Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Yeah, I know this has been covered numerous times, but I can't seem to find the answer I'm looking for. I know that it can be detrimental to your instrument over a long period of time and am also unclear about whether it would be best to remove it or leave it.

So, basically in my series II tenor bell I noticed a small amount of red and green corrosion. In that area is it best to leave or eliminate? If I do leave it, at age 28 right now will the life of my sax outlast my life?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
It's on the side just opposite of the bell keys and I can reach my hand down there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,675 Posts
I'd maybe get some flack from technicians but if it was my horn I'd remove it with steel wool. Polish the spot and apply colorless nail polish to protect the bare spot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I'm generally looking for some insight on the life of the horn if left on compared to my own personal lifespan. I have read from several places that there are risks associated with removing it. It is also in the area of the bell where the original lacquer spray did not cover. I'm also not concerned about the cosmetic appearance if it could effect the playability of my horn.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
Red rot is caused by some type of acid - it doesn't need to be strong - attacking the zinc in the brass, removing it from the surface. That leaves the surface microscopically porous, and hence it can more easily hold corrosive material on the surface. Much like dental plaque makes it easy for bacteria to stay on the surface of teeth.

So how long it takes for damage to become significantly severe depends on what corrosive material you are subjecting your sax to. BTW, carbon dioxide from breath, dissolved in moisture in breath, forms carbonic acid. I'm not sure if it is strong enough to cause red rot. Also, sulphur vapours in a player's breath, being a waste product of bacteria in the mouth, throat of lungs, or I suppose, from cigarette smoke, can dissolve in the moisture inside a sax creating quite strong acids.

So how long it lasts depends on what you put inside it. And your cleaning regime.

"I'd maybe get some flack from technicians but if it was my horn I'd remove it with steel wool. Polish the spot and apply colorless nail polish to protect the bare spot"
You'll get no flak from me. It sounds reasonable. I suppose even just lacquer over the red rot would offer some protection for the intact metal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I guess since it's in the bell of my sax I really don't have to worry about scratching it too much. I am however, concerned that it may take a way some of the metal. I'm still rather undecided about this, as I have heard that you may be better off leaving than removing. Although that could be wrong.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
Joined
·
4,466 Posts
You will not outlive your horn but if the appearance of the inside of the bell bothers you aesthetically, clean it off. The bell is basically just a place to hang the low end keys and contributes practically nothing to the tone of the horn.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician
Joined
·
2,547 Posts
Remove as much of the crud as you can with your fingernail, wipe the area with cigarette lighter fuel. (This is often all the treatment you'll need).
Soak a wad of cotton wool in ordinary vinegar, place it over the affected area and leave for 30-60 minutes.
When done it will have removed the corrosion. Wipe the area over with a little luke-warm soapy water. Polish the area with metal polish (Brasso etc.), degrease with cigarette lighter fuel - then apply a little clear lacquer.

Or you can just leave it - it's really not uncommon to see such marks inside the bell, and there'll be another one along soon enough.

Regards,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Thomas and Stephen. I'm just glad that someone was able to back up something that I read as I only needed verification.
 

·
Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
Joined
·
8,588 Posts
You will not outlive your horn but if the appearance of the inside of the bell bothers you aesthetically, clean it off. The bell is basically just a place to hang the low end keys and contributes practically nothing to the tone of the horn.
Well, that actually depends on if you use a 15 ton steam roller to polish it with. Then you might outlive it's useful life.... :mrgreen:
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
...Or you can just leave it - it's really not uncommon to see such marks inside the bell, and there'll be another one along soon enough.
I agree.

You will not outlive your horn but if the appearance of the inside of the bell bothers you aesthetically, clean it off. The bell is basically just a place to hang the low end keys and contributes practically nothing to the tone of the horn.
I agree.

Re vinegar (dilute acetic acid), there's more info here. http://www.abbeyclock.com/brass.html

Note that after the vinegar it has done its job, stop the treatment and neutralise the acid. Red rot means a porous surface, which can hold un-neutralised acid. And in time, that acid can continue to take the zinc out of the brass, adding a little more to the red rot. Hence why it is called "rot".
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top