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Mike M
01-06-2008, 10:21 AM
I have a couple batches of cast bullets with a white powder on them. I tried just ignoring it, but my customer noticed and made an inquiry, so I went back and scrubbed, the stuff was stubborn. The best way I found to get it off was CLR and a brush, but it was still stubborn.

Any recommendations? I just opened two more boxes and I have more of this white dust on the fixtures. The boxes were sealed well, I assume it's from the foundry.

Lite4
01-06-2008, 11:51 AM
Mike,
It is an efflorescence coming out of the brass from the foundry process. Cast always tells you to tell your customer to expect it for a couple months and then it goes away (supposedly). I have had to scrub it myself. It seems to hang around longer than you would expect.

pete scalia
01-06-2008, 12:04 PM
I have a couple batches of cast bullets with a white powder on them. I tried just ignoring it, but my customer noticed and made an inquiry, so I went back and scrubbed, the stuff was stubborn. The best way I found to get it off was CLR and a brush, but it was still stubborn.

Any recommendations? I just opened two more boxes and I have more of this white dust on the fixtures. The boxes were sealed well, I assume it's from the foundry.

white powder? Don't do a thing call the local police and tell them you know nothing about this and that they came out of the box that way. If your lucky you may only serve 5-10. No prob you can do the time standing on your head. They get you on conspiracy and your looking at a long stretch my friend.

Pro-Scapes
01-06-2008, 12:29 PM
mike if you leave them alone being that close to saltwater it should only last a few months. I have one that the bronze darkened nice within 3 months and another I sprayed with wd40 that still turned white and is white a year later.

Coastal like you are they should darken rather quickly then verdi due to the salt.

Amonia and vinegar will patina them. Add salt to the mix if you want green.

I explain they will white over for a couple of months then darken naturally. Sell them on the natural finish of the product. In our experience trying to hinder this natural occurance is useless.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-06-2008, 01:13 PM
I have been using some CAST bullet uplights for the past couple of seasons and have found that same white powder shows up on the fixtures immediately after the installation. It is unsightly and it does stick around longer then anyone would like. It has bothered me enough that I am now going to probably switch fixtures again.

It seems to be an issue only with the CAST "Bronze"/Brass fixtures. I have used machined and raw brass fixtures from other manufacturers and there is no issue with any such white powder. The raw brass INTEGRAliter is the perfect example. So Steve P. what is up with the material CAST is using?

Thankfully most of my bullet uplights are well hidden from the view of the client. When I am installing fixtures like this in ornate gardens or near foot traffic, I tend to opt for a more attractive fixture like the Vista, Nightscaping, or Lumiere lines.

ChampionLS
01-06-2008, 01:37 PM
Go buy a cheap sandblaster from Northern Tool, Harbor Freight or even the big box stores. I would use simple sand..nothing too abrasive (bagged play sand). Mask off the lens with electrical tape, and remove any rubber parts..o rings etc. a few seconds with it and it will look brand spanking new. I've done this many times. Works well on any metal too.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-06-2008, 01:46 PM
Or better yet, just buy fixtures that don't get a white powdery film coating them for a year or more after installation! K.I.S.S.

irrig8r
01-06-2008, 04:31 PM
white powder? Don't do a thing call the local police and tell them you know nothing about this and that they came out of the box that way. If your lucky you may only serve 5-10. No prob you can do the time standing on your head. They get you on conspiracy and your looking at a long stretch my friend.

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

Mike M
01-06-2008, 05:28 PM
[B]It is an efflorescence coming out of the brass from the foundry process. Cast always tells you to tell your customer to expect it for a couple months and then it goes away (supposedly).[/B

Nobody told me this, and I thought I read most of the promotional material and installation instructions. Not really a prob, as long as I am educated about it and expect it now. James is right though about close-up and exposed installations in gardens, etc.

So how does anyone feel about copper bullets?

ChampionLS
01-06-2008, 11:00 PM
So how does anyone feel about copper bullets?


I'm green with Envy. lol

Pro-Scapes
01-06-2008, 11:20 PM
it does definatly go away.. sandblasting is not a great idea. Too time consuming and your not going to sand blast someones fixtures. I dont install fixture to have to refinish them.

Make sure your clients know what to expect and are fine with the period of time it takes for the white to disapear. It will vary depending on the enviorment.

You could always pre patina casts as well at your shop before installing them

James.. the white your seeing on your casts is a natural phenomenon in your area called SNOW lol just kidding.

seolatlanta
01-06-2008, 11:48 PM
Hey Mike

the Cast rep is coming to see me tomorrow and I will ask him. I was told the CLR you mentioned would work when applied once the fixtures turned white.

It is the zinc oxidizing out of the bronze-thats what I had been told a while back.

I will let you know.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-07-2008, 12:26 AM
Hey Mike

the Cast rep is coming to see me tomorrow and I will ask him. I was told the CLR you mentioned would work when applied once the fixtures turned white.

It is the zinc oxidizing out of the bronze-thats what I had been told a while back.

I will let you know.

I will probably get blasted for this but here goes. CLR is one of the most toxic domestic cleaning agents available on the market. It should not be used in an open environment and it should not be 'flushed down the drain' so to speak. It should only be used in a situation where you can contain the 'runoff' and used product, then re-bottled and taken to a household hazzardous waste station for disposal. The original bottle should also be taken there. You should take care to wear gloves when using the product as well. I learned this while training as a residential environmental inspector some 15 yrs or so ago.

Or, if you just don't give a darn for our environment, continue to spray it all over everything just as they show in the commercials and don't think of it again.

Have a great day.

Lite4
01-07-2008, 12:34 AM
I always figuired it was pretty caustic but have not been able to find anything that compares. Has anyone tried simple green? I know it is non toxic, but like most non toxic products, it probably doesn't work worth a darn. I am all for something friendlier to the grass and plants that are around the fixtures I have to clean.

seolatlanta
01-07-2008, 12:42 AM
Did I say anything about spraying it out in an open environment. maybe the best way to do it would be to apply it to one fixture and see if the desired effect takes place and then plan how to apply it to the others. THAT IS IF IT EVEN WORKS! that is also even if you have to do it as a last resort for the customer as they may not want a bunch of white fixtures across their yard

I know I dont post here much , but respect me enough to know that myself or any professional would know better than to spray this all over someones yard.

Now I remember why I dont post much anymore....

Eden Lights
01-07-2008, 12:45 AM
I brush my teeth with simple green and just skip the mouthwash.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-07-2008, 01:01 AM
I wasnt accusing anyone of anything, just letting you all know about the nasty stuff that is CLR. The last line of my post was not aimed at you David, it was a rant against the way they show CLR being used in the commercials.

pete scalia
01-07-2008, 01:04 AM
I wasnt accusing anyone of anything, just letting you all know about the nasty stuff that is CLR. The last line of my post was not aimed at you David, it was a rant against the way they show CLR being used in the commercials.

You drive a prius by chance?

Mike M
01-07-2008, 06:40 AM
Cast recommends a wire brush. I used one made for brass clock parts, way too gentle.

Yeah, CLR is marketed for use on drains, tubs, etc.

Maybe we can find some zinc-eating microbes.

steveparrott
01-07-2008, 08:38 AM
A method that many use to remove the whte zinc oxide is to scour the bronze with a wire brush or course steel wool. Wipe clean, then apply WD-40 and rub in with a cloth. This leaves the bronze a nice dark penny brown.

The WD-40 will delay the patina process (to blue-green), but most clients are very happy with the dark penny bronze.

Mike M
01-14-2008, 05:05 PM
I returned to a job that I just did on Friday, and the bronze bullets were covered in the white residue. It was so bad on a couple, that the lenses needed to be cleaned from milky mud.

Is this something new from their new foundry, or has this always occurred with the bronze fixtures?

Thanks,

Mike M

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-14-2008, 05:15 PM
Mike, I noticed that this year the CAST Bronze bullets had much more white residue on them then in the past. It really is unsightly and unfortunate. I have stopped using these fixtures in any application where they can be easily seen for this reason.

Have a great day.

Mike M
01-14-2008, 08:12 PM
James, maybe we need to throw them in our tubs for a day, get them to clean out like live clams. :laugh: