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Does anyone here have an experience repadding a vintage Martin from mid-1930-s and after repad still having the lacquer intact?
The problem is that the lacquer on this vintage Martins is so vulnerable that while you don't touch it even with a wet rag it will stay on. Once you try to give it a "good bath" (I'm of course not talking about crazy ideas of submergfing a horn) the lacquer can quickly go.
I'm absolutely sure once the pad of such a Martin is heated up in the repadding process the lackuer will go.
 

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Fact: you have to re-pad a sax in order to keep playing it.
Fact: heating the pad cup is the way its done, whether using glue or shellac.

Considering this, it would seem that all you can reasonably do is ask the tech to use the lowest heat possible to properly install the pads. If the lacquer is as fragile as you think, its not going to be on the horn long anyway. I think you will find that its more durable than you think.
 

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Ya know...I have worked on well over 100 Martins....and the ONLY time I had anything BAD happen to the lacquer was on one where I once had mis-mixed my chem bath solution and it was too caustic.

So the notion that this is some sorta foregone conclusion....sorta baffles me.

You could go sonic-cleaning as opposed to chem bath, then use a tech who uses the flameless heat-torch as opposed to open-flame torch on padwork, I suppose. That would reduce the chances of anything bad happening....

NOW....given as the internet is the internet...and comments in passing sometimes take on a crazy life of their own, I wanna be clear: an open-flame torch for padwork, and a proper chem bathing, are both in NO way 'dangerous' or 'risky' given a tech who knows how to do 'em.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ya know...I have worked on well over 100 Martins...
use a tech who uses the flameless heat-torch as opposed to open-flame torch on padwork, I suppose. That would reduce the chances of anything bad happening....


So, do you say that heating the Martin lacquer with the flameless (or open flame) heat source at the temperature that is required to work with shellac or hot melt glue to install and level the pads WILL NOT in any way deteriorate the notoriously fragile early Matin lacquer?
 

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So, do you say that heating the Martin lacquer with the flameless (or open flame) heat source at the temperature that is required to work with shellac or hot melt glue to install and level the pads WILL NOT in any way deteriorate the notoriously fragile early Matin lacquer?
I'm sure Jaye is saying exactly that so you can file a lawsuit against him when it goes FUBAR.
Sarcasm aside, I think you seriously need to realize you're dealing with an 85+ yr old horn which the lacquer has been "exposed" to the environment for a helluva long time and even with a voodoo seance, anything can happen when exposing that lacquer to enough heat (no matter how applied) in order to change pads. Lastly, I'd certainly assume this horn has had pads replaced over the decades unless it's been sitting in a closet, unplayed for 75 yrs.
Good luck!
 

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Without seeing the sax first hand I think it is difficult to generalize the present condition of the lacquer due to the variable conditions that the saxophone may have experienced during its lifetime. On some vintage saxes just lukewarm soapy water can cause the old nitro cellulose lacquer to peel. In my view there is nothing sacred about saving the original lacquer when it is in a fragile state to begin with. I would give the sax and keys a good ultrasonic cleaning and then go from there. If new pads are needed one should do whatever it takes to meet that need. This photo shows a Martin tenor from a local university that was sent to me for an overhaul on which some of the lacquer had worn off and that which remained was in poor condition. The director and I agreed on an "Antique Finish" and I did it for a good price just to get the experience.

 

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So, do you say that heating the Martin lacquer with the flameless (or open flame) heat source at the temperature that is required to work with shellac or hot melt glue to install and level the pads WILL NOT in any way deteriorate the notoriously fragile early Matin lacquer?
What I am saying is....if a tech is experienced with open-flame heating of keycups (and most techs, I think, still use flame torches as opposed to hot air torches)....an old Martin is no more susceptible to burning of the lacq than other vintage horns. For me, I have NOT found Martin lacqs to be any sort of issue...as in "oh, damn....another Martin....gonna lose some lacq on this one !"...

IF you have such a concern, wherever it may have come from, then find a tech who uses a flameless heat torch.....
 

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This photo shows a Martin tenor from a local university that was sent to me for an overhaul on which some of the lacquer had worn off and that which remained was in poor condition. The director and I agreed on an "Antique Finish" and I did it for a good price just to get the experience.

So did you have it plated then do a brush finish, etc ?
Very sweeeeet-lookin' job.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
... For me, I have NOT found Martin lacqs to be any sort of issue...as in "oh, damn....another Martin....gonna lose some lacq on this one !"...
Strange. I thought that was a general consesus on the Martin lacquer.
I noticed that the Martins of the 1930-s vintage are the ones that are most invariably come with almost all laquer gone while Kings and Bueschers have much stronger lacquer finish.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This photo shows a Martin tenor from a local university that was sent to me for an overhaul on which some of the lacquer had worn off and that which remained was in poor condition. The director and I agreed on an "Antique Finish" and I did it for a good price just to get the experience.
Yes, please tell us what finishing method you used for that nicely looking Martin!
'Antique on antique' - that makes perfect sense.
 

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The steps to producing an "Antique finish"

  • Remove old lacquer chemically or with boiling water
  • Give the body and keys a brushed brass or "satin" finish
  • Immerse the body and keys in a special solution
  • highlight the finish with an abrasive pad

View attachment 223166 View attachment 223168 View attachment 223170

This is the company that I bought the solution B/Ox 312 from: EPi Products

Click "Learn More" under B/Ox 312 then click "Sample Pictures" The formula, the concentration, the time immersed, and the amount of "highlighting" determines the look of the finished brass. None of this process is difficult. It is just time consuming. The best part is if you don't like the look of a key you can hit it with the abrasive wheel and start over. There is a "hazardous materials" charge for shipping the product which adds considerably to the price. I bought 5 gallons which was enough to make a 20% solution in a 22 gallon drum.
 

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Does anyone here have an experience repadding a vintage Martin from mid-1930-s and after repad still having the lacquer intact?
The problem is that the lacquer on this vintage Martins is so vulnerable that while you don't touch it even with a wet rag it will stay on. Once you try to give it a "good bath" (I'm of course not talking about crazy ideas of submergfing a horn) the lacquer can quickly go.
I'm absolutely sure once the pad of such a Martin is heated up in the repadding process the lackuer will go.
Use an Alcohol lamp. Low temp will slowly melt the old glue.
 
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