cleaning bronze

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mike M, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,955

    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.
     
  2. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,143

    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.
     
  3. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 960

    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.
     
  4. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,180

    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.
     
  5. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    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.
     
  6. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,066

    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.
     
  7. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    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.
     
  8. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,535

    :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:
     
  9. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,955

    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?
     
  10. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,066


    I'm green with Envy. lol
     

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