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Removing lacquer

Mamos

Member
Messages
676
Location
Falmouth Cornwall
Hi All

I love the look of an un-lacquered sax.

I have a very shiny sax and would like it to be a lot less shiny

Is there a way of speeding up the ageing process without a complete dis-assemble and chemical strip.

mamos
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,303
No there's not.You could strip the bell,neck but would look odd.I have stripped about 6 sax's but just the body,neck.Never done the keywork.i use NITROMORS,green tin.My stripping days are over now:shocked:If you dismantle ya sax you got to no how to put it back again:confused:good luck but watch what ya doing.
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,303
It's a big step to strip all the lacquer off and i would guess that it needs to be done well or it will look dreadful.

Just stripping the whole body and neck is very easy.The Nitromors is strong stuff.The hard part is building the sax back to a good set up again.Many sax's just have the body,neck bare brass with plated keys or lac key's.
 

RobatBlueRock

Member
Messages
100
Location
Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire
If you look at the P-muriat section on BIRDMAN's studiosaxophones site you will find a sax with an UL body+neck but if you look carefully you will see the key-work is actually still lacquered but in a matt finish. I think this looks much better than the shiney keywork with a UL body, and still provides a good degree of protection.
I have just experimented with Ronseal's 'Diamond Hard' matt clear varnish (water based acrylic so won't react with the existing lacquer) on my gash/recently serviced Bently sop keywork and it works well.
I have put a very thin and even coat on just the main large surface areas of the key-work ie the pad cups, main stack rods etc.
I am still waiting for my UL BW Tenor which will also still have bright keywork, I think I will do the same with this rather than stripping the whole thing down to de-lacquer the key-work completely and risk not getting it back together properly.
Additionally, I intend to de-lacquer the larger, easy to remove parts like the stack-guard and large cup-guards.
Using the matt on just the 'obvious' bits is just enough to take it down a notch and looks much less in-yer-face.;}

Rob
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,303
If you look at the P-muriat section on BIRDMAN's studiosaxophones site you will find a sax with an UL body+neck but if you look carefully you will see the key-work is actually still lacquered but in a matt finish. I think this looks much better than the shiney keywork with a UL body, and still provides a good degree of protection.
I have just experimented with Ronseal's 'Diamond Hard' matt clear varnish (water based acrylic so won't react with the existing lacquer) on my gash/recently serviced Bently sop keywork and it works well.
I have put a very thin and even coat on just the main large surface areas of the key-work ie the pad cups, main stack rods etc.
I am still waiting for my UL BW Tenor which will also still have bright keywork, I think I will do the same with this rather than stripping the whole thing down to de-lacquer the key-work completely and risk not getting it back together properly.
Additionally, I intend to de-lacquer the larger, easy to remove parts like the stack-guard and large cup-guards.
Using the matt on just the 'obvious' bits is just enough to take it down a notch and looks much less in-yer-face.;}

Rob

:confused: varnish on your sax!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:shocked::shocked::shocked:
 

RobatBlueRock

Member
Messages
100
Location
Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire
Well, it's already got clear varnish/lacquer on the keywork... So it's just a case of an additional thin coat, except this time it's matt instead of gloss.
The body+neck will be supplied UL from the factory.

I'd have preferred the key-work UL as well, but we couldn't get them to do that. Probably 'too hard basket' for a budget instrument like the BW.
I have considered UL'ing the key-work, but I'm not sure I can be bothered with stripping it down and re-set-up etc. There are sections that could be easily removed, UL'd, then replaced without any real problems, but for it to look right you'd have to do the whole lot. So the matt lacquer option is easier since it can be applied to cups etc carefully with a model painting brush without removing anything.
 

Azzimuth

New Member
Messages
5
Location
Suffolk
Now you mention it, I remember dipping a paint brush in some once and it melted the bristles...must be good for organic materials..such as skin!...and not so good for metal.

Steve
 

MusicMedic

New Member
Messages
2
We use paint stripper in our shop and it works fast. Citrus cleaners work on vintage (Nitrocellulose) lacquers but are slow and take several applications.

Anytime we strip the lacquer a complete overhaul is necessary.


Best!
 

JoeG46

New Member
Messages
12
Location
Wollongong, Australia
Hi All

I love the look of an un-lacquered sax.

I have a very shiny sax and would like it to be a lot less shiny

Is there a way of speeding up the ageing process without a complete dis-assemble and chemical strip.

mamos
I did a lacquer strip on an old hohner tenor a while back, using automotive paint stripper. It looked great when finished.
I'm now starting on my old Gretsch (Aristocrat stencil) tenor, whicjh is starting to look ratty and needs a partial repad anyway.
This time I'm taking the body to a small local car body workshop, "Phil's Paint and Panels", who are willing to give it a go. They can deal with the toxic fumes and the caustic gel.
I'll write it up after the event.
 

Jazz Is All

Member
Café Supporter
Messages
701
Location
Barcelona, Spain
No there's not.You could strip the bell,neck but would look odd.I have stripped about 6 sax's but just the body,neck.Never done the keywork.i use NITROMORS,green tin.My stripping days are over now:shocked:If you dismantle ya sax you got to no how to put it back again:confused:good luck but watch what ya doing.
Yeah, I wish I had read that heads up 7 years back when I took my TT alto totally apart to clean all the tarnish off the satin silver body. First off I didn't know about putting pieces of elecrtic wire insulation over the needle springs to protect your fingers and I suffered more pokes in my fingertips and under my nails then I care to remember. I read about it on SOTW after I was almost all done. The other thing I failed to do was to take photos of the keys and rods as I took them off and label them as to their order. I put the screws etc in an egg carton to separate them but didn't label them so when it came time for reassembly naturally it was by trail and error. I also had yet to buy Stephen's book on Sax Repair, which would have helped me greatly. Live and learn. I got it 2/3 of the way reassemble and had to take it to my tech to finish the job for me because I had things out of order and couldn't finish it. Doing DIY is fine when you know more than next to zilch about the thing you are working on. Woodwork is one thing but sax repair is a horse of a different material and I bit off more than I could chew.
 

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