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Raw Brass Finish


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KingSilverSonic
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:23 pm    Post subject: Raw Brass Finish Reply with quote

I am sending out a horn to Tom Green for dent removal and to have the lacquer buffed off. The horn will be left in raw brass. But, the question comes up as to what type of buffing is best for this type of metal finish, or prep. I have four choices. He could buff it to a high luster, bead blast the brass, do a scratch finish with a light wire/wheel brush, or a finish with Scotch brite pad. I am thinking that the Scotch brite pad may be the way to go, but wanted to get any experiences with the metal prep that gives the best patina.
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ConnCoprion
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems that there could be a better way to have the lacquer taken off rather than buffing it out. Is there a chemical that they could use to take it off? Or hot water etc? Even the lightest buffing will take some of the metal off...

As for a nice patina....any raw brass will "turn" nicely with time. I wouldn't suggest using a bead blast, as I've heard that it's harder to clean...it holds junk in it better...aka sweat etc.
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tag1541
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ConnCoprion wrote:
It seems that there could be a better way to have the lacquer taken off rather than buffing it out. Is there a chemical that they could use to take it off? Or hot water etc? Even the lightest buffing will take some of the metal off...

As for a nice patina....any raw brass will "turn" nicely with time. I wouldn't suggest using a bead blast, as I've heard that it's harder to clean...it holds junk in it better...aka sweat etc.


I willstrip the remaining lacquer prior to dent/finish work. It would be nearly impossible to remove ALL the lacquer especially between the valve casings, receiver tubes, etc. with a buffing wheel. For metal preservation you are certainly correct... keep the buffing to a minimum!

Tom
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jwtrumpet
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have my horns in a scotch brite pad finish known as brush lacquer. This is holding up very well, and it looks very cool. you might want to consider the type of music you'll be playing as well, it might help in deciding what finish you want. Another plus to the brush finish is that if it's not done deeply, it as well can be buffed out later to become a polished finish. If need be I would be happy to email you a couple of pics of my horns, or if you have a facebook account, search my name, and I will add you as a friend. I have a photo album of my two horns. Let me know and good luck! [/img]
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KingSilverSonic
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have tried just about every chemical known to man without getting any of the lacquer off. This includes solvents recommened to me by Randy Nelson, a fellow Th'er and organic chemist. In the past I have used Easy Off oven cleaner on an older King and I had the horn stipped in about 8 minutes. But not this time. I have buffed off about 80% of the lacquer from the bell. I don't think that I have taken off too much metal as there are still small scratches that were under the lacquer. I have seen these before on older horns and don't know where they come from as there were not any scratches on, or in, the lacquer. If there is a chemical stripper to remove this lacquer I was not able to identity it.
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etc-etc
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solvents do not work because it is difficult to dissolve cross-linked polymers. By their nature, cross-linked polymers swell but do not dissolve. The amount of swelling depends on the degree of cross-linkage (try swelling a piece of bakelite, an extreme case of cross-linkage).

If I needed accelerated aging of the lacquer (so that it would peel off) I would venture to make a chamber with UV lights and reflective (aluminum foil) walls and put the horn in there for a while. The polymers composing the lacquer will get chopped up (reduced in chain length) by the photosensitized action of oxygen. Then, once the chain length is reduced, the solvents will work better.

The methods so far discussed for lacquer stripping were: mechanical, solvents, photochemistry. Any more takers?
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ConnArtist
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KingSilverSonic wrote:
I have tried just about every chemical known to man without getting any of the lacquer off. This includes solvents recommened to me by Randy Nelson, a fellow Th'er and organic chemist. In the past I have used Easy Off oven cleaner on an older King and I had the horn stipped in about 8 minutes.


Please pardon my confusion, but I interpret your writing to mean that Easy-off was *successful* in stipping lacquer, yes? I have been told it works and am contemplating that myself.

Also, I stumbled on another trumpet site (with a blog that appears to have much younger clientelle).... Wish I could remember what it's called b/c it had a lot of great resources... Anyway, I read on there that some folks have had success soaking in bleach solution and wiping with soft rag, and a fellow from Norway had success soaking in ammonium-chloride... apparently they use it over there to clean toilets and sinks and can get it in any old shop.

Any experts know what these amteur cocktails do to nickle plating or copper?
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ConnArtist
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two more thoughts on the raw brass...

First... there is such a thing as brass toxicity. Brass contains lead! So think about that when handling your raw horns, especially if you have little ones. I let my eager 22-mo boy blow and touch my practice horn all he wants (with supervision), but keep that raw brass away!

Second... I've wondered about periodically polishing raw horns with light oil (like for guns). Does anybody have experience with keeping the raw sound but the shiny look?
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KingSilverSonic
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ConnArtist wrote:
KingSilverSonic wrote:
I have tried just about every chemical known to man without getting any of the lacquer off. This includes solvents recommened to me by Randy Nelson, a fellow Th'er and organic chemist. In the past I have used Easy Off oven cleaner on an older King and I had the horn stipped in about 8 minutes.


Please pardon my confusion, but I interpret your writing to mean that Easy-off was *successful* in stipping lacquer, yes? I have been told it works and am contemplating that myself.

Also, I stumbled on another trumpet site (with a blog that appears to have much younger clientelle).... Wish I could remember what it's called b/c it had a lot of great resources... Anyway, I read on there that some folks have had success soaking in bleach solution and wiping with soft rag, and a fellow from Norway had success soaking in ammonium-chloride... apparently they use it over there to clean toilets and sinks and can get it in any old shop.

Any experts know what these amteur cocktails do to nickle plating or copper?

Yes, I found that Easy Off worked incredibly well with removing lacquer on an older King Liberty. I thought I had run across "the" answer. Then rolling360 reported that he had tried it on one of his horns without success. I then tried it on this horn and it was a bust. So, Easy Off will apparently work with some kinds of lacquers and not with others. Just be very careful about not breating the fumes. Concerning your other question, I have heard that some will wipe raw brass with silicon. I do not believe that brass contains lead, however. Raw brass can be toxic, however.
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ConnArtist
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KingSilverSonic wrote:
I do not believe that brass contains lead, however. Raw brass can be toxic, however.


Thanks for sharing with the Easy-off, KSS.

My bad on the lead issue... I found a brass and copper tubing supplier that advertised a lower-lead brass and inferred that regular trumpet brass must therefore contain more lead.

Wikipedia says brass is copper and zinc... both of which are toxic metals in their own right though... still... keep your raw horn away from todlers!
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AJCarter
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When i purchased my C (used from an old student of my teacher) the brass had been stripped off after the horn had been left a bit too long in the chem cleaning tank.

I'm going to try easy off on my Bb which has some spots of wear on it AND some spots where the lacquer is already off. do you think since the lacquer is off in a spot it would make it easier for the easy off to penetrate and remove the lacquer?
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KingSilverSonic
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AJCarter wrote:
Do you think since the lacquer is off in a spot it would make it easier for the easy off to penetrate and remove the lacquer?

I, too, though the same thing but that was not the case. Again, I have found that Easy Off either works incredibly well or not at all. Please be careful not to breath the fumes.
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ConnCoprion
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KingSilverSonic wrote:
ConnArtist wrote:
KingSilverSonic wrote:
I have tried just about every chemical known to man without getting any of the lacquer off. This includes solvents recommened to me by Randy Nelson, a fellow Th'er and organic chemist. In the past I have used Easy Off oven cleaner on an older King and I had the horn stipped in about 8 minutes.


Please pardon my confusion, but I interpret your writing to mean that Easy-off was *successful* in stipping lacquer, yes? I have been told it works and am contemplating that myself.

Also, I stumbled on another trumpet site (with a blog that appears to have much younger clientelle).... Wish I could remember what it's called b/c it had a lot of great resources... Anyway, I read on there that some folks have had success soaking in bleach solution and wiping with soft rag, and a fellow from Norway had success soaking in ammonium-chloride... apparently they use it over there to clean toilets and sinks and can get it in any old shop.

Any experts know what these amteur cocktails do to nickle plating or copper?

Yes, I found that Easy Off worked incredibly well with removing lacquer on an older King Liberty. I thought I had run across "the" answer. Then rolling360 reported that he had tried it on one of his horns without success. I then tried it on this horn and it was a bust. So, Easy Off will apparently work with some kinds of lacquers and not with others. Just be very careful about not breating the fumes. Concerning your other question, I have heard that some will wipe raw brass with silicon. I do not believe that brass contains lead, however. Raw brass can be toxic, however.


Yes, I use a silicone cloth to wipe down my raw brass Committee. (I'm sure raw brass can be toxic...if you were chewing on it...anyways just to be safe, I use an old rag to wrap around the valve block to hold it. Anyone can pick up a silicone cloth at any sports store that carries shooting accessories. "Hoppes" is the best. Most silicone content on the rag. (I got mine at Dick's Sports.) Just make the the horn is clean to begin with and dry.......and simply wipe it down. Seals the raw brass from sweat etc. At first your horn will feel "slick"....don't worry let it dry out for awhile...and remember to put your cloth back into the ziplock bag it came in. Here's my Committee after I wiped it down with the silicone cloth....nice *glow* to it I must say...nothing like a nice patina sealed from the outside elements...


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ConnArtist
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great tips in here folks! Now 'scuse me... I've got some oven cleaning to do
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AJCarter
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let us know if you have any luck! im going to try and strip my bach this weekend. it's early 80's in case that would help to know whether the lacquer job is good or bad.
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Indian
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have several raw brass horns and have done the stripping myself. I would not recommend EasyOff because of the odors , hazards and harshness associated with it. I also have a friend that pitted a baritone using the EasyOff. I have used TuffStrip from Lowe's. It is solvent based and easily strips all, and I mean all, the laquer off in less than an hour. Just spray it on, wait an hour and wash it off with a water hose. I like a polished raw brass finish. The media blasted and scratch finishes are hard to polish and clean. I use "Mothers Billet Polish" on both silver and brass and it is very gentle and easy to use with no residue after wiping it off. I do wipe my raw horns down with a cheap silicone impregnated rag I bought from Walmart for $3.00. I have also used TuffStrip on the inside of a horn as a cleaner and it worked well to remove ages of dust and dirt from a horn found under a house in Georgia. Good Luck which ever route you take and let us know how it works out for you.
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KingSilverSonic
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that I tried Tuff Stuff from Lowe's but so far nothing that I have tried works, other than Easy Off. And, that appears to be "lacquer" specific. I was able to remove the lacquer from the King Liberty in about 8 minutes, but had a source of warm, running water and was wearing chemically resistant gloves. I would not allow Easy Off to set for very long on brass.
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Dale Proctor
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A heavy-duty non-acrylic paint remover will take just about any lacquer or lacquer-like coating off. Buffing it off is a no no - you'll eat up some of the brass in the process. Here are a couple of pics of a cheap eBay cornet - before and after. I used Krylon OFF! spray and it took most all the lacquer off in about 20 minutes. Another application took the rest off. I won't tell you how long I spent ragging the horn afterward, though...




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improver
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to run mine thru the dishwasher. It worked great for me. one cycle
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AJCarter
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't had time to do it myself. however, there is a fellow in Marine City, MI who strips and refinishes Copper and Brass and I am going to take my horn to him this Thursday and have him take the lacquer off. He's done instruments before he said when I called him but he isn't primarily a music instrument person. I'll let you all know how this goes.

Just to make sure, this process of stripping wont hurt my instrument or affect it's performance will it? I know it wont ruin sound because my C is raw brass and it sounds just fine. Maybe just some last minute jitters surfacing here .
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