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Copper and Brassware 2
Early American Tea Kettle showing Northern European Influence
 from the collection of Beth Maxwell Boyle

How To Make Copper and Brass Cleaner
Use these easy instructions to combine common household ingredients to make your own copper, brass, and bronze cleaner.
1.   Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.
2.   Stir in the liquid ingredients. Mix well.
3.   Transfer the cleaning mixture to a glass jar. Close the jar tightly and label it.
4.   To use the cleaner, shake a small amount onto a cloth and rub it into the surface of the copper, brass, or bronze object. Use a toothbrush for hard-to-reach areas. Rinse with water and rub dry with a clean cloth.
What You Need:
1/2 c flour
1/2 c salt
1/2 c powdered detergent
3/4 c white vinegar
1/4 c lemon juice
1/2 c very warm water
measuring cups
quart jar with lid

16th Century Coppersmith

I make my own cleaner for copper often but my favorite method for cleaning copper and brass is using Never Dull.  It works on very stubborn tarnish.  Sometimes you have to do it a couple times and rise with hot water in between if the item is very darkly tanished.  There are no abrrasives in Nevr-Dull so it won't scratch you fine wares.  Just follow the directions on the can.

Never Dull Metal Polish consists of a unique non-scratching wadding impregnated with a special polishing solution. It is perfect for cleaning and polishing brass, aluminum, nickel, pewter, silver, copper, steel, chromium, zinc, and gold. It safely removes rust, tarnish, fingerprints, and more.

Quiringh van Brekelenkam, Koperslager, 1654

Date: Wed, 03 Feb 1999 10:24:25 -0800
From: John Palmer <jjpalmer at gte.net>
Subject: Re: Use of Copper in Brewing

Ryan asks a legitimate question about the FDA's general prohibition on
the use of copper in the food industry. (Their policy being a warning
not to use it because it will dissolve in acidic foods and cause copper
Beer and Wort are an exception to behavior of copper in acidic foods.
(The metallurgical reason being the difference between oxidizing and
non-oxidizing acids.)(beer and wort are non-oxidizing) When the FDA
formulated their policy several years ago, Jim Nabors of the Association
of Brewers contacted me to put together some reference material to
present to the FDA to make an exception for the brewing industry. I
don't know if the FDA ever took the recommendation and incorporated it
or not.
While copper is readily dissolved by acidic foods such as tomato sauce,
wort and beer do not dissolve it (although copper oxides are). As long
as you keep your copper wort chillers and brew kettles clean (not shiny,
but clean) the copper will develop a dull patina that will be inert to
the beer and wort. After use you should only rinse or at most use a mild
detergent to release any organic residue. Only use acidic cleaners like
vinegar if you have to clean the item to bare metal. Never use caustic
cleaners like bleach, they will blacken the copper with oxides that will
readily dissolve into the wort, which could raise the copper levels
enough to impair the yeast or cause poisoning.
There has never been a documented case of copper poisoning associated
with brewing or it would be noted in a medical reference on Copper that
I have.
Hopefully this about covers it,
Any questions, just ask.
John Palmer
metallurgist and brewer currently employed in the medical device

Books and Papers on Copper

Early American Copper Tin and Brass, by Henry J. Kauffman. 108 Pages. Softbound

The Art of Coppersmithing, by John Fuller, Sr.. 327 Pages. Softbound.

Art of Coppersmithing A Practical Treatise on Working Sheet Copper, 352 pages

Antique Brass & Copper Identification & Value Guide by Mary Frank Gaston

Metalwork in Early America: Copper and Its Alloys from the Winterthur Collection~Henry Francis Du Pont Winterthur Museum , George J. Fistrovich , Du Pont Winterthur Museum , by  Donald L. Fennimore

Collecting Antique Copper and Brass by Peter Hornsby

Early American Copper, Tin and Brass: Hand-Crafted Metalware from Colonial Times (Henry Kauffman Collection) (Henry Kauffman Collection)  by Henry J. Kauffman

Civilization and copper: The Codelco Collection by Alexander Liebbrandt

Copper work: An illustrated text book for teachers and students in the manual art By Augustus F. Rose

Coppersmithing in Pennsylvania: Being a treatise on the art of the eighteenth century coppersmithing, together with a description of his products and his establishments (Projections of liberty)  by Henry Joseph Kauffman

 Signed gooseneck American copper tea kettles: A pictorial dictionary (Research department working paper) by Don Horvath

Illustrated catalogue and price list of copper weather vanes and finials manufactured by J.W. Fiske, 1875 (Special bibliography series) by J. W Fiske

Copper work;: A text book for teachers and students in the manual arts, (Periods of European history, period VIII) by Augustus F. Rose

‘An Introduction to Brass’, E. Turner, HMSO London, 1982, 48pp.  ISBN  0 11 290376 2

‘Antique Brass and Copper – Identification and Value Guide’, M F Gaston, Collector Books, Kentucky, 1996, 206pp.

 ‘The Art of Bronze, Brass and Copper’, J. Diviš, Hamlyn English Edition, 1991, 240pp, ISBN 0 600 57268 4.

‘The Arthur Negus Guide to Pewter, Copper and Brass’, P. Horsby, Hamlyn, 1981, 176pp, ISBN 0 600 342174 4

‘The Brass Book’, P. N. and H. Schiffer, Schiffer Publishing, 1978, 446pp  ISBN 0 916838 17 X.

 ‘Brass and Brassware’ D. J. Eveleigh, Shire Publications1995, 32pp.  ISBN 0 7478 0274 2

‘Collecting Antique Metalware’, Hamlyn Publishing Group, 1974, 191pp  ISBN 0-385-05197-2.

‘Chats on Old Copper and Brass’, F W Burgess, 1914, revised C G E Blunt, Ernest Benn Ltd 1954, 184pp.

‘Collecting Copper and Brass’ P. Hornsby,. Moorland Publishing, 1989, 286pp, ISBN 0 86190 118 5

‘Collecting Copper and Brass’ G Wills, Arco Handybooks, 1962, 157pp

‘Domestic Metalwork 1640-1820’, R. Gentle and R. Field, Antique Collectors Club, 1994, New Edition 1975, 453pp.  ISBN 1 85149 187 2.

‘Early American Copper, Tin and Brass’, H. J. Kauffman, Astragal Press, 1995, 112pp (but some copies may lack pp 108 onwards)  ISBN 1 879335 62 X

‘Metalware Price Guide’, M E Dragonwick, Antique Trade Books, 1995, 232pp  ISBN 0 930625 39 0


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