Brass work on Pedersoli Brown Bess kit…

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As above. Picked up a Pedersoli Brown Bess kit and it will need much work - especially the stock which, while inletted, is incredibly rough. This is cool though. I like working with wood and this will give me a chance to fix a couple of historical inaccuracies and finish it how I like. However…

I am a bit of a metal novice. All the steel is finished just fine but the brass is rough like the stock. Pic below. What appears to be “cracking” (like dried out mud) is actually pretty smooth with only slight (or nonexistent) felt roughness.
What do I need to do (and with what tools) to get it smooth and shiny?
 

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Hi,
This will help:

dave
 
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Thanks. Ironically I read this earlier and am currently reading your other Bess thread detailing things to do to make it “more historical looking.”
Great stuff and it will be my guide.
 

JB67

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files , emery cloth and / or buffing wheel.
Do NOT use a buffing wheel. It will round off edges. (Been there, done that...)

Files for getting a uniform surface, then various grades of sandpaper to smooth and polish. I find 800 grit followed by 0000 steel wool gives a nice finish, without being mirror-bright. Wrap the sandpaper around a small block of wood to help keep flats flat and corners sharp.
 
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Thanks all.
This will be a long project as I enjoy this kind of stuff and don’t want to rush it and so I get it “historically” right…as much as possible anyway for my flintlock OCD.
Plus I’m not a professional builder and suspect stupid real life will be competing for my time!
Hopefully I’ll be showing off with pics in a few months instead of “Oops…” questions prior. ;)
 
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I start with file work to remove all casting flaws, then I move to finer files up to 400 grit until all file marks are out.

Then I move to Emery paper, and work up from 180-400. As I go higher i use less pressure and try to move in counter directions between grits. Once i get to 400, i then use a polishing lathe with a woven wheel at 600, i keep the speed very low, and just to light passes until I’m satisfied. (On a polishing lathe / or buffing wheel) never stay in one spot too long, or use pressure, you’ll end up with low spots and dished screws holes. To avoid dished screw holes, I polish my parts before I drill and tap and countersink, and then just do light touch ups with stones and carbide paper.

FYI you don’t need the polishing lathe if you don’t have it, however they do come in handy with the hobby, and other kinds of work I do such as pen making and knife making, handwork with emery paper, stones and paper with backers and dowels works just fine.
 
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As above. Picked up a Pedersoli Brown Bess kit and it will need much work - especially the stock which, while inletted, is incredibly rough. This is cool though. I like working with wood and this will give me a chance to fix a couple of historical inaccuracies and finish it how I like. However…

I am a bit of a metal novice. All the steel is finished just fine but the brass is rough like the stock. Pic below. What appears to be “cracking” (like dried out mud) is actually pretty smooth with only slight (or nonexistent) felt roughness.
What do I need to do (and with what tools) to get it smooth and shiny?

The mud like appearance usually means it was a sand casting.
 
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Interesting. Did some casting as a kid in shop class (did everyone make brass knuckles?) and we used some black powder that packed nicely. Sand?
 
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While prepping the stock for staining I put a little time into the brass.
Choosing the biggest, thickest, and worse piece (the one pictured above) I spent maybe 10-15 minutes testing out various grades of file, sandpaper, emery, even ending with a bit of Brasso to get a clear look. It will be doable with time with all the curves making it tricky with files - which is too bad.
 

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Don’t mean to spam but, kind of in a way of thanks for all the suggestions here, a follow-up pic to the piece above. This is after a couple hours work with assorted files and emery paper kind of learning as I go. Not done yet but almost there.
Thanks to all!
 

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