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Need Help Cleaning a Lock

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mister sour

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Post Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:31 am

Need Help Cleaning a Lock

I bought this off of ebay and it needs some refurbishing. Anyone have any tips for me? I need to get it back to "Like-New" condition for resale. I believe it has paint on it and the brass is a little tarnished. The lock mechanism functions perfectly... Thank Gawd! Thanks Much<------SOUR
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ChemicalRobot

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Post Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:39 am

Re: Need Help Cleaning a Lock

Maybe very very fine-grit emery cloth to get rid of the surface impurities and then apply Brasso to bring back the brass to a nice shine?
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MBI

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Post Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:06 am

Re: Need Help Cleaning a Lock

What kind of lock is that? It doesn't look familiar.

Locks with a brass finish generally have a plastic, laquer or epoxy coating to protect the finish. A lot of big-box stores sell their cheapie locks that say "Lifetime Warranty" then in small print it will say that the warranty is only against tarnishing and that scratches will void the warranty. The reason your lock is tarnishing in blotches is that the oxidation is seeping in through every scratch and ding in that coating. If you want to make that lock look like new again you'll have to sand or buff that finish off the entire outer surface, because a lot of that tarnish is under the coating and won't just polish off. Also, after that coating is removed it will be rather susceptible to tarnishing again since the coating will be gone. Probably not worth the effort unless the lock in question is particularly nice or valuable.

Also the door hardware attached to that lock looks like the typical Home Depot variety in that it's basically disposable, as opposed to serviceable. If any parts are worn in that bolt, it's not worth fixing. Unless you're only doing it for the experience and the fun of it, just throw it away and put a new one on it. When I was a kid I had a lot of fun reconditioning, repairing and putting back into service old locks like that. I'd dismantle them entirely and cannibalize other broken locks and door hardware to get them running again. That's where I started learning about locks. I also learned that if it's one of those disposable locks the door hardware tended to wear out and quit working again relatively quickly, no matter how good and careful a job I did.

But if you decide it's worth the effort to refurbish, good luck. I hope it turns out nice.
Last edited by MBI on Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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the lockpickkid

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Post Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:08 am

Re: Need Help Cleaning a Lock

ChemicalRobot wrote:Maybe very very fine-grit emery cloth to get rid of the surface impurities and then apply Brasso to bring back the brass to a nice shine?


Don't use emery cloth, it will be all scratched up. Just use the Brasso, that will be good enough. As far as the paint, if it won't scrap off with a plastic knife, there is this stuff we sell in the hardware store, it's called Dad's paint remover, I swear, it will take paint off of anything. Use that, then the Brasso. By the way, what kind of lock is that? Looks like the old style Schlage.
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mister sour

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Post Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:37 am

Re: Need Help Cleaning a Lock

This lock is an industrial arrow deadbolt w/ a sargent cylinder. It's rather beefy and stout. Might just fix this up for fun. It would be nice to restore but might not be worth it. I have also learned that if the cost/time and effort out-weighs the cost to replace it, then dont do it. But still, it might help me gain some additional skills... I'm kinda torn right now...
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mdc5150

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Post Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:11 am

Re: Need Help Cleaning a Lock

Anyone know how to give it an oil-rubbed bronze look? I think it would look nice that way and would do a better job of hiding the impurities on the surface.
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Scrince

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Post Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:08 am

Re: Need Help Cleaning a Lock

You will need Brasso or Never-Dul and a dremel with a polishing bit maby a few to clean it up really nice. And I might add a little oul so everything is working smoothly.
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dll932

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Post Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Need Help Cleaning a Lock

That's a decent lock. I would say first remove the cylinder so it doesn't get gunked up. Next, there's this stuff called Airplane Remover, a high strength paint remover-go over it with that or similar, because with the lacquer still on it can't be properly refinished. After the lacquer is off (and it may even take fine steel wool), it can be polished. After polishing, clean it with acetone to get whatever oil or compound is left and spray with clear urethane varnish. This should come close to duplicating the original finish, or at least look lots better. To keep it looking good, occasionally car wax it and clean of the skin oil and dirt with a damp, soapy cloth (not Windex-it'll eventually ruin the finish).

I know this is way late but maybe it'll be useful to someone. We used to send old solid brass hardware out to be polished and plated and it came back like new.

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