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Brasso & Removing Tarnish

6140 Views 15 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Henry D
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.


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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. :(
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.
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.

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