lacquer stripping

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by JonathanShaw, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. JonathanShaw

    JonathanShaw Pianissimo User

    Jun 29, 2006
    Ok, so I have an old Bach TR300 horn sitting at home that I don't use for much. If I wanted to strip the lacquer off it, how would I go about Doing so in a home environment.
  2. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    Buy a can of Brasso, some heavy rubber gloves, a bag of cotton or terry cloth rags. Take them home to a well ventilated area. Put the gloves on, apply Brasso to the finish one small area at a time. Let the Brasso dry for a few minutes and then start rubbing with a rag. The lacquer comes off pretty easy but figure on about two to three hours to strip a horn down to raw brass. I would advise you then take some good auto polish and apply it to the entire horn, let that dry and then rub the polish off with clean rags. That way, the brass won't tarnish on you in two weeks or less.
  3. trumpettrax

    trumpettrax Piano User

    Mar 18, 2006

    Why do you want to strip the laquer off? Just curious.

  4. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN

    I've tried a bunch of different things to strip horns.

    The best product I've found so far is "Aircraft Klean-Strip Remover". You can buy it in the automotive department at WalMart.

  5. JonathanShaw

    JonathanShaw Pianissimo User

    Jun 29, 2006
    Replying to why I want to stip the horn: I've heard many things about stripping horns, more good than bad, and this is one just sitting around. I guess this is more or less an experiment. I don't plan on stripping the whole horn, just the bell to start, and we'll see where it goes from there.
  6. trumpettrax

    trumpettrax Piano User

    Mar 18, 2006
    I have an old student Bach just lying around too. If you see good results let me know.

  7. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    I have a raw brass sousaphone that I play, and today I used Brasso and polished the whole bell up. It is frightening how much stuff came off of it, you know, with it not being cleaned since it was brand new, in 1955...
  8. rhv32420

    rhv32420 New Friend

    Sep 24, 2009
    i am almost done taking the laquer off my yamaha z horn. this stuff i have bubbles off the clear epoxy on the that all there is to come off to make it all the way raw? it is still kinda shiny once the copper colored clear coat comes off - does it just take a while to get that "raw brass" look? thanks
  9. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    The brass is polished before applying the clear epoxy lacquer. If you've removed the finish it will begin to react with the environment and develop a patina. I don't know exactly what you mean by a "raw brass" look unless you are referring to horns played by some who don't care about whether they are shiny or not. Bathe the raw horn in vinegar and you'll get some "age".

    I had good success with Easy Off for older horns with traditional non-epoxy lacquer. The cold formula is more gentle and the hot formula will leave the brass oggly!

  10. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    There are numerous posts related to this. But the basic approach depends on the age of the trumpet. Most of the horns up through the 60's used regular lacquer. If this is what your horn has, It will easily come off all at once if you take a tub or basin that is big enough to hold the trumpet, boil enough water to totally submerge the trumpet, take the trumpet apart (so the valves don't go in) and put all of the parts in except the valves. Leave it until the water cools and the lacquer will peel off like so much cellophane.

    Now, I always do this at the same time that I am trying to clean up the tarnished areas so it is done along with the 'aluminum foil with salt and/or baking soda or laundry detergent' bath. Do a search for aluminum here and you will find many posts on how to do this. It may be that the electrolytic effect helps to separate the lacquer from the brass. Also, I don't know if urethane is as easy but so far every trumpet that I have done this to (around 12 of them) has had the lacquer come right off where stripper would barely touch it.

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