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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After shooting, my brass Brooks gets trashed. I clean it with hot soapy water and a plastic scrub brush inside and with a towel on the outside. Picture 1 is what it looks like after that, ugly, but is there any harm leaving it like that? Is there some corrosion that will occur and pit the outside of the tube?


If not, over time will it take on an even patina or will it be forever spotted with darker areas? Any pictures of an often fired Brooks that has not been polished?


After I polish it, second picture, should I put a wax or something on it to keep the tube from becoming discolored during firing (and hopefully save work polishing)?


Does hand polishing with Brasso cause a great amount of damage? I know continual polishing wears away markings, etc., but does it significantly weaken the tube any? If so, are we talking about a weekly polish over 50 or 100 years to do so?


Double D recently passed along how he stained his and that came out very nice, it also gave the cannon a protective finish. If I go that route, then gone are the days of beautiful shinny brass, but so are the hours of polishing.


Would appreciate your thoughts.
 

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Been there, done that. I am going with the stain and try to get a bronze look. I live in a damp salt water atmosphere part of the country and can not keep a nice bright polished look for much more than 2 weeks. One of my winter projects will be staining the tube and painting the carriage. Good luck with yours.
 

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Clean and dry the bore after firing is just fine. The bore will darken but that is okay.

Brasso contains silica and is extremely abrasive. It also contains ammonia which will attack the alloys of the brass. Don't use it. that is how most polishes work by the way.

You have to decide what you want a desk ornament or a shooting cannon. You can not have both.

Beautiful polish is destructive of your gun and only looks good for a while. You can lacquer the barrel and it will protect it for a while. It will slow patination. But if you use the gun the lacquer will get damaged. If you get scratches or burns in the lacquer the uncoated section will oxidize differently than the coated part and will look like, well like you have scratches and burns.

You can leave the polished brass uncoated and it will slowly oxidize from exposure to the air, Brass really doesn't oxidize very pretty. As long as you don't touch it or shoot the oxidation will be uniform. Shoot it and you will get burns and finger prints and it will look like yours do now. Even then in order to keep it looking nice you will need polish periodically and we know how bad that is.

So that leaves the chemical patination like I have done. Here is the pictures of my gun taken about two weeks ago.



This gun has had nothing done to it except to wash it with a garden hose and wipe dry since i applied the finish in 2010. No additional finish has been applied.

Here again is the vent area. Again this cannon has been fired with both a prime vent and fuse.

 

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I am guessing that the lighter color on the chase is because you lift the barrel there?
 

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All of my bronze cannons have a patina to them . Once you shoot them a residue is all over them ,Ive cleaned them but theres not much stopping it.
The other thing is when you clean them the water soot from the bore gets all over the rest of the tube.

In the Marine Corps "The Privates" would polish their Brass Marine Corps Belt Buckle every day . Sometimes twice a day !
They sure were shiny and well polished , but it took polishing all the dang time to keep them that way.

That was with no powder residue at all !

So good luck but it will darken ;)

Gary Semper Fi
 

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I love the beauty of freshly brasso'd brass/bronze but I've given it up. I have a lot of brass lanterns, mini-cannons/mortars and other doo-dads but life is too short to try and keep up with the oxidation.


And besides, it annoys DD. ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I need a couple Able Seamen to keep the bright work bright.


I recall a funny part in one of the Aubrey Maturin series where Jack has a couple bronze 9 pounders he earlier took as prizes. He had them painted so there would not be time wasted caring for the shine. Despite this, his crew stripped the paint and shinned them.
 

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Despite this, his crew stripped the paint and shinned them.

Probably was the idea of the bo'suns mate. Or chief boatswains mate, if there was one.
 

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Just a historic note from my time in the Merchant Navy..........To protect copper and brass items on board such as navigation lights, ships whistle etc we used to coat them in a mixture of Log grease and Fish oil which would last for a couple of months. To clean that off we used Vim (a harsh scouring powder) and Vinegar mixed to a paste. :D You then shined with Brasso and started again with the Log grease and Fish oil............
 
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