Saturday, January 30, 2010

Polishing Metal Plates (& scratched i-Pod Windows)

Here are some tips on polishing your plates, be they copper or zinc.
#1. If the plate is uncoated on both sides, examine it in the harsh light of day & determine which side is less scratched. That will be the side you polish.
#2. Using a file, scraper, or plumbing pipe tool, bevel that edge to a 45 degree angle. You should also round off the corners.
#3. If there are any very deep scratches, use the 3-in-1 oil & your trusty, sharp scraper to eliminate them. You'll have to follow that up with some judicious burnishing, also using 3-in-1 oil. If the scratches are just deep enough for your fingernails to catch in, you'll want to only use the burnisher, & leave the scraper in your toolbox.
#4. Using elbow grease, #00000 steel wool & the 3-in-1 oil, massage your plate in a circular motion, to at least 1 song on your I-pod (might I suggest Gogol Bordello). If you are obsessive, you can rinse the plate after each step with a mix of vinegar & salt, followed by a water rinse. Done in between each step, it will really brighten up your plate. Make sure you dry the plate with a clean, soft rag before going on to the next step. The latter items can be found in a cabinet located above the sinks in the acid room.
#5. Rub the "Nevr-Dull Magic Wadding Polish" onto your plate. The Eurythmics?
#6. Next comes the "Putz Pomade." (While the German word "putsn" means "to clean" the Yiddish word "putz" means either an idiot or that which makes men differ from women. A really strange choice of names for a product in any event.
#7. Finally, you can now wipe a light layer of "Brasso" on the plate. Go get a caffeine fix. By the time you come back, it should have dried to a fine white powder. Polish this off & you should be able to see yourself in the surface. Good job. (FYI - If the wee viewing screen on your I-pod is scratched, you can actually clear it again to look almost new with repeated Brasso wiping. Just take care not to get it on the body of the device & make certain the rag is extremely soft, & take care not to rub hard.)
#8. Don't touch the surface. Wrap in a soft clean paper towel & put carefully away in your locked drawer.

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