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I have a silver polishing cloth and I would like too know if I can used it on my Keilwerth Shadow, its keys are silver but the body is not. Im pretty sure I can use it but I need to make sure before I do.
 

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Some silver polishes/products are good for silver plating. Some are not.
Some are good for silver plating, but can be bad when not used very cautiously on silver plated saxophones.
Products that are too abrasive can be bad for any silver plating, and very bad, say, when they get into the pivot screws and rods of saxophone mechanisms (teapots usually have no precision mechanisms and teapots, etc. are 90%+ of the market for silver care products).
You need to keep any chemicals off of the pad leather of your saxes, even if they're fine for silver plating. Silver polishing cloths and gloves most always have some kind of chemicals in them.
Go here for the most authoritative information, but remember that they deal with silver and silverplate and know nothing about leather pads and saxophone keywork:
http://www.silversmithing.com/
There are also quite a few threads here on SOTW about polishing silver horns. Use the search function.
 

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The best approach is to also try to keep tarnish from forming. 3M makes strips to put in your case to fight tarnish. Even better is if you can make a cover to slip over the horn, of silver cloth. This is not polishing cloth. It is impregnated with silver particles or other sacrificial metals, to keep the things in the air (mainly sulfur compounds and hydrocarbons) that cause tarnish from getting to your horn. But it would have to be form-fitting and allow the horn to fit in the, and the nice, protective, snug-fitting modern cases may not have enough "slop" for this.
 

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Generally the silver cloths are not very abrasive.
I would think you would be fine.
Try a small inconspicuous area first and if ok go for it.
 

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Silver polishing cloths are safe to use on silver plated instruments and keys. I have been using Haggerty's cloths in my shop for years. The level of "abrasiveness" of these cloths is so minuscule as to be insignificant. What I have found to be much more effective than 3M Tarnish Strips are the Gleam Anti-Tarnish Sachets from Dr's Products.
 

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Maybe Haggerty’s cloths work. I have found with my flute that the polishing cloths found in instrument stores tend get rid of the tarnish immediately....but then, it returns rather quickly. (Within a couple of days). So if you don’t keep repolishing, they don’t work so well.

3M Tanishield works great....but the strips are made for enclosed spaces. You can’t just lay them next to a horn on the shelf an expect them to work. If a horn is in an enclosed cabinet, they should work. You do not want the strips to come in direct contact with your instrument. The strips were originally made to put into china cabinets containing silverware and silver serving dishes.

....another thought....

My grandmother had several decorative sterling silver boxes and cases inherited from her mother-in-law. They originally came from Europe and were French in origin I believe. She always had them out in the living room, but had never shined them. They were all grey-black in color.....and then one day she figures out a great silver polish that could get into the corners of the boxes and around all of the embossing. She shined everything up and bragged about it to everyone. We all saw these boxes displayed in her living room on end tables etc. They were beautiful.....And the 6 months later, her home is burglarized.....the one and only time she had ever been burglarized....the boxes were all stolen.

Perhaps the best plan is to leave the keys ugly and tarnished......go ahead and shine them up before you sell the horn.....but until then, it will sound the same. Ugly horn means less chance of someone unknown having sticky fingers.
 

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My grandmother had several decorative sterling silver boxes and cases inherited from her mother-in-law. They originally came from Europe and were French in origin I believe. She always had them out in the living room, but had never shined them. They were all grey-black in color.....and then one day she figures out a great silver polish that could get into the corners of the boxes and around all of the embossing. She shined everything up and bragged about it to everyone. We all saw these boxes displayed in her living room on end tables etc. They were beautiful.....And the 6 months later, her home is burglarized.....the one and only time she had ever been burglarized....the boxes were all stolen.

Perhaps the best plan is to leave the keys ugly and tarnished......go ahead and shine them up before you sell the horn.....but until then, it will sound the same. Ugly horn means less chance of someone unknown having sticky fingers.
So does the theft correlate to "shiny" or "bragging"?

Observation: Shiny is not the issue. Don't brag about what you have.
 

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I have a Shadow Tenor and I use both the 3M anti-tarnish strips in the space as well as the silver polishing cloth with no issues. I fully polish all the key work on average once per year with touch-ups as needed in between. Any of these cloths that have the polish impregnated cloth and the regular cloth sewn together work and are not abrasive to any detrimental extent.
 

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I also use a silver polishing cloth on my silver plated tenors and it has worked well with no negative issues. You should be just fine polishing up those silver keys.

Don't use it on brushed surface as it will remove the brushed finish.
My series one Buescher tenor has original matte finish silver plate, with burnished keys and engraving. Polishing it with a silver cloth has shown no ill effects on the matte finish. No way has it 'removed' it! This horn is over 70 years old and the original silver plate is still there and looking great.
 

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I also use a silver polishing cloth on my silver plated tenors and it has worked well with no negative issues. You should be just fine polishing up those silver keys.



My series one Buescher tenor has original matte finish silver plate, with burnished keys and engraving. Polishing it with a silver cloth has shown no ill effects on the matte finish. No way has it 'removed' it! This horn is over 70 years old and the original silver plate is still there and looking great.
I’ve had similarly good results on a brushed silver 1920’s Conn
 

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Haggerties or Goddards polishing cloths are pretty safe.

Never use a liquid polish while the instrument is assembled. It does a lot of harm, to pivots.
Never use a polish that says that it does nickel or chrome. The abrasive in these will be too severe for silver.
Don't get too fixated on polishing, otherwise you will eventually wear through the plating.

Enough of the 3M anti-tarnish strips, or silver-woven cloth bag should be a good preventive but of course only while the instrument is in the case. So don't leave the instrument outside the case for a long time.
Other preventive considerations: Avoid environments that produce sulphur into the air, eg gas stove, unflued gas heater, onions/garlic/eggs and sweat after excess consumption of these, geothermal activity, industrial smog, motor vehicle exhausts, flatus, new wool carpet or clothes, certain dried fruit, eg apples and apricots, certain acne formulations on the fingers....
Also avoid salt spray and chlorine vapours from swimming pools.
 

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Haggerties or Goddards polishing cloths are pretty safe.

Never use a liquid polish while the instrument is assembled. It does a lot of harm, to pivots.
Never use a polish that says that it does nickel or chrome. The abrasive in these will be too severe for silver.
Don't get too fixated on polishing, otherwise you will eventually wear through the plating.

Enough of the 3M anti-tarnish strips, or silver-woven cloth bag should be a good preventive but of course only while the instrument is in the case. So don't leave the instrument outside the case for a long time.
Other preventive considerations: Avoid environments that produce sulphur into the air, eg gas stove, unflued gas heater, onions/garlic/eggs and sweat after excess consumption of these, geothermal activity, industrial smog, motor vehicle exhausts, flatus, new wool carpet or clothes, certain dried fruit, eg apples and apricots, certain acne formulations on the fingers....
Also avoid salt spray and chlorine vapours from swimming pools.
....and the entire state of Florida...

Or do what do and avoid silver...except the lacquered kind.


It took me several silver saxes to figure that out....sheesh.
 

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I use a variety of products on my Martin soprano. If the horn is disasembled I use the Hagertys Spray Polish. That does the best job assuming the body and keys are clean clean clean. I'm 2+ years out of a polish when it was repadded and it's just getting some tarnish on the body. For quick work I use silver polishing cloth or if it's heavier (on the keys) I use Wright's silver cream.

I also have a silver cloth sleeve for when it's sitting on the wall mount and keep 3M tarnish strips in the case.

DOn't have any pics on this computer.
 

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I hope you never get polish in the pivot tubes or the pivot rod (or screw) holes in the pillars. Or clean them really thoroughly if you do.

BTW it is very common to find rust in pivots when there is powder residue from silver polish in the vicinity.
Perhaps the polish itself is corrosive to steel. Perhaps the powder residue wicks oil from the pivot, leaving it vulnerable to ruist.
 

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Don't get too fixated on polishing, otherwise you will eventually wear through the plating.
+1. Luckily, I'm too damn lazy to polish my sax constantly. I do it maybe twice a year at most. And over the 15 or so years I've owned my Buescher tenor, the silver plating shows very little tarnish. Then again, I don't use it as much as my VI, which has about 60% of its lacquer left (the silver plated Buescher looks much better).
 

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Some manufacturers make their plating very thin. (Eg modern Buffet clarinets!) Others do a responsible job.
 
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