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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have just been given a clarinet (LeFleur which i belive may be a Boosey and Hawks Edgeware see this thread http://www.saxontheweb.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=66760 ) which has nickle plated keywork. the horn is old (probably 40 years) and the nickle has turned to a matt grey finish.
is there anyway to restore the lustre to these keys?
or do i just live with it?
 

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Yes. The keys must be hand polished on a high-speed buffing machine. Due to the fact that during the process the pads and corks will get destroyed, it would have to be overhauled at that time. Or just live with it until you can have the job done by a professional tech. IMO.
 

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Polishing is another way of saying grinding!
Don't touch it man! Revel in the finish it has earned, I went to great lengths to leave my Martin C mel just the way I found it. The inside and the tone are the bit that matters. Any instrument that has been defiled by polishing will be ignored by a collector.
Watch Ebay, the sillies who spend hours polishing the estate find wonder why it don't make reserve.
If you really have a yen to see it shine, Get it done with gas, non contact, Musuem style.
It sounds like silver plating to me
 

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tomalite said:
Polishing is another way of saying grinding!
Don't touch it man! Revel in the finish it has earned, I went to great lengths to leave my Martin C mel just the way I found it. The inside and the tone are the bit that matters. Any instrument that has been defiled by polishing will be ignored by a collector.
Watch Ebay, the sillies who spend hours polishing the estate find wonder why it don't make reserve.
If you really have a yen to see it shine, Get it done with gas, non contact, Musuem style.
It sounds like silver plating to me
What on gods green earth are you talking about? :x It's a B&H Edgeware!! :?
 

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What on gods green earth are you talking about? It's a B&H Edgeware!!

Yeah Jerry, but with the ebay system it will soon cost as much as a new Buffet.
:x
 

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It takes a lot to polish nickel. The power tool is a must. A small dremel polishing bit can handle a lot of it without destroying the pads or the wood if you are VERY careful. Plus, clarinets don't have many pads anyway, so it's pretty easy to avoid them.
 

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hansmartini said:
What on gods green earth are you talking about? It's a B&H Edgeware!!

Yeah Jerry, but with the ebay system it will soon cost as much as a new Buffet.
:x
At least buying the Buffet you are purchasing a quality clarinet. And there are no pot-metal/unrepairable keys on the Buffet. I just don't get the mentality sometimes Hans. :( Even if I had an Edgeware, I wouldn't give it away to someone, much less sell it. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for your replys:D

but it has turned out that the keys are in fact silver or silver plated but are really dirty and where hard to clean.
and it may not be an Edgware. it is marked made in France on the main body just under the top tenon joint.i didn't see that at first as it is quite small and difficult to read.
Serial No is D697:?
 

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We have a nickel plating line at work, and Ive used it numerous times. The key point to polishing silver or nickel is either do it by hand or by machine, The end result comes down to how many passes you do over the surface with the right amount of pressure and cutting compound. As you can imagine it takes a lot more work by hand then by machine, a machine can do multiple passes in seconds. Any cut and polish will do including stuff used on cars. We at work actually use car cut and polish becuase you can buy it large quantities, rouge is good for prepping as well.
Steve

PS whats wrong with the boosey and hawkes edgeware model
 

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At least buying the Buffet you are purchasing a quality clarinet. And there are no pot-metal/unrepairable keys on the Buffet. I just don't get the mentality sometimes Hans. Even if I had an Edgeware, I wouldn't give it away to someone, much less sell it.

Agree with everything you say Jerry (as usual).
Hans
 

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"What on gods green earth are you talking about"
My mother would wash your mouth out!

Sorry Jerry but I don't agree with taking the lords name in vain any more than taking a buffer to a silver plated musical instrument

I hesitantly chose to respond to a few posts and pay back some of what I had learnt from "saxontheweb" with what I have learnt in my own journey.
My mistake is now as obvious as my fingers on the keyboard not the touches they fit

Thank you Jerry you saved me wasting further practice time
BTW
Keep giving the grinding advice, my collection just keeps getting more valuable
 

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When I am repadding a student line clarinet or sax with nickel plated keys, instead of buffing, I swish the keys around in Allied's " Slime-away" then wash with a mild dishwashing detergent and an old toothbrush. After the keys dry, I rub them a little with a soft cloth. It works great and it's fast.
 

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OK,
Randalls trade secret #222 revealed:

Try crest toothpaste, don't use a brush or a buffer.
 

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tomalite said:
"What on gods green earth are you talking about"
My mother would wash your mouth out!

Sorry Jerry but I don't agree with taking the lords name in vain any more than taking a buffer to a silver plated musical instrument

I hesitantly chose to respond to a few posts and pay back some of what I had learnt from "saxontheweb" with what I have learnt in my own journey.
My mistake is now as obvious as my fingers on the keyboard not the touches they fit

Thank you Jerry you saved me wasting further practice time
BTW
Keep giving the grinding advice, my collection just keeps getting more valuable

What on god's green earth are you talking about still??

I'd hate to say that if you learned on SOTW that polishing and grinding are the same, you learned wrong. And you obviously didn't read where the original post said it was nickle, not silver. Two totally different animals here. In 27 years in the repair trade I've buffed and polished every material and plating a metallic instrument is made of or plated with (including prepping instruments for re-plating) worth 5 figures. I've also plated them. Your response, again, was ignorant.

Do NOT polish silver plating with toothpaste of any kind. The pumice it contains is far too abrasive. If you are a DIY'r, buy some Flitz or Happich Semi-Chrome and apply in very miniscule amounts using a soft cloth. A little bit goes a long way and creates less mess. Any residuals of any type must be throughly cleaned and removed. Also do not do this with the keys on the instrument.

Best advise I have read so far is to take it to a qualified tech. We can polish any plating type of nickle keys in under an hour, including the posts on the body. 2 hours for silver, since much of it is done by hand, not on a buffing machine.
 

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LBAjazz said:
When I am repadding a student line clarinet or sax with nickel plated keys, instead of buffing, I swish the keys around in Allied's " Slime-away" then wash with a mild dishwashing detergent and an old toothbrush. After the keys dry, I rub them a little with a soft cloth. It works great and it's fast.

How do you remove the cloudy gray oxidation? That's the nature of this thread, not cleaning them. Buffing makes them look better than new. Chemicals of any type will not do the job. Also, be sure not to confuse german nickle-silver keys with nickle plated keys. Again, totally different animals. Modern era professional clarinets are often german nickle-silver keys which are then nickle plated. Silver plating is also available and optional.
 

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You "guessed" silver, when it was clearly stated nickle. As a mettalurgist you would clearly know the difference in the materials and the methods of preparing each. I have never "devalued" and instrument in any way. I get paid handsomely to do the opposite.

Lots of people read what is read here and do not understand what perhaps you and I do, and can quickly get themselves in trouble if things are not clearly defined and spelled out.
 

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From your website..."Courteous and knowledgeable personnel to answer questions". I guess "courteous" is a subjective term.
 

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Hi guys, how about this returns back to info on polishing and stops being a pissing match. We all know polishing is a form of grinding "Yay".
But for descriptive purposes both conjure up different finishing results.
The guy wants his clarinet to be shiny, thats his choice.
Okay mate, my experience, If its very dull and a matt grey finish then your probably out of luck its not going to come up much better than what youve got, unfortunatley the surface coating "Nickel, Silver, German Silver, whatever" has degraded to the point where the base metal has started to come through.
Okay depending on how shiny you want it then start with the followwing processes.
No 1 remove the key, use some household dishwashing liquid and see if it comes up a bit better, this is just to remove any grime from peoples fingers ect that maybe making it dull.
No 2 use some toothpaste and a small cloth to rub the surface with.
Want it shinier, grab some metal finishing polish and rub it by hand, let the compound dry on thee surface and rub it of.
No 3 If you want it shinier now, then you got to use a power tool fitted wit a buffing wheel, and use ruge or some car cut and polish
No 4 Want it shinier. Its got to go to an electroplater and be replated
I hope this answered your original core question mate
Steve
 
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