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This is my next (current) project. It's a 1927 198xxx satin gold plate Chu. This one had evidently been dropped way back when it was still fairly new resulting in a bent neck, slightly bent body tube, and a few posts popped off. It sat for generations, unrepaired, until coming to me.

Nice gold, nearly 100%. Just got it cleaned and most of the polish work done. Body straightened and neck fixed, posts soldered cleanly back on.




 

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Discussion Starter #3
JfW said:
How did you get the posts back on so cleanly?

p.s, it looks nice!
Thanks.
I don't mean this as a boast, but I'm a master of the art of soldering (in my not-so humble opinion :D ). It's taken many years and a lot of experience to get to that point. As far as the "how" of it, I explained my technique a few days ago in the repair forum: http://www.saxontheweb.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=63147

Here's a photo of a couple of the posts that were reattached:
 

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Simply gorgeous!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
semipro said:
Simply gorgeous!
I really like the look and feel of this combination of satin blast and burnished gold finish. I wish modern horn makers would offer it.
 

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tjontheroad said:
Purty :)

Is this a customer's sax or something you're gonna sell later?
It's one of mine that I picked up at a fairly low price on ebay many months ago. It was so black with tarnish that you couldn't tell it was gold plated, and the seller didn't know either. But I recognized the engraving pattern in the blurry picture and knew what it was.

I already have a nice gold Chu that I play and will keep, so this one will go for sale when it's completed.
 

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HOLY golden goose egg! Batman.


I like it!
 

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Here's a sample of what it looked like before cleaning and polish. It was actually worse when I got it. This is after I already washed the loose scunge from it and started in with the Hagerty's.
 

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Chu-Jerry said:
I already have a nice gold Chu that I play and will keep, so this one will go for sale when it's completed.
Ya' know... That's the biggest problem I have with old Conns. There's so many nice ones and I can't play them all.

Good luck with this one :D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
tjontheroad said:
Ya' know... That's the biggest problem I have with old Conns. There's so many nice ones and I can't play them all.

Good luck with this one :D
I always have a hard time parting with a newly finished horn. I wish I could keep them all. Blowing the first notes after a long restoration is like giving birth (ok, maybe only like watching giving birth, to you women out there ;) )
Then after it's fully dialed-in and playing at top potential, it's like extasy and I want to play for hours and days. Giving them up for sale is like giving up one of my kids (ok, maybe only like giving up a new puppy - I wouldn't really give up one of my kids ;) ).
 

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paulio said:
Beautiful horn.

What is your cleaning & polishing regime?
1) Disassemble
2) Wash with warm soapy water (dishsoap) and a toothbrush.
3) Clean 1st layer of tarnish with Hagerty's silver polish and a toothbrush.
4) Wash.
5) Work on crusty spots with whatever it takes: 0000 steel wool (carefully), fine brass wire brush in a dremel rotary tool.
6) Wash.
7) More Hagerty's.
8) Wash.
9) Mask all bright burnished areas, inside bell, tonehole edges, keyguards, and posts with tape.
10) Glass bead blast the satin areas lightly overall and more heavily in crevices and stubborn spots using fine glass bead media and low air pressure.
11) Wash.
12) More Hagerty's on toothbrush.
13) Wash.
14) Lightly polish with a soft cotton buffing wheel (must not be contaminated with any coarser abrasive) and extra-fine red jeweler's rouge.
15) Final wash with dishsoap and toothbrush remove to polish residue.
 

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I can now say first hand (I got an alto from Jerry), that he is hands down the best Conn restorer I have EVER and I do mean EVER seen. His work is absolutely perfect. Not only that, he is a fantastic guy to deal with. I am green with envy for whomever winds up buying this alto!!
 

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If you are green with envy, use Haggerty's with a toothbrush........repeat.....
These really ARE nice horns. I have a NW I with a yellow gold plate and a rose gold Chu alto and Tenor. The NW I has been my main horn for about 7 years (out of about 20 altos).
 

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Hmm, you must have used quite a bit of Haggerty's. Are you able to purchase it by the gallon?
 

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its beautiful, nice polishing job I'm sure that took quite a bit of elbow grease
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ok, got a pile of keys to work on. Everything goes into a bucket like this during disassembly.
 

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Thought some of you might like to see the steps involved in cleaning a gold plated key.
(you can click on any picture for a larger image)

Before


After cleaning with a toothbrush and Hagerty's silver polish


A nylon bristle 'cup-brush' is used in a dremel rotary tool with more of the Hagerty's to get into the tight crevices and smooth the luster.


The gold is hand burnished with a flat burnish tool to rub down and bring the shine up.


Final polishing with the ultra fine red jeweler's rouge.


Finished result. Note that the reflection shows some 'pattern' to the surface. This is in the original surface from when the Conn craftsmen originally hand-burnished the plating and it left lines or ripples in the surface. Most old Conn gold plated horns have this effect.
 
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