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Protective film for polished metal.

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Robin Graham03/05/2021 23:39:44
822 forum posts
221 photos

I've been spending some time polishing brass lately. I would like to be able to protect finished parts (flat surfaces, nothing complicated) pending assembly. I had a look for protective film - the sort of stuff that you peel from metal sheets supplied as polished - but found only industrial-quantity suppliers.

Does anyone know where I could get small quantities? Or are there any suggestions for DIY alternatives? Obviously it's important that the film leaves no discernible residue when peeled off.

Robin.

Pete.04/05/2021 00:05:07
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509 forum posts
81 photos

Sticky back vinyl wrap should do you, if you're in the UK I could post you a small bit to try.

Keith Long04/05/2021 00:19:26
862 forum posts
11 photos

What about ordinary kitchen cling-film?

Paul Lousick04/05/2021 00:55:51
1724 forum posts
628 photos

I second the use of kitchen cling film. Not just for polished brass but steel as well to prevent rusting prior to painting. Also use it to wrap finished parts in to prevent scratches and dings.

DC31k04/05/2021 08:02:47
453 forum posts
1 photos

The generic search term is 'low tack protection film'. A small roll is available from Toolstation, product code 20527.

John Haine04/05/2021 08:03:58
3832 forum posts
222 photos

Renaissance Wax. Also for final polishing. Google is your friend.

Adam Mara04/05/2021 08:09:09
145 forum posts
10 photos

Application tape is probably the answer. Its a low tack adhesive paper used to hold vinyl lettering spacing in situ when applying to the final surface.. No good as a long term solution as the adhesive grips more over time! Lots for sale on Ebay, if you want a sample PM me!

mechman4804/05/2021 11:12:47
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2899 forum posts
450 photos

+1 for cling film; also try clear auto laquer/ hair spray, if SWMBO will let you use hers, can be easily removed using acetone ( nail polish remover ).

George.

JasonB04/05/2021 12:07:34
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Moderator
20473 forum posts
2269 photos
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I would be very wary of the protective films sold by the likes of Toolstation, Screwfix etc as I have found if left for an extended period of time will leave adhesive on the surface. Couple of weeks max is as long as I like to leave them down.

Bob Stevenson04/05/2021 12:37:36
504 forum posts
7 photos

....What Jason said!......you can try low tak airbrush film but my expereince has been that the adhesives are a problem with polished brass. I always store finished parts in plastic zip-lock bags with the air pushed out, inside a plastic box.

Ron Laden04/05/2021 13:54:25
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2190 forum posts
437 photos

ARC list MetalGuard, Ultra, not used it but it reads well.

Leaves a 2 micron clear film that does not yellow contains corrosion inhibitors for ferrous and yellow metal.

John Haine04/05/2021 15:20:47
3832 forum posts
222 photos

Let me reiterate my suggest of Renaissance wax. I doubt that any stick backed film would be suitable for the final assembly, but the surface will need just as much or more protection then.

**LINK**

This product is designed for the job, it works very well, no reason why it shouldn't be applied to the parts initially and another treatment when assembled. A small pot is not terribly expensive

Derek Lane04/05/2021 16:10:39
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429 forum posts
88 photos
Posted by John Haine on 04/05/2021 15:20:47:

Let me reiterate my suggest of Renaissance wax. I doubt that any stick backed film would be suitable for the final assembly, but the surface will need just as much or more protection then.

**LINK**

This product is designed for the job, it works very well, no reason why it shouldn't be applied to the parts initially and another treatment when assembled. A small pot is not terribly expensive

A very good product have used it many times it also prevents fingerprints showing on the item it is used on. If it is good enough for the British Museum then good enough for me.

As for "Not terribly expensive" a pot of 65ml about 10 years ago was about £11 and I still have 1/2 of that left as it does go a very long way

Robin Graham05/05/2021 00:11:50
822 forum posts
221 photos

Thanks for suggestions.

I had tried clingfilm - I couldn't get it to stick reliably. It is also quite thin at ~ 10μm.

I've used Renaissance wax for metal finishing, and it's good stuff I agree - but not really what I want here. Corrosion isn't the problem, it's a need to protect the work from the scratch demons which seem to inhabit my workshop. Or to put it another way, to protect the work from my sloppy and inconsistent practices.

I have MetalGuard from ARC - it's great for what it's meant for, but it's not what's needed here.

I had thought about painting or spraying with some sort of protective film, but then it has to be removed with a solvent, which would give further scope to the scratch demons.

It sounds like the vinyl transfer tape which Adam suggested might work. I had a look (I wasn't aware of the technology) and have ordered a roll. I went for the brand which had the most negative reviews for the intended purpose - 'not sticky enough'. It won't need it to be in place for more than a few days,

Many thanks to Pete and Adam for offering samples - very much appreciated, but I succumbed to the lure of 'Free delivery: Tomorrow. Order within 14 minutes'. So the stuff should be with me tomorrow - or later today, looking at the clock now.

Robin

Edited By Robin Graham on 05/05/2021 00:13:55

Edited By Robin Graham on 05/05/2021 00:14:43

Edited By Robin Graham on 05/05/2021 00:35:32

Edited By Robin Graham on 05/05/2021 00:50:23

Bazyle05/05/2021 00:50:00
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5864 forum posts
217 photos

I think a lot of people were thinking about oxidation as your problem but now you mention mechanical damage as the enemy.
Up to about 30 years ago the engineering company site where I worked still had about 100 people employed in machining, plating and planning support just for making prototypes before it got reduced to one cnc mill and outsourcing. Anyway every sample part you got from said machine shop, even if the next step was to hit it with a hammer, would come nicely wrapped in tissue paper then brown paper held with Sellotape. I think they must have had a special swarf free area to do the clean and wrap operation.
Raw material sheet Al came with one side protected by a self adhesive film, green for hard temper and blue for soft. Even after years this film pulled off without leaving a residue. Must be available somewhere.

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