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I posted some time ago about trying to get a bass sax silver plated. I'm at a loss friends..
I simply cannot find anyone to do it with the horn disassembled or not. I'm beyond frustrated and feel that I'm just getting the run around cause people dont "want" to do it more than it "can't" be done.

This horn was disassembled and promised to be restored by a SOTW tech only to sit for nearly 10 years. The owner reaches out to me to complete it. So, I tackle the C.S.I. like task of "pickin up the pieces".

See the pic for how it was when I got it to where it is now. Words don't describe the poor condition it was in when I got it. Bent and broken keys, crack in the bow, all tone holes leaking, etc. What's worse is that this sax was once playable! See the pic of me playing it in 2007!

Tech that committed to the job promised the world to the owner for a full restoration with silver plate. During the time this horn collected dust at his shop he even did a full restoration with silver plating on another client's bass!!!

I'm all but begging for help to find a way to get this plated. Alternatively, the owner has agreed to a satin brass lacquered finish to emulate a satin gold plate.

Any help is appreciated


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John: Good luck with this effort. I suppose having the horn restored without the desired silver-plate may be its fate, but that isn't a bad thing.

I'm still enjoying the two Buescher altos you did for me a few years ago. Great work! DAVE
 

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This may be a stupid idea but... if the tech did a restoration with silver plating on another bass sax, then someone did the silver plating. Why not ask this someone ? (except if it is the 'faulty' tech himself, of course)

Good luck !
 

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This may be a stupid idea but... if the tech did a restoration with silver plating on another bass sax, then someone did the silver plating. Why not ask this someone ? (except if it is the 'faulty' tech himself, of course)

Good luck !
That tech did the plating. Has his own plating equipment but somehow cant do it now.

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Remind us again what the longest section of the disassembled bass measures and what Anderson Plating said was the longest work they could accept. Do you have someone who can give the sax a bead blasted finish in the event you find a plating company that can do it? There is a plating company in Salt Lake City that has done some small plating work for me called Quality Plating. You might inquire if they have a tank large enough for your project.
 

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The body tube by itself is 38". That doesnt include the bottom/top bows. Anderson's told me the longest they can fit is 34" meaning that even a bari sax has to be disassembled. Aside from that fact, Anderson's also disclosed that they are not interested in the prep work involved on anything larger than a trumpet.

If this is true then I want to know who the heck is silver plating sousaphones?? Lol

I can get the best blasting handled. Whether I plate or lacquer, seems my other hiccup in alm this is getting the keys and accents buffed
Remind us again what the longest section of the disassembled bass measures and what Anderson Plating said was the longest work they could accept. Do you have someone who can give the sax a bead blasted finish in the event you find a plating company that can do it? There is a plating company in Salt Lake City that has done some small plating work for me called Quality Plating. You might inquire if they have a tank large enough for your project.
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Not many techs these days have in house electroplating setups, do not get me wrong some people have systems the size of coffee cups, but that is pretty well useless unless your only doing a clarinet or similiar.

So back to topic, most work gets farmed out, andersons recently notified people they will no longer be doing piston plating as the guy there that does it is retiring and they cannot find anyone else willing or capable of doing it. They will plate larger items, but you have to do all the buff work.

Plating is a dirty dangerous job.

Reach out to Paul, Hornfixer, he still does buffing I beleive and photos of his work look great.

I would try and convince the owner of having it buffed and finished in an epoxy or similiar, you can farm the lacquer work out to a local car painting shop.

I only yesterday took on a Martin Bari for restoration work which includes refinishing, it really is a lot of work when dealing with finishes.

Steve
 

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The body tube by itself is 38". That doesnt include the bottom/top bows. Anderson's told me the longest they can fit is 34" meaning that even a bari sax has to be disassembled. Aside from that fact, Anderson's also disclosed that they are not interested in the prep work involved on anything larger than a trumpet.

If this is true then I want to know who the heck is silver plating sousaphones?? Lol

I can get the best blasting handled. Whether I plate or lacquer, seems my other hiccup in alm this is getting the keys and accents buffed


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Thats smaller than a Model A bumper...gotta be lots of places that do large item plating. Check out some plating services like these guys:

https://gravesplating.com/

Lot of old guys, that probably know how to setup a temporary rig for something large,and also know different plating techniques. They also might enjoy the specific challenge of a new item, and might increase their interest, if you let them know Anderson balked...competition is a great thing.
 

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Take it to a car bumper place and get it chrome plated. Easy to keep clean. You can do the keys in lacquer and will look nice.
 

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Bumper plating would be a good solution (the pun is a bonus).

Another possibility which is probably cheaper is “ chrome” (I understood that it is not at all chrome) painting.

The advantage is that it is flexigble and could allow for later undenting which proper chrome is not great at.

https://www.cosmichrome.com


 

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I can't really help, but what about matte or shiny nickel? Being a non precious metal, there may be more companies that do nickel plating for industrial applications. Shiny nickel would be historically accurate to an old bass sax, as well, and most people can't tell the difference between silver and nickel. Matte nickel would, I think, look even closer to silver (yes, the observant can tell the difference, I know I could, but I think the general effect would be similar) and with a lot less perfection needed in the prep.


Electroless nickel? not historically accurate, but gives a beautiful finish.
 

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the nice thing about cosmichrome ( which is really a really a silver based product as I understand) is that not only allows undenting without cracking but can also be lacquered over for protection.

This would allow also a sating finish should you not like the high glossy finish.
 

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Electroless nickel is hard as nails and inexpensive.
Its industrial so you will likely find large vats.
It dies not flake like chrome can. I a million years it will wear but not flake.
Unlike chrome it can tarnish,
 

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I can't really help, but what about matte or shiny nickel? Being a non precious metal, there may be more companies that do nickel plating for industrial applications. Shiny nickel would be historically accurate to an old bass sax, as well, and most people can't tell the difference between silver and nickel. Matte nickel would, I think, look even closer to silver (yes, the observant can tell the difference, I know I could, but I think the general effect would be similar) and with a lot less perfection needed in the prep.


Electroless nickel? not historically accurate, but gives a beautiful finish.
FWIW, I believe your assumption is correct. When I lived in PDX I went to a plating shop which primarily did industrial plating, but they did nickelplate and their tanks for that were certainly large enough for a Bass sax. They did a hella nice job, too....and the proprietor was sorta gassed about plating something out of the ordinary (for them).

But, of course, you (OP) would have to be OK with Nickel as opposed to Silver...
 

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... and then there is the issue of nickel toxicity/sensitivity for some people.
 

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Reach out to John Uttech at 715-536-6634. He does the best prep and relacquer work I've seen and can probably help you out. As far as silver plating, if anyone can do it, he'll know who.
 
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