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Old 27th February 2017, 03:55 AM   #1
Nathaniel
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Default What do you use to polish your....Silver :) Also what was used historically? & wax?

Hello all,

Along the same lines as a thread I had posted years ago:

"What kind of oil do you use for your blades?"
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=11100

But instead what do you use to polish the silver on your antique weapons? I know talking to collectors over the years they all have something different they like to use.

Then afterwards what kind of wax do you use? I think I had touched on this in a thread before...have to find it or maybe someone will find it.

Then to add a little more interesting historical twist, do you know what was used historically in your region of weapons interest?
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Old 27th February 2017, 04:01 AM   #2
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For me, I've used those silver jewelry cloths for polishing.

For wax, I've used Renaissance Wax, but after some discussions with an professional antique restorator, I switched to natural Brazilian carnauba wax, (Trewax Pastewax)....and for the silver polish, Metarex Polishing Cloth was recommended which I have yet to try.

In Thailand, traditionally one method of silver polishing was using the natural fiber of the tamarind (fruit)
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Old 27th February 2017, 09:59 AM   #3
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Hello,

You may want to check this link (from Victoria & Albert Museum):

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articl...or-your-silver/
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Old 27th February 2017, 02:51 PM   #4
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Goddards Slver dip and ball of cotton wool. Very gentle no polishing wear, no residue stuck in details.
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Old 27th February 2017, 04:29 PM   #5
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I use Simichrome« for brass and silver. A wooden toothpick is perfect for getting into the nooks and crannies of repoussed silver and for removing any remnants of the paste. This was recommended by conservators at several small museums that I have worked with.

I've tried Goddards silver dip and it works well too. A bit messy and liquid for my liking.

Ian.
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Old 27th February 2017, 05:40 PM   #6
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GODDARDS SILVER CLOTH. No residue and not harsh. The Goddards Silver Dip in my experience tends to be much harsher than the cloth, and also needs to be completely flushed off after use. I guess products like SILVO are OK also but they do leave a pinkish residue in recesses, which is not always easy to remove.
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Old 27th February 2017, 07:51 PM   #7
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Thanks for your comments Gents.

Here is another informative link:

http://www.faltermeier.biz/articles/Caring%20for.pdf
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Old 27th February 2017, 08:17 PM   #8
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Also I think there is a difference from cleaning silver to polishing it. One is okay the other over the years is bad.
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Old 27th February 2017, 08:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Simmons
Also I think there is a difference from cleaning silver to polishing it. One is okay the other over the years is bad.


Good point. I was told by a conservator that usually jewelry cloths also contain chalk, but in a corner grade. If you look at the silver with 30x magnification you will see the scratches.
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Old 28th February 2017, 07:18 AM   #10
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The Omani silversmiths use a stiff brass bristled brush for cleaning silver like this..
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Old 28th February 2017, 01:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathaniel
Hello all,

But instead what do you use to polish the silver on your antique weapons?

Then afterwards what kind of wax do you use? I think I had touched on this in a thread before...have to find it or maybe someone will find it.



Hello Nathaniel,

for very dark silver pieces "Gundelputz" because it contains no abrasives. This means no scratches at all.

And as wax I use "Interflon Spray Wax", one can spray it in the smallest gaps. A very fine stuff, especially for guns.

For wood and leather I have a special German bee- and carnauba wax for high quality furniture, which is not available via the Internet.

If you buy wax, it is imho important to buy wax with a high viscosity similar like shoe cream. This makes the job much easier.


Roland
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Old 28th February 2017, 05:00 PM   #12
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Thanks Ibrahiim I like hearing about traditional silver cleaning methods and hope that a few more members will chime in about this not just modern products.

Roland, thank you very much for the detailed information.

I just remembered too an earlier discussion:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showp...88&postcount=13
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Old 28th February 2017, 05:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathaniel
Roland, thank you very much for the detailed information.

I just remembered too an earlier discussion:



Thank you Nathaniel,

if you are interested in the German wax (Hartmann-Pflege) I mentioned, send me a pm, I can order it for you, it is not very expensive and for leather and wood imho better than Renaissance wax, which I also tried out. I think Renaissance wax is too stiff.

Alan Maiseys tip for wood is awesome! First polish the wood with metal polish (Gundelputz), which gives you a mirror finish and brings out every detail in the wood, you will be surprised. After that apply a little bit of the german wax. This produces an amazing natural finish and is very good for the wood.


Roland
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Old 2nd March 2017, 12:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
The Omani silversmiths use a stiff brass bristled brush for cleaning silver like this..


That is interesting Ibrahiim, that such a stiff brass bristle brush can be used. I've seen some silver kits, like Hagerty that come with a horse hair brush. I can see the brass brush is used though for more heavily oxidized/tarnished silver.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 12:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Hello,

You may want to check this link (from Victoria & Albert Museum):

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articl...or-your-silver/


Thanks Mariusgmioc for the link
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Old 2nd March 2017, 12:29 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland_M
Thank you Nathaniel,

if you are interested in the German wax (Hartmann-Pflege) I mentioned, send me a pm, I can order it for you, it is not very expensive and for leather and wood imho better than Renaissance wax, which I also tried out. I think Renaissance wax is too stiff.

Alan Maiseys tip for wood is awesome! First polish the wood with metal polish (Gundelputz), which gives you a mirror finish and brings out every detail in the wood, you will be surprised. After that apply a little bit of the german wax. This produces an amazing natural finish and is very good for the wood.


Roland



Many Thank Roland for passing on Alan's tip for wood.

That is interesting to hear about Gundelputz having no abrasives. I'm thinking about your kind offer. Thank you Roland.

Last edited by Nathaniel : 2nd March 2017 at 02:11 AM.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 12:42 AM   #17
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Roland, have you heard of Metarex polishing cloth? It seems to be a German product. A professional conservator recommended it. He said his family (multi generational art conservators) had used Metarex for many years. At present it seems to be marketed for polishing silver frets of guitars and other musical instruments hardware.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 12:53 AM   #18
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An antique dealer (non weapons) had told me that he uses Hagerty Silver Foam.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 01:40 AM   #19
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I had mentioned that in Thailand and other south east Asian countries they use Tamarid traditionally for silver polish. I thought I would post a picture to show a people who may not know what a Tamarind is. It's a very delicious fruit as well
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Old 2nd March 2017, 01:44 AM   #20
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Did I say that Roland?

I must have been drunk at the time.

For unfinished wood I take it to a fine garnet paper, probably about 800 is as fine as you'd want to go, then raise the grain with steam, polish with 00 steel wool, when the grain won't raise any more, polish with 0000.

What you do after that depends a bit on what sort of finish you want, and on the wood itself. You might want to steam it again after the first polish with 0000, and then do another 0000 polish, or more than one, or you might want to apply your finish and cut back between coats with 00 and 0000, there are number of ways you can go.

If the end finish is too bright you can take some of gloss out of it with 0000.

If restoring a previous varnish or french polish finish, car polish + gum turpentine will clean it up nicely, and then use a good quality furniture wax.

Depending on what the existing finish looks like, you might like to try a good furniture oil, like Sheraton, and when it has thoroughly dried, then use a good quality furniture wax.

A quick easy finish on new wood is something like Danish oil.

If you want to use a traditional french polish, you must remember to use the pad in a figure eight pattern, and you might need anything up to 20 coats.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 02:12 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Did I say that Roland?

I must have been drunk at the time.

For unfinished wood I take it to a fine garnet paper, probably about 800 is as fine as you'd want to go, then raise the grain with steam, polish with 00 steel wool, when the grain won't raise any more, polish with 0000.

What you do after that depends a bit on what sort of finish you want, and on the wood itself. You might want to steam it again after the first polish with 0000, and then do another 0000 polish, or more than one, or you might want to apply your finish and cut back between coats with 00 and 0000, there are number of ways you can go.

If the end finish is too bright you can take some of gloss out of it with 0000.

If restoring a previous varnish or french polish finish, car polish + gum turpentine will clean it up nicely, and then use a good quality furniture wax.

Depending on what the existing finish looks like, you might like to try a good furniture oil, like Sheraton, and when it has thoroughly dried, then use a good quality furniture wax.

A quick easy finish on new wood is something like Danish oil.

If you want to use a traditional french polish, you must remember to use the pad in a figure eight pattern, and you might need anything up to 20 coats.


Thanks Alan for the detailed guide!
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Old 2nd March 2017, 02:40 AM   #22
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The problem with products on the market for silver is that if it is a chemical dip then it will eat into the surface of the silver.

If it is a cloth, yes it will produce micro-scratches.

But anything that takes the sulfur oxide off silver will leave some kind of mark on the silver.

Personally, I also make jewelry as well as restoring antique weaponry. I use the cloth as the final end of polishing and cleaning. This is a standard practice in jewelry making, and thus I also use this on silver fittings on weaponry (as well as any silver).

And don't forget that in reality, cleaning is polishing, just on a lighter level.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 04:30 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
The problem with products on the market for silver is that if it is a chemical dip then it will eat into the surface of the silver.

If it is a cloth, yes it will produce micro-scratches.

But anything that takes the sulfur oxide off silver will leave some kind of mark on the silver.

Personally, I also make jewelry as well as restoring antique weaponry. I use the cloth as the final end of polishing and cleaning. This is a standard practice in jewelry making, and thus I also use this on silver fittings on weaponry (as well as any silver).

And don't forget that in reality, cleaning is polishing, just on a lighter level.


Thanks for the good insight Jose!
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Old 3rd March 2017, 10:13 AM   #24
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Default Sam Fong Hoi Tong Powder

Many Malaysian Antique dealers I've met swear by this Chinese Face powder called Sam Fong Hoi Tong.
It's got chalk in it so its kind of abrasive (on a microscopic level), but it's pretty authentic and cool.
When I don't use the powder i just rub silver with a cloth and some mineral oil.

Here's a picture of the box
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Last edited by Robert : 3rd March 2017 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 17th March 2017, 07:56 PM   #25
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I have been using NEVR-DULL for all my swords for cleaning and polishing purposes. It works like magic. After cleaning them with this I apply WD40. Results are great (i have tried may other things as well but this combo works best).
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Old 17th March 2017, 10:35 PM   #26
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Thanks guys for the additional methods. Much appreciated.
Rick.
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Old 23rd March 2017, 07:07 PM   #27
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Dont forget Colgate toothpaste is excellent for cleaning silver !!!
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Old 24th March 2017, 01:23 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Dont forget Colgate toothpaste is excellent for cleaning silver !!!

Don't use it on ivory though!
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Old 26th March 2017, 08:44 AM   #29
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Post 26 of the Omani Khanjar indicates Quote" Funnily enough cleaning khanjars is not as difficult as it seems ~ The quickest way is with a brass brush ! which sounds aggressive but its not as the brass bristles which are softer than silver only takes away the silver oxidation and polishes the silver without a scratch. See http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...=omani+khanjars

Sapun Rita.
The silversmith uses an enhanced method for example on stitched silver belts which are first cleaned in a solution called "sapun rita" (sapun means soap..see next para for how this is prepared) a smooth flat headed hammer is pressed firmly onto the silver decoration and pushed along the belt with moderate force...Burnished ... Cleaning the khanjar is a peculiar operation which sounds a bit majical ~

Sapun Rita is prepared by setting fire to a rita berry which when dropped into water disolves immediately forming a burnishing solution..into which the khanjar is dipped then brushed vigourously and given the mallet press treatment as above. It is a long lasting polish technique suited to filigree and needleworked silver stitching on Khanjar scabbard and belt.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 28th March 2017, 07:42 AM   #30
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I have cleaned hundreds of old tarnished silver pieces and I have tried almost all known methods except the exotic ones.
For lightly tarnished pieces the polishing cloth is the best.
For heavily tarnished pieces with the heavy black and brown patina which is not affected by the polishing cloth one may try a silver foam. But I find it pretty stinky, bad for hands and environment, and I find in this case the baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) the best solution which I apply with a wet cloth. I use the coarsest and the cheapest one which I buy at the local Russian shop and which is made in Belarus. The local German baking soda is much finer and works not as good. The piece has to be wiped afterwards with a wet cloth or washed if possible in a fresh water, and then wiped dry. The soda/foam residue if left in relief should be removed with a dry toothbrush. Afterwards the piece should be polished with a polishing cloth. As the end result one gets a great contrast between the raised shiny surface and the matt dark depressions.
For cleaning filigree pieces the toothpaste and the toothbrush are the best, but one should keep in mind that using the toothbrush will clean all the dark depressions as well which can lead to an expressionless resultů
If the patina was so heavy that it has damaged the surface like the rust on steel and the patina is affected neither by silver foam nor the baking soda, I take 0000 steel wool, and the polishing cloth afterwards. If there is a hard green residue in depressions one should use a brass brush for this area.
Preserving the shiny finish on the pieces is a problem. The thick wax layer is matt and it fills in the depressions. If the wax layer is thin the piece still darkens. I have tried the modern nano finish and it works well but it is very expensive. The easiest way is to keep the smaller jewelry pieces in a closed plastic bags. And for larger pieces like the swords on display use a polishing cloth again and again when needed.
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