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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's an album: https://picasaweb.google.com/103001...DueToLacquerWear?authkey=Gv1sRgCPmNvZnV8uyOKQ

this is a one owner original lacquer horn. I'd say that the original lacquer coverage was better than 90%. Always taken care of, pampered horn.

You can see after delacquering, the "highs" and the "lows" where it was respectively lacquered and where the lacquer wore off/flaked

I have seen less material removal on heavy buffed relacquers than on the places that became unprotected on this horn. Let alone, a careful relacquer done to protect not to bring up to showroom quality again.

But IMHO the best option is to delacquer and leave it bare brass. No bare brass horn loses overtime the amount of material a lacquered horn loses (that's if you're not constantly polishing it up to have a shiny horn)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So, if I get it right, brass under lacquer was preserved much better than bare brass parts? Right? Therefore lacquered parts are "higher" and bare brass parts were "eaten". So if brass becomes unprotected without lacquer, why then you need to strip the horn to preserve it? Isn't it better to just spot lacquer those bare brass parts to preserve it? I'm kinda lost here :)
no you got it partially right.

What happens is that when 2 different electronic potential parts are on the same surface pitting occurs. I you have 100% lacquer there's wear on the lacquer. But if you have an open pore on the protective coating, that part on the substrate gets destructively eaten way faster than bare subtrate exposed to the elements and not buffed.

I've lived most of my life in coastal enviroments (cities by the sea and by big rivers) and the most stable finish is no finish at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What's your experience with pitting on plated horns?
they're worse than laquered horns.

Thanks for your answer. Very interesting. Something new to me, so I have a question in this regard.
My SBA is an original lacquer and in pristine condition, but has a corrosion around low Eb keycup. I was told by a tech not to worry about it, as the corrosion itself is like a "barrier" and it's protecting the brass underneath. I'm posting some zoomed pictures, it looks much less actually in reality. I would appreciate your input on it, should I do anything to it or leave it as is?
Thanks!
leave it as is for the time being.

ADD: if that was my horn and I'd intend to keep it for more than 10 years I'd delacquer it, but I don't know how old your pads are
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Juan - What of using wax over that area to slow the process?
That's what should be done even on plated horns. A goot coat of carnauba wax and periodically maintainence of that coat, it's promoting a nicer, even and more stable oxide barrier ("patina")

My pads are really good, like new with 95% life in it.... I will have this SBA forever, but to strip such original horn would be very hard for me. Is there anything else I can do about that spot?
Most likely what's causing that spot is the removabell. My bet's it's not that well glued, and the metal is touching like on an intermitent shortcircuit. That's why the pitting is only there. That and the saliva acting as a permanent humid and salty and acid media right there. I'd solder the bell, remove the pitting... t's going to be a nasty view, how a horn so otherwise nice has that amount of pitting... most likely it's going to need sanding (even filing maybe) to get a good surface then buff then either wax it or touch up the lacquer there after you soldered the bell on.

Did you guys hear about the SBA tenor I'm selling? :)
This was bound to happen hahahahahahahaah
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
that was going to be my second comment, even the ugliest pitted rotten horn has a smooth bore. The plating inside is also perfect most of the time even when it has flaked and pitting lifts blisters between the substrate and the plating.

the only way to deal with this is either refinishing periodically or just call it a lost battle and use no finish at all (just waxing of the outside of the horn to prevent spots of verdigris due to the occasional saliva drop)
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Mark Plating ALWAYS has flaws. Pores, scratches, thin edges... the only plating that could be perfect is electroless plating. Then again when buffed to make it shine the plating is going to be thinner on edges. Take a look at your average silverplated keys Buffet clarinets, the keys are heavily pitted chewing thru 3 layers of thick silveplate and a thick layer of copper...

ZJAZZ now that I see the pictuers I'm 100% positive it's the removabell. When you play the horn always to your right even if you think you play "straight up". The removabell is leaking and it's going to were gravity allows. Plus also it could be a bad glue gasket leaking from the tightening of the guard... guess were the torque stress could break that glued joint? yes, towards the side you have pitted on your otherwise flawless horn.

Simso I hear you mate. But lacquer chips, wears, blisters. No lacquer... don't! :bluewink: I have had a gazilion of old horns thru the shop. The thickest sheet metal is on 20's american plated horns, then bare brass horns. Good relacs comes a close second from bare brass. The most destructive pitting I've seen is on late 30's and up to 50's plated selmers, euro lacquer selmers, Martins, and old Yamahas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
These two sentences are a little at odds with each other. The thickest metal is on 20's plated horns, but then you also said the worst pitting was on plated horns. Last sentence of the quote says the most destructive is silver SBAs, anything Selmer lacquered in Europe, and any old Yamahahahaha, yet all plated horns have microscopic holes -- unless they don't because they put an inch thick silver plate on it?

Not quite certain there's a rule here to follow. :scratch:
One bad habit I have is rushing to type

Here it goes: Early pre WWII american plating doesn't suffer much from pitting due to the quality and thickness and also to the fact that it wasn't buffed but blasted and or hand burnished. Bright plated horns are the ones that suffers from pitting the most. Among them, the late 30's and 40's Selmers are the worse.
Among lacquered horns, the worse pitting I've seen occurs in Euro Selmers and old Yamahas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I'd have the bell SOLDERED not glued, the corrosion removed and the lacquer touched up since your horn is so nice. I wouldn't say this is an "emergency" but it's certainly nothing to dwell on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
I have t confess to NEVER dry the bore on the saxophone. I occasionally swab the neck, but don't dry the bore after I play. I dry the neck receiver, wipe away the usual saliva mist or drops around the watering prone keys, but don't dry the bore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
the horn from wich I took this pictures was a PRIME example of preservation on fisrt inspection. I really question wether your horn is "pristine". I'd say that no. This SBA has a cell indeed, in my opinion. But hey... I'm just commenting what I've found over many years of doing, not studying, and you know how when you have an idea you're always convinced you're right. I'm convinced that the best preservation for a player's horn (a horn that is played sometimes! not a display-museum horn) is no lacquer and no plating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
I have a MVI Bb bari in all perfect condition except for corrosion marks from the first owner (I'm #2) due to high acidic content in his persperation I would guess.
He can turn a silver flute black quickly and had to have and his MVI alto refinished as a result. Perhaps this is covered in earlier or other places on the site.
Any comments on individual player effect on the lacquer and brass after years of player other than normal dings, etc. from lots of playing.
My theory is that's caused by alkaline perspiration, but I have no formal data to backup my asumption.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
soldering, brazing and forming stainless steel requires way more training, tool expenses and experience than brass. And it pits worse than Brass for the application we're discussing. That's the thing with stainless if it corrodes, it pits really bad
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
What do you mean? Flute should be only good for classical, but when it comes to jazz doesn't matter? :)

How's that for derail DrG?
He's still trying to figure out how come a flute, aluminum and stainless steel got into a brass pitting corrosion thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
Z, you should know my feelings on this by now...

Tenor - It's all that matters.
what do you mean by tenor? there's other saxophones in addition to the one in the left in my avatar? I thought the one in the right was sort of a key charm they gave to good customers when they purchased the real saxophone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
The instrument was properly taken care of, used sparingly (meaning not 12 hours per day, we're talking of a clarinet player doubling on tenor here) and he's the most careful guy I've ever seen when it comes to his instruments. Stored in the case after swabbing and drying pads, I wouln't have the patience nor the memory of all the things he does on his instruments after he finished his practice or gig.
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
Just asked a UK copper/ brass expert about this an he confirms the lacquer is contributing to the problem. He says to strip the lacquer and polish regularly with a good wax polish.
www.copperinfo.co.uk
Boy it's heartwarming when you use your time selflessly trying to illustrate people as to why some repairmen my recommend delacquer... you back it up with pictures and the observation of the phenomenon thru years and yearas of being in the trade, you have no dog in the race since it isn't like you'll be selling your services to the general population in this forum... and if you don't have the luck of being backed up by a british expert... well... don't want to think about that... luckily I was vouchered in as being right.
:twisted:

Do you remove the springs before cooking or do they contribute to the flavor of the broth?
Everything comes out before boiling. Springs, keys, pads, etc.
I don't reuse springs if I'm not specifically told to do so. And On Bueschers (let me get ahead of your next question :mrgreen: ) my recommendation is to remove the Nortons while you can unscrew them, use a pilot bushing and blued needle springs. I have my horns like that and the action is greatly improved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
I wasn't disagreeing that it happened - I just didn't see it as galvanic corrosion where you have two different metals forming a cell. The problem here would seem to be caused by the person and their handling of the instrument. The broken lacquer traps moisture/ chemicals in to form pitting.
In my experience that amount of degredation is not the norm. I have seen some instruments that are very worn and not been able to see why they has corroded more than similar ones which remain in good condition. I wanted to try and understand why it was so bad in that case whereas it isn't in others, like my own instrument, which are of similar age. On my Selmer the lacquer is intact.
So there seem to be two choices. Relacquer or remove the lacquer. (If your body chemistry is corrosive. )

I thought boiling didn't work on modern lacquers?
I was being funny, not really pissed at the British Expert comment. Actually I like that you have consulted with a properly trained person (meaning, his field of expertise being copper and brass) It eases my mind of thinking wether I was being objective regarding my delacquering recommendation or not. And I was being. Wich is nice because I do like the bare brass horns better. And sometimes your mind play games around your expectations.

Getting back on the horn to wich this thread refers, this horn was not "spottled". It had like 90% of its original lacquer in a very good to excellent condition. There was some scratches around the strap hook area and the engraving area peeled off as usually seen. The most destructive pitting was around the bell engraving area, coincidentally the removabell wasn't glued (It wasn't glued from the factory! just sort of "press fitted", on euro horns) wich I relate to the issue of not having the bell and the main body solidly connected. (soft solder solid!) or isolated (epoxi or glued joint) So I wouldn't be sure as your horn being "intact". Perhaps if we delacquer it, it's going to have pitting too!

One thing I've observed is that sometimes on all horns, but mostly on selmers (perhaps "french brass" is jive for what I'll describe) is that the different components in the brass alloy can "break" and act like cells at what I would call "microstructure level". This is where the most desctructive pitting occurs. I've seen horns with pits from side to side of the wall (sheet metal)

What I'm trying to say here is that the only option that gives ME peace of mind regarding my horns preservation and finish, is to prescind of finish in any form. And to avoid polishes other than premium carnauba wax and maybe one of those meguiars or 3M liquid preps in wich there's stoddard solvent also to degrease and clean while waxing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #74 ·
Should I wax my old silver plated TT horns too?
Yes!

I thought you may be being funny - but there's a lot of folk that like to think their years of experience is worth more than what science says. I'm not much of a scientist myself, but I do appreciate the scientific approach of finding causes.
People don't like it when the science says materials don't make much difference. Mouthpiece makers and manufacturers continue to state how different materials give different sounds. I appreciate the opinion from experience but we've seen how science may not agree. As I don't know much about anything I like to do a bit of digging to try and make sense of things, in my own mind. It's good to see you are right. I like it when experience and science come together and agree with each other.

I was a bit surprised by the wax suggestion as wouldn't it do a similar thing to partial lacquer i.e. trap some moisture under the wax?
no, the wax promotes an even oxidation.
 
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