Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Columnist/Official SOTW Guru
Joined
·
3,764 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a whole bunch of Flutes to strip down and service and as with all school band services, "clean and shiny" is the first thing they notice.

I've seen Hagerty Silver Dip and thought I might grab some and give it a try.

This dude uses what seems to be Silver Dip in his Muramatsu overhaual

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewtdrbLvPg4

J L Smith sell Hagerty Silver Dip on their site, so you'd assume it was safe to use.

However, I've come across several warnings in my research into silver dips that say it attacks stainless steel.

And so my question is, Is it safe to dip a flute body in this stuff without doing damage to the springs???

Anyone use the Silver Dip???
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,336 Posts
In the shop I worked in we dipped silver plated flutes in a tarnish removing liquid I'm sure was similar to Hagerty Silver Dip with the springs installed and never had any problems. The "dip" itself would be only for 10 - 15 seconds since the liquid works instantly, and then the flute body would be rinsed off in the sink. The next step would be to blow dry the flute body with a high powered vacuum using the blower side.

This would do a pretty good job, but to make it look its best, we would "rag polish" the part using the white silver polish cloth from Allied that is sold in 4" wide rolls. When I was really anal about a flute repad, I would spray the parts with Hagerty Polish Spray and then rag with a soft regular cloth which would give a "deep shine" to the finish that the white cloth would not.

If the work has to be quick and cheap, the dip plus the blow dry does a pretty good job on the body, foot, and head. The white polish cloth is also a good product to use to polish keys when the pads haven't been removed.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Columnist/Official SOTW Guru
Joined
·
3,764 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Well, I went and saw a Silversmith and his advice was that as long as I rinse the parts thoroughly, no harm would be done, which would concur with John's findings.

I also had a play with some really nice tools, picked up some great broaches too.

There was an electrochemical silver bath developed by a couple of Australian guys that worked very well. You use it inside the ultrasonic cleaner and it does a ripper job. About $350 I think. There's a youtube clip here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLTFcxNLwak

I also talked to the Silversmith about soldering and after demonstrating some of the neatest work I've ever seen, he showed me the most amazing fusion welder. The setup is like a small handset (size of a dental handpiece) that can either be secured in a mounting jig or used freehand and a foot controller. This particular setup also had a binocular scope setup above. The needle point on the handpiece is very small and precise. I watched as he welded two titanium plates together with what turned out to be the smallest neatest weld job I've ever seen. Of course, the unit costs around $5 K but still, it was great fun to play with.

On the subject of buffing silver plated instruments, he said a lot of guys use rouge but this stuff gives a much better result

http://www.progresstool.com/pd_dialux_rouge_bleu_blue_-_120_gram_bar.cfm
 

·
Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
Joined
·
8,588 Posts
From what I've read, any "dip" will clear the sulfide, but will leave the silver in a sponge-like state (with many microscopic holes), making it more prone to tarnish and more difficult to clean later. Again, from what I've read, the patina is important to a silver finish and it's best cleaned using Hagerty's silver polish which contains a very very very mild abrasive, but also a protectant that inhibits further tarnishing.

The dips and electo-baths are obviously less time and skin consuming. To my mind it really sort of depends on whether this is your personal horn, or a customer you're trying to impress but get out the door at the lowest reasonable cost.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
4,690 Posts
Drew the unit he used for soldering would have been a laser welder, small container microsope etc....sensational item. But hard to justify the price.

The guy on you tube I would not follow his recommendations, Hes using an ion salt bath with electricty to substitute doing it at home with alfoil. The reason I dont recommend is whilst yes it does remove the tarnish it pits the surface on a micro scale. The surface tarnishes back exceptionally fast when de tarnished with a salt solution.

I use silvo with a small brush, it does not get all the tarnish of but does a very neat and quick job. Im interested however in a dip solution that is not salt based if you have one, I dont know if haggertys is a salt based unit

Before an instrument goes out the shop and after test playing, I wipe all silver plated instruments down with jewellers cloths impregnated with silver. This gives a magnificent finsh to the job
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Columnist/Official SOTW Guru
Joined
·
3,764 Posts
Discussion Starter #7

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
My routine for silver plate on flutes is: Tarnex with soapy water rinse, hand rag body with green rouge on flanel strip, machine polish with green rouge on unstiched chamois wheel. To brighten up playing conditions I mix Hagerty polish with denatured alchohol. I apply a small amount to exposed key and body areas with a fingertip covered in flanel. Let dry to a haze and polish with green rouge on unstiched chamois wheel.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
I've never had a problem with my other-brand dip. It can darken some spring alloys, but that looks fine.

I rinse the instrument well first, in hot water, because I would prefer to have the gaps around the springs inside the posts filled (by capillary action) with water than with the dip chemical, because the dip could encourage galvanic corrosion.

After that rinse, and prior to the dip, I give it a decent wash and brush with sprayed on (diluted) dishwasher, followed by another rinse. That is to remove oily and greasy deposits, which will prevent dip chemical from accessing the silver surfaces.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Hello friends,

I'm a professional silversmith specializing in restoration, conservation, and preservation. I have been testing silver dips for many years and recording the effects it has on silver.

Silver dips that contain acidified thiourea (a known carcinogen) will quickly remove factory-applied patinas (if left in the solution for more than a few seconds) or gradually (if dipped quickly each time the object requires cleaning). You'll notice a soft white surface develop over time.

These dips will quickly strip the shine from silver, leaving a dull, lifeless appearance.

These dips will cause pitting of the object's surface. These surface defects will act like a sponge and more readily absorb tarnish-producing gases and moisture. The object will eventually require professional polishing to restore the original finish.

These dips are corrosive and will damage silver, niello, bronze, stainless steel knife blades, and organic materials such as wood and ivory.

These dips, when used on objects that have sealed components, such as candlesticks and trophies with hollow feet, or teapots with hollow handles, may leak into the cavity through small holes or imperfections in the joints. At this point, it becomes virtually impossible to wash the chemical out. If you're working on a baby cup with this type of rim, do you really want an infant drinking from it after using a silver dip?

If you want to see the results of using silver dips containing acidified thiourea, visit this page: http://www.hermansilver.com/tarn-x.htm.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
17,991 Posts
Jeff, thanks fo chiming in; your article has been linked to from here before.

While I understand your arguments, I think you need to understand that the objective of a tech who is trying to clean up a silverplate musical instrument is different from the objective of someone trying to bring back a tea kettle.

The other thing is....no tech that I know of will just use a chem-dip and then just rinse it off and leave it at that. There is almost always a detergent bath and usually some sort of hand-polish afterward.

Dip. Rinse. Thorough soap clean. Thorough rinse. Dry. Hand-polish. In some cases, perhaps even a light mechanical buff using the proper rouge.

When this process is therefore used, a lot of the arguments you state in the article become moot, no ?

There is no concern on our end for 'removing applied patinas' because musical instruments usually don't have these, and if they did ~ we don't want those to remain, anyway.

There is no concern for the Dip leaving a 'dull and lifeless' appearance because the Dip is only the first step in a 3, 4, or 5-step process.

And there is no concern of the Dip causing a pitting to the instrument's surface and permanently acting as a 'sponge' because, again, the Dip is not the final step in the process; subsequent steps would negate these potential negatives you describe, no ?

So....the arguments that it would 'ruin' your silver and endanger your health seems to me a bit alarmist.


I would be inclined to agree with you that a dip as the one-and-only process in the cleaning process would be a bad idea; from my perspective simply because the resulting instrument, while cleaned of the patina and grime, still will not look very good. That there are other, more important reasons not to leave it in this state, as your article describes in detail, is interesting stuff and good to know.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
Thanks JaypDX. My thoughts exactly.
 

·
Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
Joined
·
8,588 Posts
You guys are fooling yourselves if you think most people, or even most techs, do what you just described.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
4,690 Posts
You guys are fooling yourselves if you think most people, or even most techs, do what you just described.
Seriously.

What would you know about what most techs would do.

Have you been to a convention of techs, where they discuss what they do and how they do it, have you worked one on one with techs to base your assumption around.

Or have you plucked an assumption out of the air and written it so now it is fact.

I really do wonder why some people reply.

As far as jayepdx's comments, thats what I pretty well do 50-70 times a week, and that is what my employees do as well

Steve
 

·
Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
Joined
·
8,588 Posts
Simso,

I'm certain you do as you described. You give a ****. It's a lot of work though. Been through a few techs and can't help but notice the bottle of Tarnex on the shelf with some of the ones I've had do work. Also, if you follow and contribute to these silver plate cleaning threads, as I have over the last 5 years I've been on here, many, other than a few of us seem to think that you can dip it, wash it. A quick way out, and all will be well. I've particularly enjoyed the threads on the aluminum foil/salt/hot water method, as if the sulfur magically disappears restoring the silver and the finish back to its original condition.

Wasn't aimed at you, but too many love the convenience of the dip. Quick, cheap, and easy. It's all over this forum.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
4,690 Posts
Sorry, I was a bit abrasive, just of late I have seen comments where I wonder why did the poster even respond, I had simply let loose on you, apologies that's not me normally.

Steve
 

·
Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
Joined
·
8,588 Posts
Are you talking about repairmen?
Fair question from both of you. You're passionate about what you do and will take the time to do things right. Even Tarnex has its place has an appropriate place as a tool in your toolbox and it should.

That said, it's pretty clear from having monitored the 45 gazillion threads on this particular subject (silver care) on this forum that most of the people that are reaching for easy cures aren't techs, however, even here, with techs that actually give a s**t about saxophones contributing, that plenty of cases have been have been made by techs for why they use dips and they range from substantial time saver, to someone ignorant of the long-term effect, and to tarnish that's particularly difficult to remove in places. I've also experienced that there's a lot of people out there repairing musical instruments looking for short cuts -- whether it's cleaning the horn, replacing pads, or both, and frequently had to have a horn, that was sold to me as "needing nothing", requiring significant "adjustment".

This isn't unique to pads.... Doing a quick and fast clean on a silver horn is a pretty common thing for a "flipper" to do. It makes the horn more sellable with less time than a repad, so a quick trip through the Tarnex bottle can add significantly to the final sale price and they don't have much time at all in it.

The passionate crafts people among you are very good, and do things they way they should be done, including maintaining the finish. This is why you often have a long queue for work, frankly. You spend the time to do things right which is why you get repeated work from people like me -- the anal retentive. My experience, however, has been that you tend to be in the minority, which is why a really good tech is something a player really wants to find and keep. This is not to mention that you folks often see and comment on butcher jobs yourself from other "techs". Do you somehow think that's limited to mechanical work?

Nope.
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top