Brushed Satin/Scratch Finish (do it yourself)

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Horn of Praise, Dec 28, 2003.

  1. Horn of Praise

    Horn of Praise Pianissimo User

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    Nov 1, 2003
    United States
    This past week at work, when I got caught up with my duties, I helped out in a different department. Every once in a while I'm asked to polish stainless steel. I've done this many times in the past, but this was the first time that my "trumpet geek lightbulb" went on.

    I was hand-polishing using a 3M product called "Scotchbrite". I was achieving the same visual results that are seen on brushed or scratch finish horns. I immediately thought that if I "found" a lacquer horn (for the right price) I would "try my hand" at giving it a more expensive look.

    The 3M Scotchbrite pads are synthetic, flexible, about 1/4" think, and come in different abrasive "levels". They are approximately 5" x 8" in size, and can be cut in smaller strips to get in smaller areas.

    Do the moderators think that I'm crazy? Will I end up with a scratched lamp? :lol:
     
  2. Skip

    Skip Piano User

    268
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    Oct 26, 2003
    Hawaii
    Hey Paul,

    You know what they say? Always try it first on an area that won't show, or doesn't matter - like on a flute, or FH, or.......................HeHeHe. :idea: :p :twisted: :wink:

    Skip
     
  3. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    I can't see why it wouldn't work, Paul. The biggest challenge will be to ensure that you don't end up with too much "oriented grain" in different areas... I would think it is relatively difficult to get a really random pattern (although certainly no more difficult than when using a drill or Dremel tool). Now there's an idea...cut little discs of that Scotchbrite and chuck them into a Dremel tool! Could be too easy to "overdo" it in some areas though.

    I'm picturing trying to scratch the spaces between the valve casings in around the casing/casing supports and casing/tubing braces.....going to be mighty awkward.

    That concern (controlling the "grain") is one reason why I think I would personally prefer bead blasting (or "satin" finish) to scratch/brush.

    And there is ANOTHER idea....how about a trumpet with the bell surface "machine tooled"? (those highly consistent swirls that you see on some automotive aluminum surfaces?) Figured I'd put that idea in here so that it can't be used for the Eclipse contest! HAHA. Leigh...feel free to use it "gratis". Maybe on the cornet you are thinking of building for me. :D
     
  4. Horn of Praise

    Horn of Praise Pianissimo User

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    Nov 1, 2003
    United States
    Hi folks,

    I have given this some thought. Stainless steel is very hard, so it's easy going over an area "again" to orient the grain (scratches) properly. But, because brass on a horn is so much softer and thinner...you need to get it right the first time, or "wala"... a new lamp.

    The Dremel Tool idea is interesting. Coincidentally, my wife just got me one for my birthday. Now I have new ideas. :wink:

    Most scratch finish horns I have seen, so far, have the grain running perpendicular to the linear tubing (around the tubing). If I find a cheap horn with terrible lacquer, I will try this and report back.

    All the best.
     
  5. Skip

    Skip Piano User

    268
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    Oct 26, 2003
    Hawaii
    Seriously Paul,

    If you think that manual "scratching" may wear a hole in the horn, be vary careful about adding power tools to the equation - esp. a dremel that burrs at 20,000-30,000 RPM. 3M makes some 1", 2", and 6" cutting & polishing whhels of Scotch-Brite designed for removing burrs & polishing aluminum in homebuilt aircraft construction.

    Cleaveland Aircraft Tool www.cleavelandtool.com and Aircraft Spruce (800-824-1930) carry these.

    Leigh may be kind enough to tell you his trade secret of how he accomplishes his magic. :D

    Skip
     
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    I was under the impression that brushed lacquer horns are brushed or bead blasted prior to the lacquer going on so if you do decide to do that, wouldn't you need to relacquer the horn after you scratch it up? I think that if you try to scratch finish a horn that already has lacquer on it, you are going to get pretty messy results.
     
  7. eclipse trumpets

    eclipse trumpets Piano User

    390
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    Oct 24, 2003
    England
    Hiya Guys!

    Just surfaced after the very over- eaten Christmas!

    Please please please refrain from trying to scratch over lacquer, this will make a horrible mess of:-

    1. The horn
    2. You
    3. The place you are doing it

    All finishes of this nature are done prior to any lacquer application, the lacquer goes over the top forming a protective casing to whatever you have done underneath.

    the same goes for the scratch finish that either silver or gold plated (the scratch is done first.

    We do our scratch finish by hand with 3 different grades of Scotchbrite, it probably does look easier than it is to be honest! Its not difficult to scratch it all over, but is difficult to get an all over decent look to the effect.

    Glass bead blasting is much easier and of course gives a more uniform finish, but that is not for everyone as they prefer the effect of a product literally hand finished.

    I like both as it happens , but choose hand scratching as it is a touch more personal and means that each horn is slightly different that way.

    Having said that beadblasting will be offered later in 2004.

    Regards

    Leigh
     
  8. Horn of Praise

    Horn of Praise Pianissimo User

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    Nov 1, 2003
    United States
    Hi Leigh (and everybody else),

    Thanks for jumping in here. You have helped me put more pieces of the "puzzle" together.

    1) I knew that the lacquer would have to be removed first. I also assumed that new lacquer would be applied (at the end) unless raw brass was desired.

    2) I knew that using the Dremel Tool would leave no room for error. I used to use pneumatic cut-off tools to disassemble light aircraft components. Doing things manually (by hand) is slower and more forgiving.

    3) I did not know that silver-plate and gold-plate are applied "over" a scratch finish "prepped" horn.

    4) I am glad that I was on the right track regarding 3M Scotch Brite.

    Leigh, I have access to 7440 and 7446 at work. Are those two grits too aggressive for brass, if and when I feel "brave" on a cheap garage-sale "clunker"???

    I appreciate all the free info. Thanks. All the best.
     
  9. eclipse trumpets

    eclipse trumpets Piano User

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    0
    Oct 24, 2003
    England
    Hi Paul

    Forget those Grits as they tend to be a bit rough and clog easily in my opinion.

    Give me a week or so and ill send you some we use on eclipses to try ok, maybe even with a small explanation of how we go about doing it.

    The hard part is knowing where to start and where to finish, or else you can end up keep going over and over bits you have messed up.

    Please just mail me your address again as i am not sure i have your new address on my database yet!

    Nice to hear from you

    Regards and Happy New Year to you and the family

    Leigh
     
  10. Horn of Praise

    Horn of Praise Pianissimo User

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    Nov 1, 2003
    United States
    Leigh,

    You are way too good to me...I'm feeling very spoiled again. I will send you a PM with the address. THANKS!!!
     

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