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Discussion Starter #1
I have a vintage mouthpiece that came with an alto I recently acquired. I've tried it out and really like it, but it's hardly a thing of beauty appearance-wise; it has these nasty scratches, almost gouges around the outside which were probably caused by the ligature. Is there any way I can remove them without damaging the mouthpiece? I've heard that gentle sandpapering can remove blemishes, but I want to be certain before I try it.
 

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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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Hard rubber, I presume? You can sand it. I would use 'wet and dry' paper, probably 200 with water, to get the gouges out - sand lightly with strips in the 'shoe-shine' fashion. You can secure a peg in a vise or by some other method and wrap the end in masking tape to hold the mouthpiece while working on it. The problem is you have to remove material to get to the bottom of the gouges, which forces you to extend the area sanded to blend it back in so there's no visible 'dish'. Then you would use a higher grit like 600 to polish it out. Then you can use a metal polish on a strip of cloth to polish it to a gloss.
Its a lot of work and really not worth the trouble. A fabric ligature will cover it anyway.
 

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I recommend that you avoid sanding the logos and info engraved on the mouthpiece. Being able to read what it is is more beautified than what it looks like.
 

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Good points, and I should add that the most likely outcome of this attempt by a novice would be to drop the mouthpiece on the tip and ruin it.
 

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Leave it alone. Nobody will see those 'unsightly' scratches under the ligature.
Wash it in cool water with a little regular toothpaste on a face cloth and call it good.
 

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Leave it alone. It has character. The scratches don't affect play-ability. As Bandmommy says, no one will see the scratches under the ligature. Sanding or any other attempts to remove legit signs of wear will probably only make it look worse and might devalue the pieces as well..
 

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any good scratch remover paste applied by hand on a cloth will remove scratches
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Okay, I've decided I'm just going to leave the mouthpiece alone. I don't want to risk damaging it, and the identifying marks on it are faint enough as it is. I think I'll just look for a better ligature to help disguise the marks. Thanks, everyone! :)
 
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