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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Polishing Nickel Plate? in the General forums; Hey all! I play a nickel plated trumpet. Is there a way to polish the finish in a way similar ...
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    Polishing Nickel Plate?

    Hey all! I play a nickel plated trumpet. Is there a way to polish the finish in a way similar to the aluminum foil method used for silver plated instruments? I don't want to take off any more metal than necessary.

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    Re: Polishing Nickel Plate?

    I was wondering about the same thing but I don't even know about the aluminum foild method. What is it?
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    Re: Polishing Nickel Plate?

    Search for "aluminum foil" and lots of info comes up. Here's one description:
    Quote Originally Posted by rowuk View Post
    I lay the horn in hot salt water with a piece of aluminum foil. The oxide from the silver oxide tarnish moves chemically (actually electrically) to the aluminum foil, leaving the horn shiny with no removal of material.

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    Re: Polishing Nickel Plate?

    The description is for removing the tarnish from silver through an electrochemical reaction. Sort of the reverse of electroplating. It works, but not really well. It does not remove any metal (silver) so it does not modify the finish, but if the silver isn't bright to begin with, it won't be after removing the tarnish either. It will not work for nickel because the chemistry is different. And nickel is an extremely hard and passive metal (compared to brass and silver, at least). About all you can do is hand-polish the nickel. Don't worry. It will take A LOT of polishing to remove much metal. It is a misconception that hand polishing will remove the metal. It takes a buffing wheel and compound to do that.

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    Re: Polishing Nickel Plate?

    The silverplate on a horn is generally very thin. That is why regular cleaning and a salt water/aluminum foil bath make sense. Hand polishing silver plate can easily remove "too much" - especially at the contact points.

    Many horns with nickel (german silver) or nickel plated parts are also lacquered. This means that window cleaner and a soft cloth work just fine.
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    Re: Polishing Nickel Plate?

    Back in the olden days cars used to have chrome plated metal bumpers. They still make specialty products to clean and polish chrome and that will work fine of nickel.

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    Re: Polishing Nickel Plate?

    Quote Originally Posted by rowuk View Post
    The silverplate on a horn is generally very thin. That is why regular cleaning and a salt water/aluminum foil bath make sense. Hand polishing silver plate can easily remove "too much" - especially at the contact points.

    Many horns with nickel (german silver) or nickel plated parts are also lacquered. This means that window cleaner and a soft cloth work just fine.

    For the ultimage in protection, the Connstellation starts with copper plating, then puts nickel plating over that and finishes with a coat of lacquer. It always looks perfect ....... unlike my Severinsen, which needs constant attention to look really shiny. A soft cloth is only needed once in a while.

    I wonder why it's not more common (nickel plating).

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    Re: Polishing Nickel Plate?

    Quote Originally Posted by turtlejimmy View Post
    For the ultimage in protection, the Connstellation starts with copper plating, then puts nickel plating over that and finishes with a coat of lacquer. It always looks perfect ....... unlike my Severinsen, which needs constant attention to look really shiny. A soft cloth is only needed once in a while.

    I wonder why it's not more common (nickel plating).

    Turtle
    It's harder, probably more expensive, and just a little poisonous.
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    Re: Polishing Nickel Plate?

    Thanks for all the replies! BTW, my trumpet is not lacquered over the plating (I checked this with a continuity tester). Would Flitz metal polish harm the plating?

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    Re: Polishing Nickel Plate?

    Quote Originally Posted by tedh1951 View Post
    It's harder, probably more expensive, and just a little poisonous.

    Poisonous???

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