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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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Discussion Starter #1
I've been debating adding a patina to my Unlacquered tenor lately, so I decided to make a fun experiment to see how I like them. I took the inspiration from a link shared from Milandro here:


First I acquired some strips of raw unlacquered brass which will be a good sample to see how I like the finish. Here is the pre-chemical exposure strip of brass:
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I've done some research, and decided I didn't want to mess around with temperature related formula suggestions on there. So i settled on the Blue patina formula which is as follows:
  • Sulfurated Potash... 15 gm
  • Ammonium Chloride... 200 gm
  • Distilled Water 1 quart
Here are those lovely ingredients (water not pictured, but present):
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Now, what they don't warn you about - and I should have realized - was that sulfurated anything smells strongly of (you guessed it) SULFUR. I'm 100% certain that I don't want this on my saxophone anymore, as I don't know if that smell would ever fade. It is STRONG - way stronger than any hot springs or geothermal geyser. My basement reaked for two days after I made the mixture of ingredients.

For my test, a full quart + 200gms/15gms of the ingredients seemed excessive. So I decided to use 1 gram of Potash, 24 grams of Ammonium Chloride and a 1/4 cup of water. The instructions say to brush onto surface, but I was feeling a little antsy - and decided to let the brass soak in the mixture. After about 12 hours, the brass had reddened, but no bluing was present yet.

Currently, it has been 24 hours since I performed the experiment, and I will be checking on the material tomorrow - and then I'll get pictures of the outcome.

For my next steps test - I will be simply brushing some of the mixture onto one of the brass strips and letting it set out - which I will also document here.

Finally, I've also purchased a separate bluing patina agent: Modern Masters Blue Patina Aging Solutions - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I1TH7I/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1

This one is intended to work with metallic paint - which reacts with the metal to alter the color of the paint. However, there are many claims it works directly with raw metal, so I'll be using that one for my third trial!

The final stages of my testing will be to see how easy, if at all, it is to remove this patina from the metal. Then, if I am happy with my results, I will document how it looks on my Sax! (Although I may start a poll to see if SotW thinks I should do it :p)

If anyone has any questions or comments on my process, please feel free to ask!
 

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yes, I’ve given that link many times before

Patina Formulas for Brass, Bronze and Copper

we have had also several people trying this in several instances


 
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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Milandro! I figured it would be helpful to document as well - since in that link it says specifically that these formulas weren't tested! Also its missing pictures of the color!

Getting ready to check the brass now!
 

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All you have to do is use a common household product (don't know what it might be in your country) that is for treating lime, calcium and rust. In the USA it's 'Lime-Away' or 'CLR'. It's harmless to lacquer, brass and plating and removes tarnish (patina). It has the same effect of a 'dip' that will be done with a pad job/overhaul to clean the horn. You can use it in a 'spot' fashion by wetting a cloth with it and applying it to an area, then rinse the cloth and wipe it off.
I use it on my horns and mouthpieces. Here is my Guardala 'Studio' alto piece with about 50% gold plating left that I clean when it starts looking funky. The brass is left with a natural matte finish and a slight gold/tan color.

 

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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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Discussion Starter #5
All you have to do is use a common household product (don't know what it might be in your country) that is for treating lime, calcium and rust. In the USA it's 'Lime-Away' or 'CLR'. It's harmless to lacquer, brass and plating and removes tarnish (patina). It has the same effect of a 'dip' that will be done with a pad job/overhaul to clean the horn. You can use it in a 'spot' fashion by wetting a cloth with it and applying it to an area, then rinse the cloth and wipe it off.
I use it on my horns and mouthpieces. Here is my Guardala 'Studio' alto piece with about 50% gold plating left that I clean when it starts looking funky. The brass is left with a natural matte finish and a slight gold/tan color.

I saw this yesterday in the brass poisoning thread. It looks very good! I actually have CLR and was going to use it to see if I can remove the patina!
 

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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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Discussion Starter #6
UPDATE: my chemical mixture was left in my unheated garage overnight - and temperatures reached -9 degrees F out here. So it is a solid frozen block!
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However, on the end near the bend, you can see some bluing:
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Very cool! Still stinks haha! I've moved it back to the basement and am letting it thaw. I'll get some more photos then!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So - anyone have any ideas on how to defumigate the brass? I doubt anyone would want a sulfurated saxophone :LOL:
 

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SDS on Lime-Away is a bit concerning. I occasionally clean my mouthpieces with Vinegar instead.

10327
 

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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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Discussion Starter #9
UPDATE: First experiment completed - here is the result:
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I see that it is very fragile, the patina was flaking off as I was pulling it out. I also did not achieve the color results I was hoping for. The initial bluing pictures I showed already changed when the mixture thawed. It now showing as a blacker color - probably due to submersion and being in a trapped container with the material for so long.

My results: Failure to achieve the patina I was hoping for! I did expect as much, know I went away from the recommended procedures!

On to test number two!

I'm using another strip of raw brass:
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Then carefully brushed some of my mixture onto the surface:

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And now we wait!
 

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This has been an interest of mine for quite some time. I am too lazy to try to make my own solutions when I can buy them commercially made. Jax Chemical Company has several products that I have used on brass, their brass and copper cleaner, and their instant brass and copper cleaner. Their gold solution works well to closely match the darker gold lacquers of vintage instruments. Their green and brown patinas can also be used to produce interesting finishes.

The product I have used the most to produce an "antique" finish is B/OX 14 from EPI Products The photo below shows some tests I conducted using saxophone keys immersed in the chemical. The "highlighting" was done using a Scotch maroon abrasive pad. The problem ordering amounts large enough to immerse an entire saxophone is that the hazardous shipping charges are quite steep. The "trial pack" price includes shipping.

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10337
 

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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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Discussion Starter #12
This has been an interest of mine for quite some time. I am too lazy to try to make my own solutions when I can buy them commercially made. Jax Chemical Company has several products that I have used on brass, their brass and copper cleaner, and their instant brass and copper cleaner. Their gold solution works well to closely match the darker gold lacquers of vintage instruments. Their green and brown patinas can also be used to produce interesting finishes.

The product I have used the most to produce an "antique" finish is B/OX 14 from EPI Products The photo below shows some tests I conducted using saxophone keys immersed in the chemical. The "highlighting" was done using a Scotch maroon abrasive pad. The problem ordering amounts large enough to immerse an entire saxophone is that the hazardous shipping charges are quite steep. The "trial pack" price includes shipping.

View attachment 10336 View attachment 10337
Very Informative! Thanks for chiming in! You definitely got a great looking finish! the gold and browns are intriguing for sure - if I don't end up liking the blues I get, I may have to look at buying up the gold kit! Maybe I'll do blue keywork and a gold horn :p

I made my own chemical mixture - but I believe I'll have better results from a premade patina agent as well. I hadn't known of those two companies! Looks like they have a very huge assortment! Jax company agents may be my next purchase here! The Modern Masters patina agent I ordered will be here tomorrow, and at only $16 for 16 oz, is the best price I've seen so far, but Jax has just slightly undercut that! We shall see if it works, and I'll be sure to continue sharing my results!

If the patina agents don't stink, they've already beat my mixture lol
 

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It is important to know that however you create a different color or finish that it is just on the surface. This includes saxes that come from the factory with a "vintage" finish. I see a lot of Cannonballs with a Brute finish in my shop, and everywhere the player touches, after a while becomes a shiny brass color. I've offered on occasion to "touch up" those places, but all of the "students" like how that looks. If you want it to be more permanent, it would need one or more coats of clear lacquer.
 

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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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Discussion Starter #14
It is important to know that however you create a different color or finish that it is just on the surface. This includes saxes that come from the factory with a "vintage" finish. I see a lot of Cannonballs with a Brute finish in my shop, and everywhere the player touches, after a while becomes a shiny brass color. I've offered on occasion to "touch up" those places, but all of the "students" like how that looks. If you want it to be more permanent, it would need one or more coats of clear lacquer.
Temporary is the goal! Although, I did a bit of research that coating it in a protective coating, like microcrystalline polish, helps preserve the finish as well. I have also acquired some of that :).

I would be very intrigued to see how long it would last on my horns though
 

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I guess I didn't read the OP too closely - I thought it was about getting rid of tarnish rather than causing it.
Guto: do not be concerned over that document. You are not going to drink this household cleaner and all you have to do to the mouthpiece after using it is wash it with soap and water. BTW, have you ever looked at the data sheets on some of the stuff we use around the house every day? Like bleach, ammonia, drain cleaners, etc.? So what are you going to do, not wash your clothes anymore?
 

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Honestly, you guys are worse than a bunch of old ladies sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Update: 9 hours later! Minor bluing in the areas it was obvious. No change elsewhere. Applying a second coating now!
10380
 

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1saxman, it’s the corrosive part that actually worries me more. I wouldn’t use it on a regular basis on the sensitive parts of a mouthpiece - rails, table. But to each his own.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
UPDATE: After sitting for over 24 hours and two coats of brushing on the mixture - here is the result
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I can see it starting to make an impact toward the blue color, but ultimately it isn't providing the finish I was hoping. I could keep trying these materials with many more rounds of brushing on the liquid, and I believe I would get the results I wanted - but I think I'll just end test #2 and the stinky mixture. My wife will be happy lol.

My Blue Patina Agent arrives in an hour or so! That'll begin Test #3!!!

Additionally, thanks to @saxoclese, I know also have a green patina agent and Gold patina agent on the way from Jax company! That'll provide tests number 4 and 5!
 
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