Not all that glitters is gold. Recently, brass hardware has been making a comeback on everything from furniture, boats to decor. Stainless steel has traditionally taken top place as the most sought after material for fasteners, but the trend has been swinging more towards the warmer yellow shade of brass. Once considered old fashioned, brass has become the metal of nostalgia. Brass offers a lot for its value; it’s anti-corrosive, water resistant, and just plain nice to look at. It makes a great fastener to use indoors or outdoors for a wide range projects.
The anti-corrosive and water resistant nature of brass screws and fasteners make them more than ideal for exterior use. Rain, air, and humidity typically break down iron screws, even galvanized iron screws. Moisture inside wood will also rust common iron or steel screws; this is why brass works great with wooden outdoor structures. Brass fasteners also match wood colour much better than steel or even stainless steel hardware. Solid brass screws will not rust, which gives them a huge advantage over other similar rust resistant hardware and fasteners.
Another use where brass hardware performs better than any other metals is for water and marine projects. For decades brass has been used on marine equipment, solely because it’s the best fastener for the job. Its anti-corrosion properties make it perfect for use around the ocean, underwater, and anywhere damp. Where steel and iron screws corrode from exposure to salt water, sun, and rain; a pure brass screw will stay strong for many years.
When searching for brass screws online, there are a few things to be wary of. Some marketed brass screws are simply brass plated steel or iron. This does help protect the fastener from premature corrosion, but if that plating is scratch off, and moisture gets in, that will corrode the screw. Brass plated screws are best used for projects that are static, as in they won’t be tampered with. Also brass plated screws are good for indoor use, since the chances of it corroding from the elements is much lower. Pure brass screws might be more expensive, but with that cost come the peace of mind that it will last a long time.
Brass hardware is great for hobby wood projects, it simply looks beautiful. Whether you’re building a doll house or replica boat, brass gives a beautiful old world style to your project. Brass is a softer metal, and when working with wood, a pilot hole will be necessary. A lot of modern bathroom and kitchen renovations are moving away from the stainless steel / chrome look, in favour of softer gold colour brass hardware. Brass also has a softer shine than more common metals found in bathrooms and kitchen, and in a few years develops an attractive patina.
Brass is also antimicrobial, copper and its alloys, such as brass, have an inherent ability to kill a wide range of microbes rapidly. Brass and copper are used in places such as hospitals because of this ability, and can reduce chances of infection. Doorknobs, handrails, and door knockers have been traditionally made of brass for these reasons.
So for you’re your next project, why not consider using brass hardware. Beautiful colour, anti-corrosive and antimicrobial, it’s a great choice indoors and out.