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. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    ... but won't he have to disinfect it then to protect himself from "e coli"?? :-P:-P:-P:-P
  2. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    If there is any doubt in your mind I would not. CLR has some of the same chemicals in it that are used in Chemical Cleaning. You never know how lacquer is going to react. IN most cases it is not the lacquer itself but the preparation before the lacquer. Sometimes the lacquer will lift off completely just from being immersed in water.

    Unfortunately this never happens when you actually want to strip the lacquer.
  3. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI


    The only way to guarantee you preserve your vintage lacquer is to never touch the horn. I know some of you prize it but really it was never meant to be permanent, and if you let go of that idea and play the horn and relacquer it when it starts to look ratty, you're doing what thousands of players have done for decades. And, before you assume that the lacquer you have is original... I have a Buescher factory repair price list, and they say explicitly that any dent work they do requires relacquering. I wouldn't be surprised if other manufacturers and repair shops did that too, back in the day.

  4. motteatoj

    motteatoj Mezzo Forte User

    Feb 23, 2013
    Tuckahoe, NY
    I am amazed at how differently old lacquer behaves. It is like no one used the same product/process twice. I would guess they were always either trying to improve or reduce costs...either way, it is always a crap shoot. My pre-war Getzen needed aircraft stripper to get the lacquer off, boiling water did nothing, other than heat up the horn.

    My sousaphone is from the '20s and its almost like the lacquer has turned into armor plating. I tested a small piece to see how it would strip (plenty of missing lacquer already, so one more spot really didn't mean much) and the stuff is very happy where it was.

    To Tom's point, you just never know what really happened before you got the horn.
    Just add's to the mystery and allure of all these old instruments.
  5. Masterwannabe

    Masterwannabe Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 11, 2009
    Wouldn't this be more akin to an acid bath? ROFLROFLROFL
  6. Masterwannabe

    Masterwannabe Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 11, 2009
    Where can someone get this aircraft stripper you refer to?
  7. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    I found it in the automotive products section of Wal-Mart. It works very well, but MUST be used in the open air, NOT inside a house as it
    is nasty.

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