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Silver plating using a polish on method

Jamesmac

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1,874
Hi all
i am thinking of silver plating a delacquered alto using a silver metal polish that adds silver plate. Well that is what the ad claims.this product is available from a few sellers on eBay costing around £16 per 150ml.
I was wondering if anybody has tried this product, and if you were happy with the result.
I am also not sure if it perhaps better to leave a bare brass finish and polish regularly as I would need to with a silver finish anyway. Thanks
 

jbtsax

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8,000
I have tried the rub on silver plating called Silversmith available at Caswell plating. It really works to add a layer of real silver and looks good right after it is done. The downside is that the layer of silver added is extremely thin and rubbing and adding more does nothing to add to the thickness of the plating. Hence, it rubs off rather quickly where you touch the saxophone body and keys.

It is fun to experiment with, but turns out to be very impractical for plating musical instruments except maybe for doing touch up in places that do not come in contact with the player. A better product for touch up I have used is the Caswell Plug N Plate kit. It does add a thicker layer of silver than the liquid that wears better than the rub on plating. Neither is as good as having the instrument professionally tank plated, but the cost of doing that is substantial.
 

Jamesmac

Well-Known Member
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1,874
Thanks JBTSax
The logic for the silver plating being, the difficult task of using a clear lacquer spray can, and trying to get a good finish. ?
I contacted The seller on eBay and he gave me the impression that it was possible to build up the thickness, and also sells a silver cleaner solution that cleans and add a smaller amount of silver, and mentioned that his wife uses it on her flute. He uses a pic of a flute on his eBay listing, but did mention I would need two bottles, which is still very cheap for a silver plated alto.
I am thinking if a wipe down after each session ( which I do anyway with my lacquered Alto) and a clean with the solution now and again, perhaps would work ?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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I've tried 'The Silver Plating Formula' from ebay uk.

Takes a lot of goes to get a decent layer of silver plate. It doesn't fill scratches or pitting, but plates them fairly evenly, which can look worse than the pitting.

Like jbtsax says, the final layer is rather thin and wears off quickly where it comes into contact with your skin.
Factor in plastic (not rubber) gloves as well, otherwise you end up with stained fingers.

It certainly does add more silver with each polishing. But I got the feeling you end up at a point where you put on as much as you polish off. It also brings up a good finish and seems to work well as a silver polish.
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
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2,483
I think this stuff is good for touching up some patches but I would never consider doing a whole horn with it!
 

Jamesmac

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,874
Thanks kevgermany & milandro
I think it's back to the drawing board.
The thing is I bought this YAS-23 as a stop gap to use while I sell my A901 black and invest in my ideal horn, after which I will sell on the 23 , but I don't want to sell on a horn that will give problems to the buyer.
I like the bare brass look, and don't mind a bit of work keeping the oxidisation at bay with regular polishing, but probably not everybody's cup of tea.
It looks like a DIY clear lacquer spray is the answer, but maybe a white vinegar coat to add a bit character, before the lacquer.
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
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2,483
I think that some wax would give a good protective coat and most unlacquered horns do darken but don’t necessarily turn green.

I have sold a couple of Mark VII which were unlacquered and they kept well and darkened nicely.

If I were you I wouldn’t do anything radical to my horn, certainly no vinegar (and salt?) treatment and subsequent spray lacquer.

Just leave as is with a little wax, let the next buyer do what he wants (or not) because by doing things to it (whatever you do) you might actually reduce it s appeal and value even further.
 

Jamesmac

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,874
Hi and thanks again Milandro
i have read about using beeswax, and I think you are right about less is more.
Great advice
much appreciated
 
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