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Discussion Starter #1
Have some green corrosion in a gold wash bell of a Conn C mel, just at the bell brace attachment point.
Assuming this is from work done on it at some point.
What is the safest way to remove?

My assumption is this is now raw brass and a bit of brasso will do the trick?
 

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If you're familiar with the expression that a picture is worth a thousand words this is one of those cases that proves it.

Your description doesn't parse for me. Gold wash is usually on the interior of a bell and the attachment point for the brace is on the backside of the bell on every horn I've seen.

Without seeing it, I'd suggest either some silver wipes or possible a polishing cloth neither of which would be as harsh as Brasso.

After posting a photo, there might be a much better suggestion.



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Discussion Starter #3
sorry, yes the bell brace is on the outside, but just at the same point as the corrosion exists on the inside...
Looking closer, it is actually around the 'horizontal diamond' bell brace attachment, on only one side...

here is the pic...

View attachment 243726
 

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That's odd, indicative of the bell brace soldering penetrating the brass wall of the bell. I have not seen that before and would speculate that its the result of some kind of repair work that involved making holes. Whatever, the corrosion can be quickly neutralized/removed with some vinegar on a cloth. I'm more interested if those places are actually holes that might be leaking air.
 

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That's why I asked for a picture. Yeah Brasso could work, but that looks like it's a silver plated horn and I'd opt for gentle before harsh.

Vinegar and a silver wipes or polish would be my choices.

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Brasso...is fairly caustic and has a lot of 'tooth' to it. I would not suggest it. I agree with John, try something gentler.

Something like Wenol or Hagerty 100 silver paste is gentler and will likely not dig into the gold wash, whereas Brasso or Noxon likely will.

I actually wonder if Tarn-X would work. It can get that sorta stuff off of silverplate, but given you have the gold wash there, not sure that'd be the ticket.

Is this a replated horn by any chance ?
 

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I stopped using Brasso years ago due to the difficulty of cleaning the part and removing the residue using soapy water. Instead I use either Wenol, Maas, or Simichrome metal polish in that order of preference. Cotton squares or ovals used for makeup removal are excellent to use with metal polish because there is virtually no scratching as there can be with certain cloths. After polishing the "spots" and the surrounding area you can use a coating of Renaissance Wax to help inhibit further corrosion from taking place.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Not holes, external is amazing, original silver, no signs of repair on backside of bell around brace, etc.
Horn is simply stunning! Mostly closeted horn from what seller said, his dad recently past, was his.
Case is even not THAT bad for 1923, will be redoing the inside though as this horn needs a proper resting place (I've done a few trumpet cases in the past, and swore i would never do another case, but...this horn deserves it).

Here are some pics....apologies for the rotation....I have no earthly idea how they load differently than what is on my PC, easier for you all to just turn your head!
3rd pic is of brace in question

View attachment 243758

View attachment 243760

View attachment 243762

View attachment 243764

View attachment 243766
 

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Well, first of all I 'm not convinced that's related to the brace being near there. I think there were just a couple thin spots in the plating and the brass has corroded through. After all, the plating will be preferentially deposited on the outside of the tube and it only get deposited inside due to the electric field "wrapping around" at the tone holes and bell. Besides that, everything I've seen indicates that the plating was done on the assembled sax body, so there wouldn't have been any soldering after it was plated, and the exterior shot indicates no past damage. There also could have been some schmutz left on the part at the time of plating that the usual pre-plating pickle didn't remove. Surface prep and cleaning is the most important aspect of a plating job.

Secondly, that position should be down past where the gold stops, it certainly looks so in the photo, but you are the one looking at it in person and can tell better.

Thirdly, that corrosion will do no harm to anything at least within your remaining lifetime, but if you want to take it off there's no harm.

Fourthly, I would start out by rubbing it with a paper towel. It's 10- to 1 that the verdigris will rub off with just that, leaving a little spot of bare brass with some brown coloration. In another few years, you might have to do it again. This is what it's like keeping the green spots off my old alto which has no significant lacquer at all. I just rub the green off and then it eventually turns reddish-brown.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, it is below the gold wash line, just noticed this, so it is on brass with the 'overflow' silver plating as mentioned above.
Tried silver polish, nothing.
Tried paper towel, took some off but not all.

What is the next step? Vinegar as some suggested above?
 

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Try Maas, or Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish (supermarket automotive section or car parts store). Both are very gentle but efficient on corrosion Like JayeLID suggested, TarnX may also work. Vinegar can do some strange things but as long as you don't leave it soaking for a week you should be fine. And keep in mind, haste killed the yellow snake when it swallowed the sun, better do the wax on, wax off very gently and slow before rushing into harsh chemicals and brute force.
 

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Wright's Brass polish is a much more gentle option and is water-soluble. Wright's is the choice in the trombone world when setting up the slide because is water-soluble and gentle. I'd give it a try if those spots really concern you that much.
 
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