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Who can some of you techs who send saxes out, or players who have had this done, recommend to relacquer a sax?

I've got a nice playing JK alto, probably a keeper for a long time, and I'm wondering who can offer a good relacquer, what the price would be, and what, if any, consequences there would be to its sound, playability, etc.

I appreciate your comments. Thanks
 

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Gary, you of all people must have read enough posts about this to know the pitfalls!

My one experience was a disaster, but that was because here in the UK there is a complete lack of lacquers. I sent it to Ed Flower whoc completely bodged the job.

In the US I hope there are some good people to do this so you are definitely doing the right thing asking for recommendations.

Unless the lacquerer is also a saxophone tech, it relies on good communication between your tech and the lacquerer. The lacquerer will want the horn dismantled (of course) and ideally ready to lacquer which means totally and utterly clean.

If either says that any significant amount of buffing needs to be done, you need to know this in advance, because that is when you make your final decision whether to go ahead or not. As we all know, the buffing process can remove some of the engraving definition, and it would be worth getting some kind of opinion as to whether this will happen.

Presumably if the engraved area is scratch free, then that part should not need buffing.
 

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Presumably if the engraved area is scratch free, then that part should not need buffing.
The entire instrument will be buffed to get it all to the same degree of shine and colour, so areas that are scratch free will still be buffed. If whoever doing the buffing has absolute understanding in what they're doing (using the correct mops and polishing compounds and the right amount of pressure while buffing) then they should be doing the least amount of harm (and Keilwerths have their engraving done and buffed over before lacquering so some of the definition has been lost anyway).

But if the company relaquering it has inexperienced polishers then there's the danger of them using the wrong (hard) mops with highly abrasive polishing compounds and too much pressure so the brass can be worn thin or have an uneven wavy look to it and the engraving will be lost in patches and pillars can get misaligned.

So it's best to see in advance examples of relacquer jobs done by a variety of companies offering this service to see how good their work is before handing your sax over to them as you may be very disappointed when you get it back. And if any serious harm is done, it's difficult to impossible to put right as you can't replace metal that's been buffed away and any successive attempts to rectify things will require more buffing and that means removing more and more metal each time.
 

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It might be too far for you, but here in Switzerland there's a guy doing a great job in the Zurich area. I had one of my horns' bow and bell relacquered due to a damaged. It was done under my tech's supervision, who also prepared the job (stripping and buffing). They used original Selmer lacquer.
 

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I have had my 1950 10M re-laquered twice with no consequences to the sound and I liked the work so much that I also let the same artisan do my 1971 Buffet SDA alto which still had about 99 % of it's original laquer. Each time these were done in conjunction with a complete overhaul.....ie (springs, pads, setup...etc.) The price for the alto was $400.00. The price for the tenor was (trying to remember). . . about $750.00. I take my saxes to Larry Mizel in Hagerstown, Maryland. Mizel Music is basically a one man operation where Larry is the repair technician and he also does all of the laquering in-house.He has a good reputation as a relaquerer and also refinishes things like antique brass lamps, etc.
The tenor this time around is about 3 years out and still looks like a new instrument. The alto is only a few months out and it also looks new. You may wonder why I had the alto done since it still had 99% of its original finish. I had it done because the 1% missing laquer was at the contact points with my skin and the bare brass quite frankly makes your hands stink. I highly recommend Larry Mizel for this kind of work. He is a musician and an artist who is experienced and is aware of things like not overbuffing the engraving.
 

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Hey Gary
You might contact Jason Dumars. If I remember correctly, Jason has a guy who I believe is in the Nashville area who does plating and relacquering. This guy did the copper re-plate on my Buescher and it's downright gorgeous.

good luck!
 

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Doc Frazier has done some amazing stuff, he did an overhaul for me and it was very nice,
I have not had him do any lacquer work however I have seen many pictures of some
stuff and I would consider him were it my horn. Best of luck Gary, btw I know it has
been a lil while but nice to have you back. Jay.

http://www.jandjwoodwinds.com/
 

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In the nineties and as recently as 2006 I had very good results using Sue Shockey at WWBW. Excellent run free lacquer application, minimal effect on the engraving (there was no damage to that area on any of the horns beyond minor dings- the end result was good enough to incite yet another "is it original" thread), no rouge left around the posts or toneholes, no buffer marks on posts or tubing ends, and the workmanship on the new pads, buffers, synching buffers, ETC. was first rate. Cost (complete overhaul) was about$750 for a tenor then.

No way to assess the effect of new lacquer on anything but appearance- but the horns all played very, very, well; sort of like you'd expect with a good overhaul...

Of course the WWBW has undergone some changes since then. I'd (as I did even then) work through the switchboard until I could actually talk to/ Email Sue (assuming she's still there) to find out the current situation. The sales people who answer the lines are perfectly nice folk but are no more able to answer your inquiry on something like this than the man in the moon.
 

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...They used original Selmer lacquer.
Hmm. I wonder what that actually means. Judging from its response to heat when soldering, my guess is that Selmer has used more than one type of lacquer. And although at least one type may be great for presentation for selling, it certainly is not best for durability when the sax is actually used.
 

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Postscript....The one negative to relaquering that I have experienced is that the tenon on the neck is refinished and so reduces the friction grip of the tightened neck.
RE-lacquering need not (and should not) have any effect at all on the fit of the neck. Did it become looser because the rough tarnish or gunge was removed?
 

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You might be better off getting it plated. If I refinish a horn, that's what I do. Results are pretty consistent, it CAN be done without massive buffing, and whatever gets worn off in the buffing process gets put back on the horn in another metal.

I had my tenor plated in 1972. You can't tell that it wasn't done yesterday.
 

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Gordon, good point. Our concern was mainly to keep the horn as near as possible to it's original state, using lacquer from Selmer's provider, with the same clear hue. It has been 4 years now, and it does fine.
 

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Speaking as a person that has relacquered many horns....
When a neck is lacquered you never lacquer the receiver.. you just put tape around the end you dont want relacquered
Lacquer is clear .. to make it darker lacquer dye is added.. the more dye you add the darker it is(that is what Selmer does)
What metal you take off depends on the buffing wheel, what compound you are using,how powerful is the buffing motor and how hard you push on the wheel. Buffing over the ingraving should be done lightly,or even by hand and none of it will be removed.
If you want the horn to look like new(no scratches) iy will have to be buffed hard to take them out. This will remove metal.
If you can live with a few scratches ask to have it lightly buffed
If you are going to have a horn plated the buffing process is the same .A poor buffing job will come out as a poor plating job.

If done by the right people and all of the above are followed it should come out good with no damage....maby.
Remenber people change jobs and the person that buffed your horn last time may not be the same person buffing it the next time.
 

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..If you want the horn to look like new(no scratches) iy will have to be buffed hard to take them out. This will remove metal.
If you can live with a few scratches ask to have it lightly buffed
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Elaborating... Perhaps it needs highlighting that in order to remove a scratch by buffing, all the surrounding metal must be thinned down until it reaches the thickness of the metal at the bottom of the scratch.

So you can't have it both ways... deep scratches removed and metal thickness preserved. Burnishing may help, to fill a deep scratch with the surrounding metal in a more localised fashion, but that is even more time intensive, and a new, reflective finish may show burnishing bruises unless they are buffed away to the level of the deepest "valley".
 

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Correct...I have even seen pepair tecks run a file down the whole length of a trumpet bell to remove scratches and uneven spots, then sandpaper, then buffing. The horn looks great ,just like new after it is lacquered. How many people would know that the horn that looks so great has one third or more of the metal removed.
 

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I have even seen repair tecks run a file down the whole length of a trumpet bell to remove scratches and uneven spots, then sandpaper, then buffing. The horn looks great ,just like new after it is lacquered. How many people would know that the horn that looks so great has one third or more of the metal removed.
That's how they do it at Veritas Instrument Rental here in Florida.
They should sweep up the shavings at the end of the day and sell it for scrap metal.
 

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yes, suppose one does this a second time on a instrument previously thinned out and the metal could get so thin that you can dent it with your fingers...

However this is not Gary's plight. I would be curious to see some good hi-res pictures of the horn to understand what is exactly that we are talking about
 
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