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Matte silver/gold



 
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dstpt
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2021 8:03 pm    Post subject: Matte silver/gold Reply with quote

I have been told that some create a matte finish with a 3M Scotch Brite pad. They “brush” the horn, or sections thereof, in various directions to make certain patterns (or lack thereof). Some have used bead blasting to get a matte finish. Some builders/manufacturers use terms like matte, brushed, satin, semi-satin, others?

I also understand that typically the matte finish is done at the raw state, correct? Then a copper strike (plated), then silver, and then gold plate, if you go that far.

Here are my questions: If I wanted a brushed (matte) gold finish on a horn in my stable, could I use a Scotch Brite pad and “scratch” the silver and have gold put on top, or does the “matte work” have to be done at the raw state only? And if I did scratch the silver (say, only the outside of the bell and body of the horn with all detachable sections removed to keep them “polished”), is it reasonably possible to get a fairly uniform “look” with this process? Have any of you done this and feel you can claim success? Do you have any advice for applying a special technique or “stroke” with the pad?

I realize that any signs of scratches, dents, dings, or other imperfections will show maybe even more so after the gold plating is done. I get that. The one horn I’m considering for this was new a year ago and silver plated at the time. I cannot find any present flaws in the finish.
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HaveTrumpetWillTravel
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you would already be committed to finding a gold plater (which I understand is expensive now), I'd assume you'd do best to ask them.

To me DIY scratch finishing a silver plate in like-new condition sounds very risky.

Do you have a preference for how you want the gold to look among the options you listed? To me the sand-blasted looks really nice. On silver, I find that matte finishes tarnish quickly and unevenly and collect finger prints. I don't know how gold does.
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dstpt
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HaveTrumpetWillTravel wrote:
Since you would already be committed to finding a gold plater (which I understand is expensive now), I'd assume you'd do best to ask them.

To me DIY scratch finishing a silver plate in like-new condition sounds very risky.

Do you have a preference for how you want the gold to look among the options you listed? To me the sand-blasted looks really nice. On silver, I find that matte finishes tarnish quickly and unevenly and collect finger prints. I don't know how gold does.

I've had other gold plated horns...some parts polished gold and other parts matte gold...but I haven't known for sure how they achieved the matte look on those used horns. I can usually see “patterns” of some kind if the surface is brushed (by hand). Sand-blasting, a.k.a. bead blasting (which I've been told is done with tiny round beads of glass that appear as sand) can look very even, but that isn't a DYI option for me. I might just leave the horn all polished and have it gold plated without any matte sections.

The problem with matte silver finishes showing discoloration–so I've been told and have witnessed–is that dirt and grime settle in the tiny crevices/valleys/divots/craters since it so easily collects in such. Matte gold seems to not "show" that as much as silver, and I'm guessing that has to do with the more "reflective" look of silver, maybe, or its natural color being "lighter" than that of gold? As far as the DYI risk? Yep, that's always a consideration with these ventures.
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yourbrass
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Find a junk horn to try your Scotch Brite pad idea on - you may decide not to go forward. Bead blast finishes are no longer available at Anderson, according to their Web site. That finish is a dirt trap, and unrestorable once worn.
I don't care for scratch brush finishes because they are unrepairable - you'll never get the same look after it's worn. They certainly look cool, though.
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HaveTrumpetWillTravel
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dstpt wrote:

The problem with matte silver finishes showing discoloration–so I've been told and have witnessed–is that dirt and grime settle in the tiny crevices/valleys/divots/craters since it so easily collects in such. Matte gold seems to not "show" that as much as silver, and I'm guessing that has to do with the more "reflective" look of silver, maybe, or its natural color being "lighter" than that of gold? As far as the DYI risk? Yep, that's always a consideration with these ventures.


I think with silver it's also that it tarnishes. One of my kids plays on a matte silver trumpet I have and the leadpipes turn black very quickly. I think having it gold plated would be better. I've wanted a gold-plated trumpet, so if you go ahead and do it, please let us know how the process goes. I'm also a natural DIY'er, but with uneven results
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dstpt
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still considering options here.

Leaning toward avoiding the matte DYI approach and just going with the polished look.

Now here's something I haven't considered: Has anyone ever had a trumpet plated in rose gold? It is supposedly more durable than yellow gold. From a jeweler's perspective...

https://www.jewelry-auctioned.com/learn/buying-jewelry/rose-gold-vs-yellow-gold

https://laurapreshong.com/from-the-bench-jewelry-blog/what-is-rose-gold-a-brief-history-and-description/

With the little bit of copper in the mix, it could attenuate the tone a little more than yellow gold, going further away from what Schilke and others have said silver does. Many say that the difference is miniscule these days (esp. compared to today's lacquer options); some really notice even the slightest change. I get that. In a perfect world, my goal would be to have horns that only required daily maintenance by swabbing out the inside of the leadpipe and never having a concern about oxidation when leaving them out of the case for extended periods of time.
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OldSchoolEuph
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dstpt wrote:
Still considering options here.

Leaning toward avoiding the matte DYI approach and just going with the polished look.

Now here's something I haven't considered: Has anyone ever had a trumpet plated in rose gold? It is supposedly more durable than yellow gold. From a jeweler's perspective...

https://www.jewelry-auctioned.com/learn/buying-jewelry/rose-gold-vs-yellow-gold

https://laurapreshong.com/from-the-bench-jewelry-blog/what-is-rose-gold-a-brief-history-and-description/

With the little bit of copper in the mix, it could attenuate the tone a little more than yellow gold, going further away from what Schilke and others have said silver does. Many say that the difference is miniscule these days (esp. compared to today's lacquer options); some really notice even the slightest change. I get that. In a perfect world, my goal would be to have horns that only required daily maintenance by swabbing out the inside of the leadpipe and never having a concern about oxidation when leaving them out of the case for extended periods of time.


A couple things:

Schilke reported that his research with blind testing of raw brass vs lacquer, silver and gold plating yielded recognition of lacquer as different from the rest only. Plating after WWII was just too thin - as is the modern epoxycoat that has replaced nitrocellulose lacquer.

Rose gold is not something the few instrument platers that are left will do as far as I have been able to find out (my interest is in about a 12K gold, not rose, but the issue is the same:). Anything outside of a pure silver or pure gold would be next to impossible to match after repairs - which leads to angry customers who demand a match because that's what they want, never mind reality... - which is why all the platers have said no way.

Finally, 24K gold is essentially pure gold: a non-reactive coating. As soon as you alloy it with anything else, it becomes susceptible to chemical interactions. 24K gold is the most stable surface treatment there is (except maybe ceramic titanium, but that won't work as a plating).
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dstpt
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I got a response this evening from Aaron at Theta Plate, Inc. He and I first discussed some options in late Aug. He said (tonight) that rose gold is not the best for durability or stability. I knew that rose gold had copper in it, but those websites I listed above seemed to indicate it still was more durable...maybe for jewelry? So confusing. Anyway, I now plan to resort to the more traditional route of polished yellow 24k gold.

Re: repair nightmares. It sounds like I'm in a little different camp than some of your angry customers. Years ago I took a horn in for some repair, and the repair tech let me look on, so I could see behind the scenes. She said, "Just remember: It's always going to look worse before it looks better!" A few years after that while watching another tech work on another horn of mine, yet another freelancer came in with a hole(!) in his 2nd slide on his Benge. It had duct tape over the hole! I got to watch as the tech completely unsoldered just about every part of the horn possible, and then he began to reassemble. (I can't recall all the details of the horn's needs, but I remember seeing everything in pieces!) From those two experiences, my mind experienced a "reset" on things that are, and aren't, possible. I've had the opportunity to watch (and sometimes "assist") other techs through the years on various minor repairs and modifications, and during the discussions, I think I've gained a better understanding on reasonable, and unreasonable, expectations. All of this certainly has caused me to have a greater respect for brass techs!
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ECLtmpt2
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dstpt wrote:
(snip)...All of this certainly has caused me to have a greater respect for brass techs!


When you find, know, or have a good tech put their birthday in your calendar and send them hand-written cards and hope your name is not a "oh No, not them again"!
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