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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm working on an old Amati baritone sax. I had to disassemble it completely to get the dents out. It already had about 50% lacquer and a lot of burnt lacquer, sloppy resolder, etc. I tried stripping the lacquer and it still looked bad so I did what I've been wanting to do for a while. I sandblasted it. The brass is more yellow than red so it is sort of "blonde" right now.It has nickel plated keys. I had an old Bundy bell that I had sandblasted before and I like how the patina has turned out so I went for it. This horn was extremely ugly and now it looks really cool. I'll post pics soon. It also plays GREAT! with surprisingly good intonation. Ergos a little squirrelly, though. I still need some wire key guards to finish the job. Anybody got any?
 

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Sounds interesting to me. Long ago worked in a factory using
a glass bead blaster (properly called 'peening').

What do you think of a clear protective lacquer? Or do you prefer
the effect of natural brass discoloration on the blasted surface?
 

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I love the sandblasted look. I was considering Yamaha's special edition alto that was sandblasted. I can't recall the name though. It's a good way to fix up an old horn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't use actual sand. I use something called "Starblast" that is a mineral product but not silica.I'm going to let the horn brown out. I was going to flip this thing but I may keep it a while. I have a German made Bundy on the way that needs a lot of work. I'll probably keep the better of the two. I was disappointed when I got this horn to see that it was an Amati but I'm starting to change my mind. I can't really evaluate it until I get those key guards located or built.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have been engraving stones with a sandblaster for about 12 years now. I have a nice sandblaster made by a company called "Marco". It is made primarily for the granite monument industry [tombstones].
 

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Since Baris get so dinged up, the sandblast idea is a good one. The dents will get there but not a "seeable".
 

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I have a brother who does soda blasting. They use baking soda in the process. I guess it works well on fiberglass paint on corvettes. Never thought about subjecting a sax to it though.
 

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You should probably be careful though if you were to use it on a horn you actually liked or used often. I'm guessing it would have the same or worse affects as buffing. You are removing metal by sandblasting so if you were to do too much you could affect the value but more importantly you might change the sound slightly (as with excessive buffing during a relacquer).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The trick is to use a fine compound and turn the pressure down low.I'm sure I removed a trace amount of metal but, I had the pressure so low, I had to go over it several times just to get the lacquer off. It's the same pressure I use to frost glass for a friend in the stained glass business. The bottom line is this...Do you want to do this to your horn? H3LL NO ! Did it work well for this particular application? OH YEAH !
 
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