Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a sax with about 15% lacquer, and when I was at my sax lesson today, the repairman asked me if I ever polished up my 48' Martin before. I wasn't aware that this could be done, and he spot tested and put some Brasso on the bell of my horn. Now I have a 2x2 inch spot where the horn looks shinier and newer, but the rest of the horn does not match. I might be interested in hand polishing the horn but realize this may take several hours to do it correctly and also I am not sure how it will look once the tarnish comes back or how long it will last with one application of brasso. I am kind of regretting letting him spot test it. I feel like now I need to do the entire horn or else I will have this 2x2 inch spot that stands out from the rest of the horn. Will the tarnish come back and blend in or should I hand polish the rest of it with Brasso? Also, after the Brasso application, it looks much different in color (like a new Yamaha) than the original lacquer did so it would not match with the 15% that is left.

Thoughts?

Derek
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What about the 2x2 spot that stands out? Will that go away after a couple weeks (as the repairman stated)?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
41,632 Posts
it probably will.....as the brass oxides will build up again, soon, you will still see some difference but won't be so noticeable.....

If you would make this a part of a overhaul it could be a nice thing to be done, get rid of any remaing lacquer (noo deed for any serious buffing just immersion in hot water and perhaps soda) and then wax the body (it needs to be waxed every now and again), it will be a dull brass colour which some peole kill to acquire new on their new horns with a fake old look.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
milandro said:
it probably will.....as the brass oxides will build up again, soon, you will still see some difference but won't be so noticeable.....
Any way to speed this process up? I should have never let the guy touch it.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
41,632 Posts
touch it a lot, the oils and sweat would do the job to tarnish it....time is the best healer! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,317 Posts
In regard to using Brasso, which has a high concentration of ammonia;

FWIW - About 20 years ago Vincent Bach Corporation learned that many of their instruments were developing spiderweb type cracks and after extensive research learned that it was caused by the ammonia that they were using for prepping which was causing these cracks, even though the cracks didn't occur until 5-8 years after the fact. As such we discourage using ammonia on brass instruments. :(
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member, musician, technician &
Joined
·
5,049 Posts
When I asked a friend of mine if he wanted to see how his sax would look after polishing the brass (and his sax is the dirtiest sa I've seen, almost black from corosion) I showed it on a place that was more hidden so it wouldn't stand out, and much smaller than 2x2.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,567 Posts
Brasso is not a product you should use on saxes, there are better cleaners out there. (Some techs want to chime in about which ones are best?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,317 Posts
littlemanbighorn said:
Brasso is not a product you should use on saxes, there are better cleaners out there. (Some techs want to chime in about which ones are best?)
Red Bear, Flitz, Wenol, Goddards, Wrights, Haggerty's, Semichrome, Twinkle all work well. This list is based upon our preferences. When polishing professional raw-brass or nickle instruments we start with Red Bear. These are all quality products. Keep in mind that these all require proper degreasing as the black film they leave will make a mess of anything it comes in contact with.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,440 Posts
LAPD badges are delivered new with a clear-lacquer coating. Most officers remove the lacquer (various methods), then keep the badge polished (a daily routine if you want to look sharp - and most do).

It doesn't take long for a de-lacquered badge to look dull and grundgy.

Brasso is but one of many shining methods used on brass badges. But, when any polishing medium is used, one needs to remove the material from the nooks and crannies, otherwise that material begins to build up and clog the crevices.

The whole point of this being that the small patch on your horn will go away in time. DON'T try to polish the whole horn (beyond cleaning the surface) OR remove the lacquer, especially with Brasso or some other polisher - keeping it shiny will become burdensome. I know - I know - some folks like the look of an unlacquered saxophone, but trying to keep it shined isn't the goal when de-lacquering. DAVE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Brasso isn't supposed to be used on lacquered surfaces, is it?

Let your horn stay grungy. A lot of people like that look. If you want to polish it, have someone with some experience on the matter polish it. I speak from personal experience--harsh chemicals like Brasso (namely, Tarn-X) can really wreak havoc on your horn over time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,317 Posts
Dave Dolson said:
Brasso is but one of many shining methods used on brass badges. But, when any polishing medium is used, one needs to remove the material from the nooks and crannies, otherwise that material begins to build up and clog the crevices.

DAVE
My 105 gallon ultrasonic cleaner makes that job the easy part. Even though a pint size unit will work also in this instance.. :D
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,440 Posts
Jerry: I usually finished my badge with that stuff found in jewelry stores that comes in a little plastic jar. After using Brasso (or one of those polishing cloths impregnated with rouge) I'd brush that liquid on with a toothbrush, then rinse it under the tap and dry it off. It was a daily routine while preparing for my shift.

I always passed inspection! DAVE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,317 Posts
Dave Dolson said:
Jerry: I usually finished my badge with that stuff found in jewelry stores that comes in a little plastic jar. After using Brasso (or one of those polishing cloths impregnated with rouge) I'd brush that liquid on with a toothbrush, then rinse it under the tap and dry it off. It was a daily routine while preparing for my shift.

I always passed inspection! DAVE
:salute: I hear ya Dave. My dad was big brass in the Air Force. I know what you mean about clean and shiney. :D
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,042 Posts
Brasso will certainly shine brass and remove tarnish. There's not a GI extant who hasn't used the stuff. It is especially good at removing surface scratches- you can use it on a scratched watch crystal and wind up with it pretty close to as good as new. It's this latter characteristic that makes it a double edged sword on a sax though. Raw brass somewhere and in need of having it perfectly smooth and shiny again in prep for a spot lacquering? Fine stuff. Remove minor pitting in the palm keys and make them smooth and shiny again? Fine stuff. Have something partially lacquered and want to remove those final few flakes? Fine stuff- though what raw brass you now have will in the short term look about the same as a fresh from the factory clear lacquered instrument. (If you use it on orange peeled lacquer once you can erase the orange peel effect-use it regularly and you'll erase the lacquer!)Polish the unlaquered bell and make it smooth and shiny again? Well- smooth, shiny, and if you do it several times also unengraved...... The metal on most saxes is wildly thinner than the metal on the belt buckles and "US's", rank, and branch insignia that GI's use it for and from personal experience I can attest to just how abrasive the stuff is on even those pretty robust bits of brass over the course of a career.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top