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So here we have my new Alto... A New Super Dearman which cost me £100 (plus £20 for postage) which i will be restoring, so i thought I would start my first ever thread on SOTW for you guys to have a look at all the goings on :) I am a novice at this and have never stripped a sax before... I will probably be shot by a few of you guys for even attempting it but, I am pretty good at things like this (he says nervously...) and I have a tech on standby to put it all back together again with new pads, springs, corks, and felts as well as a full set up, all in exchange for reasonable upset to my bank balance.... The pads were all completly useless, so would of needed changing either way so what better time to delacquer the sax and get that raw brass look that we all love ;)

As you can see, she is a bit weathered to say the least! So the perfect chance to give her a complete overhaul!
View attachment 70902

The lacquer is looking rather sorry for itself... Something of a patchwork quilt!
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Now I know this isn't exactly the best fit, but with a bit of tossing and turning I did remove all the lacquer... Eventually...
View attachment 70909

So now the polishing begins, for this i am using autosol and as you can see it brings it up really nice :)
View attachment 70911

Several hours of polishing later......
View attachment 70913

This is as far as I have got at this point, I have decided to give my fingers a break for a day and let the skin and pin holes from the springs heal and I will be back on it tomorrow evening whilst enjoying a couple of well earned cans!!
 

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Hi Ben,

Looks like fun ! I particularly like the shot in the cooking pot.

By coincidence, my first sax was a Dearman New Super tenor that my parents bought for me in about 1978 and it came from a seller who lived in Guildford ! It looked very like yours and the serial number was 5705 - what is yours ?

My Dearman was an OK horn to learn on and it saw me through until I bought a Selmer MkVI for £450. I think the Dearman was known (to some people) as a "poor man's Conn".

Having moved away from the area I am now just down the road from you in Farnham.

Good luck with the rest of this job.

Rhys
 

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Hi Rhys,

Just down the road from myself then!

Ha ha, I am glad you enjoyed the cooking pot shot, needs must and all :)

I can't remember the serial number off the top of my head but I will have a look when i am back home later and let you know but pretty sure it starts with a 6***

Glad you enjoyed your Dearman, after doing a LOT of research on them they are described as a pretty good intermediate horn. I had an Ealham Pro 2 before this and I didn't rate that at all. This is going to be my main horn and can't wait to get her playing again, just hope the tone is as nice as it looks! From what I know of mine it was made in Czech Republic, and was a Kielworth Stencil that Dallas stenciled there name onto so can't be all that bad!

You got your Selmer for a good price!? How long ago did you puchase that?

Ben.
 

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Hi Rhys,

Just down the road from myself then!

Ha ha, I am glad you enjoyed the cooking pot shot, needs must and all :)

I can't remember the serial number off the top of my head but I will have a look when i am back home later and let you know but pretty sure it starts with a 6***

Glad you enjoyed your Dearman, after doing a LOT of research on them they are described as a pretty good intermediate horn. I had an Ealham Pro 2 before this and I didn't rate that at all. This is going to be my main horn and can't wait to get her playing again, just hope the tone is as nice as it looks! From what I know of mine it was made in Czech Republic, and was a Kielworth Stencil that Dallas stenciled there name onto so can't be all that bad!

You got your Selmer for a good price!? How long ago did you puchase that?

Ben.
I got my MkVI tenor in 1980 when I saw it advertised in the old Exchange & Mart. The seller was a pro who had just "upgraded" to a Mk 7. I think £450 was about the going rate back then, but guess it would be 8 or 10 times that now.

Rhys
 

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I got my MkVI tenor in 1980 when I saw it advertised in the old Exchange & Mart. The seller was a pro who had just "upgraded" to a Mk 7. I think £450 was about the going rate back then, but guess it would be 8 or 10 times that now.

Rhys
Sounds like you got a great deal there then!! I have no idea how much my Dearman will be worth... I saw a thread on here saying someone was offered $1200 for theres over in the states and they turned it down. I am just hoping it plays nice, and I don't lose any money on her. Not that it matters too much as I will be keeping this one with the amount of work I have/will put into her :)
 

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Thanks Jaye!

So I thought I was going to take a night off and let my fingers recover, but I just couldn't help myself.... so on came the onslaught of stab wounds from the springs and de-grafting of skin from fingers...
View attachment 70939

Managed to get the crook done as well and get my first look at the completed shell and I must say, I am rather pleased with the outcome so far!
View attachment 70940

Next up will be the rods and keys which will be tedious, sorry - I meant fun! But will all be worth it in the end I hope :)
 

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Looking great - is that just polished bare brass ?

Are you going to leave it to tarnish or lacquer over the shiny brass ?

Rhys
 

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Looking great - is that just polished bare brass ?

Are you going to leave it to tarnish or lacquer over the shiny brass ?

Rhys
Thanks Rhys!! Yes, just polished bare brass. I quite like the aged Patina look if I am honest! I know its not to everyones taste but I think they make a sax look unique and give them their own character. Whether that is the right thing to do or not, time (and members on here with prior experience) will tell...
 

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If I may follow up on Rhy's comment....you may wanna throw the keys back on in their current half-lacquered state, actually.

Have a look at it like that because, oftentimes, it looks quite good.....sort of a nice contrast to the shiny bare body (which will certainly darken over time)and therefore you can just chem-bathe the keys and leave the lacquer on, instead of going through the tedium of delacquering and polishing them as well.

Just a thought.....
 

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I did think about that idea Jaye. The issue for me is that the keys are a bit of an eyesore and if i left them i think that personally, I would definitely regret it. The other idea was thinking about cleaning up the keys and maybe putting a matte varnish on them so there is a contrast between the keys and the aging raw brass body. At present I am leaning towards the completely bare brass sax as I do love the look of them....
 

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So I started on the key work last night and had a little go at delacquering and polishing up some of the keys. As you can see from the contrast between old and new, there is quite a big difference!

View attachment 71029

Aiming to get all of this done before I get married in a couple of weeks so I can give the sax to my tech to overhaul whilst I am on Honeymoon so she will be ready for me when I return... Wish me luck!
 

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There is a big difference, yup....although IMHO the fact that the lacquered keys were so dark would have actually made the horn look very cool. It's just that bare brass keys and touches, eh....I don't like that so much. Bodies, OK.

IMHO, unless you really know what you are doing as far as putting a finish on metal...don't do it. "Varnish" ? What do you mean, exactly. Keep in mind, keys need to be heated/torched so most home applied finishes cannot survive that. That's why they are either plated or lacquered most of the time.

Looks good. Oh, and Congrats on you marriage.
 

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Thanks Jaye! Wedding is next saturday so nerves are starting to creep in now ha ha.

An update on the sax, I have polished all the keys and delivered the sax to my tech. I removed all the old pads so he is going to replace all pads, corks etc and set up the instrument so fingers crossed, it plays like new. He was impressed at the job i did and was amazed at the fact there was no corrosion on the brass what-so-ever which is a good sign.

One question I have... I want the sax to patina into a nice redish colour... how do I acheive this as I know the tendancy is for them to turn green!!?? I don't want to pour chemicals all over the sax once it has been put together with the new pads etc on, so some natural remedies would be much appreciated!!
 

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It is always hard to say how a bare brass horn will patina after being cleaned/stripped. It sorta depends a bit upon what products you used to polish it up. It depends more on your local climate.

"Green" as in Verdgris, is unlikely unless you let moisture sit on the surface after playing. So one thing about bare brass is you gotta wipe the horn down regularly after playing. Then I would invest in a silverplate polishing cloth or bare brass instrument polishing cloth (here in the states selmer makes one then also Blitz), as these work well on removing stains and splotches from bare brass, when noticed early.

This is the deal when owning a bare brass horn...a little more upkeep.

I do not have a magic bullet recommendation for a product to make the horn patina 'nicely'. I have had most horns patina quite nicely after being polished up with Wenol, Maas, Flitz cream, or Hagerty 100. They developed a nice coffee hue. But then again, the patina reaction was different in San Francisco (a lot of salt in the air, fog, no precipitation, moderate temperatures all the time) than here in Portland (no salt, but humid with hot summers and cold winters, the furnace on from November to April, lotsa rain).

So, I have had instances where the patina started moving in a direction I didn't care fore (for example, towards a red/sienna)...in which cases I disassembled the horn and repeated the final polishing with a different brand of polish to see if the residue from that brand changed the patina. Sometimes, it did.
 
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