How to Satin finish a horn

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Phil Kersh, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. Phil Kersh

    Phil Kersh Pianissimo User

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    Feb 28, 2008
    Provo, Utah
    I have been working on refurbishing a Bach 184 cornet. The instrument is around 20 yrs old and the lacquer is quite worn. I've successfully stripped the lacquer and now I'm looking into either a brushed finish (using ScotchBrite) or applying a satin finish. Unfortunately, I have no idea where to start with regards to a nice satin finish.
    So now I'm turning to you. All those who want to weigh in, I'd love to hear what you have to say. And if you have any experience with refinishing a horn, then I definitely want to hear from you.
    As my project develops, I will post photos to keep interested parties updated.

    Thanks
     
  2. B

    B New Friend

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    Jan 19, 2004
    Northshore of Boston
    Brass is a heavy metal you want to take precautions before you go and start on removing material. As for finishes consistent pressure is key to a consistent finish. Use green (SB) for a satin finish for a silk finish use white . You may if you wish also use steel wool for more polished type finishes XXX and XXXX only for this. After that you could always blacken the brass with a commercial finish or mix up your own brew to do the job.
     
  3. Phil Kersh

    Phil Kersh Pianissimo User

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    Feb 28, 2008
    Provo, Utah
    what type of approach do you recommend? Rubbing in small circular motions?
     
  4. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

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    A satin finish needs to be bead blasted, shooting plastic or another material beads under pressure at the metal to give it the satin finsh.

    It is then plated with the plating or lacquer of choice.


    -cw-
     
  5. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    I too would suggest bead blasting - know anyone in the aircraft industry? Glass bead blasting is used to knock corrosion off aluminium structures, and is not very coarse, if you are careful. Plastic bead blasting is a somewhat newer technique - I reckon that you WILL need to plate or lacquer over the result. I have one trumpet that is silver plated over a finish done by Boosey and Hawkes in the mid '50s, and another that has been bead blasted, gold plated and lacquered - courtesy of Weril in Brazil, and quite recently too. Perhaps Weril's website may give you some technical clues.
     
  6. B

    B New Friend

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    Always sand anything like it has a grain, ( brass does) in one direction this gives the best finish.
     
  7. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    The Wide Brown Land
    Most metals that have been "deformed" into a shape will invariably have grain - so this is a very valid point, but if you are plastic or glass bead blasting, the grain will only expose itself if you blast through the surface. Don't allow the blaster to concentrate on one spot, it works well if you 'brush' the blasting head gently along the shape of the trumpet. You might find an electro-plating works could be able to help - and it is quick - or maybe an industrial or large commercial jeweller. Find someone very experienced in soft metal rework. Why don't you see if you can get a 'clunker horn' and give yourself (and any blaster operator) something to practice on before you commit your best instrument to an unknown process. Consider that different horns will have different alloying mixes and so hardness variations between alloys is a distinct possibility - brass is an alloy - have a care.
    Remember: The fun is in the search and the people you meet.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2008
  8. trpteddrumaner12

    trpteddrumaner12 New Friend

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  9. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

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    Hi Phil,

    Currently I am restoring an old peashooter horn, using a domestic powder cleaner applied with a toothbrush to produce a satin finish. When finished I will use a water based polyurethane clear to protect it and stop tarnishing.

    Regards, Stuart.
     
  10. Phil Kersh

    Phil Kersh Pianissimo User

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    Feb 28, 2008
    Provo, Utah
    Tell me more about this water based polyurethane clear
     

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