Metal Cleaning and Repair

Metal Cleaning & Repair

Good for cleaning both metal and plastic.

Brasso is a handy ingredient for making the metalwork shine on a radio. It can also be used on plastic. Remember to shake it well before using it and follow the other directions on the can.

It’s nasty stuff for humans, so keep it, and everything like it away from the small fry.Brasso is a handy ingredient for making the metalwork shine on a radio. It can also be used on plastic. Remember to shake it well before using it and follow the other directions on the can.

Toothpaste is sometimes an effective metal and plastic cleaner as well, by the way.

NOTE: Some metal radio parts were sprayed with protective varnish or other coatings that you might need to remove with paint thinner or nail polish remover to reach actual metal. You’ll run the risk of damaging the finish and inadvertently removing painted lettering, dial markings and so on.

Here too, it’s always best to test in an out-of-the-way place, or better yet a “junker” before working on visible metal areas. If you do strip the protective coating you can replace it with clear coat spray available at hobby shops and, Home depot and elsewhere.

Cleaning Metal Grills

Other common restoration chores include grill cleaning, flattening and repair. Take a look at these before and after photos.

Before and after.

Begin by carefully bending up the tabs and pushing the grill out of the radio. The tabs are frail, and won’t take much bending before they break off, so do not rush this step. If the tabs do break off you can probably use superglue to reinstall the grill, but that is obviously Plan B.

Remove any other ornamentation such as the brass badge in our example. Notice how you can see the original (whiter) grill color under the place where the badge protected the metal. If you are going to repaint the grill this is the color to match.

Use 409 and or soap to remove the dirt, tobacco stains and other crud. Use a round soft object such as the end of a toothbrush handle to burnish out any dents or palm cupping from the back of the grill.

If you will be repainting the grill, as we did here, work in a clean area free from wind and dirt. Use multiple, very light coats of spray paint rather than one heavy coat.

You don’t want drips, dribbles, hairs and other imperfections painted into the grillwork. And you really want to avoid clogging those small holes with paint!

What Do You Think?

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