Brightwork - any Bright Ideas? Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

Australian RR Forums » Small Horsepower » Brightwork - any Bright Ideas? « Previous Next »

Author Message
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Theo Whitmont
New User
Username: old_mate

Post Number: 30
Registered: 04-2020
Posted on Thursday, 01 April, 2021 - 14:22:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Gents - et all,

I have been concerned for some time about the state of the brightwork on the Old Girl.

I cant contemplate removing the radiator (which bears the scars of previous polishing attempts).

So I am hoping someone has had a good outcome polishing insitu.

I know nothing other than I can muck it up royally. All advice is welcome.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3907
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Thursday, 01 April, 2021 - 16:48:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Theo,

I am assuming the past polishing attempts have resulted in localised over-heating of the stainless steel radiator shell with consequent visible distortion and buckling of the radiator grille surround.

Unfortunately, the only way this distortion can be removed is by "stretcher levelling" to pull out the distortion of the flat surfaces however this is absolutely impossible for the classic R-R/B radiator shell.

My suggestion is for you to check the second-hand parts market for an unmolested radiator shell from a vehicle written-off for side and/or rear accident damage. Otherwise, you may have to resort to a specialist stainless steel fabricator who can hand-make a new shell using the traditional R-R hand fabrication techniques. I am assuming the shell is your major area of concern.

Please let me know the exact details of the condition of your radiator shell and I should be able to provide more specific advice from my early career as a stainless steel service metallurgist with the Commonwealth Steel Company where I often encountered this problem with various stainless steel products due to manufacturing misadventures and owner abuse.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Theo Whitmont
New User
Username: old_mate

Post Number: 31
Registered: 04-2020
Posted on Sunday, 04 April, 2021 - 23:12:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

David - Many thanks for your help on this.

Please see 2 pics that show scratches and swirls from previous polishing attempts and a nasty ding from who knows what.

Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated.

Many thanks.



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3909
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Monday, 05 April, 2021 - 08:54:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Theo,

I am certain I can help you here however I need to get some high resolution images of each damaged area to provide the relevant advice as the recovery techniques will vary depending on the location and severity of the scratching. I suggest an in-focus A4 image size with a resolution of at least 300dpi would be ideal for this purpose.

First starting point is you will have to remove the radiator shell from the vehicle as you need to be able to access the areas to be polished from all sides as it will be necessary to regularly change the direction of polishing during each stage of the polishing process. The key factor is you MUST avoid overheating of the surfaces during the entire polishing process as stainless steel has low thermal conductivity and it is easy to generate visible localised distortion from overheating which is very difficult or impossible to rectify afterwards.

I suggest it is a good idea to get your hands on some old stainless steel kitchen sinks and/or laundry tubs and use these to practice your polishing techniques before even thinking about starting on your radiator shell. The tools and materials required are fairly basic and not too expensive but their use requires absolute cleanliness and patience if the highest quality outcome is to be achieved. I will cover these aspects later for you.

The polishing process is a dirty operation and you need a work location that is both accessible and easy to clean up afterwards. Word of advice here, for this reason your garage is not a good location for this work. I suggest a cheap tent enclosure in the back yard that can be taken down and dumped afterwards should be considered. Also, you will look like a coal miner emerging from a mine after a shift underground as you will be covered in residues from the polishing compounds and "fluff" from the fabric polishing discs used during the various stages of the polishing process.

Above all, patience and a light touch are the necessary virtues to achieve a Rolls-Royce standard of finish. Plenty of practice on a couple of stainless steel sinks/laundry tubs before starting on your radiator shell is essential for this reason. I would not even contemplate starting on the radiator shell unless you have had plenty of practice and learnt from making mistakes with these test items.

If the above seems too complicated and risky for you, please message me through the forum with details of your location and, depending on your location, I may be able to suggest possible professional services who might be able to assist you.

P.S. Rectifying the "ding" on the front of the shell is fraught with problems as permanent stretching of the parent metal will be present and impossible to remove by the "shrinking" technique usually used by panel beaters faced with this form of damage. I suggest it should be left "as is" and regarded as a "patina" commensurate with the age and past history of the vehicle.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Theo Whitmont
New User
Username: old_mate

Post Number: 32
Registered: 04-2020
Posted on Tuesday, 06 April, 2021 - 21:53:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thanks David. Have messaged you via the forum as suggested.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

ChristopherCarnley
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 159.242.227.70
Posted on Wednesday, 07 April, 2021 - 00:26:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I agree with David regarding the dent.

The radiator is very heavy, and you may cause expensive damage in removing it.

(Message approved by david_gore)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3911
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 07 April, 2021 - 08:50:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Christopher,

I am assuming the entire cooling system would have been drained prior to removal of the radiator shell and core. Can these be separated on the vehicle before removal or does the entire radiator assembly have to be removed before dismantling?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

ChristopherCarnley
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 159.242.227.70
Posted on Wednesday, 07 April, 2021 - 18:32:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

David,

The whole of the radiator has to be removed.

Chris.

(Message approved by david_gore)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

JonasTrachsel
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 85.7.52.221
Posted on Wednesday, 07 April, 2021 - 18:34:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

An empty 20/25 HP radiator can be lifted from the chassis by a strong man standing on the valances. My guess is about 50 - 60 lbs. But if ever possible use a chain tackle block. This leaves one hand free to guide the radiator poast the headlamps and the fan.
JoT

(Message approved by david_gore)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3913
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 07 April, 2021 - 19:43:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Christopher and Jonas,

Thanks for this information - I will be visiting Theo while I am in Sydney next week to assess future rectification possibilities after having a close look at the radiator shell.

Hopefully, we can devise a suitable and, above all, workable rectification of what appears to be a very well-kept classic Rolls-Royce.

Regardless of the outcome, I will prepare and post a practical guide to mirror polishing stainless steel for this forum as I suspect this will be appreciated by custodians of Rolls-Royce and Bentley vehicles with "distressed" polished stainless steel radiator shells.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

ChristopherCarnley
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 159.242.227.70
Posted on Wednesday, 07 April, 2021 - 20:47:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

More like 150 lbs.

(Message approved by david_gore)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Dorien Berteletti
New User
Username: dorien

Post Number: 12
Registered: 01-2013
Posted on Wednesday, 07 April, 2021 - 22:31:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I've installed and removed these radiators.
I always use a hoist in my case an engine hoist but some sort of block and tackle would work. It's very heavy and the clearance down by the frame is minute so that putting it back in without damaging anything is very risky.
Dorien
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3914
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Thursday, 08 April, 2021 - 08:21:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thank you everyone for your contributions which I greatly appreciate and these will be very useful when I meet Theo in Sydney next week.

I will post the outcome[s] for your information afterwards.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Theo Whitmont
New User
Username: old_mate

Post Number: 33
Registered: 04-2020
Posted on Monday, 12 April, 2021 - 22:33:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Gents,

I can report that today I had the pleasure of a cup of tea on the back porch in the company of David Gore coupled with good conversation and quite a bit of learning.

David was kind enough to drop by and share his considerable knowledge on all things Rolls-Royce. We covered everything from spanner sets to jewellers rouge and much in between. Not to mention Bright Work.

You certainly cannot beat know-how born from experience. You Tube has nothing on the real thing!

Thank you for your interest and generosity David.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

ChristopherCarnley
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 77.234.43.143
Posted on Tuesday, 13 April, 2021 - 00:13:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

You didn,t get as low as ground pumice, or crushed oats, or slaked lime putty, then?

(Message approved by david_gore)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3915
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Tuesday, 13 April, 2021 - 09:05:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Christopher,

Here we rely on snake oil, unobtanium and bovine excreta!!!

Fortunately, Theo's problems were not as bad as I expected and the hardest parts will be the actual removal of the radiator shell to provide the access needed for proper mirror polishing and some time spent practicing on scrapped stainless steel products [my preference is a scrapped stainless steel kitchen sink for this purpose] if he decides to do the reclamation himself.

We also discussed bright chromium electroplating of lamp housings and other plated components requiring restoration and I will include a section on this in my forthcoming guide as this will also be very relevant to many custodians.

Fortunately, there are a number of professional stainless steel polishers in Sydney who I will need to check out beforehand if Theo decides discretion is the better part of valour however he will need help to remove and replace the radiator as our contributing members have advised.

Theo has a beautiful pre-WW2 classic Rolls-Royce that has been in his family for many years and is about to get further tender loving care during his custodianship.

I am about to start preparing a "go to" guide for mirror polishing stainless steel which I will make available to everyone through this forum.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Theo Whitmont
New User
Username: old_mate

Post Number: 34
Registered: 04-2020
Posted on Tuesday, 13 April, 2021 - 12:49:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Visiting Royalty

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3917
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Tuesday, 13 April, 2021 - 14:56:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Theo,

I have sent you a phone message re the BA sockets and spanners I overlooked mentioning as essential additions to your R-R maintenance tool box.

BTW - I have been called many things in my life but Royalty is a first .
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

ChristopherCarnley
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 159.242.227.40
Posted on Tuesday, 13 April, 2021 - 18:27:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Wonderful!

(Message approved by david_gore)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Geoff Wootton
Grand Master
Username: dounraey

Post Number: 2253
Registered: 05-2012
Posted on Wednesday, 14 April, 2021 - 03:50:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Great to see you looking so good after your health scare last year David.

I love RR cars from the 30s era - is it a 20/25?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3918
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 14 April, 2021 - 08:32:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thanks Geoff,

Yes, it is a 20/25, Theo mentioned it has been in his family for a considerable period of time and it was passed down to him by his father.

I am still living proof only the good die young!! In fact, I feel the best I have been for at least 20 years thanks to the miracle of modern medical technology.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Geoff Wootton
Grand Master
Username: dounraey

Post Number: 2254
Registered: 05-2012
Posted on Wednesday, 14 April, 2021 - 09:33:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Great News David
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Theo Whitmont
New User
Username: old_mate

Post Number: 35
Registered: 04-2020
Posted on Wednesday, 14 April, 2021 - 10:05:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Geoff,

The car was purchased by my Grandad - not sure of the actual date but certainly he was zipping around in it by 1972, then my dad had her for 30 or so years keeping her on the road and holding back the ravages of time. Now she lives with me and is undergoing a more concerted buff and fluff. Her engine was rebuilt last year and I have taken on projects in all directions. Improvements with upholstery, chrome, paint work, electrics, veneers, waterproofing.... the list goes on. The progress has been satisfying if somewhat slow. The most enjoyable part of it has been the support and assistance received from the good folks in this forum and RROCA (NSW). There is plenty more to do as time and budget permits.

1934 20/25
GYD15
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Geoff Wootton
Grand Master
Username: dounraey

Post Number: 2255
Registered: 05-2012
Posted on Wednesday, 14 April, 2021 - 14:17:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Theo

It certainly is a superb car - well worth all the effort. One thing I've realised with any classic or vintage car is there's no end point - they all require constant work and attention, albeit at a leisurely pace. I find carrying out the workshop improvements as satisfying as driving them.

It occurs to me that it must be great to have this family heirloom, passed down through the generations.

Thanks for the info.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

ChristopherCarnley
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 5.62.43.230
Posted on Wednesday, 14 April, 2021 - 19:34:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Going back to the bad old days, before Harry Brearley, when all cutlery was made from carbon steel, ladies would spend Sunday afternoon cleaning the stains and rust off with "crocus powder", a coarser form of ferric "rouge". It had a purple colour, but no one knows anything about it now.

Fine glass paper is also known a crocus paper.

Also in the bad old days, a whole family could spend 16 hours a day weaving cloth at home, on a loom very often owned by the warehouse master to the sound of the shuttle, "Poverty, poverty knock, my loom is singing all day"!

If a weaver actually owned a loom with its pair of gears, it was the only thing of value that he could bequeath to his son, hence "heir loom".

Also in the very bad old days of Ancient Rome, they had small bronze (no zinc at all) patens, or libation bowls which turned a green colour in urban locations, i.e.,basic copper carbonate.

This then turned into the word for sheen or signs of use (like wrinkles) on all sorts of old tat, to make it seem better than it was.

Hence the hackneyed term "patination" meaning "age" at this time.

(Message approved by david_gore)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3919
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 14 April, 2021 - 21:07:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Christopher,

I took Latin and French as language subjects in high school and I remember having to translate extracts from Julius Caesar's book "Cassivellanus" for my Intermediate Certificate. From distant memory, "patina" translated into English as being a shallow dish.

Your comment about them being made from Bronze would be correct as is your comment about the green coating that appeared over time from carbonate contaminants in the food and drink placed into the bowls and probably left there for some time before the bowls were rinsed ready for their next use. No detergents let alone mechanical dishwashers in those days, only slaves for the rich to do the household chores.

At some time in the distant past, the original Latin meaning was corrupted and began to be used to refer to a thin colour layer on the surface of an object.

The story of Harry Brearley's "discovery" of stainless steel came about when he was experimenting with steel alloys that could be used to make knives that would hold an edge but not rust like the high carbon steels traditionally used for making knives. He made a high Chromium, high Nickel alloy steel but found it would not harden when quenched and tempered like a traditional carbon steel knife. Disappointed with the outcome, Brearley stuck the knives into a pot plant and promptly forgot about them.

A considerable time later, he remembered these knives and when he pulled them out of the plant pot he was amazed to see they had not rusted away like an ordinary knife would and still had the bright metal appearance they had when they were originally made. He gave the new alloy the name "stainless steel" and the rest is history.

The name "stainless steel" became my nemesis during my career as a metallurgist when "stainless" steel proved not to be stainless in specific corrosive environments. I always referred to this class of steel as "corrosion resisting" steel for this reason.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

ChristopherCarnley
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 5.62.43.159
Posted on Thursday, 15 April, 2021 - 00:47:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Actually, a paten was/is the small libation bowl used for "pagan" religious ceremonies, and today it holds the "host" i.e. wafer in the Eucharist.
Language is very fluid, Chambers has 6 pronunciations for "kilometre" and 2 for "quinoa". Why people insist on "tumeric" for "turmeric" is a bit beyond me.

Unlike tin,(Cornish) metallic zinc was unknown of until about 1700 although metallic ores were roasted together to make a poor quality brass several thousand years ago.
So bronze it is, and what did Julius Caesar know anyway, the very gall of it!

Harry Brearley in Sheffield, was working at the time when large naval type guns were wire wound around a gun tube, sometimes as much as 125 miles of it. This was before pierced forging techniques were developed.
He decided to work with adding chromium to give better wearing and corrosion resistance, but his experiments failed.
The alloy steel would not permit nitric or picric acid etching so he could not get any metallophotos to show the microstructure. As the story goes, he threw them into the scrap but noticed that even in the polluted Sheffield air, the samples did,nt rust.
I like my stories.
Being a bit of a tight wad and aware of all the rubbish out there, I bought a 1930,s canteen of stainless steel, Sheffield made cutlery from ebay for 35.00 as all my old ones were clearly from Noah's ark, hand forged from ancient blister steel, with ox bone handles.
Only the knife blades were Firths stainless, all the spoons and forks are stamped, wait for it. Stainless Nickel. Not nickel plate, solid nickel.

(Message approved by david_gore)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3921
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Thursday, 15 April, 2021 - 11:26:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Christopher,

The role and story of Metallurgy started with Agricola's "De Re Metallica" first published in 1556 one year after his death:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_re_metallica

Unfortunately some of the very early techniques circa 800AD left a lot to be desired such as live Nubian slaves reportedly being stabbed to death with a red hot sword blade to harden the famed "Damascus" sword blades.

I was told the Brearley story by the chief metallurgist at Comsteel who gained his qualifications and worked at Firth-Vickers in Sheffield and he had known Harry Brearley before emigrating to Australia post-WW2.

The pot plant information came from him; stainless steel scrap has a very limited life before ending up in a furnace for remelting whereas the pot plant allowed the samples to rest in peace for an extended period which allowed their resistance to corrosion to be discovered with the passage of time.

Sheffield cutlery always had a good reputation and a traditional wedding present in Australia post-WW2. I received a set of Australian-made stainless steel cutlery for my marriage in 1972 but it had a connection to Sheffield through the knowledge transferred from Sheffield to Comsteel Newcastle NSW by several specialist alloy and stainless steel metallurgists recruited from the UK prior to and after WW2.

I would like to see a photo of your cutlery set plus your pun on Julius Caesar amused me greatly as very few people today would pick up the connection as you need a knowledge of the classic languages.

Add Your Message Here
Post:
Bold text Italics Underline Create a hyperlink Insert a clipart image

Username: Posting Information:
This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Please quote Chassis Numbers for all vehicles mentioned.
Password:
E-mail:
Action: