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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Once the lacquer has been chemically removed from a saxophone the usual options are to polish or buff the surface to a mirror finish or to give it a scratch or satin finish. The photos below show a few examples of that process. The solution I used to darken the brass is B/ox 112 from www.epi.com The saxophone shown is a "The Martin" I overhauled for a local university.

2 min. chemical treatment.jpg 4 min. chemical treatment.jpg Brass finishing supplies.jpg Martin Tenor Antique Finish 1.jpg
 

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Nice work and pictures.

Using chemicals to add patination to brass is the same technique that many makers that I know use. The chemicals of course might very.

In other occasions I have been quoting this site and others https://www.sciencecompany.com/Patina-Formulas-for-Brass-Bronze-and-Copper.aspx

The downside of treating chemically for patination (as opposed to lacquer in color) is that it is very difficult to achieve consistency. What I mean is that it is possible that one batch will be different han the other depending on how old the chemicals are and how much they have been used or how the metal respond (brass is not all created equal).

But if you are doing one horn at one time and made all of the same metal this shouldn’t be a problem.

A side note, I suspect that this is either a non commercial project because I think that you've spent many many hours on this horn and cost would have been (despite this being a good and expensive model) impacting seriously on the price of a saxophone if you were to sell your work.
 

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If you follow the link than OP gave it says “ Room Temperature”

The ones in the link I gave can be done with hot or cold process but the application time (and results) will affect the outcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is what just the brushed finish looks like without the added patina. This is a YAS-23 with the lacquer removed and the nickel plating stripped from the keys. The bare brass was given a "satin" finish using the abrasives pictured above. Then the brushed brass was given a coat of Renaissance Wax.

 

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Once the lacquer has been chemically removed from a saxophone the usual options are to polish or buff the surface to a mirror finish or to give it a scratch or satin finish. The photos below show a few examples of that process. The solution I used to darken the brass is B/ox 112 from www.epi.com The saxophone shown is a "The Martin" I overhauled for a local university.
How stable is that finish? Does it have any greater resistance to growing verdigris than bare brass? Is it stable against polishing with something like Meguiars Cleaner/Polish, or will the patina come off?

I recall Palo Tung (JustSaxes) doing similar finishes, then stabilizing them with clear coat.
 

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If you follow the link than OP gave it says “ Room Temperature”

The ones in the link I gave can be done with hot or cold process but the application time (and results) will affect the outcome.
Sorry, I missed the link somehow. Seems to be a mix looking at the data sheet. I've tried ferrous nitrate mentioned in your patina list, but not had great results with it. I'm finding with these sorts of chemicals that they dull the metal as they basically etch into the surface. The ferrous nitrate works better with heat.
 

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many of these processes benefit from heat being added to the simple use of chemicals but OP seems to have found a cold process.

The Taiwanese company that I worked for (as a export advisor) told me that they had problems in achieving always the same results , probably also because of temperature and purity of the chemicals inconsistencies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How stable is that finish? Does it have any greater resistance to growing verdigris than bare brass? Is it stable against polishing with something like Meguiars Cleaner/Polish, or will the patina come off?

I recall Palo Tung (JustSaxes) doing similar finishes, then stabilizing them with clear coat.
All good questions. Similar to the Cannonball "Brute" finish it is untreated brass that that the aging has been chemically accelerated. Verdigris, if it takes place, probably won't be as visible due to the darker color. I have used Renaissance Wax on a similar finish which seems to impede further changes in the finish, but not prevent them in the long term. Any type of polish will remove the finish which is completely on the surface. I have worked on Cannonballs with the Brute finish where everywhere the player touches it has gone back to shiny brass.

The raw brushed brass finish I have done on several saxes seems to age gracefully, becoming a darker hue over time. I have hesitated putting a clear coat over these because as the coating wears away in spots over time, it produces a patchy and uneven finish similar to vintage lacquered instruments. The photos below show a Mark VI bari with a brushed finish, and then an identical one after about 10 years.

selmer bari brushed finish.jpg

selmer bari brushed finish 2.jpg
 

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wax coating is much more gentle than lacquer protects and wears away in a very nice way.
 

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I really like just the satin look, sans chemical patina. My ideal finish on either silver or brass.

How long does it take you to get to the look in the photo?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I really like just the satin look, sans chemical patina. My ideal finish on either silver or brass.

How long does it take you to get to the look in the photo?
Plan on 24 - 48 hours doing it all yourself.
 

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All good questions. Similar to the Cannonball "Brute" finish it is untreated brass that that the aging has been chemically accelerated. Verdigris, if it takes place, probably won't be as visible due to the darker color. I have used Renaissance Wax on a similar finish which seems to impede further changes in the finish, but not prevent them in the long term. Any type of polish will remove the finish which is completely on the surface. I have worked on Cannonballs with the Brute finish where everywhere the player touches it has gone back to shiny brass.

The raw brushed brass finish I have done on several saxes seems to age gracefully, becoming a darker hue over time. I have hesitated putting a clear coat over these because as the coating wears away in spots over time, it produces a patchy and uneven finish similar to vintage lacquered instruments. The photos below show a Mark VI bari with a brushed finish, and then an identical one after about 10 years.

View attachment 169906

View attachment 169914
On the saxes with raw, brass, finish...this means no protective wax or anything after delacquer and brushing, correct? Is there additional maintenance recommended or just the same swabbing, cleaning, drying after use?
 
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