Removing Scratches from pins

Discussion in 'Pin Guides & FAQs' started by iamdisneydan, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. iamdisneydan

    iamdisneydan The Bald Guy In The Back DPF Charter Member

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    First off, let’s define what a scratch is versus a crater like the Grand Canyon. Normal wear on a pin or light scratches such as when they rub together can be polished out relatively easy.

    What you have to understand is that we (you) will not only be polishing the scratch but the entire area around it. The idea is to bring the surface area around the scratch down to the relief level or depth of the scratch.

    Some scratches or grooves are sometimes too deep to fix. You have to remember you are taking a small amount of surface area off. Now don’t panic, when you wax your car, each time you are removing some paint but in almost non-measurable amounts.

    For the record, we are talking about hairline and minor scratches anywhere from a few 10,000th’s of an inch to a few 1000th’s. Of an inch.

    NOTE:***** Some pins are not all enamel or Cloisonné’ and actually have screened images or print on them. A great example is the WDI Name Badges.
    I have a friend who just used a cleaning solution and it wore the name off the pin.

    You must know your pins prior to cleaning it with anything. As for cleaning, I usually recommend just a light cloth with like (Distilled or Filtered) warm water and if necessary a small amount of Dish soap as there are no chemicals that will have a reaction with the metal, enamel or print. “Don’t use Windex or other household chemicals”

    Now to remove the scratches:

    One of the best ways to remove the scratches is with a jeweler cloth embedded with rouge. This is used on all fine jewelry including gold and the finish when completed is like a mirror. This is more for the polishing end and will remove minor scratches but can take some time. Then again, any removing of scratches when done properly will take time.

    You may have heard of people using toothpaste to remove scratches on a watch face. Toothpaste is abrasive but at a minimal abrasion rate. In many cases you can remove the scratches with toothpaste and the recommended cloth is cheesecloth. If you use a cloth that is rough (and it may seem smooth to the touch) it can hurt more than it helps.

    If you don’t have cheesecloth, maybe you have a lens cleaner from a camera or glasses. These work very well as they have no abrasive elements.

    *** Remember that you should use circular movement when polishing and polish the entire area around the scratch. You are basically bringing down the rest of the surface to the scratch. If the scratch is a little more than just a mark on the finish, you may need to remove more enamel.

    You can buy polishing compound at any hardware store like Home depot and again, make sure you use the right type of polishing cloth. Once you are done with the polishing and the scratch is removed, you can wash the pin (again with Distilled or Filtered water) and then Wax it. Believe it or not, turtle wax works really well and will put the luster back into the pin.

    In many cased, just a nice buff and wax can bring the pin back to its original form. It is always best to start with the least abrasive and work up as needed. If it will wax out, that is your best bet but I have had great success removing scratches from y pins as well as friend’s pins.

    Someone asked me about rubbing compound and for starters, there are typically 2 types, fine & coarse. Never use coarse and try not to use it at all unless you are prepared to spend some serious time on the pin. When using rubbing compound, the particles are larger and will remove scratches but will require a lot more polishing and buffing to obtain a glass like surface. It does work but I recommend this for the more experienced users.

    If you have any questions, you can always feel free to PM me anytime.
    I hope you find this information useful as I have heard many people talk about scratches and how to remove them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  2. scottydem

    scottydem Senior DPF Senior Member DPF Charter Member

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    Thanks Dan! I'll have to try this:)
     
  3. iamdisneydan

    iamdisneydan The Bald Guy In The Back DPF Charter Member

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    A good example of a pin not to do it to is one on your most wanted. DO NOT try to do it to the Facilier Badge.
    These are screen printed.
     
  4. Cicada

    Cicada Administrator Staff Member DPF Administrator

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    dremel with some plastic polish or very fine polishing compound :D
     
  5. iamdisneydan

    iamdisneydan The Bald Guy In The Back DPF Charter Member

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    Not to knock you but I have seen more things ruined with a dremel. The high speed can burn the pin and leave marks in the pin.
    Unless you are very skilled and have an external voltage adjustment to control the speed, and thats at about 150 - 200 RPM maximum you may be ok but people tend not to move them enough and too long in one spot for a second can ruin a pin.

    If you use a dremel, be really careful. I recomend elbow grease. You will never burn a pin by hand.
     
  6. swim2sea

    swim2sea DPF Charter Member DPF Charter Member

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    How does one remove the dark stains (looks like someone picked up the pin while wet) from the back of the pin? It came this way from DS and I didn't realize it until it was too late to get a replacement. Any helpful "Hints from Dan"? You need to be a newspaper writer - or better yet - go to work for Disney!!!
     
  7. Bellecat22

    Bellecat22 Sandy DPF Charter Member

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    Someone on this site needs to start a "Pin Hospital" I have so many pins with broken backs, not the whole back fallen off that you can just glue one back on but just the post broke off, wiggly posts, scratches, dings, etc. I guess now I can handle the scratches the pins with big dings in the paint I use as thumbtacks. I really need help with the wiggly and broken posts though. :(
     
  8. Cicada

    Cicada Administrator Staff Member DPF Administrator

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    true -- constant movement is key; i've done auto detailing before and rotary buffers cut quickly and take paint/clear off VERY quickly if it's not constantly in motion -- this is why they're favored by the professionals because they're capable of much more "intensive" paint correction than say a DA (dual-action) buffer or Random Orbital buffer[the consumer-grade junk that's normally found in stores -- good for applying and taking off wax, but isnt fast enough nor rotates fast enough for paint correction/scratch removal]. But again, many people leave the rotary buffers to the pros because you can ruin your car REAL fast with one :rofl: -- it mostly depends on the compound used so that's why i think a plastic polish or a very-very fine finishing compound would work because the abrasives will break down quickly to lower the chance of ruining a pin.

    for deeper/bigger scratches, i (personally) would probably try a dremel because trying to correct a "deep" scratch by hand would likely take forever, if it's even possible. however for minor, light surface scratches, going by-hand is probably the safest.
     
  9. moo_moo_uk

    moo_moo_uk Member

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    You are the king of knowledge!!!!
     
  10. Whitney

    Whitney DPF Charter Member DPF Charter Member

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    I'm with Margaret - how can we polish up the backs? Same way? I have some old DA's that have fingerprints across the gavel back - came that way and I'm not finding it charming to have the fingerprint pattern of a Disney employee on my pins. When DA said "hand finished" I'm not so sure they meant like that! ;)
     
  11. iamdisneydan

    iamdisneydan The Bald Guy In The Back DPF Charter Member

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    Very well put Brian (Cicada) I guess I assume that if people are as in the know as you (us) they would not need this post. However, few people have experience with the tools you speak of. Also, certainly a dremmel would be great for a much deeper scratch as by hand is doing minimal surface removal. But that is a safer way for most people and just be paitent and take time. Of course, even by hand, you can use different compounds.

    Since you are in the know, lets look at wet sanding. many people do not there there is wet or dry paper and think 1000 grit is as far as it goes.
    Since you have worked on cars, you know it goes from 1000 - 1500, 2000, 2500 all the way up to 8000 (and I believe there may even be 10,000). With 8000 alone, I can make it look like glass (mirror) without any compounds but will polish it afterwards.

    I was just keeping it on a simple level for minor scratches. But know we know you can even remove deeper scratches with one of these methods.

    MARGARET, can you take a picture of the back of the pin so I can see it? Many times the problem you are speaking of can be a form of irreversable corrosion and no polishing can remove it. It depends if it is on the surface or a chemical reaction within the metal.

    And in closing, remember the one thing we all agree on is keep whatever you are using MOVING. Dont stay in one place trying to take it down, you will create more problems than you started with.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010
  12. tiggermickey

    tiggermickey DPF Correspondent DPF Correspondent

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    I use "Goof-Off"to remove the stains(rust marks)off the back of my pins..I did several I recieved..and it worked great!for wiggly backs I use Krazy Glue PEN
    It really works well

    Judy
     
  13. swim2sea

    swim2sea DPF Charter Member DPF Charter Member

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    Where do you buy "goof-off"? I never heard of it. Dan, I can send a picture tomorrow during the daylight. The marks show up better and the flash isn't so bright. I haven't had much luck with Krazy Glue Pen, when you remove the mickey back, the post comes off again. I use something my hubby got called instant metal. It bonds just like a weld only without the heat.
    Margaret
     
  14. tiggermickey

    tiggermickey DPF Correspondent DPF Correspondent

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    Goof-Off is sold in hardware stores like,Mernards,Ace,Home Depot
    it worked so good..I wrote the company and sent me a whole case

    Judy
     
  15. Cicada

    Cicada Administrator Staff Member DPF Administrator

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    goof-off is also sold at walmart -- it's normally sold as an adhesive remover.
     
  16. babicam

    babicam DPF Charter Member DPF Charter Member

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    Thank you for the advice on removing scratches. We keep our treasured pins in books but your suggestions are very helpful for the pins we enjoy wearing on lanyards.
     
  17. iamdisneydan

    iamdisneydan The Bald Guy In The Back DPF Charter Member

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    Goof off is good stuff. It works in so many applications.
    As for loose pin Backs, I personally re-solder them. You need a good soldering gun that is extremely hot so you dont have to keep the heat on the pin very long.

    I typically put the post in a straight position and then drop a bead or two of solder into the opening.

    If the pinback is completly removed, I celan the surface with an awl and clean it well and them solder the post back on.

    Super glue will work as long as you are not removing the back a lot or just need to get it into your pin board 1 time. Removing it is a different story.
     
  18. Cicada

    Cicada Administrator Staff Member DPF Administrator

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    awesome -- i'd always wondered if soldering was strong enough for a pin back -- when pin backs broke, i'd always thought of re-soldering them but wasnt sure if it'd be strong enough -- looks like i can! :cool:
     
  19. iamdisneydan

    iamdisneydan The Bald Guy In The Back DPF Charter Member

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    Try to use a very low flux solder, silver solder is best. Low flux also looks good when its done as you dont have the run off or burn off from the flux so no discolor. But I will say to use a good iron. You cant just drip the solder in as you know both surfaces need to be hot so I usually use a temp of approx 900 degrees. Most irons are about 4 - 600 and they may work but you have to flash heat them so they will also cool quickly.

    Yes, I have ruined a few pins but only because I used too low a tempature iron and technically, most people touch the solder to the iron when you really need to heat the surface and touch the solder to the surface. If the surface cant melt the solder, it is not hot enough for a good bond.
    There is a term called COLD SOLDER (Cicada I am sure you know what that is) and you will think you soldered it but there is no contact. It may work to fill the gap of a loose pin but not to re-attach a pin post to the pin.
     
  20. swim2sea

    swim2sea DPF Charter Member DPF Charter Member

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    Dan, this are the marks on the back of my pin. Any ideas how to remove them? Thanks.
     

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  21. tiggermickey

    tiggermickey DPF Correspondent DPF Correspondent

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    Margaret
    I had a couple like your picture..it was gluey substance,I removed it with goof-off
    I used a q-tip and it came right on it..I swear by this

    Judy
     
  22. iamdisneydan

    iamdisneydan The Bald Guy In The Back DPF Charter Member

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    Hey Margaret.
    The pattern of tarnish almost looks like tape marks but it does notlook as if it has affected the metal very deep.
    For starters, I would probably go with one of the suggestions of using Good Off.

    If that does not work, you can try a polish such as a brass or silver polish. Again, I can see it in the pic but seeing it in person would be easier to determine what may be best based on the color of the tarnish / discoloration.

    Now it wal also mentioned using a dremmel which on this type of surface is way safer than the pin front.
     
  23. swim2sea

    swim2sea DPF Charter Member DPF Charter Member

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    Thanks Dan and Judy, I'm buying some Goof-off today and that's my weekend project - organize and polish my Disney pins :( I have to remove about 3/4 of them from the books, organize them and put them back . That's about 2,500 pins. Think it can be done in two days? I do this about twice a year since I keep getting more pins.

    The marks in person actually look like fingerprints like someone picked up the pin before it was dry. Sure do hope that stuff works as good as you guys say it does. I have lots of polishing and cleaning to do.

    Margaret
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
  24. bwschultz

    bwschultz Member

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    I have used toothpaste on scratched DVDs and have been able to restore some movies my kids had rendered unreadable.
     
  25. crazy4poohpinz

    crazy4poohpinz Member

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