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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've searched this topic but came up empty so here goes. I have an old King I'd like to finish removing the lacquer from. I guess what's on it is the original from the 40s. I have used Ferrees Cold strip but it won't touch the stuff. Is there anything I can use to prevent buffing? Thanks for your help.
 

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Some Kings used a really tough lacquer that I've only been able to remove with lye (caustic soda, as found in Easy Off oven cleaner...).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sounds good, I'll give it a try. Thanks.
 

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I just finished stripping a '64 King Zephyr bari and I used an automotive paint stripper. Worked great! It was in a spray can. Sprayed it on, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then rinsed it with hot water and used a brass brush to get the spots around the tone holes and posts. I'm not sure if the lacquer is the same but you could give it a shot.
 

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Did king use the 'red lacquer' on all instruments? I have a 397xxx king bari that needs some lacquer help...
 

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I no longer even mess with the quote-unquote "gentle" strippers anymore, or home-made recipes. Use a heavy-duty lacquer/paint stripper from the hardware store..one which will remove lacq from brass hardware such as a doorknob or hinge or such.

The stuff I use (have bought it under many different brand-names) has the consistency and look of cloudy white gelatin which you brush on and let sit for 15 or so minutes.

Hella caustic, I hate it when it gets on my hands; and I won't let any significant amt. of the the stuff go down the sink or tub drain ...but it works well. Doesn't hurt instrument brass and it still is better than buffing off, for sure.
 

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My sax tech said if it's king red lacquer, he didn't even want to see the horn for a rebuild....

Early 60's, 397xxx serial, pre-eastlake, nickel plated keys.

Is this the infamous king red lacquer ???
 

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I have used just about everything to strip some off the old king lacquers. We had a tank of methylene chloride in the repair shop and after days of soaking it didn't always come off. ALWAYS had to buff the horn to get the scum from soaking off the brass. This chemical is the basis for many of the "industrial strength" paint removers. I've use lye and boiling in washing soda as well. None of them work 100% In my experience all require you to polish the horn after stripping the lacquer, unless you like a dull nasty looking instrument when done.
 

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Here's an equally dumb question.

Easy off (I've heard) takes off the lacquer but blackens the brass in the process. Is there a way to strip a king and get a somewhat uniform black finish, to avoid the buffing?
 
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