Dots on trumpet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Mdk, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. Mdk

    Mdk New Friend

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    Apr 5, 2014
    My trumpet has tiny little bubbles on certain parts. It is a year old eastman. I am concerned they will get bigger and ruin the finish. What are they and how can I fight them? trumpet

    UPDATE: Took the trumpet to the place I got it. They insisted it was due to my fingers. Is it possible that the oil on my hands can ruin silver plating in a year? The best part was the dots are not in the location where I put my hands. He took the trumpet to the shop 2 hours away ( I don't know what they can do) . The man was very eager to say he dots were my fault.
     
  2. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    The photo is a little indistinct for me -- in addition to this could you describe how the surface feels (same as other parts of the trumpet, or rougher?) and whether they appeared slowly over the time, or suddenly. Also, how do you wash and store your trumpet? I presume your horn is lacquered?

    I had a trumpet inside a muslin bag and shipped in a torpedo case. Underway it got wet somehow and there was a scattering of dots on the plating which concerned me a little (and wouldn't wipe off). A local jeweler took a look for me and after some quick wipes with his polishing cloth (which he assured me wouldn't significantly affect the plating, if at all) the dots were gone. It seems the wet muslin against the bell had left a mark which detergent couldn't remove.

    --bumblebee
     
  3. musicalmason

    musicalmason Forte User

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    Yeah this is common with Eastman and other lower priced, Chinese made horns. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your finish is not going to last long.
     
  4. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    Often times on Eastmans horns I find dust in the lacquer. It could be just flaking off as well.
     
  5. Mdk

    Mdk New Friend

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    Apr 5, 2014
    It has a texture while the rest of the trumpet is smooth. I wash my trumpet with polish or just wipe with trumpet cloth. Thank you :D
     
  6. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    Does your trumpet have a lacquer or a plated finish? What kind of polish is that? You don't use brass polish on lacquer (though I have read about lacquer polishing products). Brass polish like "Brasso" wouldn't shine up the brass under the lacquer, and would cut into the lacquer.

    --bumblebee
     
  7. Mdk

    Mdk New Friend

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    Silver polish. It is silver plated. Eastman Music Company - Brass - Trumpets - ETR821S. Linky
     
  8. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    When I look again I think I can see it's silver -- maybe the light was "yellower" or something...

    I'll have to bow out here (from ignorance), but I think then that the dots are some sort of pitting, perhaps due to something in your environment, your hands, your case? Are there any rubber bands or similar touching it? (my silver Strad has a black mark from contact with the gutter guard.) Are you cleaning off the silver polish properly after using it?

    If the problem isn't something within the plating itself I hear there are polishing products like MAAS which leave behind a barrier layer which might help it withstand environmental factors. (I haven't used MAAS myself.)

    Good luck,
    --bumblebee
     
  9. redintheface

    redintheface Pianissimo User

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    Silver plate is usually not lacquered, so this comes down to a metallurgical problem:

    There are three metals involved: zinc and copper in the brass, and the silver, plated to the surface of the brass. The brass has a particular content of zinc and copper, and this can vary from type to type of brass. This can lead to certain problems with the corroding of instruments, one such problem being "red rot", where the zinc of the brass is leached out slowly, leaving only the copper. This will appear as a browny red stain in your (unplated) parts of the instrument. In instruments, this usually happens from the inside, or where there is contact with chemicals (including saliva) and it happens over a long period of time. Red rot is irreversible, and is a common cause of leadpipes needing to be replaced.

    I don't think this is "internal" red rot though.

    It is more likely to be a problem in the manufacturing process of depositing the silver on top of the brass, which we know as plating. As this link shows, if plating is done in a high humidity environment, as found commonly in Chinese factories, a reaction can occur between the copper in the brass and the silver plate, causing the copper to oxidise, leaving small lumps or blisters underneath the silver plate. This will show as bubbles in the silver plate. Do not try to pop them, or smooth them out!

    Again, this is irreversible, and there is nothing that can be done. My condolences.

    As an aside, this blistering can be seen in other areas of cheap metalwork - I bought a steel toolbox manufactured in China, it was powdercoated with a red "paint" cover. The process is somewhat similar to plating, in that both use an electric charge to help deposit the material onto the surface of the product. After just a year, blisters appeared in the red paint, which eventually flaked off leaving the bare (and slightly rusted) steel underneath.
     
  10. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    IF that is in an area where your finger touches, then you are wearing through the plating. Some people do it quicker than others.
     

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