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Seeker Of A Clever Title.
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm interested in buying a horn that was originally bare brass, and later lacquered. Does doing this remove any metal? I assume you don't, but I'm just checking

Also, does this affect the sound? (lol jk jk :twisted: :twisted: :D :D )
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member
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It does if it was buffed first - and to get a decent finish this was likely required.

I wouldn't worry about the sound - the topic has been debated to death -but I don't put any stock into it unless the person doing the buffing was abusive to the horn by taking more than needed.

The value is lower for a 'relac' (use this to your advantage)- but this usually only concerns the purists and collectors.

I've owed relaqs over the years - and they have been some great horns.
 

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Seeker Of A Clever Title.
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Discussion Starter #3
Why would it need to be buffed first? Is that so the lacquer would stick or something?
 

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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Sorry. That question does not make sense. You may have to re-word it.
 

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Seeker Of A Clever Title.
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Discussion Starter #7
When you buff a bare brass horn to put lacquer on it, do you buff it as much as you would if it was a lacquered horn?
 

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The short answer is "yes," all things being equal.

Buffing is a preparatory step in the lacquer-finishing process when handled by the factory or the traditional re-finishing specialty shop.

If the originally unlacquered horn were refinished using the traditional approaches, it would be buffed at least as much as a horn destined for a lacquer coat (or even a plated surface). Horns coming out the factory have been buffed extensively as well, but the engraving and perhaps final tonehole milling/leveling are downstream.

Buffing machines are/were the quickest way to get a mirror finish with no perceived irregularities or blemishes.

If the horn you are interested in was (re)lacquered by someone who simply hand-polished to obtain a reasonably clean (not necessarily mirror-clean) surface, it will have experienced much less metal loss.

Any re-finished horn has lost value to collectors or those wishing to flip for a profit, but likely will play/sound as nice as it ever did; the only serious structural risk is that the buffing wheel would be allowed to eat away at the tonehole edges. If you get a refinished horn that has lots of tonehole warpage, that could be why.....
 

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Seeker Of A Clever Title.
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Discussion Starter #9
Hmm... but the engraving looks pretty sharp on the horn, sharper than an excellent relaq I have seen.
 

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You asked a general question. Do you know whether YOUR horn was buffed, or hand-polished, and by someone who cared?

Buffing is a learned skill and some workers are better than others or at least more interested in protecting certain parts of the instrument from excessive buffing.
 
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