Cleaning old Engraving

rmgreen

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I have on the bench a Browning Superposed Diana grade (French Greyed Receiver, forend iron) 1974 vintage. The engraving is sharp but the background is dark with crud and has some light air rust discoloration. No noticeable pitting. I would like to clean and restore the original engraving and do not think it will be necessary to recut/sharpen the engraving just cleaning. Typically I use Naval Jelly for a French Grey affect. I "think" it will be necessary to lightly and at low rpm brush with wire/nylon bristles wheels the engraving to remove the dirt/crud from the engraving and to give it a even grey finish as it came from the factory.

Any suggestion of a better way of cleaning and restoring the engraving would very much be appreciated.
 

Chujybear

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Three things that I do for fragile work like that would be some sort of solvent to decouple some of the grease in the lowlands.
Electric toothbrush can get in to places and the opposite motion of the brush
And I often sharpen up wooden tools to get into places with cemented in crud.
 

AllenClapp

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Both dry and solvent-wet wooden toothpicks are useful. Both pointed and flat toothpicks are useful as they come, but I sometimes nip the ends off to get a little larger area. I LOVE THE IDEA OF THE ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH! I suspect most of us who use one also have an older model we can devote to the shop. They would also be useful in cleaning out gunked-up oil residue in S&W revolvers, etc.
 

rmgreen

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Both dry and solvent-wet wooden toothpicks are useful. Both pointed and flat toothpicks are useful as they come, but I sometimes nip the ends off to get a little larger area. I LOVE THE IDEA OF THE ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH! I suspect most of us who use one also have an older model we can devote to the shop. They would also be useful in cleaning out gunked-up oil residue in S&W revolvers, etc.
I agree with you about the electric tooth brush. Chujy's idea is a winner. My mind went crazy dreaming up attachements I could make for various operations in my gunwork.
 

FANCYGUN

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Electric toothbrush is a great idea for sure and the battery powered ones are quite inexpensive and work very well :tiphat:
 

AllenClapp

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I used my ultrasonic cleaner to degunk a revolver that apparently had not been cleaned since I was born. That got me to where I could make screws work easily and parts slide. Then I took it down to parts and cleaned them all again. Even then, I wished I had thought of using my old electric toothbrush instead of elbow grease to clean some of it.
 

Ronald Scott

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May 5, 2011
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Thank you for the observation. I have some original flintlock mounts that I will be making molds from. There is old oil and dirt in the recesses of the engraving.
 

AllenClapp

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I should have added something else to my comments. Using ultrasound cleaners and most of their related liquids to break loose screws and plates is relatively safe compared to using SOME chemicals commonly used to break screws loose. Some of them that are meant to loosen rusted screws can remove bluing, which, of course, IS a form of rust. Unless you want the bluing removed, care in picking chemicals is advised. The good news is that someone told me to watch out for his long ago--just before I would have made a serious mistake with the chemicals I was fixing to use. Yes, I treated him to some good scotch.
 

silvermon

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Mar 26, 2014
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Davenport, Iowa
Ultrasonic cleaners and electric toothbrush are good ideas; one alternative that I regularly use for deeper crevices, is an inexpensive horsehair shaving brush. Shaving brushes have long bristles making them gentle, and horsehair is relatively stiff making what I think is a perfect combination for cleaning.
 

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