Care and Feeding of Raw Brass Horn

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by DezynGuy, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. samdaman

    samdaman Pianissimo User

    Jun 15, 2006
    Baltimore, MD
    CAR WAX! Like previously mentioned, it does work. Just apply it (use some elbow grease to take off dirt), let dry, and then wipe off. I use it on all my horns, even gold-plated. It doesn't eat away at finished and doesn't take off any of the metal. I personally use the orange "Once a Year Car Wax." I've found that it works the best. It keeps protected and shiny for quite a while.
  2. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Clean it with whatever brass cleaner you like - they're all about the same effectiveness.
    Spray with rubbing alcohol and wipe with cotton cloth to remove any remnants of the polish.
    Then rub the horn down with either baby oil or skin so soft.
    It will slow tarnish much faster than car wax and is much easier to reapply every few weeks. Not to mention it will keep your hands soft. :)

  3. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    I use Wright's copper polish. But I like the ruddy look of unpolished brass.
  4. Bachstul

    Bachstul Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    The appeal of raw is the natural patina and wear it reveals over the years. And it is natural.
    To do a "treatment" will make it look fake at least for awhile until the natural patina and wear returns again. Brass never sleeps!

    If you follow the advice from a numismatist, a coin collector, he'll say don't mess with it. The natural look of an old coin is ruined when someone cleans or polishes an old coin, and afterwards makes the coin considerably worth less. Some professional coin grading services will not even certify a cleaned coin. You said the horn was vintage, valuable,( like an old rare coin,) with toning and color and evidence of authentic age, I would leave it alone.

    The sound of it may change for you, you know already, I'm sure, if you plate it.

    One more, If one acquired an antique piece of furniture, it would be wrong to remove the finish down to bare wood to refinish it. It would ruin the piece. right?
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2009
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The purpsoe of raw brass is to look, well, raw.

    Brasso will not eat your horn up. Most polishing compounds are ABRASIVE - but only mildly. That means the problem is not cleaning but tarnish prevention (if that is what you really want).

    Bachstuls comparison with coin collecting is very appropriate - with one exception - we don't finger the coins as often as our horns (well most of us don't). Horns are subject to wear internally (red rot/valve+slide wear) and external (oxidation and dents/dings). prevention is the best medicine. Maybe even a second horn for most of the "dirty" work and the special one for the concerts.
  6. DezynGuy

    DezynGuy Pianissimo User

    Jan 14, 2009
    Burlingame, CA
    Thanks to all for your tips. I actually took a little of everything to heart. My horn is awesome looking. I was really surprised at how well it turned out. It now has a brilliant luster with many of the old water spots removed. Now that I have it to "ground zero" I can let nature takes its course and add it's own patina to this gorgeous instrument. I've posted before and after photos if anyone's interested.

    FYI -

    I soaked the disassembled horn in a sink of warm water, plus white vinegar and dawn for about 45 minutes. This removed all the dirt.

    Gave it a nice rubbing down with a microfiber cloth which came away covered in black, from removing even more grime.

    I polished the entire horn with MAAS polish, applying with a very fine nap microfiber cloth. Truly remarkable and gentle stuff, MAAS obviously cleans while it shines -- even more black came off on the cloth.

    After buffing again with another microfiber cloth I gave it a finishing coat of a cream car wax. (Who'd a thunk it?).
  7. A.N.A. Mendez

    A.N.A. Mendez Utimate User

    Oct 25, 2005
    Sunny Ca.
    Lookin' good!
  8. Bachstul

    Bachstul Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    Nice trumpet! If you don't mind me asking, how hard was it to find one of these Committees, Did you have to pull teeth to get one?
  9. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    very nice. It looks like the horn has never been buffed on a buffing wheel. That's the way I like them. Many years ago I ordered a Bb 37 gold brass raw brass bell from Bach. I asked them not to buff it. I love the look and the sound.
  10. whathefayla

    whathefayla New Friend

    Jan 15, 2009
    Burbank, CA
    I heartily second the silicone cloth thought. Hoppes and Birchwood Casey amongst others. Readily available at many sporting goods stores. They work just fine on silver, raw brass, and lacquer horns. I usually wipe my horns with a micro fiber detailing rag first to remove the various hand scunge and spit. Then a quick wipe with the silicone cloth to leave a protective layer on the surface. Only a little slippery for a few minutes.

    Of course, YMMV

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