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Topic: First Brass Cups, lacquer?
Message: Posted by: skyfire (Apr 24, 2013 07:30PM)
I just received my first Brass Cups today, they are the Bazar de Magia cups and balls. I am so on the fence on just letting them go and age and hope for the best, or try to keep up their shine. But I know I may not stay up on the shining long term. So I have read in here that one option is to Lacquer the cups, and they may keep their shine for a long time.

Is Lacquering something that can be done easy enough to just pick it up at Home Depot and go at it? If so any recommendations? I read something earlier about the need to clean or degrease the cups also. Does anyone know of a site I can go to that either has a step by step process, or even a video showing the steps?

I imagine some in here prefer to just let the cups age.

Thanks...
Message: Posted by: AGMagic (Apr 24, 2013 09:38PM)
Clean your cups with lacquer thinner before spraying. Spray lacquer from HD should be fine but temperature is sometimes a problem. The cups and lacquer should be the same temperature and probably above 70 - 75 degrees. Use light coats of lacquer and follow instructions on the can re. re-coating. Finally, if they don't come out the way you like, just take some fresh lacquer thinner and a clean rag and wipe them off to try again, or not.
Message: Posted by: professorwhut (Apr 25, 2013 09:44AM)
Yea, I like my cups to age. I actually took off the lacquer from a set of copper cups.
However, brass seems to age differently than copper. I have a set of Johnson cups, which are brass.

It took a long time for the brass cups to look decent. They aged very inconsistently and seemed very sticky to the touch.
Which was not very desirable. They are acceptable now, but still not age as nice as my copper cups.

I have used lacquer and varnish quite a bit on wood, not so much on any metals.
Like AGMagic stated, LIGHT COATS is going to be important. Try and spray them in an area where there is not a lot of dust flying around.
Once you clean them (before spraying), place them on a dowel rod, so you don't have to touch them again.

best of luck
Message: Posted by: Jon Blakeney (May 6, 2013 09:22PM)
I have a set of the cups you are talking about,I found that once a patina had built up on the cups
it made the showing of the ball vanished from the top of a cup a lot more risky because the cup would not slide as easily
against the bottom cup, (showing a ball has vanished between two nested cups )it caused way to much friction.
A polished set of cups makes this move so much smoother.

Personally I think varnishing cups is way to troublesome for everyday use and is better suited to the display of cups.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 11, 2013 12:55PM)
Lacquering the cups is often an exercise in futility. Ordinary lacquer will chip, and eventually the unprotected areas where the chipping occurs will tarnish. Then you have to remove all the lacquer and repeat the process.

If you MUST lacquer the cups, then make a spray booth from a large cardboard box. This will keep dust, etc. from settling on the cups while they are drying.

You may find that applying Renaissance Wax™ to the cups is a better solution. It keeps the oxygen from reaching the surface, and it is much easier to reapply. It's not cheap, but a little goes a long way. You can get Renaissance Wax™ from Rockler™, Woodcraft Supply™ and other similar places.
Message: Posted by: JESmagic (May 25, 2013 11:48PM)
I use two different types of lacquer on my cups--depending on what I am going for. Both lacquers were designed for professional application (ie not from Home Depot) and are used to lacquer brass musical instruments.

The first lacquer is a more traditional lacquer that has been formulated for high impact resistance and good moisture protection. I use this on cups that I have applied a chemical patina because if there is poor application on one of the cups, I can simply apply lacquer thinner (which doesn't effect the chemical patina) and start over

The second type of lacquer I use is an Epoxy bake lacquer. This is what many high end musical instruments have applied because of its durability, resistance to chipping, and superior barrier against moisture. It is fairly easy to apply-- albeit, not as easy as the more traditional lacquer. After a 10 minute flash time, it is baked for a chemical cure. Once cured, it cannot be removed with lacquer thinner, MEK, acetone or anything of the such. In order to get it off, you must actually use Aircraft Stripper which contains methylene chloride--nasty stuff. I use the epoxy bake lacquer on my polished cups because of the durability. This product is very similar to the Magipoxy that Rings and Things applied to their cups over 30 years ago. I have a few sets that have been magipoxied, and to this day there is no chipping, or blemishing.