clean a brass trumpet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jkmustang, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. jkmustang

    jkmustang New Friend

    Oct 12, 2009
    I have a Holton from the 70's and I think its brass. I've seen ideas on her for cleaning and polishing silver and gold horns, but what's the best way to shine up a very bad condition brass finish? thank you
  2. marsuleu

    marsuleu Piano User

    Mar 30, 2009
    Bucharest , Romania
    what means "very bad condition" ? it still has some original lacquer ? if it is raw brass, you can polish it with an abrasive polish to remove oxide/dirt/rust and after that apply some silicone oil for a shiny look...
  3. Sofus

    Sofus Forte User

    Jul 26, 2008
    My guess is that marsuleu´s suggestion is the best
    and that the Foil/Hot water/Baking soda-method
    will not be successful on raw brass at all.
    The reason for my believing this is that the method
    mentioned only will work when the foil is of a much
    less precious metal than the trumpet.
    Brass is itself an alloy of copper and zink, and whereas
    the copper is still rather precious, the zink is not.
  4. jkmustang

    jkmustang New Friend

    Oct 12, 2009
    How do I tell if the original lacquer is there or not? this horn is scratched and some small pitting, several small dents, and some rust and lots of oxidation.
  5. Mamba21500

    Mamba21500 Piano User

    Feb 26, 2009
    You'll be able to tell, because where there is lacquer it will be extremely smooth, and shiny.

    Where there isn't, it will be rougher, and dull.
  6. jkmustang

    jkmustang New Friend

    Oct 12, 2009
    ok, it seems to have almost no lacquer on it at all, its very rough and dull to the look and touch. So what is the best polish to use on it? I tried some brass polish I have, but it didn't do a thing to it. The horn just laughed at me LOL
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    It is tough for us to guess. Even lacquer can become dull when not taken care of. If metal polish didn't help, there very well could be lacquer left on the horn.

    There is no "best" polish. A dull Lacquer finish can be spruced up with a polish for weathered car paint. The real open metal parts need elbow grease and Brasso if you want to do this yourself. Pros use a buffing wheel with very fine abrasive.
  8. Sofus

    Sofus Forte User

    Jul 26, 2008
    Here´s a Lacquer Tester for you, jkmustang!


    Sweep the "Probe" end over your trumpet.
    When the light bulb lights up, lacquer is gone
    at that part of the trumpet.

  9. Blind Bruce

    Blind Bruce Pianissimo User

    Apr 17, 2009
    Winnipeg Canada
    What Sofus has proposed is a continuity tester. This can be a battery and lamp as described, or an ohmmeter.
    Also, be sure that the stationary probe is touching a bare place. The inside of the mouthpiece receiver is not very good for this.
    To find a bare place, place the probes right next to each other. If there is continuity, then both places are bare. Use this place for all subsequent measurements.

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