What's the best way to take care of vintage lacquer?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Repair and Modification' started by mike ansberry, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

    Jan 26, 2009
    Northern California
    After each playing, wipe the horn down gently with a clean, soft ultrafiber cloth. Wax can help protect the lacquer, and if you want to use it, it should be applied after each time the horn is bathed - Dawn dishwashing detergent is one of the best for cutting grease, and Renaissance wax works best for me, with Butcher's second. Don't forget the interior of the horn; Blow Dry Brass is a good product to use, but at least use a swab through the tuning slide and leadpipe after each playing, and let the horn dry thoroughly before closing the case. That's good for the lacquer as well. Enjoy that horn. I've had no problems with professionally done chemical cleanings or home ultrasonic cleanings (a good machine, low temperature, gentle frequency, short time), but a lot depends on the condition of the lacquer, and you can definitely lose some to either of these processes. I've been lucky. When I get a horn where the previous owner wasn't so lucky, I've found Mark Metzler and Robb Stewart to be about as good as they get when it comes to replacing the lacquer.

    An afterthought: those Lifton cases, like the one you have, fit the horns well. While it's not strictly lacquer-related, I've had a few vintage Olds horns (SR and Recording, would have to check records for the others) which had suffered some case wear in the area of the bell engraving. A few decades of putting the horn in and out of the case can do that. It's not very expensive to have the engraving retraced while you're having a horn refinished, but a soft bag for the trumpet can help minimize the problem. For a lacquered horn, the silver cloth anti-tarnish bags don't offer any benefit over any untreated cloth, nor do they hurt. It's all part of the general lacquer care process: clean, dry, protected.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
  2. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Does anyone still produce those raw silk instrument bags?
  3. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Not necessarily disagreeing with prior posters, but chem-cleaning my 1952 Super Artist did no harm. I wipe mine down with a microfiber cloth after playing/draining it and wash it regularly with plain warm (not too hot) water. It still wears its original finish well. I will not elicit moans by once again posting a photo! Congratulations on the horn, by the way.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  4. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

    Jan 26, 2009
    Northern California
    I haven't seen any of the raw silk bags in a while; not saying they're not still out there somewhere. Except for a few horns which came with bags, I pretty much use John Ogilbee's anti-tarnish bags (trumpetbagsusa on eBay) - always on gold plated or silver plated, and now even on lacquer where there's some special engraving I'd like to give extra protection. It's just easier than hunting down plain bags.
  5. harleyt26

    harleyt26 Mezzo Forte User

    Dec 9, 2009
    Woodwind and Brasswind is where I get my silk bags. All of my horns nest cozily in them. This is my 28A all comfy and safe.
  6. Recursion

    Recursion Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 22, 2012
    Cape Coral, FL
    Indeed, sir. Thus, I shall limit that which I imbibe during said stint with Bombay Sapphire, which has been scientifically proven not to reduce the protective nature of attorney spit. ROFL
  7. mickvanflugel

    mickvanflugel Forte User

    Jul 1, 2011
    I basically like the honey finish of my 1951 Ambassador cornet like it is
    - despite the imperfections. I do not wipe the horn after playing.
    The point is, you canĀ“t do much to take care of it anyway, can you?
  8. motteatoj

    motteatoj Mezzo Forte User

    Feb 23, 2013
    Tuckahoe, NY
    I cannot seem to find these on wwbw.com
    Would you mind posting a link?
  9. harleyt26

    harleyt26 Mezzo Forte User

    Dec 9, 2009
  10. jbriddle

    jbriddle New Friend

    Nov 17, 2006
    Old Saybrook, CT
    Is it ok to use CLR in the warm water?

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