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Discussion Starter #1
Hello.

I have one question. Does it make sense or is it even possible to put lacquer over the patina?

In case I have an unlacquered sax and want it to be dark lacquer (rather very dark brown/dark grey than black).
I like silver plated saxes but it is a bit of headache from what I know thus I consider to discard such option.

So do you have an experience of putting patina and lacquer together? How can I achieve very dark color of the lacquer like dark patina? In the first place, I think of patina + lacquer because the lacquer might prevent from corrosion etc.

Please share your opinions.

Thanks.
 

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I think it may depend on the patina. It is surely possible

See this wikihow which at the end suggests “ sealing” the patina with lacquer

https://www.wikihow.com/Patina-Brass

I don’t think that once you will apply patina to brass it will “ corrode” much but patina , being a superficial layer, wears out by contact, like everything else, therefore lacquer will wear out too, exposing the underlaid patina at some point.

I have been working with a Taiwanese company which produced a patinated model. We din’t lacquer the body because the look we were after was once which would not be enhanced by patina (but I know we discussed this option) but keys were lacquered. Think about it, is like having one of these ripped jeans looking perfectly dark blue and pristine with just the cuts, it wouldn’t look right.

It will look “ off”.

I have owned one patinated alto for a couple of years and played somewhat. The patina wore out a bit but just in a few spots.

By , the same way you can lacquer patina you CAN lacquer Silver and it will resist somewhat until the lacquer wears out.

King Lacquered both Necks and Bells on Silversonic. By the way some Kings are gold lacquered over Silver and some folks only “ discovered “ the silver when the lacquer wore out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! That's a great option to lacquer the keys and have patina for the rest. Especially, since keys are usually worn out due to constant contact with fingers

Also, I didn't really think about lacquered silver etc.. overall, great food for thoughts! I do appreciate your comment. thanks

please share additional thoughts if there are any!
 

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Well , in my opinion the patination of an already existing saxophone (so no one that is in the “ making” process), is a very expensive and seriously difficult process only feasible if labor isn’t very expensive.

In Western Europe the cost of taking the entire sax apart, have the body patinated, the keys lacquered and the changing all the pads will certainly run higher than €1000-1500.

Is this worth it?

If your horn is not a very vintage horn I am sure that you can find one which looks as you want it and play as you want it, if it is a vintage horn you will destroy its value doing something like this.

I could put you in touch with someone on Taiwan which could make this a special order , will cost probably not much more than the work that you are going to have, abut yes, it will be a different horn (and you wouldn’t be able to try before you buy not even be absolutely sure of the looks because patination is a rather stochastic process).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I can say I'd only restore some good vintage sax this way. still, if the finish is more or less in acceptable condition this would be questionable indeed

On the other hand I'm inspired by Conn Black Pearl saxes to be honest. Besides finish, I consider replacing the keywork to make something special and custom in many ways, so the value will depend in all senses.

Thanks for the offer from Taiwanese pals! Still, I will need to think about it.
BTW, is it possible to send them parts to make a good lacquer job (or silver + lacquer) for the vintage sax? Just as is
 

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The value of anything is determined by someone buying it, there are few people out there whom would buy a vintage horn customized this way, yet, as a good friend says, you only need ONE customer .


And maybe you will never want to sell.

Good luck!
 

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I believe the gold Super 20s were actually gold plated. It was an option.
 

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I was talking of the Solid Silver bells of the Silversonics, some were lacquered with gold lacquer


https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...lversonic-Super-20-With-A-Gold-Lacquered-Bell


( there are more references)


Yes. King would sometimes put lacquer over silver. The thought being that saxophones were usually gold-brass coloured and a "2-tone" saxophone might not appeal to everyone's aesthetic. On the early non-silversonic models they would lacquer over the silver neck. This lacquer didn't stick to silver very well and would eventually wear off. You can sometimes see this lacquer residue on king silver necks.
My S20 is lacquered over the solid silver neck.
Yes, they lacquered over the pearls. Your 1949 would have been gold lacquered (clear came later) including over the sterling neck.
The lacquer on pearls wore quickly so it's rare to find one with some left but they're out there.

Example from Getasax:
1952 alto, look down the sides of the alt F# key pearl




And look under the octave key where it crosses vertically over the neck

 

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milandro is correct, lacquer will wear out anyway. I think there may be further problems lacquering over patina.

My gut feeling is over patina it will wear more quickly as pre-lacquer buffing is not an option. Even with the modern lacquer, for it to retain its integrity the surface needs to be squeaky clean - bits of invisible dirt, grease and solder lurking at the feet of posts are possibly going to be probkematical - it just needs a tiny start to the lacquer disintegration and it can spread.
 

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Can’t think of the makers/ branding, but in the past few years haven’t there been some new model horns that have a chemically induced patina with a coat of clear on them?
 

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Can’t think of the makers/ branding, but in the past few years haven’t there been some new model horns that have a chemically induced patina with a coat of clear on them?
Yes, but chemically induced is different to a real aged patina. It can be done very well (albeit with horrible chemicals that will kill you, your cat and your neighbours)
 

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Yes, but chemically induced is different to a real aged patina. It can be done very well (albeit with horrible chemicals that will kill you, your cat and your neighbours)
Yes, I guess I didn’t realize on first read that this was a DIY project! To the OP, you can also buy a silver plated horn with a clear coat...but again, doing it yourself on a used instrument is a different ballgame.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
hmmm..
well, it seems like there's a reason for buying just a different horn with the already decent look.

nevertheless, another quick question araised: maybe somebody knows if it's okay to restore worn spots on the silver plated sax? like local electroplating or something like that. thanks.
 

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spot plating can be done and without electrolysis. Whether that really works is debatable

You can use kits commercially available to put a VERY VERY thin layer of silver, of course, if silver has gone in some hot spots is because there is rubbing there so, if you do that be prepared to do this again and again.

Having the entire horn replated is possible BUT.

1) very expensive, for the same reason that I mentioned before. You need to completely disassemble and clean the entire horn (even the springs in this case), then they can do this (and they charge a pretty penny, even in Ukraine for this.

2) the value of a replated saxophone is substantially less than a non replated one ( for reasons that have nothing to do with logic)

 

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Yes, but chemically induced is different to a real aged patina. It can be done very well (albeit with horrible chemicals that will kill you, your cat and your neighbours)
+1. Who'd want to do this anyway?! I guess I'm missing something here, but I don't understand the desire to have a horn with a patina right from the start (it's a different matter when the patina forms over time) or even weirder, why would you want to seal in a patina by lacquering over it?? Especially when the lac is certain to wear away more quickly for all the reasons already stated.
 

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+1. Who'd want to do this anyway?! I guess I'm missing something here, but I don't understand the desire to have a horn with a patina right from the start (it's a different matter when the patina forms over time) or even weirder, why would you want to seal in a patina by lacquering over it?? Especially when the lac is certain to wear away more quickly for all the reasons already stated.
The world would be a pretty boring place if we all liked the same thing. Why would a factory lacquer job wear quicker on a chemically induced patina? None of the reasons already stated would apply to an un-touched instrument.
 

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milandro is correct, lacquer will wear out anyway. I think there may be further problems lacquering over patina.

My gut feeling is over patina it will wear more quickly as pre-lacquer buffing is not an option. Even with the modern lacquer, for it to retain its integrity the surface needs to be squeaky clean - bits of invisible dirt, grease and solder lurking at the feet of posts are possibly going to be probkematical - it just needs a tiny start to the lacquer disintegration and it can spread.
Actually this makes sense. Here is the thing: WHEN someone approaches a shop to lacquer (or re-lacquer) their horn, part of the process of the lacq job is actually cleaning the heck out of the bare brass. This often includes buffing and then steam-cleaning or something of that sort.
This is done to assure that the adhering of the lacq is consistent and proper. Most folks don't realize that when it comes to applying a finish on a brass horn, it is the PREP work to the horn which is actually the most labor-intensive process.

Sooooooo....I believe if I understand this convo correctly.....the question is whether one can take either:

a) a bare-brass horn which is already developing patina

or

b) a bare brass horn which has been given a false, chemical patina

...and then lacquer over it.

Again, just from what I know about pre-lacq prepping.....I think this would be a questionable proposition.

So the statement 'lacquer over patina may result in faster lacq wear" is completely reasonable.

Perhaps better semantics would be "...may result in faster lacquer degradation" (because the lacq is now NOT adhering to properly prepped and cleaned bare brass, but rather to patina'd brass).
 

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hmmm..
well, it seems like there's a reason for buying just a different horn with the already decent look.

nevertheless, another quick question araised: maybe somebody knows if it's okay to restore worn spots on the silver plated sax? like local electroplating or something like that. thanks.
You cannot spot-electroplate silver. You CAN do it to nickel.

For silverplate, what I use for spot-touchups (this is where there are areas whether the plating is gone and now bare brass appears)...is use a chemical plater. Hamilton House Silver Secret is what I use. Again you gotta make sure the bare brass area is VERY clean, then you apply with a cloth, sometimes repeated applications are necessary.

https://silversecret.com/

This actually works better than most folks think. Years ago when chem-spot-plating was brought up, there were comments to the effect that it wears away very quickly. But actually, in my experience, this isn't quite accurate. I have, to mine own surprise, actually takes a spot-plated area to a buffing wheel, fully expecting that I'd buff of the spot plate quickly...and it held up to some light/moderate buffing surprisingly well.

The main handicap of a chem spot-plate is, the chem reaction only takes place when the solution contacts the bare brass. So, unlike electroplating, where layers of plating can be built up...chem plating really only creates a single layer. When that silver layer is created, applying more chem plating solution on top of the newly-created silver layer...will do very little if anything....if you catch my drift.

But yeah, I have had good experience with chem-spot plate solutions. No it will not make it look 'original ' and uniform (as if the worn areas never wore); there will usually be a slightly golden-ish tinge to the area, pretty subtle usually - but it will certainly give the horn a much more silver, uniform appearance. I have even used it pretty successfully on silverplate horns which had lost their necks when I managed to find a brass neck of same model, then chem-plated the entire neck.
 

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The world would be a pretty boring place if we all liked the same thing. Why would a factory lacquer job wear quicker on a chemically induced patina? None of the reasons already stated would apply to an un-touched instrument.
I agree, tastes vary and that's a good thing! Still doesn't make me unwilling to question certain tastes. And you may be right about a chemically induced patina, but see Jaye's post #17. He knows a lot more about this stuff than I do.
 

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Can’t think of the makers/ branding, but in the past few years haven’t there been some new model horns that have a chemically induced patina with a coat of clear on them?
The J-K MKX comes to mind.
 
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