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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I have had a 1958 tenor for 30 years and love it. Sadly I live in a very geothermal area which eats silver (H2S methinks) so I am contemplating the need to replate . I have successfully done an alto MK VI which came out beautifully. My question is should I get it done in platinum, to retain its original colour?
 

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1. Are you planning to get this done in NZ? If so, is there anywhere with a platinum plating bath big enough?
2. I would have a concern that platinum is a long way from brass in the galvanic series, so if the platinum has any porosity at all then you may be setting yourself up for galvanic corrosion - resulting in pitting of the brass. This may occur especially at the tone hole edges, where there is regular moisture. This moisture, in the presence of H2S, SO2, S03 will be acidic and be an excellent electrolyte for facilitating such galvanic pitting.

Has your alto silver plated, and if so, are you somehow protecting it from the geothermal, atmosphere?
 

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...and yet people live (and play ) in Iceland and New Zealand or in Pozzuoli (Naples) Italy next to one of the largest sulfur sources of Italy.

why don’t you call a specialized shop in plating and ask them is they have a bath large enough and which would be the material best resistant to corrosion in your environment

Consider Rhodium

http://www.preciousmetalservices.co.nz/services.html

look at the Solfatara at Pozzuoli just hundreds of meters where people live .


 

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some will die around the premature age of 100 as an unavoidable effect of living... there.
 

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.... why don’t you call a specialized shop in plating and ask them is they have a bath large enough and which would be the material best resistant to corrosion in your environment...
http://www.preciousmetalservices.co.nz/services.html
Buffing &/or chemical stripping is sure to be involved. If not appropriately done it can be enormously damaging to saxophones.
I therefore suggest finding a plater that has been tried and is recommended by local instrument repair places. I suggest you ask a few repair places which plater they have had good results from. And once you find a plater, have a discussion on how thick the plating will be: Cosmetic or protective. Cosmetic may be so thin that it has very low durability and facilitates galvanic corrosion.
 

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Yeah, silver plating is a bad idea for a sax. I had a silver plated Selmer Mark VI. I just gave up and let it turn black.
 

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Silver is durable only if it is really thick. (That's because it is not really that durable!) :)
It can be as thin as 0.001mm or as thick as 0.1mm. Big difference. Preparation and copper flashing substrate are also significant issues.

"Decorative" silver plating can be very short lived when anything repeatedly rubs on it.
 

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I think Pete has the best solution of all suggested.

Platinum isn't really practical. I've photographed hundreds (if not thousands) of platinum rings and other jewelry. When platinum comes in contact with the skin, the oil on the skin skin leaves light brown patches. It wipes off easily enough, but in no time, I am sure that on a large surface such as a saxophone, it'd look pretty nasty, even if it is over-plated with rhodium.

Generally, to my knowledge, rhodium is electroplated on platinum (and other metals such as gold) to the depth of one or two atoms to protect it from scratches. At about $2,000 per ounce (it's at a near-record low but on the rise per Kitco) it would be impractical. (I'm unsure exactly how much rhodium would be required to accomplish such plating, so I couldn't guess how much it would cost).

Rhodium doesn't do well in electroplating to silver. It will adhere to white gold (which is a mix of gold, nickel, and platinum) and to nickel.

And the question of finding facilities with a large enough tank is worth considering. Most of the plating that you are considering is done to jewelry in small tanks. You might have to talk to the saxophone manufacturer to get an accurate picture of what is involved and to get a price. If chromium appeals to you, you could talk to someone who replates automobile bumpers.

Whenever I photograph platinum jewelry, I wear white cotton gloves so that the platinum doesn't turn tan in just a few seconds.
 

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gold is the word
 

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From what I've seen, as often as not, it becomes a dirty word.
 

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well it is true of most 4 letters words, I suppose that grime will collect on any surface but at the very least gold is supposed to be resistant to most corrosive agent, particularly sulphide.

This is recommended for the conservation of historic and artistic works



https://www.conservation-us.org/abo...for-your-treasures/metal-objects#.Wvbl0a2PGV4

“.....Metal objects should always be handled with clean, white cotton gloves, or vinyl gloves with a pair of cotton gloves over them to further prevent sweat from passing through to the object. If items are handled with bare skin or are used, as in the case of tableware, they should be carefully cleaned before storage or display to remove these deposits and prevent corrosion from skin acids and oils. White gloves are recommended because it is easy to determine when they become soiled and need to be washed....”

The Chinese were right all along!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you all for your considered responses. It looks as tho gold is my best option as it is presently unforgivably coal dirty :(
 

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Thank you all for your considered responses. It looks as tho gold is my best option as it is presently unforgivably coal dirty :(
Could you post some pictures, please?

If it only is "coal dirty" there is a good chance, that it simply has gathered oxide over the (hopefully intact) plating; it could be cleaned and then thin laquercoated.
That would be much better for your horn and your wallet...
 

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Look at it differently, coal beautiful, in keeping with other silver stuff in a geothermal area.
Selmer has put out an all-black bass clarinet - the new fashion statement!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5i_ppnwR7iY
 
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