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Refurbishing vintage mics

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joe k
Mar 07, 2009 1:58 AM GMT

Hi Gang,

Semi-pro harp player in Chicago. I've got a great and growing collection of vintage mics. I've been using a few of the HarmonicaSpace advertisers to rehab them regarding the electronics- particularly Blows Me Away Productiions. Greg is really on the job.

But I'd also like to shine up, burnish the mics as well. Does anyone have tips on products or methods to burnish vintage mics? My small butfab collectionruns the gamut: Shure 545s, Shure Commander,a couple of great EVs, etc. I'd like get them to glow a bit without damaging the surfaces.

Thanks in advance for any input.

Joe K

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Comments (4)

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Mar 07, 2009 2:10 AM GMT
Zack P Replied:

DO NOT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT, wait for others. But possibly VERY FINE Steel Wool? My Dad said it does, but not sure if it would work for this.

Mar 09, 2009 10:14 PM GMT
snakeman r Replied:

theres a product i use on my bikes called Pig Snot ,you can get it at any harley dealer or aftermarket bike shop ,

Apr 01, 2009 5:17 PM GMT
BlowsMeAwy Greg Replied:

It really depends on the finish to begin with. If it is chrome use metal polish. If it is paint then use the same techniques you use on a car. But if it is plated metal like the Shure 545, there is nothing you can do besides wash the dirt off with a rag and a little spray cleaner. That plating is really tough stuff. I've tried to sand it off and even sandpaper barely scratches the surface. Unfortunately it does sometimes lift and bubble from underneath. Nothing you can do except remove all the plating which requires machine tools - and then you have unplated zinc (same as you would have on most mics) - which can be shined like a mirror but will tarnish to a dull gray in a matter of minutes. So you could remove the plating and have it replated. That will cost you more than few good 545's off of eBay.


Apr 09, 2009 12:37 PM GMT
Brutus Maximus Replied:

I use #0000 steel wool and WD-40 to buff painted as well as plated finishes. The baked enamel finish on most old mics is tough stuff--you won't damage it with a light buffing. Old chrome and other plated finishes are also very durable.

One tip: CR and CM elements contain powerful magnets that will attract steel wool dust. It's tough to remove it once it gets on there. Much easier to keep the dust away from the element in the first place. Needless to say, don't breathe it, either.

Another tip: WD-40 is almost useless as a penetrating oil for rusty hardware, but it makes a dandy first-line solvent for cleaning old grime. Need to remove gummy label residue from something? Try letting a little shot of WD-40 soak on it for a few minutes. It's just strong enough to soften most goo and grime, but it won't damage most plastic or enamel finishes. Always test on a hidden area if you have any doubt about the durability of a finish.

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