So you want to how the restoration of the hubcaps for my E-M-F Automobile is going? Well, you have found the right page.
Wednesday, December 27, 2000 4:37 PMAll four hubcaps were present on the car including years of tarnish, nicks and dents. The first thing I did was remove the tarnish. I asked a good friend of mine, who is known for the brass items he has restored, how he removes the years of tarnish on items. His secret: "Sno-bowl" toilet bowl cleaner. And boy was he right! Make sure you use rubber gloves because that stuff is caustic. It took the tarnish right off.
I then polished the hubcap as you can see in the second picture, but all the nicks and dents remained. To remove these, I started with the dents. Using an anvil and some bars that I could reach into the hubcap with, I pushed the dents back out as flush as I could. As I got close, I would file across the surface to see where I was high or low. Once I was close, I used the file to give me a nice flat surface, being very careful not to take off too much metal.
The next step was to get it back to a mirror finish. I started with 220 grit sandpaper and removed the file marks. Brass is a soft metal so it went quickly. Next came 320 grit, then 400, then 1000, each step removing the marks from the last. After 1000, it was to the buffing wheel with some buffing compound. A few minutes, and wha-la, a like new hubcap.
The total time for one hubcap was approximately 3 hours. Only 7 more to go. 7 you say? Well I got an extra set with the EMF Parts car I bought in Omaha Nebraska, except they are nickel plated. I actually have one of these nickel plated caps restored now as well, so actually I have two hubcaps restored. I did not re-nickel it, I just removed the nickel, straightened and polished. My plan is to restore them all and pick the best four.
I hope you have enjoyed this page. Please follow the restoration of other pieces of this car. Send me email if you have specific questions.