Polishing lacquer

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by nethers, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    My beauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuutiful Conn 8H Elkhart trombone is celebrating it's 41st birthday this year, but thanks to the careful owners it has had down the years it only looks about a year old.

    However, there are microscratches in many places and I'd love to buff them out and keep her looking sexy. Any tips on how best to go about this?

  2. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    my repairer tells me laquer is very thin, only microns in thickness. Buffing them scratches could cause more damage than you might expect.
    I have had some laquered instruments re laquered at Better Sounds in Qld. top job Bought a 30 year old Trom to looking like new. same repairer does gold plate, Silver plate and nicol and copper plate jobs.
    NZ is not far from Aus, you might be able to get a courier that works across the ditch.


    Check out his web site. there are some before and after pictures of restoration work
  3. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    Certainly an option (although I would probably wait a few years at it isn't looking bad enough for a re-do yet). I understand Conns of that era used a different chemical as lacquer, one of the reasons they remain so desirable, so I hope your dude can track some down!

    Shame you can't wax some shine in like on a car...
  4. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    I know he does an oven bake type of lacquer. origional can't always be matched. I got him to do a different tint inside the bell of my sousaphone. It went together ok. A bit like the polished inside of a frosted instrument is different. I was pleased with it because I wasn't expecting a perfect match to the origional and I wasn't getting the whole instrument done. Better Sounds has a picture in his feedback if you want to have a look. Also has pictures of some of his restoration work.
    Personally I would not want any one else working on my instruments.
  5. Bones

    Bones Member

    Dont touch, play it in its current state, you could do more damage by buffing the scratches out. Mine is 42 yrs old, and I wouldnt do anything to it......
  6. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    A good quality polymer car polish is a good option Simoniz Liquid Diamond Polymer Sealant or Autoglym super resin polish. They can be applied in several thin layers to build up a polymer coat over the scratch.
    It will blend in perfectly with your existing lacquer and are completely harmless ( remember lacquer on instruments is only a clear polymer based paint and these products are designed exactly to work on these surfaces.) With a bit of patience and elbow grease you can build up a multi-layer film that will last months if not years.
  7. pbirch

    pbirch Active Member

    Yamaha does a polish for lacquered instruments, should be readily available from any good instrument shop
  8. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    Anyone else tried this?