View Full Version : Anti-Oxidation Protetion for Metal Parts

Brian Ellis
7-Sep-2005, 15:24
Having laboriously removed all the metal parts from my Kodak 2D and brough them to a very attractive bright semi-matte finish I'd like to keep them looking that way. Is there a lacquer or something similar that I could put on the metal to prevent it from oxidizing all over again in a few months? I vaguely recall that in college ROTC people used to put clear fingernail polish or something like that on military brass to avoid having to polish it all the time but it strikes me that there should be something better to use for the metal parts on a camera.

Bruce Watson
7-Sep-2005, 15:42
Depends on the metal. Aluminum doesn't usually need a coating since "clean" aluminum will oxidize in seconds in the atmosphere, and aluminium oxides are clear. Or, you could anodize aluminum to a wide variety of colors.

You can always plate brass with something hard and tough, like nickle. But the tried and true treatment for brass is clear lacquer (like they use on band instruments). This is probably what you want:


Stainless steel wouldn't need a coating usually.

Normal steels clearly need a coating, and there's lots to choose from, from black oxiding to blueing (like a gun). Still most of these will need oil to keep the rusting down. Alternatively, you could paint it which is surprisingly effective with steel.

Mark Sawyer
7-Sep-2005, 15:50
Lacquer is historically accurate to that time period, though I don't know if the 2D ever had it. If it's not a museum piece, I'd consider a clear coat as used over automotive paint. It will go on a bit thicker though, unless you find a way to thin it.

Mike Cockerham
7-Sep-2005, 15:50
Hi Brian

I have recently finished a Conley 5x7 and after buffing all of the nickel plated parts I coated them with a clear spray laquer. I am also looking for a back rail and 4x5 back.


I am now working on a Kodak View 2 that I am doing the same way. I still need to find a back rail and maby replace the bellows.


Brian Ellis
7-Sep-2005, 16:40
Thanks for the responses. I don't know what kind of metal is on the 2D. After cleaning it up with a brass polish it looks like brass so maybe that's what it is. But I don't know anything about metal, it could be some other metal underneath that has been plated or finished to look like brass.

Henry Ambrose
7-Sep-2005, 17:16
Try "baking lacquer" -- you apply it by spray or brush and then bake it in an oven to cure it. Most likely this is what would have been on the metal parts of your camera when it was made. Its also used on classic and antique firearms parts, usually color case-hardened metal which would rust with no coating.

Here is a link --- www.finish1.com/page_products_eco_11693.htm (http://www.finish1.com/page_products_eco_11693.htm)

I've never bought from this oufit before but I have used the Nikolas lacquer.

Jeffrey Sipress
7-Sep-2005, 19:52
Good answers, especially Bruce's. One other approach is to accelerate the oxidation and let that be the natural finish. That special 'patina' gives a very classic, antique look that will become part of the art of the camera. Collectors of copper and brass metalwork, such as from the arts & crafts, or "mission" era from the first part of the last century would never think of removing the beautiful patina that decades of handling and exposure have created. Besides, it would immediately devalue the object.

David G. Gagnon
7-Sep-2005, 20:14

Here is something that may be more than you're looking for. I've been looking at it lately, trying to decide if I want to buy a nickel plating kit to pretty up my Deardorff. You could buy the gold plating kit and it would still be the same color, without the tarnishing or flaking off of the lacquer that some have mentioned coating it with.

Here's the link http://www.caswellplating.com/kits/electroless.htm

Good luck!


Michael Jones
8-Sep-2005, 05:53

You can try a coat of Tung Oil. It is thin, clear and dries hard. It is impervious to most liquids when dry, but can be removed. The military used it to keep brass cartridges from corroding while in storage. It also makes an incredible finish on wood. Itís what I use on my refinished cameras and furniture.


ronald moravec
1-Dec-2005, 15:00
Laquered brass will eventually tarnish if you touch it. I used Nu-Finish Car finish onthe laquer as it is made to be used on laquered cars and still works on the clear coat cars.

The camera is 3+yeqrs old and looks like the day I got it.

Wipe it down after use and repolish as necessary.