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Hey ya'll - Thanks in advance for the responses.

I've got a silver plated Mark VI tenor that I'd like to polish up. I was planning to take the time and do it on my own. I realize in doing that, I may not be able to reach all of the hard to reach spots and I'm not comfortable taking it apart. Is there any damage I can do to the horn in polishing it up with Hagerty 10080 Silversmiths' Silver Polish while the horn is still intact, or is this something I would really need to take it apart for?

Any tips or recommendations would be appreciated!!


Nate
 

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I find it easiest to take the horn apart for polishing. I do it once or twice a year.



Advice? Just like Alice in Wonderland - start at the beginning, finish at the end. :bluewink: Take your time, keep it neat, and enjoy the experience of getting to know your horn.

P.S. Get a good set of screw drivers. The vernier caliper is not necessary. I was measuring tone holes for a set of custom resonators.
 

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Ther are many threads on this already, but a quick heads up: that polish is abrasive so don't get it in any pivots or parts/places that move.
 

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When taking it apart, use a piece of cardboard box with an outline of a horn on it. As you remove each screw and steel, poke a hole in the cardboard with the screw to hold it in the area that it goes in on the horn. That way you will save time reassembling. I use Wenol paste polish. A soft toothbrush will help and flannel rags. After it is polished, wipe some "rub 'nBuff" around the solder joints to make the black areas look better.
 

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Wow, you guys have a lot more time on your hands than I do.

I would just use Simichrome on the parts you can get to easily, being careful not to let it get into any of the works. The shiny big open places, with tarnish underneath, gives a nice contrast like an old Louis Lot flute.

The other thing is that there are a number of ways to cause problems in a total disassembly, such as the end of a spring catching on a cork and flicking it off, etc. I wouldn't recommend a total disassembly of a horn for a newcomer unless it's really needed, or you really want to learn how to do it and are prepared to end up with a few little new problems, and prepared to do the reassembly several times till you get it right. That said, I understand that M6 Selmers are among the easiest to disassemble and reassemble due to logical layout.

And of course there is always the chance of a tiny part jumping across the room and getting lost, in which case you end up going to the shop with hat in hand to explain what happened.
 

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It's a big job. For plated saxes, you really have to disassemble to do it right. Also for saxes that are all or part in raw brass. Sometime this year I have to do my MK VI tenor. Saxes with all their lacquer I clean/polish with Pledge which does not require disassembly. The thing about taking them apart and polishing is getting pricked by the springs (on the saxes with pointed springs). This really hurts and is aggravating as all get out. There are several things you do not want to do; do not mix up the short hinge screws (rods) or the pivot screws. What I do is I put them right back where they go after removing the key.
For silver plating wear exposing the brass, there is a polish you can get that actually deposits silver, called 'Liquid Silver' by Medallion.
 

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"It's a big job. For plated saxes, you really have to disassemble to do it right."
Hear hear! If you don't want to do that, or pay somebody else to, then live with the tarnish or change to a lacquered sax.

To get around the difficult places, use raging tape, impregnated with polish. But the keys do need to come off, or you will knock off many of the key corks. and do a crappy job anyway.
And if you are an amateur taking keys off and polishing, you are almost certain to break a couple of springs.
And if you take keys off, for goodness sake use smooth jaw pliers to withdraw pivot rods. Serrations damage the surface and make pivots jam.

The devil is in the detail for any job!
 

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It would depend on how secure the corks/felts are, i.e. how many fall off during the polishing process.
It also depends on whether all the handling possibly damages pads as well.
But mostly it depends on the sort of tarnish and how deep it is. Some silver tarnish is very deep and quite difficult and time consuming to remove. It is possible that in these cases a significant thickness of the plating is removed in the process.

Personally I have never done polished all of a silver plated sax. Thankfully, the culture here is to play the thing, not gaze at it!
And few silver plated ones are in shops here. The shop keeper would run the risk of them tarnishing before they are sold, especially if handled or displayed.

What a can of worms!
 

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Yes - I know there are a lot of variables, but I hope if enough of you chime in with your experiences I'll get an average that's reasonable...
 

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i polish horns occasionally and agree with the previous posts. a coupla things i'll add...
stick pieces of cork on the ends of the springs where possible.

i use Mother's Billet Metal Polish...yeah i know, sounds like it would be abrasive but after a pretty thorough investigation a few years ago, that seems to be about the best and least abrasive. when i was doing antique restoration, we switched to that from the more expected polishes with positive results.

Also i think the cloth that Gordon referred to is spelled ragging(?) at any rate it comes in rolls of different widths and allows for a good polishing underneath rods and around posts often without requiring a total disassembly...depends on the horn and your comfort level.

Another possibilty which i've used with great result on gold plated horns is Nevr-Dull (haven't used it on silver horns). Again, may seem too plebeian but on gold it's the bomb! esp since it's non-abrasive. (rinse thoroughly, otherwise you may have residual haziness)

And don't panic if you knock off a piece of cork, etc. just take it to your tech and have him replace it.

i give myself 2 days. main thing is...be patient, don't :yikes!:freekout...it's just a saxophone. :mrgreen:
 

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Yes - It looks like a big job. How much time on average do you folks take to do this? (Excluding the first time.)
I allow an evening, a few hours after dinner. That includes wiping down the rods, running a pipe cleaner through the tubes to remove wear products and old lube, applying fresh lube upon reassembly. On older pads, I apply Runyon Pad Dope (then remove excess) to reduce sticking, and preserve the pads.

Happiness is a slick operating and shiny lookin' tenor!

main thing is...be patient, don't :yikes!:freekout...it's just a saxophone. :mrgreen:
What? <gasp, sputter> I thought you played TENOR! :twisted: Whaddaya mean "just a saxophone"?! :shock:
 

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Yes - It looks like a big job. How much time on average do you folks take to do this? (Excluding the first time.)
I would figure about 8-10 hours total but I need to do it in several sessions. My fingers can't stand the abuse for long periods.
 

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I've spent as much as 15 hours polishing a heavily tarnished bass sax, not including disassembly and reassembly. Yours will depend on how particular you are about getting in every nook and cranny, which is what takes the most time.

I highly recommend 3M Tarni-Shield for a horn like yours. It's not very abrasive, cleans and polishes well, leaves a protective coat, and gives the best shine of any product I've found.
 

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Yes - It looks like a big job. How much time on average do you folks take to do this? (Excluding the first time.)
Assuming that you make this a regular practice, there won't be as much (or as deep) tarnish to remove in subsequent polishings. That, coupled with increasing experience, cuts down the bench time.
 

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I used Mr. Metal with Q tips for the hard to reach parts. Worked pretty good. Sort of a Zen experience. Herbs might help...
 

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I used Mr. Metal with Q tips for the hard to reach parts. Worked pretty good. Sort of a Zen experience. Herbs might help...
Cool. I have an alto and tenor of the same vintage. (I think) '25 & '27. My tech cleaned mine up with similar results which is kind of why I was asking...
 
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