Scratched Finish

Discussion in 'Trumpet Repair and Modification' started by TheWahls, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. TheWahls

    TheWahls New Friend

    Sep 29, 2011
    Hello everyone, and sorry if this is in the wrong section, or if I failed to find this information using the search function.

    I am a DIY guy. I recently bought some 1500 grit sand paper to restore the headlights on my car. Could I use this to give my raw brass Getzen Super Deluxe a scratched finish? I know the 3m Scotch-Brite pads are recommended but I have no idea what grit is recommended or how it compares to 1500.

    Also, what sort of lacquer is suggested to cover afterwards? My body chemistry and raw brass tarnishes the horn at an alarming rate, even through turtle wax. Anyone have any luck with non-industrial stuff, or something you can find at a hardware store?

    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I guess if you want to keep the horn (not interested in resale value), then there are lots of options.

    The Scotchbrite pads are recommended because they are flexible as the trumpet has no real flat surfaces. This allows for a decent, evenly scratched appearance even around corners. Sandpaper is NOT flexible and will most likely provide a spotty scratch. I believe the brushed finish on my Monette is 120 to 200 grit.

    The trick with lacquer is finding one that is tough and thin. The pros apply it electrostatically. Lacquer from the hardware store is designed to get a thick, tough coat without runs - hardly suitable for any instrument. The quality of the lacquer job is dependent on the quality of the prep - how clean is the surface, how even the brushing, are the laquer particles fine enough to get into the scratched surface, or will pockets of air get trapped to tarnish or flake off.

    Good luck!
  3. mrsemman

    mrsemman Piano User

    Apr 8, 2010
    G. J. Nikolas & Co., Inc. make a lacquer that is suitable for instruments. It comes in either a spray can or bulk. I use it after doing repairs on brass, and some repair techs use the bulk for overall lacquering. They have a web site Splash. That said, #2105 is a single part lacquer, which does not hold up well in hot or very warm water, and is not like most lacquers from the manufacturer. The manufacturers use a two part lacquer with a "soft" bake in between coats. Make sure to read the instructions. Clean with lacquer thinner first and a clean dry cloth afterwards.
  4. TheWahls

    TheWahls New Friend

    Sep 29, 2011
    Thank you guys for the prompt responses.

    The 1500 I have is very flexible, however the fact that some use 100-200 grit means that the 1500 would take far too long to do.

    As far as the #2105 I see that it is a cellulose lacquer as opposed to epoxy based. How much of this would it take to do two horns? I am also trying to fix up another old trumpet that I have to give to my nephew. From my understanding it says the #2105 is a silver lacquer. This means it bonds to silver, and doesn't give a silver tint, correct?

    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    To TheWahls,

    I recommend you splurge a bit and give yourself a real treat. I am giving you a link to a real artist. Let him know what you desire and for a reasonable price, he will do the job for you. No clean up, and a piece of mind that the right treatment will be done, and done well.

    Here is the link:
    Green's Buffing and Instrument Repair - Testimonials

    By the way check out this photo gallery picture of the Getzen Power bore. This horn belongs to our own TM member cyber_shake. I also had the chance to see it up close and personal and it is a true beauty.

    Green's Buffing and Instrument Repair - Photo Gallery
  6. mrsemman

    mrsemman Piano User

    Apr 8, 2010
    #2105 does come in a can, which I have and use. You don't need to use to much and to use short burst. It doesn't give a heavy lacquer finish like a two part system would, but you don't have to bake it either. I only use it on the places where I have performed repairs and that is to prevent tarnishing in the area. The real key part is to make sure that the horn is really clean of any grease. wiping all the surfaces, nooks and crannies is a pain, but worth the effort.

    I have refinished one horn and used the can spray on a couple of other horns, and have yet to use a half of the can. So, to answer your question about doing a couple of horns, is yes.
  7. TheWahls

    TheWahls New Friend

    Sep 29, 2011
    I have visited his site before and his horns are truly beautiful. I have a Getzen 300 w/rev lead pipe that I nearly sent to him, and before someone says "Why send a Getzen 300," the thing plays that well.

    The Super Deluxe was bought off of ebay for $25 by me two years ago in deplorable condition. I didn't know a lot about trumpets but I knew how much I liked my $65 Getzen 300. There wasn't a single dent on the body, which is pretty rare for this model. I spent a couple of days pulling the old lacquer off, being extremely careful, and what resulted was beautiful. The thing is leaking a tiny bit of air from somewhere but still just sings in the upper register. It is from sometime before the Getzen fire. I wish I had the before and after pictures.

    I would love to be able to shell out the dough to do this horn some justice but it just isn't feasible right now, and I'm tired of using abrasives to maintain the beautiful shine. It is a goal, though.

    Would putting the horn in water full of a degreaser like Dawn for a couple of hours do a trick?
  8. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    One thing about a scratch finish... once you scratch it, it's scratched for life. You can't change your mind and buff it later, really, because you won't have a lot of metal left.

  9. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Such is the beauty of Scotchbrite, it does less damage than abrasive papers - but it does damage the metal, brass is soft and damages easily. Scotchbrite pads will work, but be sure before you start.

    My take on this is to buy some Scotchbrite pads from KMart, they range in coarseness from white, red, green, blue in ascending order of harshness. Some folding type floor mops have a white Scotchbrite pad about 3/4" thick and one of these cut into about a 3" circle, jam a 1032 machine screw through the middle of the circle with 1" penny washers either side of the Scotchbrite and run a lock nut down hard crushing the Scotchbrite between the penny washers then voila (not viola) you have a portable buff. If the machine screw is about 2 1/2" inches long, you can then stick the bolt shank into the chuck of your electric drill and there is your power.

    Take is easy with the buff, the nut WILL come loose occasionally BTW, the buff may grab if you aren't careful.
  10. mrsemman

    mrsemman Piano User

    Apr 8, 2010
    To tell you the truth, I am only a novice repair tech at present, so just soaking in Dawn and warm water may be okay to degrease, versus wiping with lacquer thinner. I simply cannot tell you the difference yet, but will check with a colleague to find out and report back to you. I believe that it has to do with the metal surface prepping. Dawn may leave a residue, that the lacquer thinner may not.

Share This Page