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Hi all,

maybe a weird question, how can I remove the gold plate from a plated brass ligature?
Beside the use of sand paper, etc.

Background of this question is, that I like the Ishimori (woodstone) ligatures. And for whatever reason I prefer the pure brass ones. But Ishimori does not sell every ligature in pure brass. Asking Ishimori directly, if I can get a pure brass version, was not successful.

Many thanks for your help.
gordex
 

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A buffing wheel with tripoli will make quick work of the gold plating. That seems like a lot of work. The gold plating will wear off over time which is the route I would take. You could also have it brass plated over the gold which might be a first. :)
 

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Live with the gold. What you want to do is basically crazy and unless it was done electrically or chemically it would ruin the ligature.
I am curious as to whether this is about playing characteristics or simply appearances.
 

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So you've been told that different or lack of plating on a ligature makes a sonic difference or is it purely aesthetic? Please don't fall victim to marketing hype. Also, don't buy a Klangbogen.
 

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Hi all,

maybe a weird question, how can I remove the gold plate from a plated brass ligature?
Beside the use of sand paper, etc.

Background of this question is, that I like the Ishimori (woodstone) ligatures. And for whatever reason I prefer the pure brass ones. But Ishimori does not sell every ligature in pure brass. Asking Ishimori directly, if I can get a pure brass version, was not successful.

Many thanks for your help.
gordex


I think your request is very clearly stated. "And for whatever reason I prefer the pure brass ones."

Furthermore, the one you like the best is not offered in pure brass.

Consequently, you want to remove the gold plate and get the ligature you want.

That is a splendid goal for anyone to have.

In do not understand why you say "beside the use of sand paper, etc" however as a limitation to removing the gold.

http://www.howtocleanstuff.net/how-to-remove-gold-plating-from-silver-jewelry/

Something like this might work, I suppose, although the process is designed for silver.

Steps to Remove the Gold Plating:

Begin by using a mildly abrasive pad to remove as much of the gold as possible. Hold the piece carefully and apply some pressure as you move the pad back and forth across the gold plating. It may take some time, but this will remove the thin layer of gold.
Once the gold is removed, you will be left with a scratched surface. To remove the scratches, use a felt cloth with Tripoli compound to buff the surface smooth.
If the original piece was shiny, follow the Tripoli compound with jeweler’s rouge, again rubbing it onto the surface with a soft cloth.
Wipe away any remaining polish with a soft cloth.
If desired or needed, finish the removal process by applying a good quality silver polish.


Since electroplating is used to put gold on [https://www.ehow.com/how_6634761_gold-plate-brass.html]

it seems as though there might be some reverse process to take it off! But as far as I can tell, once that gold is on there, getting it off by chemical or electric processes involves a great deal of expense and danger.

[for example, I see this list:1 gallon of Clorox Bleach. or Sodium hypochlorate at 6%
2. Muriatic Acid 34% HCL ~ Baume.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide - 3% but no greater then 5%
4. Stumpout by Bonide. or Sodium bisulfate - 99.9% as specified in the Msds or Sodium Meta Bisulfite.
You cannot substitue with these chemicals trying to do so will no give the required reactions.

and a whole bunch of warnings about trying to use them!]

I would say that if you just cannot live with the gold, then use elbow grease.

Buff off the gold. Polish the brass afterwards.

I never thought of trying this before, and the answer above is based upon nothing but my rummaging around in web searches.

I have my gear preferences that are based upon nothing but bare superstition or my own bad taste. So I wish you luck in ending up with the gear you want!

If I were in your shoes, I would consult with the best jewelry maker/repairer you could find in person.
 

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Well, nowadays most gold plating is really really thin.

I would start with scouring powder (I don't know what you call it in Germany, but it's the abrasive stuff you use on bathtubs - typical American brands are Comet or Ajax), then when you've got all the gold off, use a metal polish (again, US brands would be Brasso, Wenol, etc. - I think Simichrome the best metal polish I've ever used, is a German product) to restore the shine.

You don't have to achieve a mirror finish because the unplated brass will start tarnishing almost instantly.
 

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Well, nowadays most gold plating is really really thin.
True but it is often plated over silver or nickel so there may well be that layer to contend with as well in order to get back to bare brass.
 

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Is it for a tenor HR mouthpiece? if so, send it to me for about a year and I should be able to return it to you in your desired appearance. (I've had a couple ligs lose their gold plating over the years...)
 

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But as far as I can tell, once that gold is on there, getting it off by chemical or electric processes involves a great deal of expense and danger.
Which is only a hindrance to the rational person. Without knowing the reason behind the statement "for whatever reason I prefer the pure brass ones", expense, danger, destruction, injury, etc. may not be factors in determining the course of action. For instance, if the reason is "I want to meet my maker," then you can mix:

1 gallon of Clorox Bleach or Sodium hypochlorate at 6%
2. Muriatic Acid 34% HCL ~ Baume.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide - 3% but no greater then 5%
4. Stumpout by Bonide or Sodium bisulfate - 99.9% as specified in the MSDS or Sodium Meta Bisulfite.

Pour some of the mixture in your mouth and suck on the ligature for a day. Mission accomplished.

Obviously, we need to know the purpose of the removal of the gold plating to adequately address the question. If the removal is cosmetic, the polishing compound idea won't work. You will spend endless hours and days trying to remove the gold plating from the nooks and crannies of the ligature and likely never succeed. Of course, if your visual concept is a grungy look of half gold plated and half tarnished brass, this can be accomplished with abrasives. It is a popular look. Sort of like the popular fashion of millennials wearing new blue jeans with factory fabricated worn and torn spots. Or new saxophones with "vintage" finishes.

If your reason is purely acoustic, then you could use abrasives to slowly remove sufficient gold plating to get the preternatural sound that you imagine. After only several days of using rubbing compound, you may reach your goal or, more likely, change your goal. But the best method isn't determinable without knowing the goal.

Mark
 

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My alto sax & soprano sax are each equipped with a gold-plated Ishimori Thumb Hook II. My personal style is plain unlacquered brass -- not to mention authentically ratty flyaway hair & denim jeans scuffed up thru actual wear -- but only the gold-plated hooks were available when I ordered. So, gritting my teeth in psychic anguish, I paid the premium for blingy hooks. They feel supremely comfy & provide a secure grip. Best of all, I don't have to look at them while I'm blowing sax!
 

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Pete is correct...it will very likely have an underplate. If its nickel which is most common keep in mind nickel is not an easy material to remove.
This sounds bad.

If that is the case, it is time to give it up as a bad job.

Perhaps the consolation could be found by watching the shoelace guy again!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ghMCiV8hTg

Hey!
What about some brass or bronze colored paint?
Would it stick on there well enough to make the look?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hi all,

the reason is quite simple. I have a gold plated and a pure brass ishimori (woodstone) ligature for my Link double ring (tenor). And I prefer the sound (feeling) of the pure brass. There is a difference. At least for me. The gold plated one is brighter. The audience might not notice it, but I feel more comfortable with the pure brass. There is no optical reason behind.

Now I have a No USA, which is slimmer. Ishimori does not offer the slimmer ligature in pure brass.

Many thanks for the useful tips. Removing the gold plate in an easy way seems complex. I am not sure, what I will do. The Ishimori ligatures are too expensive to just try it.

Best regards
gordex
 

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Amazing how beliefs can make life so complicated.
It's a shame you cannot easily do double blind testing using the one ligature with different finishes.
 

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Amazing how beliefs can make life so complicated.
It's a shame you cannot easily do double blind testing using the one ligature with different finishes.
Yes, especially when the market place claims silver to be brighter, gold to be warmer.

I have tried the same lig in numerous plate forms and zero difference.

That is not to say that every lig of the same model is exactly the same. I suppose there can be very slight degrees of variance but not due to plating.

Also you put a lig on differently every time.

There is more variance in the behavior and belief systems of humans than pretty much anything else.

I suppose it is at least good for the economy?
 
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