Saxophone Forum


by kennyz
(31 posts)
16 years ago

6M lacquer removing - which non-chemical techniques?

Hello to everybody I would like to remove the lacquer of a 6m from '50, it is heavily tarnished, with a non homogeneous color and almost brown, very dark, the sax looks really badly. I have read the preceding discussions on the matter but I am firmly contrary to use chemical substancesand or abrasives, and I think that should not be difficult to remove a lacquer so old and tried. Departing from a bare brass area, the lacquer seems go away using a metal polish but I cannot use this procedure on the whole horn. I have read on the use of very warm water but I am perplexed; the warmth produce thermal expansion, do you not think that some post could detach ? I have used some vinegar for a hour on a small part of a key and the lacquer has easily gone away through the polish. Could a soak in the vinegar work on the whole sax without making damages? thanks to whoever can give me suggestions on this theme.

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  1. by connsaxman_jim
    (2336 posts)

    16 years ago

    Re: 6M lacquer removing - which non-chemical techniques?

    I try to discourage people from trying to strip or refinish their own horns, because most chemicals and abrasives do more harm than good. I have never tried vinegar before, but I don't think that the vinegar would damage the horn. It will likely damage felt, corks and pads. (I mention this because you would be surprised how many people actually might dip the entire horn in vinegar and then yell at me later!) Vinegar is a mild acid. It's not strong enough to eat away at the brass, but it should help loosen the tarnish and old lacquer. It may not be strong enough to cut through all of the lacquer. I would let it soak for a while and see what happens. Typically what they use is a citric acid type of lacquer stripper. It's mild enough not to damage the brass, but it's still pretty tough on lacquer. It might possibly be available through www.musicmedic.com, or perhaps your local hardware store sells something similar. Jim

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    1. by kennyz
      (31 posts)

      16 years ago

      Re: 6M lacquer removing - which non-chemical techniques?

      Hi Jim, thanks for your answer. I am happy that you think like me regard the use of chemical products. I would also recommend to the good technician, without offense for him, not to use this procedure on my sax. I will try first to use the vinegar, yes, I surely know that the pads will become black, but the sax need a complete overhaul, so this is not a problem ; -) Musicmedic don't have any item for de-lacquering. About the citric acid, I really don't know the dosing and the time of immersion, do you perhaps know more? Kindest regards

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      1. by STEVE GOODSON
        (291 posts)

        16 years ago

        Re: 6M lacquer removing - which non-chemical techniques?

        I use Cold Strip from Ferree Tool to remove lacquer. It works a little better if you agitate the surface with a tooth brush. Be sure to use eye protection and rubber gloves. Following the Cold Strip, I dip the horn for 30 seconds in chromic acid, which Ferree's sells as "Brite Dip". Again, be sure to use eye protection and rubber gloves. I've used this procedure for many years, and have never had any metal damage.

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        1. by kennyz
          (31 posts)

          16 years ago

          Re: 6M lacquer removing - which non-chemical techniques?

          Dear Mr Goodson, thanks a lot for your suggestions. Unfortunately I don't succeed in contacting Ferree's for the request of a catalog (my e-mails bounce back) and I don't find any shops that sell their products... I would like to thank you and everybody for the received help P.S. - can I take advantage for asking around the mark 01 on the neck of the Big B? Is known in which segment of production it appear? When I see a Big B neck without this detail I am always a little perplexed... I have read that 140 is essentially the same except that for the engraving, is the neck interchangeable among these two models?

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