Bath time, cleaning plated parts with cider vinegar.

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by James K, Nov 14, 2022.

  1. James K

    James K United Kingdom Subscriber

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    I thought I would post about cleaning nickel plated parts using cider vinegar.
    The lamps I selected were probably not the best choice for such a demonstration delivering not so photogenic results but I decided I would upload them anyway in case someone found them interesting.

    From the stable of Curtis and Harvey we have the good, the bad and the ugly in the form of an evening star table lamp, a kildark lantern and a completely dead pre 1926 evening star lantern which appears to have been in a fire.

    I used quite a weak mix to reduce the risk of anything going pink. The ratio was 3 kettles of boiling water (It soon gets cold) to 6 good glugs of cider vinegar.

    Parts are immersed for 5 minutes or so then fished out and given a brush to assess what is going on.
    Any sign of anything going pink it's straight into a bucket of water along with anything that has had the crud brushed off.

    Once dried parts often look similar to how they started, the next step is a brush with a soft brass wire brush to remove stubborn deposits which should now be a lot easier for having a wash.

    The final step is a quick buff with metal polish, I use autosol but other brands are available.

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  2. James K

    James K United Kingdom Subscriber

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    The plating on the kildark tank was quite bad so for the after pics i fitted an identical cage from another evening star lantern. On the plus side it did seem to be a low hours lamp.
    The top and bottom halfs of the evening star lantern being cleaned were only attached to each other by the handle.
    Anyway here are the after pics.


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  3. Fireexit1

    Fireexit1 United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Well it certainly does the trick - I find citric acid slightly better and I can control the strength as it comes as powder - and it takes up less room
    A jolly fine assmembly of projects !

    - as in the black powder makers ?
     
  4. Mackburner

    Mackburner United Kingdom Founder Member Subscriber

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    Yes the very same. At the time part of Nobel industries who in 1926 became ICI ltd. ::Neil::
     
  5. MYN

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    The nice thing about it is using apple cider vinegar. No harsh chemicals. Pretty natural and obviously safe.
    The fact is, we'd still be able to get things done without using any stuffs that aren't derived from something of organic origins.:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
    The only drawback for me on using apple cider vinegar in my location would be its relatively high price. The only source available here would be Heinz apple cider vinegar. Well, of course, that's besides making the it on my own.
     
  6. X246A

    X246A United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @James K

    Hi James

    The gentle approach with cider vinegar seems to have done the job sympathetically to these old ladies.

    Regards, Jeremy
     
  7. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    A vast improvement.:thumbup:
     
  8. James K

    James K United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hello Jeremy @X246A
    Nice to see you back here.
    James
     
  9. X246A

    X246A United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @James K

    Thanks, it’s good to be back.

    Regards, Jeremy
     
  10. AussiePete

    AussiePete Australia Subscriber

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    @X246A
    Good to see you back mate. Go well.
    Pete
     
  11. X246A

    X246A United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @AussiePete

    Thanks, glad to be alive and kicking again!

    Jeremy
     
  12. James K

    James K United Kingdom Subscriber

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    First up for a testfire is the table lamp.
    Fettling was minimal, clean and repack the control spindle, make filler cap washer, unblock jet and swill tank to check cleanliness.
    Using mantels that were to big and a shade that is far far to big (all I had available) we have a successful test fire.
    I did have to borrow a pump cup thingy from another lamp as my pump did not fit the one this lamp came with.
    Enjoy

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  13. X246A

    X246A United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @James K

    Congratulations! Don’t you just love it what a grand old lady springs to life again!

    Regards Jeremy
     
  14. Fireexit1

    Fireexit1 United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Good works. Nothing really beats that successful 1st fire up moment :thumbup:
     
  15. hikerduane

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    I've never seen issues with hot vinegar, even soaking brass for 30 to 60 minutes. Doing something wrong I guess or color blind. I like to soak unpainted lantern and lamp founts in hot lye baths, mostly because the insides are pretty dirty.
    Duane
     
  16. James K

    James K United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Next up for testfire is the Kildark lantern.
    Fettling was pretty much the same as for the table lamp apart from the cage had a soak in neat cider vinegar for 3 days to remove the rust, I forgot to get a pic of the results but it was only knowing that the rust would grow back that stopped me from leaving it at that.
    The generator on this lamp had no removable jet, it was integrated like a Tilley one.
    I used the table lamp burner simply because it had mantels fitted.
    It fired straight up but ran really dim, it looks a lot brighter in the pics than it actually was.
    At first I suspected a blockage somewhere, but it ran consistently for quite a while with the absolute minimum of light emitting burn.
    I had pumped it what I thought was more than plenty for a 96 year old white gas lamp testfire, but the I remembered the ball bearing in the valve did look like it needed changing.
    I swapped the valve for the one in the table lamp and was able to get much better pressure.
    I just need to get some mantels and a ball bearing and fettling will be finished.
    Successful testfire.

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