Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

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detectorman5050
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Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by detectorman5050 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:07 pm

I found this old labor corps military cap badge today, it's in not bad condition, but a bit crusty. I am totally new to cleaning things, and don't know what the limitations are. Could I get this cap badge to look like new again, and if so how?

I started another thread regarding a very crusty old coin, and someone mentioned ultrasonic. Would that help this badge, or are other methods required?

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Re: Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by fred » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:14 pm

Ultrasonic will shake off anything stuck to it but it won't actually clean it. The surface of brass is likely to be damaged by being buried for so long so I wouldn't risk ruining such a nice badge. If you are serious about cleaning stuff then read up about it and experiment on junk items before trying out on the better bits. ::g
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Re: Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by Easylife » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:16 pm

Only if you got it re-plated. It's really best to just leave it as is. It looks good and I personally would do no more cleaning as it will likely be detrimental. ::g
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Re: Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by Roberts » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:56 am

Yes as others have said, you could also clean around the letters and other details with a toothpick & damp cotton bud to get the last bits of dirt and bring out the finer details.

A light coating of renaissance wax (leave to dry) and polishing will bring out the details and give a shine while also protecting the metal.

Its very nice as it is, well found. ::g
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Re: Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by Junior » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:01 am

If u arnt too fussed try a bit of brasso

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Re: Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by Quoin » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:30 am

I think it looks great like that but it belongs to you so if you prefer you can strip the patina off with acid but it still won't look like it did when it was new. I would just polish it with a bit of wax.

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Re: Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by Lowland » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:01 am

Looks good in its. Present as found state
But
I would be hard pushed not to lightly work at it a bit
With ultra fine wire wool
Just to bring out the high points a touch.
Nice find
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Re: Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by f8met » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:23 pm

The chemicals in the ground tend to attach the brass and it is really hard to get it to shine again. I have a Suffolk regiment cap badge and it has a bit of a shine and I have just tried cleaning a Boys Brigade buckle with little success to get it to shine.
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Re: Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by detectorman5050 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:58 pm

Thanks for all the ideas which I have taken on board. If I go ahead and attempt to clean this badge, I will post the results here.
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Re: Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by Easylife » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:10 am

detectorman5050 wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:58 pm
Thanks for all the ideas which I have taken on board. If I go ahead and attempt to clean this badge, I will post the results here.
Don't do it, there may be regrets. d; :))
I've destroyed a few and learnt. :D
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Re: Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by Koala » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:56 am

Looking at you photo the brass has turned a pink colour. This is due to the zinc leeching away.

To bring back the brass colour you would have to remove some of the surface.


Depending on how deep the dezincification has gone there may be very little brass actually left


Here is a photo of what's happened.


On the left is the brass (zinc and copper) and on the right copper and holes where the zinc has dissolved away

By all means clean it up. Depending how deep its gone you may ruin the badge taking it all the way back to brass.

Little and gentle cleaning is normally the way to go

Dezincification.jpg
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Re: Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by f8met » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:04 am

I have found that the brass wire wheels you get with dremels can clean off quite a bit of the dirt and then a soft wheel to clean it further.
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Re: Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by john Colin » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:56 am

A good while back as part of a display for the landowner of a site that has seen extensive use by the military, I put the badges in a barrelling machine (I know). I used crushed walnut shells and a little washing up liquid. Six hours later and they looked great in the display case and still do.
Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 10.48.50.jpg
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Re: Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by f8met » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:23 pm

wow they look amazing!
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Re: Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by stargazer » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:39 pm

I'd just wax it. ::g
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Re: Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by detectorman5050 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:02 pm

I have to admit the results from the 'barrelling machine' look amazing. However, I'm very cautious about trying some of the methods here - I'd hate for it to go wrong.
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Re: Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by f8met » Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:26 am

These are the 2 I tried to clean. The Suffolk badge was corroded but the soft brass brush and brasso cleaned it a bit. Thing is with brasso, when it dries it leave a white powder.

The boys brigade badge (pre 1926) was quite dull but the brass brush on a drill, then a bit of brasso with a felt wheel has brought it up quite nicely.

Image

I only attempted these are they are pretty solid. To be fair I would just leave yours as it is. I have a Canadian corps of signals which I won't be cleaning.
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Re: Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by Rhumours » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:30 am

Barrelling is a beautiful result for sure just got two things to bare in mind from my experience ....


Make sure whatever you use as your beads is softer than the thing you are barrelling .... tumbled a bit of flourite once with the recommended sand .... it was irregular and about a bantam egg size. 2 hours small effect and a bit of smoothing. 4 hours better effect but it had shrunk a small amount. Blimey this is going to be an all night job I thought. All night .... beautiful polished fluorite ... about as big as a pea :-L

Barrelling seems to reach a point where you think it is almost perfect and surely another couple of hours will be even better ... and it seems to get worse from then on. So when it's almost perfect switch to hourly checks keeping a close eye on the detail.

Good luck.
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Re: Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by stupot » Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:38 am

Hello my friend..

Nice Pioneer Corps badge.

I have cleaned many badges by barrelling. Depending on the grade of abrasives a badge like yours comes up really well. Can be left in the machine for many hours..

The clasp nearly always comes adrift but no matter, araldite puts it back. If the barrel machine doesn't do all the nooks & crannies you can use brillopad or soak in vinegar etc.

I used to hunt badges with a passion in my youth, I find militaria fascinating.

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Re: Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by detectorman5050 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:23 pm

john Colin wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:56 am
A good while back as part of a display for the landowner of a site that has seen extensive use by the military, I put the badges in a barrelling machine (I know). I used crushed walnut shells and a little washing up liquid. Six hours later and they looked great in the display case and still do.
Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 10.48.50.jpg

I'd like to try out your barrel technique. Do you reckon the medal below is a good candidate for 'barreling'?

Let's face it, it's pretty wasted, so I thought it would make a good candidate.

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Re: Can I Make this Old Cap Badge Look Like New Again?

Post by john Colin » Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:00 pm

You have nothing to loose but you will probably end up with a shinny blank. Great caution should be taken when contemplating barreling, great for modern beach coins. My view, never use on anything that you value, are unsure of or has a nice patina.

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