cleaning a satin nickel 1911

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by steve22328, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. steve22328

    steve22328 New Member

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    I have a series 70 government model in satin nickle. I have owned and used it since the early 80's the finish is still in good condition but dull. Any suggestion as to cleaning/brighting it up. I had seen one the owner had buffed and I think he ruined any value it had as collectors piece. I have tried soaps like simple green with moderate success. Has anyone tried sonic cleaning or chemical process?
  2. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

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    Buffing is OK i just has to be right speed, right wheel and right compound. Nickel does not react well to high speed buffers so a slower one with higher torque is better. I have a 12 inch Jet buffer that I work with using flannel loose wheels and a blue compound specifically made for plated metals. I've seen people use flitz but that stuff can leave streaks in the finish if used with too much pressure. Inspect the gun closely beforehand, any raised area or cracks can be a indication of whats to come.
  3. steve22328

    steve22328 New Member

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    Thanks for the response Helix, the one I saw buffed was probably done incorrectly. The high spots of the satin texture were shinny/glossy with the rest
    the matte finish still dull. Not the desirable look it once had. Finish restoration is what I would like to have done if it is not cost prohibtive. Has anyone had this done? Or know of someone who does this kind of work.
  4. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

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    Sounds like they tried in different spots using different material. Can't use a dremel or anything like that. The wheels I use like I said are 12 inches in diameter and 4 inches wide. Takes practice and finesse. I do finish recovery work all the time. I got a colt python that someone badly burned with a buffer and they gave up. It has to be completely re-plated to bring it back to new. I can post pictures if you like.
  5. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

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    SATIN nickel, not bright nickel!
    Please don't buff a satin finish. They were sandblasted before plating to give them the satin finish. Buffing will destroy the finish altogether.
  6. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

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    Your right Bill, didnt even see that. No buffy buffy on them. Blasting is the best way to get a even finish. Gotta be real careful though, thin spots in the nickel will expose the steel in the white which will obviously ruin the finish but will blotch the overall look. Nickel has a more yellowish ting to it over the carbon steel. Good catch Bill:eek:
  7. steve22328

    steve22328 New Member

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    Thanks guy's, I have buffed enough fiberglass in my day, shinny wasn't the original look and not what i'm intrested in either. The porousness of the SATIN over the last 30 years of use and cleaning has asorbed poweder residue and normal grime. Not that my pistol is dark or nasty I was wondering if electrosonic cleaning or a chemical bath would brighten her up. If it would take replating to acomplish the task I wouldn't want to replace the patina of the original finish. That would probably devalue the gun. If anyone else has had any success in this area i would love to hear from you.
  8. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

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    Those guns were never really bright. You might try an ultrasonic with mild detergent.
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