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Hi guys. I was just wondering if anyone else has tried to sand their sax down to get that sandblasted sax look? You know, like those nice Antiguas or Cannonballs.

I tried but it just looks like it's been scratched a lot. It looks sexy from a distance though. I used 320 grit- anything finer and it takes the lacquer off and makes it go silver. I heard that emery cloth might work, but I'm not quite sure. Any suggestions?

Oh yeah, it's a crappy mexi-conn shooting star. That's the only reason I tried this but it's still my only sax right now.
 

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On two saxophones I have removed the lacquer to obtain that "sandblasted sax look". The method I used was to bead blast the horn with all the keywork removed...this, to me, seems the obvious method. To scrape away with any abrasive to to court disaster in terms of appearance.
My bead blasted Grassi does indeed look "sexy" with it's bare brass beadblasted appearance.
 

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The problem is I don't have access to a sandblaster, otherwise I would've done that. Are they a reasonable price to rent?
 

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A sandblaster is much too coarse....it must be bead blasted; glass beads. Try a local motorcycle customising shop; they usually have one.
I have difficulty in believing that you attempted the job with sandpaper....if you cannot find a bead blasting facility then you cannot do the job; it's as simple as that.
To bead blast it now may be too late, the aesthetic damage is done.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh, crap. I could try it because I need a new sax soon anyway. It actually doesn't look that bad, though; all my friends are impressed.

Thanks for the suggestion :)
 

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Even (glass) bead blasting at typical pressure would cause complete destruction of the horn. Brass sheetmetal is very soft. A media (plastic or organic shell) blast would possibly work at very low pressure. A chem-etch is a better bet.

I operate a motorcycle shop. I would not bead blast anyone's saxophone.
 

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You guys are joking, right?? :)
My idea exactly. Not even a mexiconn deserves such a bizarre and torturous treatment. Poor thing. :x

On the other hand, at least you are happy with the look, and if it gives you joy to play a horn that looks like that great. If it makes you want to practice more, awesome. :shock:


;):?
 

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Even (glass) bead blasting at typical pressure would cause complete destruction of the horn. Brass sheetmetal is very soft. A media (plastic or organic shell) blast would possibly work at very low pressure. A chem-etch is a better bet.

I operate a motorcycle shop. I would not bead blast anyone's saxophone.
I cannot agree... one can bead blast very gently.
How do you imagine that the matte finish is obtained by Mauriat, Selmer et al?
My bead blasted horn is perfect; I can assure you that it is not "completely destroyed".
One could argue that gentle bead blasting would improve the horn as it would provide stress relief.
To attack with sandpaper however is, frankly, barbaric....no horn deserves that.
TrevR should, in my opinion, be placed on the Sax Offenders Register. :)
 

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What if you replaced the glass beads with resonance stones? Would it play better afterward? :shock:
 

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I tried but it just looks like it's been scratched a lot. It looks sexy from a distance though. I used 320 grit- anything finer and it takes the lacquer off and makes it go silver. I heard that emery cloth might work, but I'm not quite sure. Any suggestions?
Wire Wool?

I don't understand how finer grade takes the lacquer off but 320 doesn't.
 

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So what you're saying is that if Selmer or Mauriat jumped off a building you would too?
Emphatically not.... I fail to understand your reasoning.
I am saying however that the matte effect on these horns is achieved by gentle glass bead blasting.
The reason that I bead blasted my Grassi was to remove the remains of worn, tatty & scratched lacquer.
The finish is now uniform & tastefully matte....a vast aesthetic improvement.
 

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Indeed I was making jest of the post not trying to say anything more. I personally could never see doing this to a horn. I personally would never have this done to my horn, even for the look. I don't care one way or the other for it unless it affects the sound of the horn. At that point I would care but considering that the lacquering has no appreciable affect on the sound delacquering would be unnecessary and blasting of any kind would seem also extreme. If it works for you then kudos and I'm glad for you.
 

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Even (glass) bead blasting at typical pressure would cause complete destruction of the horn. Brass sheetmetal is very soft. A media (plastic or organic shell) blast would possibly work at very low pressure. A chem-etch is a better bet.

I operate a motorcycle shop. I would not bead blast anyone's saxophone.
The normal setup for motorcycle/automotive work would destroy a horn. I have a setup just for doing instrument work with glass beads and we do it every day with no problems.:D
 

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Even (glass) bead blasting at typical pressure would cause complete destruction of the horn. Brass sheetmetal is very soft. A media (plastic or organic shell) blast would possibly work at very low pressure. A chem-etch is a better bet.

I operate a motorcycle shop. I would not bead blast anyone's saxophone.
The normal setup for motorcycle/automotive work would destroy a horn. I have a setup just for doing instrument work with glass beads and we do it every day with no problems.:D
Not all motorcycle/automotive beadblasting equipment is as brutal as you would lead us to believe. The equipment that I have used has control from "full blast" down to zero (as are most, {at least in the UK}) with guns capable of pinprick accuracy. In fact, just as you describe yours..... "for instrument work".
This equipment is used for motorcycle/automobile restoration work on items just as delicate as saxophones.
I am not talking about a couple of Yee Haa, jeans clad workmen complete with a pick up truck on which is mounted a compressor firing shot or sand....the set up used for cleaning buildings.
The modern vehicle restorer has a glass blasting cabinet with full control of soft beads, some with egg shell consistency.....very delicate and precise....Just like Selmer's or Mauriat's
 
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