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Alright this really didn't fit in wood forums anywhere . . but I'm refinishing an old Stanley toolbox (my great grandfathers as it were) and I'm trying to polish the hinges. Well, I tried a pre packaged polishing cloth and didn't quite understand brass plating. . .so I wore through the brass plating on two hinges before I realized I should stop. I read a lot online. . came up the next step as: soak in acid. I had been recently been reading about cleaning/restoring hand planes (I also have two of those that came with the toolbox), I tried to use a Citric acid soak to clean them. I put them in a bath of 1 TB Citric acid powder to 1 quart of water. . waited about 2 hours, and a lot more grime did come off (scrubbed with a microfiber cloth). But they still are pretty tarnished (I think) Attached is what they look like now. Questions:

1) Is this as good as it is going to get? Is that pitting on the brass plating that is just not going to come off? I don't mind, I just want to know I should stop trying.
2) The two that I did NOT wear through the plating on have more of a copper appearance now on one half of the hinge, any idea why?
3) I'm guessing they were sprayed with lacquer at some point as there are some big inconsistencies and places where it seems some finish is pooled a bit on corners. Ideas on taking this off?

Any other suggestions in general? Left up to me the next step is a bath in Brasso with a VERY light wipe off.
Wood Tool Metal Fashion accessory Pattern
 

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