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Seeker Of A Clever Title.
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Forgive my ignorance, but how do you do maintenance on a sax with 90%-95% lacquer left? How do you keep the parts with no lacquer from rusting and the metal from corroding? Thanks.
 

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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Brass does not rust. Only iron and steel rust. Rust is unusual in that it flakes off, exposing fresh surface to further damage.

Brass normally tarnishes (corrodes) a little and then that corrosion PROTECTS the surface from further corrosion.
 

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Gordon (NZ) said:
Brass does not rust. Only iron and steel rust. Rust is unusual in that it flakes off, exposing fresh surface to further damage.

Brass normally tarnishes (corrodes) a little and then that corrosion PROTECTS the surface from further corrosion.
What about red rot? What can I do to protect from that?
 

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zxcvbnm said:
What about red rot? What can I do to protect from that?
What can you do about it?

http://www.brassarts.com/about_red_rot.htm

The URL is focused on brasswinds, which are arguably more susceptible. I've seen lots of really old horns over the past few years, none with anything more than the surface variety of red rot.

Remember that the inside of the horn is not lacquered.... I think the red-rot issue is really not of much concern, but if one wanted to minimize risks, one could have a plated horn or something made with an alloy other than yellow brass. Wow, just interested myself in a nickel-silver JK.
 

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zxcvbnm said:
What about red rot? What can I do to protect from that?
Red rot is actually quite rare, t least in my part of the world. I've never seen it.

It is caused by exposing the brass to repeated doses of something acidic, that eats the zinc out of the surface of the brass.

So prevention means not exposing the sax to acids.

Possibly the best way to expose it to acids is to harbour a colony of bacteria that produce acid as a waste product after consuming sugars - similar to what causes tooth decay. If you regularly wipe out your sax, then this is unlikely.

It is probably a good idea not to blow acid food and drink into
the sax. :)

Another possibility is that (breathed out) carbon dioxide, dissolving in moisture, makes carbonic acid, a weak acid which I guess can very slowly remove the zinc. So just keep wiping the out after use.
 

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Gordon (NZ) said:
Red rot is actually quite rare, t least in my part of the world. I've never seen it.
If you specialized in brass repair you would find it quite common, especially in older instruments. There have been brass instruments through our shop which have required brass patches because the rot had gone completely through the wall of the tubing.

Some people seem to have more acid in their perspiration than others, and perhaps in their saliva as well. I also know a few people who have a very "acidic" personality. :)

John
 

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Maybe folks in NZ and Australia are more "basic" than the rest of us.....

get it?

basic?

acids...........and..........bases.................



oh well, back to bed.

dv
 

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Good one. I got it without the explanation. :)
Are the others more acidic? Down under, the terms probably actually go together a bit. Ha!

Interesting about the brass instrumnets. (I don't work on those)
I wonder if that is indeed because of the difficulty of cleaning, and the combination of carbon dioxide and trapped moisture.
 

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My Yanagisawa saxophones lose their lacquer at a rate far higher than any other make I own (or have seen). However, that does not affect the way they play except for the rough feel of the touches and tubes where the lacquer has deteriorated.

What I do is use a polishing cloth (with a mild abrasive impregnated in the cloth - like police officers use on badges, etc.) and I rub those areas where the lacquer is deteriorated so they become smooth to the touch. The result is bare brass, but non-distracting while playing the instrument. It requires an occasional re-do, but that is no problem as long as I keep the touches smooth and free of corrosion. DAVE
 
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