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I just got a used soprano with some “rust” inside the body. I read on this forum that there seem to be different types of corrosion. Some call it rust, some oxidation and some acid bleed. Wondering if anyone knows the difference between them and how to deal with them. I have also attached a pic if anyone would be able to identify what this is.

Any info would be helpful.

thanks
Aleks
 

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'Acid bleed' is the result of poor cleaning before lacquering, where the acidic solder flux is not washed completely off. It is manifested by a dark spot in the lacquer that looks like it has been burned. The lacquer eventually flakes off. The spot is corrected by gently 'erasing' the 'burnt' lacquer and lightly polishing the raw brass exposed. You could also touch up the lacquer if you were so-inclined.

'Rust' only occurs on ferrous metals (iron/steel) so you may see that on your springs, rods and screws.

The other manifestations of oxides on brass are forms of tarnish. The red tarnish is copper leaching out of the brass and is typical on horns that are not used or otherwise touched to any great extent. it is of no concern and any tarnish remover or metal polish instantly removes it. There is no pitting or other surface degradation associated with it so it cannot be correctly termed any kind of 'rot'. Strictly speaking, it is a form of 'patina' but not generally regarded as desirable. The least invasive way to remove it is simply to wipe the horn with a soft cotton cloth after every use, maybe using extra effort in the red areas. over time it will diminish.


It is possible to get corrosion with pitting on brass and silver but there has to be negligence involved. Wiping instruments down after playing and using stuffers/swabs will prevent it. You also have to take great care of your metal mouthpieces as acids from your body will attack even 'surgical stainless steel' - when the Brilhart Level Air came out, that was a marketing claim made - unfortunately everybody believed the stainless was impervious to corrosion and played it fast and loose by leaving played reeds on the mouthpiece, resulting in 99% of them surviving today having pitted tables.
 

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'Rust' only occurs on ferrous metals..
+1. Rust is Iron Oxide. As 1saxman says, it's not rust. And I think he is correct in the rest of his post.

I don't think what you're seeing is anything to worry about.
 

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I forgot to mention the odd pattern of tarnish inside that soprano looks like it was scraped or perhaps is the result of dent work. Definitely not the normal configuration.
 

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Sigmund's link answers your question. And it appears use of a pull-through with a metal weight may be the culprit.

Love to know the brand of horn. Yamaha trumpets of the '70s-'80s were notorious for red rot all through their tubing. Was it just that Yamaha was the most popular brand used by the bubble-gum chewing, soda-pop drinking, aged player?
 

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Sigmund's link answers your question. And it appears use of a pull-through with a metal weight may be the culprit.

Love to know the brand of horn. Yamaha trumpets of the '70s-'80s were notorious for red rot all through their tubing. Was it just that Yamaha was the most popular brand used by the bubble-gum chewing, soda-pop drinking, aged player?
What does a player's age have to do with it? Its a chemical reaction related to the composition of the brass, loss of the protective lacquer and long periods of nothing touching the affected area. You could just rub it with your hand every day and it would eventually become normal patina.
 

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Wow, thank you all for the quick replies. It looks more like saliva did the damage rather than dent work, since it runs almost through the whole body. I guess someone had a little too much soda before playing.

It’s funny that older japanese brass instruments are being brought up since this a yanagisawa s900 (guessing from the early 90s) It plays very well, and the action is nice and light. I think that it has been in storage for quite some time. The outside looks great, but the inside is not as pretty. From what I hear zinc leaching and leaving behind copper deposits is not a big thing to worry about and probably best left alone (regardless of how much it might bother you...ughh, plus I can’t see how I could even reach that deep down into the horn to clean it).

This article suggests just cleaning the area rather than polishing/removing it: http://www.abbeyclock.com/brass.html

Thanks again
 

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What does a player's age have to do with it? Its a chemical reaction related to the composition of the brass, loss of the protective lacquer and long periods of nothing touching the affected area. You could just rub it with your hand every day and it would eventually become normal patina.
No offense meant to those older players who blow bubble-gum and drink gallons of sugary drinks while playing, I assure you. The OP mentioned "scratching," and showed a photo of the wear inside the bell.
 

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The picture looks to me like someone was in the habit of storing the neck inside the bell without a neck bag, hence scraping off some lacquer, resulting in the patches of tarnished brass. If it’s bothering you, polish the spots to get the brass shiney and then touch it up with lacquer. Or get a neck bag and forget about it.
 

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Wrights copper cream will remove that very easily. Then put some renaissance wax on it to keep it from coming back. However I personally would not bother with doing either.
 

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Well, maybe. But the OP says the red coloring runs all through the body of the horn.

A day or two ago I found an older Conn 10M, late-40s, that looks to have a rather advanced stage of red rot. Probably would hold together the rest of my own lifetime, but it's almost to the point of metal failure. Deep red everywhere under the lacquer, and patches that look like they'll be holes in a decade or so if anyone polishes the sax too aggressively. Reminded me again of some old Yamaha trumpets. But that's a 1940s horn, not a 1990s like this one.

Hope the OP posts another couple of photos in 2070.
 
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