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Question: What will clean rust spots and dark splotches on old guns, rifles and sporting equipment ruined in a flood? Also, what will clean and restore old motorcycles and cars with discolored exhaust pipes and grimy engines?

- Lee Williams, Fort Lauderdale

Question: We purchased an old brass bed at an estate sale that remains dull and lifeless no matter what we've used. What'll give it a high shine?

- Clara Myers, Lexington, Ky.

Answer: MAAS Fine Polishing Creme For All Metals (a dream of a cream) cleans, restores, preserves and polishes to perfection any brass, copper, chrome, silver, stainless steel, aluminum or any other metal with amazing results - no matter how badly stained, discolored, flood-damaged, dull, or dirty they may be. It is available in a large tube for $12 postpaid, or for big jobs (such as old motorcycles, cars, boats, beds, etc.) in a one-pound can for $29.95 postpaid from MAAS International Inc., P.O. Box 128, La Grange, IL 60525-0128.

MAAS polish also cleans and restores dirty and rusty motorcycles and cars, and their engines and exhaust pipes, by first using polish and then (to produce a professional and fabulous high show-room-shine) applying MAAS Micro-Fine Systems 2 Protectant Finishing Polish available in a 10-ounce can from MAAS for $24.95 postpaid.

To get into hard to reach places on guns or embossed pieces, MAAS also offers a pair of polish-treated knit gloves for $12 postpaid, and a terrific saturated polishing cloth for $9.95 postpaid. MAAS (which is non-flammable and non-abrasive) also beautifully cleans fiberglass, formica and stainless steel sinks like you wouldn't believe!

Question: While living in Alaska in the 1980s, I started collecting glass fishing floats and have about 40 of various sizes and colors. How can I find out more about them and how they were used?

- Cindy May, Flagstaff, Ariz.

Answer: No one knows more about glass fishing floats and how they were used than fishing float collector, buyer, hunter and historian Stu Farnsworth, to whom you can write at P.O. Box 847, Wilsonville, OR 97070; enclose a description or photo of the floats including their color, size, markings (if any) and a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a reply, evaluation or offer. Two extensive incredibly informative articles with gorgeous color photos by Farns-worth can be found in the August/September 1990 issue and the February/March 1996 issue of Glass Collector's Digest, available for $4.50 each from Glass Collector's Digest, P.O. Box 553, Marietta, OH 45750-0553. The articles (which are exciting and will make you want to hunt for floats) also includes prices for floats. Or phone GCD (the greatest glass publication for collectors) at 1-800-533-3433 to order individual issues, or a GCD six-issue subscription for $22 a year.

Question: How can I find out the value of three pieces of Wedgwood consisting of two bud vases and a tobacco jar given to me 45 years ago? The pieces are decorated with white figures on a blue background.

- Joan Brin, Dallas, Penn.

Answer: Write Nancy Skinner c/o Skinner Auctioneers & Appraisers of Antiques and Fine Arts, The Heritage On The Garden, 63 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116. Enclose a photo of the pieces and a drawing of their marks, should you care to consign them and receive an estimation of their worth.

Question: Where can I find prices for old postcards? I'm told there's a postcard encyclopedia for collectors.

- Pauline Nelson, Lexington,


Answer: Send for a copy of "The Encyclopedia of Antique Postcards - A Fully Illustrated History and Price Guide to More Than 100 Collecting Categories, from Attwell to Zodiac" by Susan Brown Nicholson, available in a large edition for $23.95 postpaid from Ace Enterprises, P.O. Box 59354, Chicago, IL 60659.

Question: How can I get involved with collecting Cracker Jack prizes? Is there an organization I can join?

- Sue Bradley, Albuquerque, N.M.

Answer: Write the Cracker Jack Collector's Association in care of its president Ann Brogley, P.O. Box 16033, Philadelphia, PA 19114; enclose $18 for a single membership, or $24 per family which includes an informative monthly newsletter. The CJCA (formed in October 1994) has 130 members nationwide, and will hold its annual convention June 20-22 in Chicago, where CJ collectors will meet, greet, and eat - what else but - boxes of Cracker Jack while sharing information and enjoyment. For club/convention details or travel directions, write the CJCA enclosing a self-addressed stamped envelope, or phone Brogley at (215) 824-4698 for information, or if you wish to sell CJ items.