I was hoping your husband might have a suggestion. I was cleaning out my Mothers toolbox (she passed away several years ago) and I found these calipers (I think that is what they are) at the bottom. I believe that they belonged to my Grandfather. As you may be able to see they have some sort of gunk on the bottom of them. It is all over the toolbox and I believe it is some sort of oil or lubricant, it is sort of sticky/gummy at this point. (There was no container) I am not sure how to start cleaning them since they are part wood, part metal. I also can't tell if it is brass or just brass colored. I realize it is small, but my Grandpa took good care of his tools and I would like to at least try to clean this up without damaging it further. I would appreciate any suggestions.
Answer You can start with silver polish, this is a non-abrassive polish and will remove most of the gunk. Just apply this to a moist cloth and rub. This will not damage your wood, but do not submerge wood in water. You may go an extra step if needed and use fine steel wool and baking soda mixed with water to make a paste. If there is a finish it will remove it. You will then need to relaquer. I hope this helps. These methods are gentle but effective.
Best of luck, let me know how it turns out!--
Artifacts of America
New Philadelphia, Ohio
Knowledgeability = 10
Clarity of Response = 10
Politeness = 10
Thanks so much! The silver polish did the trick, it cleaned the gunk off without damaging the wood. I was able to make it functional again. It will never look brand new but now you don't say "YUCK" when you pick it up.
I can answer questions about American antiques from any era. I will be exceptional at helping with art, books, folk art, petroliana, electronics, primitives, kitchen/home wares and more. My favorite questions to answer will involve pop culture items, antique photos, advertising, toys and fashion pieces!
My husband's areas of expertise are survival/utiliarian gear, weapons, taxidermy, oddities, militaria, and other man stuff.
We like to answer questions with a he says/ she says approach, giving you a great yin and yang resolve.
I own Artifacts of America in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. My staff members provide my county's only antique house-call and drop-off consignment services. I have been buying and selling antiques successfully for 20 years.
Education/Credentials High School Diploma, life experience
Awards and Honors PowerSeller and Trading Assistant on eBay
Past/Present Clients Many wonderful residents of Stark and Tuscarawas County, Ohio