A question for all you tinplaters out there.

When you are resurrecting and restoring your tinplate brass handrails and whistles or nickel handrail stanchions after they have been cleaned and polished do you apply a lacquer finish?

I put some Arm & Hammer detergent in with water and boil it, nothing special.  I also use electrolysis for rust removal and that requires the A&H as well. My main problem is I tend to forget about it and it will boil the water away eventually. I need a bigger one though.  Other methods work as well, it's just cheap and easy

Thank you for the info on the Arm & Hammer. Did not know the one you used but I used the powder Arm and Hammer detergent. Used my side burner on my propane grill so it was dome outside. Brought the water to a boils and put two Lionel 150 shells in the pot. Boiled for about 2 plus hours. Ton the shells out and used a small wire brush to take the paint off. This was a pleasure doing this way as  there are no harsh smells or chemicals. All of the paint came off and I was very please with the results. Did you use the powder or liquid Arm & Hammer?

A question for all you tinplaters out there.

When you are resurrecting and restoring your tinplate brass handrails and whistles or nickel handrail stanchions after they have been cleaned and polished do you apply a lacquer finish?

To each his own Rich as the saying goes. For me, it depends on several factors. If a full blown true to original resto then the answer is yes. If refurbished back to original with original parts then no.  In some cases I'll apply a coat of wax. Assuming the parts have been removed to be cleaned.

@RonH I just recently removed the Peacock and Orange paint from several SG passenger cars along with Red and Black from a No. 8 engine. I used 2 tablespoons of TSP in boiling water from a kettle. The paint fell off within 15 minutes. Previously I had used Tide or Arm & Hammer pods which after soaking over night still required lost of brushing and scraping off the paint. I will only use the TSP in any future restorations.

@mlaughlinnyc I was wondering the same thing and was the basis for my question. Wasn’t sure if the freshly cleaned items would start to tarnish without the lacquer finish.

@John H. Shetler I didn’t know if original SG brass or nickel parts that were removed and cleaned with Barkeepers Friend would need to be protected from tarnishing.  I’m in the process of making a Christmas train and want to keep things bright and shiny. 

Based on what I've read here, I'm about to spend $16 plus shipping for 2# of TSP.  Is there any downside to this method.

For rusted side rods and valve gear, I've used the soak in vinegar followed by wire brush method recommended by someone on this forum a few months ago, with good results.  Except that the eccentric cranks need to be blackened now.

As for re-tarnishing, I shined up a dozen copper journal boxes and some brass parts several months ago and they're still bright.

The TSP had no smell or skin irritations on my hands. The tinplate came out bright. Bought mine from ACE hardware 4lbs for $10 or 1lb for $4.50. Again I only used 2 tablespoons so the 1lb tub would go far.

Last edited by Rich Wiemann

The TSP had no smell or skin irritations on my hands. The tinplate came out bright. Bought mine from ACE hardware 4lbs for $10 or 1lb for $4.50. Again I only used 2 tablespoons so the 1lb tub would go far.

Thanks for telling me.  As a result, I've just discovered that my nearest hardware store is an ACE and that they have on-line ordering for curbside pickup, so I'll have it tomorrow and be stripping this weekend.

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