rehabing the old hardware

Oh the hardware. 

The decision to save the hardware last Fall was rather last minute. I thought about it a few times and almost didn't do it. There were A LOT of handles to remove. But it turns out, it is very fast work. All you need to do is just borrow your dad's power drill since your's has been in storage for the last two years. 

I was never totally confident that I was going to re-use the hardware - but I wanted the option to use it. I didn't want to regret it. Even up until the last couple days, I was questioning whether it was possible.

The hard work actually came from having to clean this filthy, old hardware. I tried a bunch of routes before finally finding success. I had ridiculous visions of a tv infomercial cleaning sparkly jewelry. All I needed to do was just dip the handles in some magic liquid and then kablam... clean. The reality could not be further from this. Ultimately, I tried three methods with significantly varying degrees of success.

vinegar processing
According to everyone who offered advice (and the internet), all I needed to do was soak the hardware in some vinegar and hot water for a long time. I would say this offered virtually no improvement. If there was any change, I don't remember it all to be noticeable.
After the vinegar failure, I went to a local autobody shop to see if they could do this for me. They said no.... but the nice manager guy (Jim) was curious enough to try a few things. He whipped out a polishing cloth and some Noxon and we began to see some progress. After hours of cleaning, I was making progress but it was incredibly messy work. The chemicals are also very harsh. I worked outside the entire time. 
The real winner was Twinkle. I had taken my lovely bag of old dirty hardware to Hingham Lumber to pick up some screws. When I was showing them what I was trying to do, the nice lady suggested I try "sparkle". This was incredible. It offered nearly instantaneous improvement ... and twinkle. 

So after absolute hours of manual investment in this project, I think I ended up spending $10-12 on the products for this initiative. I can't quantify the time spent but it could have been as little as 2 hours with Sparkle. Approximately, I would have spent maybe $300 on new hardware ... so since my time is worthless :-) I saved a couple hundred dollars.
But the real win is honestly that the old hardware offers a lot of sentimental value - and it looks awesome. Initially I was concerned about the two tone cabinets but this was a non-issue. The minute that I saw the copper pop on the new cabinets, I was convinced I had made the right decision. Plus, now when I see the old pictures of the kitchen, I can know that I kept another piece of that history for the next generation of this wonderful house.

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