So, having ordered for your bronze plaque, you get to the destination and find it warped. This could happen during shipment. There are a lot of questions and options as to how you can solve this problem.
The first option is contacting the provider who may offer to pick the item and straighten it out for free. The second one is finding out any bronze plaque specialists in the area for advice or referrals. The third option is following the steps below which involve driving over the plaque with your truck or car.
- Ensure that your driveway is flat; that is, it has no significant and irregular barriers.
- Cover the area to be driven on with a lot of newspapers or cardboard which the plaque will be placed on instead of laying it on cement.
- Put the plaque on the paper with the 'arch' facing up.
- Place a wooden stick under both opposite sides of your plaque to act as a wedge.
- Cover the upper part of the plaque with newspaper or cardboard as well.
- Drive onto the crumpled paper or cardboard on top of the plaque. Take care not to turn the wheel in case you rip the newspaper and damage the plaque.
- Repeat the process again with thicker wedges if it is not flat the first time.
Plaques tend to accumulate dust over time and this may give the illusion that it is older than it actually is. In addition, unfinished bronze is known to gain a patina (a bluish-green colour) after a while. Once again, there is an option involving a professional and a do-it-yourself alternative.
The benefit of returning cast bronze plaques to the maker is the possibility of a refinish. This restores it to a 'like new' state. Refinishing is done by sandblasting the raw material to remove all discolouration associated with the old finish. After this a new color is applied followed by a clear coat. This has some cost implications depending on the company.
Before taking matters into your own hands, there are key considerations to make. First, there could be consequential damages to the plaque because of the alloy used in the casting. Second, avoid products that claim to remove fine scratches. Because the fluid contains a fine abrasive, they are likely to remove the clear coat on the metal as well and even end up discolouring the plaque.
It is recommended that you use a common non-acidic detergent with a Scotch-Brite pad. Use this option on the raised portions of the surface, leaving the background as is. The letters, which are raised, will start shining consequently creating a proper contrast for viewing.