine steel wool. If you have a Dremel, you can use that.

Some older Coaches had solid brass hardware. Others were just brass plated. Some of these had a protective coating to prevent tarnishing. Sometimes part of the coating is gone, and you'll have to polish vigorously to remove it completely. In other cases, if you polish too much, you'll wear off the brass plating completely and silver will shine through.

Thank you! in this case, I won't need to bathe the bag, but will need to polish. The bag was made in 1998 and I'm not sure if solid brass or not, but it looks like it might be plated, but I have been wrong on this matter a handful of times :smile:

How do you cut a proper hole in the plastic wrap?

lastly, are there any post references to removing the turnlock?

thanks!
 

whateve

Authenticator
O.G.
May 10, 2010
59,856
66,401
Thank you! in this case, I won't need to bathe the bag, but will need to polish. The bag was made in 1998 and I'm not sure if solid brass or not, but it looks like it might be plated, but I have been wrong on this matter a handful of times :smile:

How do you cut a proper hole in the plastic wrap?

lastly, are there any post references to removing the turnlock?

thanks!
It is just plated if it is from 1998. There are probably references in the rehab thread about removing the turnlock. It isn't difficult. It depends on whether you can get under the little tabs on the back and pull them up. Then it slides right off. It is more difficult to get it back on tightly. You can remove both parts the same way. I would just poke a hole in the plastic wrap, or snip a tiny piece out with scissors and then stretch it around the turnlock.