Laquer Removel

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Notavialible, Nov 12, 2003.

  1. Notavialible

    Notavialible New Friend

    Nov 3, 2003
    Laquer can be removed chemically right? There shouldn't have to be heavy buffing like you would need to replate a silver trumpet..right? So converting a horn from laquer to silver should be pretty harmless? :?
  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Correct. UNLESS you have pitting, scratches etc. These have to be buffed out and that's where the problem lies. Some restorers have a "heavy hand" on the buffing wheel because "time is money". (or they just don't care about the horn).

    Heavy buffing is bad because, most folks think, it reduces the definition of engraving, etc. The REAL danger is that it will reduce the thickness of the metal and result in a change of tone of the horn before any plating is done.
  3. Japle

    Japle Pianissimo User

    Nov 15, 2003
    Cape Canaveral
    Zip-Strip makes a water soluble stripper that works fine. You leave it on for 30-60 minutes and brush it off under running water with an old toothbrush.
    Then you do it again on the spots you missed.
  4. trumpeterb

    trumpeterb Pianissimo User

    Nov 16, 2003
    Where can you buy Zip Strip? I have an old student horn that I would love to remove the lacquer from....

  5. DrunkIQ

    DrunkIQ Pianissimo User

    Nov 21, 2003
    Austin, Texas

    well no commercial place i know carries it locally (home depot/lowes etc...) only the mom and pop wood working places...

    if you want to use that product then just go to and type in zip strip - a milllion online stores will pop up...

    otherwise see what kind of lacquer stipper you local hardware store has...

  6. Welk

    Welk New Friend

    Jan 8, 2004
    Montréal, Canada
    Why not simply put you horn in boiling water? It does the same job and you can be sure that water wil not change you horn in any way
  7. uapiper

    uapiper Pianissimo User

    Apr 13, 2007
    Hamilton, Canada
    I bought an old alexandre horn on eBay a while back. It turned out to be a little bit of a lemon, but a great candidate for delaquering.

    Since I was not concerned about killing the horn, This is how i did it.

    Using Behr, the stripper, I sprayed on a healthy coat and went to my lesson. 1 hour later, bubbles galore and then a little rinse off. most of the laquer was gone. I did it one more time scrubbing very gently with 0000 steel wool and one hundred percent of the laquer was gone. I polished it using nevr dull( in a blue can from Canadian tire.)

    This polish is in a wadding form and from past experience, removal of metal is extremely minimal. Removal of residue is almost instant.

    Rest assured the steel wool scrub I inflicted upon the horn caused no damage what so ever, as it was very light and the laquer gummed it up pretty quickly anyway. There is no visible damage to slides and the corks even survived the delaquering onslaught.

    Now I can let the horn tarnish and become aged again, This trumpet is stamped 1934. It sounds decent enough but has compression issues. It did brighten up the sound considerably as the old laquer was about 90 percent intact.

    So this was very easy and results favourable, the most important outcome was the minimalist changes to the horn physically. I hope this will help somebody out because up to now i haven't really read an easy method of doing this. have fun
  8. Principaltrumpet

    Principaltrumpet Pianissimo User

    Nov 7, 2006
    north texas

    Thats what I did! I just put it in a tub of HOT water and the laquer just melted away. I had to scrub a few places but not much at all
  9. J. Landress Brass

    J. Landress Brass Pianissimo User

    Feb 3, 2007
    New York City
    If you want to silver plate your horn, bring it or send it to a reputable repair technician. They should have special chemicals that remove lacquer. I use a special stripper that is about $200 a gallon and removes the lacquer in about 30 seconds without damaging the metal.

  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Many horns do not have laquer, they have EPOXY and that does not come off quite as easy.
    I would be careful with boiling water. It can remove certain types of laquer, but you still need to get the horn chemically stripped before plating. It has to be PRISTINE otherwise the plating doesn't last. That means you are not really saving the tech any work and therefore not saving any money.
    If green hands are your goal, boiling water is probably sufficient, although the "melted" laquer could end up somewhere dangerous like in the leadpipe or so. If it breaks loose from there during performance, the valves could hang.......... (been there, seen it, can advise against it)

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