Earlier this week I wrapped up shaping and polishing all the brass hardware.
It all started with this remote setup in the hotel on a work trip as I rounded all the bracket edges with the sanding drum and started hand sanding with P220:
All parts sanded to P600:
By the way, the tailpiece is a Fielding, the only commercial part shown here. It was starting to patinate from use, so I put it through the process here to make it look the same as the rest of my stuff.
All parts polished with Tripoli compound. The first picture shows before and after:
After a good dunking in brass darkening solution:
Scuffed up with a gray abrasive pad to even out some dark patches in the color (this actually took off most of the color altogether):
Rubbed with 0000 steel wool and paste wax and assembled on the banjo: