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Saxophones Alto refinish advice

arock

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Messages
110
Locality
Northern California
My hobby is buying and selling alto sax's. The last couple I have cleaned and polished to look like new, with new pads and what ever it needed to play well. Both sold for a fair price.
My question now is: This next one is a very well patina'd silver plated Buescher True Tone. Should I leave it that way. I get mixed remarks on what to do. I thought about polishing the keys and the gold inside the bell. What is your collective advice?
I grew up poor and when I got a pair of hand-me-down shoes or boots, I polished the heck out of them. My opinion is the only thing that has to look old is the guy in the mirror. :D
Thanks for the advice.
 

DavidUK

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Is some of the plating missing? If not, silver polish should bring it up nicely. If so, it's trickier as you'd have to have the remaining plate removed before replating, or to polish it up in plain brass.
 

arock

Member
Messages
110
Locality
Northern California
All the Silver is here. I have polished other Silver Buescher's before and they come out great. This patina is uniquely rainbowed and that's why I ask. It is a shame to remove what took mother nature 80 years to produce.
I don't want to reduce the value either way. Opinions are welcome.
Thank you.
 

DavidUK

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All the Silver is here. I have polished other Silver Buescher's before and they come out great. This patina is uniquely rainbowed and that's why I ask. It is a shame to remove what took mother nature 80 years to produce.
I don't want to reduce the value either way. Opinions are welcome.
Thank you.
Photos... must have photos.
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
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manchester
For me it's always got to be shiny especially with silver,I'm intrigued by this rainbow patina, pics would be nice,in my experience silver just goes black and grubby, got a couple of old silver alto's and they both look tons better for a polish and one of them looks magnificent even if I do say it myself, good luck with your rebuild project ......John
 

Colin the Bear

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Burnley bb9 9dn
The only thing you can polish off is the resale price. There seems to be a fashion presently for scruffy looking, verdigis encrusted horns. I can't stand them myself. Collectors do like a thing to look its age. If it was a keeper the decision would be simple. You'll have to trawl the internet for past sales, opinions etc and see what gets the best price. For me it has to be shiny but it's not something I would buy. So...I'm no help at all.
 

jbtsax

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Polish, and then polish some more. Silver saxophones are sexy.
 

arock

Member
Messages
110
Locality
Northern California
I have spent the last two hours trying to post photos. It is easier to re-pad a sax.
th_P80700022.jpg
bth_P8070008.jpg
th_P8070011.jpg
th_P8150011.jpg
bth_P8150010-1.jpg
bth_P8150013.jpg

These are photos of the last True Tone I polished and the next True Tone with the patina. I have already polished the Gold in the bell and plan on polishing all the keys when I install white Roo-Pads. I am leaning toward leaving the patina because it is so rich.
All advice welcome.
 
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kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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I'd polish it. Like Colin, I can't stand sruffy dirty saxes.
 

Sue

One prosecco, two prosecco, three prosecco - floor
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Polish, definitely polish. The silver one looks lovely.
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
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manchester
Now having seen the pics I can see where your coming from,I've never seen a silver sax go like that, but it does look a bit grubby in places, decisions decisions, I'm not sure about the white roo pads on a sax that looks like that even with polished keys, and doubt if I would go for half and half, probably best to either leave all or polish all but no in between, and only white roo if its all polished otherwise stick to brown,but this is obviously my opinions as you asked for good luck looking forward to seeing the finished product .....John

Ps as for the polish and polish some more seems like a good way to go right through the plate
 
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arock

Member
Messages
110
Locality
Northern California
Thanks all.
The Silver Plating, on these old Bueschers, is pretty thick.
It seems more like polish than patina. That has always been my opinion.
Thanks for the opinions.
 

jbtsax

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Nice work. What products/materials do you use to polish silver saxes?
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
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3,441
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manchester
Nice work. What products/materials do you use to polish silver saxes?

I've used a product called PEEK comes in a tube, supposed to be very gentle, a blue coloured cream, what do you recommend ....John
 

jbtsax

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I don't know if it is available in the U.K. but I use Empire Instant Tarnish Remover to bathe the sax in a plastic bin. I buy it by the gallon and "baste" the sax with a measuring cup if there is not enough liquid to cover it. I then rinse and let it dry or blow dry it with my shop vac. This takes off most of the tarnish immediately. To polish the silver I then spray it with Haggerty Silversmiths' Spray Polish (be careful not to inhale the dust). After it dries to a pink haze and then I hand rag using long 1" wide strips of white flannel material.

For touch-up polishing, I like to use Tarnish Ragging Cloth available from J.L. Smith. It has the polish already in the cloth. Another product that is useful for touch up is Haggerty Silver Duster. When a more aggressive metal polish is required I like to use MAAS Metal Polish. I'm always on the lookout for new ideas, I'll put PEEK on my list of things to check out.
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Messages
3,441
Locality
manchester
I don't know if it is available in the U.K. but I use Empire Instant Tarnish Remover to bathe the sax in a plastic bin. I buy it by the gallon and "baste" the sax with a measuring cup if there is not enough liquid to cover it. I then rinse and let it dry or blow dry it with my shop vac. This takes off most of the tarnish immediately. To polish the silver I then spray it with Haggerty Silversmiths' Spray Polish (be careful not to inhale the dust). After it dries to a pink haze and then I hand rag using long 1" wide strips of white flannel material.

For touch-up polishing, I like to use Tarnish Ragging Cloth available from J.L. Smith. It has the polish already in the cloth. Another product that is useful for touch up is Haggerty Silver Duster. When a more aggressive metal polish is required I like to use MAAS Metal Polish. I'm always on the lookout for new ideas, I'll put PEEK on my list of things to check out.

Some great info there jbt I wonder how much of it is available in the uk......john
 
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arock

Member
Messages
110
Locality
Northern California
I use "Never Dull" or "Ever Bright" both brand names are the same in the can. It is a Cotton Wading that is treated with something. It is very gentle. I use only cotton balls and Q Tips. All slow hand work. No hurry to ruin something. Some places I use a Silver Cream but it can get into small cracks and is difficult to remove. It is best use in larger areas. I save my old cotton t-shirts for polishing rags.
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Messages
3,441
Locality
manchester
I use "Never Dull" or "Ever Bright" both brand names are the same in the can. It is a Cotton Wading that is treated with something. It is very gentle. I use only cotton balls and Q Tips. All slow hand work. No hurry to ruin something. Some places I use a Silver Cream but it can get into small cracks and is difficult to remove. It is best use in larger areas. I save my old cotton t-shirts for polishing rags.

That's probably what we call DURA GLIT in the UK they do it in two types one for brass and one for silver, not quite sure what the difference might be .....John
 

Ivan

Undecided
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Peeblesshire
I don't know if it is available in the U.K. but I use Empire Instant Tarnish Remover to bathe the sax in a plastic bin. I buy it by the gallon and "baste" the sax with a measuring cup if there is not enough liquid to cover it. I then rinse and let it dry or blow dry it with my shop vac. This takes off most of the tarnish immediately. To polish the silver I then spray it with Haggerty Silversmiths' Spray Polish (be careful not to inhale the dust). After it dries to a pink haze and then I hand rag using long 1" wide strips of white flannel material.

For touch-up polishing, I like to use Tarnish Ragging Cloth available from J.L. Smith. It has the polish already in the cloth. Another product that is useful for touch up is Haggerty Silver Duster. When a more aggressive metal polish is required I like to use MAAS Metal Polish. I'm always on the lookout for new ideas, I'll put PEEK on my list of things to check out.

I use "Never Dull" or "Ever Bright" both brand names are the same in the can. It is a Cotton Wadding that is treated with something. It is very gentle. I use only cotton balls and Q Tips. All slow hand work. No hurry to ruin something. Some places I use a Silver Cream but it can get into small cracks and is difficult to remove. It is best use in larger areas. I save my old cotton t-shirts for polishing rags.

These are such wonderfully evocative names and put me in mind of Western movies where merchants wearing stiff collars sell patent medicines and household goods from their dusty wagons

The Victorians had pretty good names for their products such as "Carter's Little Liver Pills" and "Trotman's New Patent Folding Perambulator" but in the UK romance is now officially dead

So for cleaning products you're not likely to get anything more redolent of a bygone era than the advice:

"Me? I use a J-Cloth and plenty of spit"
 
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wol916

New Member
Messages
125
After everything is clean I always give things a coat of 'Renaissance Micro-Crystalline Wax Polish' as used by the British museum. Resistant to finger prints and stops thing tarnishing and can be used on any material.
 

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