Stripping My Horn

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by hiveharbinger, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. hiveharbinger

    hiveharbinger New Friend

    Oct 19, 2008
    My trusty Yamaha is an "Intermediate" model that I bought used, in great condition. Its been getting daily use for the past 2-3 years, and I have to admit I haven't been the most careful owner. The fact is, its covered in lots of tiny, shallow, scratches and chips, and a few very minor dents.
    When I bought the horn, the previous owner informed me that they had some weird sweat tthat ate away at the laquer, so the spots where my left hand and right thumb rest look like they've either had acid spilled on them, or some sort of rodent has gnawed at the horn.
    Like I said, the horn's been used a lot, and the bell's rim is almost totally stripped and mangled. Its all minor stuff that you can't really see from the audience, but I kind of want uniform and neater look to my trumpet.
    I know there are threads about using chemicals, or even just hot water for certain finishes, but I'm just looking to see the general consensus on the pros and cons of stripping the finish, and maybe how it affects sounds quality and such.
    (P.S. My trumpet has gold epoxy lacquer on gold and yellow brass parts.)
  2. Bonasa

    Bonasa Pianissimo User

    Feb 9, 2008
    Western New York
    Sorry, but really hot water's not an option for your horn. It might work for the really old nitrocellulose-based lacquers that were used on horns up until the 1950s, but the modern Yamaha epoxy finish on your horn is probably a helluva lot more durable and might actually have been baked on. If you're planning a DIY strip, you might be looking at having to experiment with some really caustic and toxic elixers. Make sure you heed the warnings about working with adequate ventilation and away from any open flame. I don't know: if I were you, I'd maybe get the dings pulled out and then learn to live with the nicks and chips of honest use. It's not like you'd be restoring the finish of a priceless and rare horn.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    if your playing is brilliant, a beat up horn will get you a lot more compliments. A shiny like new horn gives the expectation.

    I would leave it as it is. Paint stripper for epoxy is the only answer for DIY.
  4. Brass crusader

    Brass crusader Mezzo Piano User

    I think that a well-used, beat up horn that plays well says that the owner is confident in his playing, and uses his horn a lot. You'd probably be better off just leaving it, a professional strip would cost you more than the horn is worth.
  5. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    when I've stripped my trumpets I found the sound had more resonace than when they were lacguer. I used a product called Cold Lacquer Remover that I got from ferre's band instrument Repair Tools. A mild acid follow the instructions and get some heavy rubber gloves and goggles from the hardware store. Take your valves out before you start. After you've finished, I like to use Silversmiths copper polish. Then ou will need to give your horn a complete bath with soap and water to wash out any residue.
  6. country4363

    country4363 New Friend

    Dec 18, 2007
    Bob thanks for the tip on the Cold Lacquer Remover, sounds like what I am looking for to finish a progect Iam working on.
  7. Melodious Thunk

    Melodious Thunk Pianissimo User

    Jan 14, 2009
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
    I went to the local band repair guy in town. He said that if I paid for my horn to be cem-cleaned, that he'd throw in a strip (and I am not talking about a dance!).
  8. Smorgasbord

    Smorgasbord New Friend

    Mar 10, 2009
    Dalarna, Sweden
    Last night I drew the conclusion that acetone dissolves the lacquer of my Yamaha 4335G. So perhaps you could try that out.

    I tested on my 2nd valve...ehh...piece of pipe...(ahh! can't remember the word!) Well, you know what I mean. :-P I let it soak for an hour or so, and then just brushed the lacquer of. Can be quiet a problem to put the whole horn in acetone, though... And to be quick enough - the lacquer seems to harden again quiet instantly after the acetone has dissipated.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009

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