Stripping Laquer

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by rhv32420, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. rhv32420

    rhv32420 New Friend

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    Sep 24, 2009
    Indianapolis
    Would the best way to strip the laquer off my Yamaha YTR6310Z (aquired through trade, laquer is all scratched and looks like crap) just to use a standard laquer thinner that can be found at Lowe's or Walmart? And maybe the rough side of a sponge?

    Thanks
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Do a search here. That was covered in considerable depth about a month or 2 ago.

    Yamaha laquer is REALLY tough though. Standard supermarket stuff may not get the job done very well.
     
  3. jammex

    jammex New Friend

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    Sep 25, 2009
    just stripped my holton collegiate cornet. generally I work on saxes so this is a first for me. they are however the same, brass. I use aircraft spray stripper. spray it on and let it sit for 5 to10 minutes. I usually go over it with a brush, plastic bristles, a tooth brush will work as well. then rinse off. you can tell where laquer remains and this is treated again. when it is all off and looking dull and ugly wash with soap and water. here is where it becomes work. after disassembling completely, removing the slides it goes to the buffer. you may be able to do this by hand with brass cleaner but it takes quite a while. you can use a tooth brush in the hard to get to places of which there are many on a trumpet. this will leave some fine scratches but better than not giving those areas attention. when it shines like a new corvette it gets washed with tsp, tri sodium phosphate, available from any hardware store. this dulls it of course but it is now clean enough to relaquer.

    now it gets iffy, the only place i have found laquer of the quality you need for a horn is ferree's tools. a qt of laquer and thinner are around $50. usually use 3 coats. first two coats are 1 to 1 ratio. 3rd coat is to take the what is left from the first two coats and thin that mix 1 to 1 again. that is where the shine comes. you may also spray a first tack coat which is a very light coat to just cover the horn. I also add dye to most of my spray jobs to give a vintage look.

    many repairman think you should never relaquer. that is because it is a lot of work, a lot of work. they believe that laquer not done at the factory will affect the tone quality. that might be true but changing mouthpieces changes tone quality about 50 times as much as relaquer. besides, who wants to play a horn that looks like it spent the last 20 years in a dumpster.

    I relaquer almost every horn I buy. the real reason techs. don't relaquer is because done right they would have to charge upwards of a $1000. I'm thinking of saxes here. Nonetheless, it's your horn and you have to be proud of it. You can also remove the laquer, polish it to a fine shine and skip the relaquer. Only negative is that you will have to repolish occaisionally. Some players believe that bare brass horns sound the best.

    Also, I have been told that yamahas have car paint on them which has a hardener and may require a few applications of stripper to remove completely. I have stripped the laquer on my YTS-21 which only took one application so I'm not sure what they use.

    You might find a Goodwill horn to practice on before you volunteer the old Yammer.
     
  4. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

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    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    I don't mind playing a horn that looks like it spent the last 20 years in a dumpster, for one. Looks are just that -- looks. My horn plays great and if someone's going to walk off with an instrument they can grab quickly off the bandstand, they'll grab a shiny crap Chinese import before grabbing my ugly Besson Brevete because they shiny ones look like they'll get more in a pawn shop.

    You're correct that many repair techs don't recommend getting horns relacquered because of the cost -- although trumpets are a lot less than saxes since they don't need to be repadded following being relacquered. The other issue is that due to fire regulations, OSHA requirements, etc. it's quite expensive to maintain relacquering shops these days so most of us repair techs have to ship the horns out to the repair facilities which specialize in relacquering/replating, and that takes several months to get back.

    Your final bit of advice about finding an old beater horn to practice on is very good advice -- nothing is sadder than someone with no experience working on their beloved principal instrument only to find that they screw things up so badly they need to bring it to a professional and then it has to be sent out at great expense anyway.

    One final bit of advice I would offer is that even after practicing and feeling confident that you can do a good job, don't attempt it if you have any important performances or rehearsals coming up soon. Allow yourself plenty of time in case you get almost finished and ruin it and have to start over again.

    Personally, I don't give a darn how an instrument looks as long as it plays great, but I know many people want shiny, good looking instruments.
     
  5. cargo

    cargo New Friend

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    Sep 27, 2009
    manchester, UK
    I wonder, as a total no nothing newbie (I mean, really NOTHING!!!) as you will see from my initial post in the intro forum - what can be done about a silver plated cornet that is in bad shape looks wise? I bought it from a car boot sale and it seems to be in pretty good shape (from a no nothing point of view) other than its looks. All the vales work smoothly, though the slide (at the front) doesn't retract completely without a little help. But, is it possible to take off the silver coat and re-do it? The cornet it a Besson Soveriegn if that matters? So, is it possible or would it be too cost prohibitive? I would be great if it was like brand new :)

    PS - please bare with me guys, I am just taking my first steps here. Thanks in advance.
     
  6. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

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    Sovereign are mostly fine cornets. But stripping silver is not an easy thing to do - better leave the job to an expert tech.
     
  7. cargo

    cargo New Friend

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    Sep 27, 2009
    manchester, UK
    As I suspected. i also suspect it may be a very expensive undertaking; hence I shall live with it for now. Oh - by the way to all. I don't know if yu have read it but there is a fine book about Jazz cornet (fiction, fantastic tale) called Twelve Bar Blues by a an english guy named Patrick Neate. If you haven't read it, it is a must for your bookshelves!!!
     
  8. BenH

    BenH Pianissimo User

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    Oct 14, 2008
    UK
    Hi Cargo

    Is it just tarnished? If so, run a Google search (or search this forum) for the baking soda and aluminium foil method. It removes the tarnish without removing any silver, and is much less work than polishing :D I've used it to good effect on my silver plated horn. It might shine it up a bit for you.

    If the plating is completely worn through in places it won't help, obviously.

    Ben
     
  9. cargo

    cargo New Friend

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    Sep 27, 2009
    manchester, UK
    Yeah, there is a patch on the front end where it is totally worn off. It isn't the end of the world of course. Oh well, I have always been a sucker for the underdog so I will love the damn thing anyway :)
     
  10. BenH

    BenH Pianissimo User

    153
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    Oct 14, 2008
    UK
    Spot replating is possible, but I love the tatty look, so would be tempted to keep it as is!
     

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