LumberJocks

Brass pins - finish prep?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Joinery forum

Forum topic by jamsomito posted 12-06-2021 03:11 AM 367 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jamsomito's profile

jamsomito

713 posts in 1759 days


12-06-2021 03:11 AM

First time using brass pins, and I really like the look. Question is though, how do I do finish prep on these? Sanding to 220 still leaves visible scratches in the brass. I feel like I need to go to 800 grit or higher to polish up the brass… but totally unnecessary and maybe detrimental to the wood finish? Any thoughts on this?


9 replies so far

View Andre's profile

Andre

4998 posts in 3139 days


#1 posted 12-06-2021 06:42 AM

On my brass knife hinges I use 1000 grit, almost a mirror polish. Not sure how that Oak will handle that but I know on some knife scale made of Walnut I sanded to 400 and after a wax buffing the brass pins looked pretty nice?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View sunnybob's profile

sunnybob

97 posts in 98 days


#2 posted 12-06-2021 08:18 AM

Are these structural? Brass and wood expand at vastly different rates, enough to crack the glue joint sometimes. Dont rely on them for strength.

Usually I would say polish with wire wool, but that can react badly with oak. Theres another way but its quite time consuming; put painters tape over the top, use a scalpel to cut out the circle of the pin, then use automotive chrome polisher paste such as solvol autosol. But even then the brass will tarnish, so it will need a top coat.

View jamsomito's profile

jamsomito

713 posts in 1759 days


#3 posted 12-06-2021 01:05 PM



Are these structural? Brass and wood expand at vastly different rates, enough to crack the glue joint sometimes. Dont rely on them for strength.

Well I did drill them through like a dowel. They’re maybe 1/2 inch long and epoxied in. The box was sturdy without them though, everything was dadoed and glued prior. The intent was just aesthetic.

Think if I just sand the whole thing to 400 or 600 it would be alright? I was just going to use a few coats of arm-r-seal for the finish.

View Tommy Evans's profile

Tommy Evans

162 posts in 3507 days


#4 posted 12-06-2021 01:30 PM

Do you have a Dremel tool or something like it?
I would use some targeted method to sand and/or polish the brass ends separately from the wood.

View jamsomito's profile

jamsomito

713 posts in 1759 days


#5 posted 12-06-2021 01:34 PM

Yep! I actually used it to cut down the brass plugs close to flush before sanding them down to even with the surface.

I don’t have many attachments though, would likely need to buy something. What’s the bit you’d recommend?

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

657 posts in 3067 days


#6 posted 12-06-2021 02:21 PM

I made a couple Morris chairs and used brass as an accent.

But I didn’t use them as full pins. I pinned the M&T joints with oak dowels then re-drilled about 1/8” deep and epoxied in the brass plugs. (See the dowels in the front legs)

I sanded to 220. This gives a “brushed” look – not a mirror-like finish. Since I had to sand between each coat of finish, I figured it would be pointless to worry about it until I was completely finished. Once it was done, I loved the way it looked and decided not to polish the brass.

Be careful when sanding, since the brass is harder than the wood, it’s easy to get little hills or bumps around the brass inserts. Not really visible unless with raking light, but you can feel them.

If I were to polish them, I had planned on using my Dremel with polishing bits and jeweler’s compound.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View jamsomito's profile

jamsomito

713 posts in 1759 days


#7 posted 12-06-2021 02:30 PM

Tony, that is a beautiful piece. Thanks for the tips, great advice.

View Aaron312's profile

Aaron312

56 posts in 733 days


#8 posted 12-07-2021 05:31 AM

I have polished brass with white scotch-brite pads. No cleaner or anything. Just the dry pad. It polished up very nicely.

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

657 posts in 3067 days


#9 posted 12-07-2021 02:10 PM



Tony, that is a beautiful piece. Thanks for the tips, great advice.

- jamsomito

Thank you. I have a YouTube playlist of the entire build. The brass inserts are about 5 minutes into part 9.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com