DIY Finishing of instruments....

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Redhorn, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. Redhorn

    Redhorn New Member

    Was having a v interesting conversation this morning with an emminent brass player about how the finish of instrument affects the sound.

    Got us wondering (and neither of us could answer!):

    Is there a commercially available product that naturally removes the lacquer from a gold coloured instrument? (Any solutions of coca cola mixed with random stuff, etc, or any other favoured methods?)

    On a bsp instrument, is it possible to 'self- frost' the instrument, or basically remove the shine from it- leaving a dull surface?

    It seems locally that the company that make Eclipse instruments can do both of the above, for a lot of money! Is there an 'off the shelf' product that could enable Joe Bloggs to do this at home his/herself??
  2. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    I dont know about the outside, but coca cola will corrode the tubes from the inside out... probably not the best solution mind, but im sure in the end it would get the job done ;)

    Thinking about it though...

    A lot of instruments lose their lacquers after being held for a while.
    I think its something to do with sweat wearing it down....

    So if you could find something a bit like sweat, but stronger?

    I dont really know, just a thought though...
  3. I'm not sure about you guys, but I'd rather not try any methods on my instrument?! I'm sure the plating does affect the sound however, for the better or worse. All brass instruments work through vibrations and a layer of strong silver affects the vibrations of the instruments.
    I think (i'm probably wrong), that the bright silver finish comes from polishing down the original coating and removing the top layer. So i doubt it is possible to change an instrument from bright to frosted.
  4. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    DON'T remove the lacquer from a lacquered instrument unless you want a lifetime of polishing and smelly hands every time you play! I remember talking to Trevor Groom once when he was testing euphoniums and he said he preferred lacquer to silver plate. I tend to agree on any instrument from flugel down to trom - far freer blowing, but I can't tell the difference on a cornet.
    Putting my chemistry hat on, I think the lacquer is polyester resin (like car metallic paint clearcoat) and the chemicals that would remove it are all pretty nasty.

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