Can micro-scratches be fixed?

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I picked up a Legend Snare drum with a phosphor bronze shell (shiny finish). It needed some love, and I was advised to use Barkeepers Friend for the shell in order to help it shine and clean it up. I followed the directions, and now my drum shell has micro-scratches all over it. A few feet away and you can’t see anything, but up close you sure can.

Is there any way to fix this? Or do I just need to let it be to keep from messing it up anymore? I don’t want to throw a lot of money at this, but I would like to correct this mistake if possible.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I have four words for you: CAPE COD POLISHING CLOTH. I recently got some light scratches on my nice Hamilton stainless steel watch, and practically everyone in the watch forums recommended this. And you know what? They’re 100% right! I ended up polishing all my watches with this cloth, and it worked great! Like it never happened.

Now I can’t recommend this enough. I’m sure it will work equally well on your snare.
 
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Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I have four words for you: CAPE COD POLISHING CLOTH. I recently got some light scratches on my nice Hamilton stainless steel watch, and practically everyone in the watch forums recommended this. And you know what? They’re 100% right! I ended up polishing all my watches with this cloth, and it worked great! Like it never happened.

Now I can’t recommend this enough. I’m sure it will work equally well on your snare.
I've got a couple of stainless steel watches with some scratches and didn't think I could do much... How did it work out on yours?
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Same here. I wonder if it will remove scratches from the glass also?
Typically not for the watch "glass" which is actually sapphire in the case of high end watches, in mid-tier it's a sort of man made crystal that's sometimes specific to a brand. In lower priced watches it's usually straight up plastic/resin.

Unfortunately all three cases you can't really do anything about scratches in them. The "good" news is if it's worth it to you, you can bring your watch to a watch shop and have that crystal replaced, maybe even with a higher quality than was on it before.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Typically not for the watch "glass" which is actually sapphire in the case of high end watches, in mid-tier it's a sort of man made crystal that's sometimes specific to a brand. In lower priced watches it's usually straight up plastic/resin.

Unfortunately all three cases you can't really do anything about scratches in them. The "good" news is if it's worth it to you, you can bring your watch to a watch shop and have that crystal replaced, maybe even with a higher quality than was on it before.
Most of my watches I dont care, the little scratches dont bother me. I have a Seiko I would like them removed from. It's more sentimental than anything.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I've got a couple of stainless steel watches with some scratches and didn't think I could do much... How did it work out on yours?
Like the scratches were never there. Seriously. It’s pretty amazing, really. Just one thing to keep in mind, if your watch has brushed surfaces, it‘ll take that out. So only use it on polished surfaces, and tape off any brushed surfaces (unless you don’t mind turning those into polished surfaces).
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Most of my watches I dont care, the little scratches dont bother me. I have a Seiko I would like them removed from. It's more sentimental than anything.
Most likely Seiko "Hardlex" proprietary crystal. Unfortunately as mentioned unless you have a diamond polisher you can't fix those. They aren't that expensive to replace, though and a watch repair shop can throw a new one in, or you could even choose to upgrade it with sapphire which is even more clear and scratch resistant.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Like the scratches were never there. Seriously. It’s pretty amazing, really. Just one thing to keep in mind, if your watch has brushed surfaces, it‘ll take that out. So only use it on polished surfaces, and tape off any brushed surfaces (unless you don’t mind turning those into polished surfaces).
Very cool, thanks. I'll give it a shot. The one I'm most interested in fixing is mirror polish so no worries about the brushing.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Jeweler’s rouge and a buffing wheel.

 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
I used to restore classic cars too (that was mine)scan3.jpg
Wouldn't use sandpaper for microscratches though. That's a job for polishing compound and wax.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
BKF is an acid and a micro-abrasive.

You have two things you need to deal with if the surface doesn't have a protective (poly) coating

1: The acid will eat off the outer coating of patina and leave a low PH residue on the surface. This leads to uneven and accelerated patina formation. Whenever you use acid, including vinegar, you need to follow it with a water bath and a base bath (A couple TSB of baking soda in a water bath) to neutralize (or at least homologate) the PH evenly across the surface of the alloy.

2: The microscratches can be resolved by running to the store, buying a six pack, and bringing the six pack over to whichever friend has a bench grinder with a buffing wheel. Alternatively, you can buy an automotive or purpose made buffing rag and appropriate compound. The latter approach is going to require some elbow grease if you need to do the hole drum.


If the outside has poly or some other clear-coat on it, ignore the above... As long as the coating is fully intact, you can fill/hide the scratches with an appropriate wax compound. For example, most car waxes that don't contain an abrasive.
 
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