Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 60 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently bought an old C Mel and am restoring it. Among other things, I need to remove the tarnish. I know there are a lot of posts on here in different parts but never a conclusive answer on one post. I've read that the bath with aluminum foil actually reads to more tarnishing while using silver polish harms the structural integrity of the horn and doing nothing leads to further deterioration. Is there any way to ultimately clean it up without harming the integrity of the horn? Also, would a re-lacquer at all make the horn less likely to suffer form further tarnish damage?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
32,937 Posts
I know there are a lot of posts on here in different parts but never a conclusive answer on one post.
That's the problem inherent with asking more than one person for an opinion.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
32,937 Posts
Why do you think YOUR thread is going to be any different from the OTHER definitive threads?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
what definitive threads? The only threads I've seen are ones based around different methods: e.g. one on an aluminum bath, one on silver polish, not all in one thread. Unless I missed some...
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
32,937 Posts
Unless you take the horn apart and remove the springs, you are at risk of corroding the springs when using an immersion method.

If you just want to make it shiny, use silver polish, e.g. Haggerty's (which will add some protection against further tarnish if used according to the directions).

There. You've got it all in one thread!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,633 Posts
Never lacquer over silver.
And just read the thread started by Nefertiti recently. It contains all the definitive facts once you sift out the thorns, thistles and red herrings along the trail.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,847 Posts
it depends only by how thick the plating is (in old horns is rather thick) and how aggressive the polish you use and how many times this cleaning has been done before. at a certain point by polishing it you will wear out the plating and the base metal under that will show..........so, be very very gentle. Especially Mark VII are plated notoriously thin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thanks! I didn't realize you shouldn't lacquer. Glad I didn't find out the hard way. I'll definitely check out Nefertiti's thread.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,268 Posts
Whoa! NEVER lacquer over silver? Why not?

My best sounding and playing silver-plated Buescher TrueTone soprano from 1928 came to me 26 years ago with an after-market clear-lacquer coat. The horn plays superbly - more resonance than any soprano I've ever played.

I think the best way to restore a tarnished silver horn is to disassemble it completely, then give it a chemical bath. The details of that process are unknown to me, but horns that I've had done like that (by competent repair-techs, and according to them) turned out gorgeous.

OR, buy yourself a pair of silver-mitts (gloves made of treated silver-polishing cloth) at a fine silverware store and rub the horn down as completely as you can. That's what I do for my silver saxophones (and clarinets with silver keywork or body). For tight spaces, you may use a q-tip dipped in silverware dipping liquid (and not dripping with it). I plan on doing a second TT sop (silver un lacquered) today with mitts. DAVE
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,847 Posts
Never lacquer over silver.
And just read the thread started by Nefertiti recently. It contains all the definitive facts once you sift out the thorns, thistles and red herrings along the trail.
although there are a number of things that can go wrong most modern silver plated (especially Taiwanese) horns are lacquered over silver. Yes this could be asking for trouble but it could protect your horn for a while.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
32,937 Posts
... and the horn in question has already endured 80 years or so and will keep going despite the modern plating practices in the Pacific Rim.

If you consider the environment (pollution, sea air, etc.) in Taiwan, they may prefer to lacquer over silver plate to prevent tarnishing while en route to their dealers.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,847 Posts
I think their dealers dictate the factories what they want and how they want it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
609 Posts
Listen up my good sir I just did a silver C-Mel myself:

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?158681-My-first-Saxophone-Restoration-Danny

Lots of good stuff in there if you care to read it. Also lots of step by step pictures of what I did. In summary I feel I can chime in with this advice:

1) Take all the keywork off.
2) Have your tech sonic clean it. (I tried my own chem bath and it wasn't strong enough so skip that step and go right for the sonic cleaning.)
3) Apply cycles of Tarn-X and rinsing the sax
4) If there is tough tarnish use 0000 steel or brass wool, the silverplate is quite thick.
5) Rub it all down with a silver polishing cloth.
6) Never touch it again because it will be so beautiful. Joke, just kidding.... :)

Mine turned out outstanding, the bell will blind you if you shine a light at it. Once all the tarnish is off, it is simple maintenance to keep it from tarnishing again, and it could last virtually forever with constant maintenance and care. The main reason C-Mels accumulate so much tarnish is that most of them have been sitting around for 80+ years in a case somewhere.

Its not that big of a deal to bring them back... just take your time and it will turn out great.

Kind regards and good luck with your silverplate C-Melody,

-Danny
 
1 - 20 of 60 Posts
Top