Remove laquer on '75 King trombone

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DutchGuy
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Remove laquer on '75 King trombone

Post by DutchGuy » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:46 pm

I have a King 4B produced between 1975 and 1980, according to the serial number.
It's in good shape, but the laquer looks horrible. Completely gone in contact areas, and scratches and spots everywhere.

I'd like to get this instrument to the point where it looks good again, and want to do it myself, mostly. I looked at relaquering or silverplating, but that's more expensive than the horn was in the first place... so that's a no go.

Then I thought about giving it the raw brass finish, and let it become black.
I read some stuff online already about hot water, acetone, brasso and paint stripper, but I was wondering if anyone had any experience with old King trombones, because it turns out that brand and year of production can determine what works and what not...

Let me know if you have some experience with this!
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BGuttman
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Re: Remove laquer on '75 King trombone

Post by BGuttman » Sat Jul 21, 2018 3:09 pm

King orange lacquer is really difficult to remove. It's an epoxy. Hot water won't work at all. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Aircraft paint stripper. Usually not available to the public. It's a chemical called Methylene Chloride with a couple of added materials to give it more "bite". Really hazardous to use even with good ventilation and NEVER in a closed room.

2. Citristrip. Citristrip is a terpene paint remover. Long soaks in this (days!) can get the lacquer to lift. Not a big problem for hazards in handling.

3. Oven Cleaner (EZ-Off). This is a strong caustic and has been reported to work on King lacquer. Caustic residues can attack the brass turning it black, so you need to keep an eye on it.

4. Mechanical abrasion. A fine wire wheel can scratch off the lacquer and leave a nice scratch finish. If this is what you want.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
chunk
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Re: Remove laquer on '75 King trombone

Post by chunk » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:12 pm

I reccomend Easy-Off.
After you use it, give it a REALLY good bath, in pretty hot water. Afterward, I like using a home-brew type metal polish, that has salt, vinegar, and flour; maybe other stuff in it. Seems like it helps slow bad things from happening.
DutchGuy
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Re: Remove laquer on '75 King trombone

Post by DutchGuy » Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:49 am

Hmm, yes, others have mentioned the tough laquer on old Kings. It seems that I have one of those too.

As for the Easy-Off: in what way is this caustic harmful for the horn? And which one would you recommend?

As for abrasion: I'm not sure i'm comfortable doing that. How would I prevent damaging the brass beneath. I don't mind a scratch finish, but it sounds like it's very easy to mess up.

I was hoping to do it myself, but I guess I'll have to have it done somewhere. No access to aircraft paint remover sadly.

Thanks!
Schlitz
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Re: Remove laquer on '75 King trombone

Post by Schlitz » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:39 am

Aircraft is a brand available at most big box hardware stores. Not sure what would be appropriate outside of the US.

I stripped an Olds P22 a few years ago.. I used a piece of plywood, spatula, and heavy duty rubber gloves. I used the aircraft stripper to break it up, spatula to clear it, and then easy off to get the residue.

Stripping the paint off of a car is a lot easier. I just put a basket of fish guts on the roof, and the raccoons do the rest.
DutchGuy
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Re: Remove laquer on '75 King trombone

Post by DutchGuy » Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:12 am

Well, I was going to have it done by a repair shop, but then they told me that the dent that's in there will probably always be visible, and the spots on the slide cannot be repaired easily, while also complaining that the lacquer is tough to remove and because of that they may have to charge extra. So pretty much all the reasons I had to have them do it now aren't there anymore.

So, I'm gonna do it myself!
I found a bottle of stuff that should work. In Dutch is't called 'HG Verf Kracht Afbijter', and it is described as a paint remover that's better than methylene chloride, less toxic/hazardous, not harmful for many surfaces including metal, but can get rid of epoxy lacquer anyway. It should work within 15 minutes and wasn't too expensive. It should arrive tomorrow. I'll keep you up to date.
DutchGuy
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Re: Remove laquer on '75 King trombone

Post by DutchGuy » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:43 am

Well, it worked :pant:

Took me about about 3 hours of scrubbing with a steel wool sponge and the paint remover I mentioned earlier, but ALL the lacquer is gone now.
It didn't damage the horn, and I can honestly not tell a difference in sound either. But now my neck turns green while playing haha. It did a little bit before too, but now it's much worse. I ordered a leather specialities kit for that.

And now, how to give it that antique finish?
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TromboneSam
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Re: Remove laquer on '75 King trombone

Post by TromboneSam » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:08 pm

If you want to give it a patina, you could either just let it happen naturally over a few weeks by not wiping or cleaning the outside, or you could try to speed things up with some hard-boiled eggs. You can watch videos on how to do this with jewelry on youtube, but if you want a patina on the bell, I could recommend boiling maybe 5-6 eggs, mashing them up, and then placing them in a trash bag with the bell. Don't let the eggs touch the bell though. The longer you leave the bell in the bag, the more extreme your patina will be.

I'm not going to recommend the same process with the slide, just because I don't know how it would affect the inside of the slide.

If you end up not liking the patina, you can just use some very light brass polish that's non-abrasive, and take it back to being shiny.
DutchGuy
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Re: Remove laquer on '75 King trombone

Post by DutchGuy » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:22 am

I did it with ammonia vapor. Worked within a few hours and looks quite nice.
I kept the tuning slide in bright brass, as well as the inside of the bell and the rim of the bell on the other side.
I didn't dare doing it with the slide because I'm afraid it'll do something to the inside. I'll just let that one happen naturally :)

Pictures added as attachment (I hope?)
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TromboneSam
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Re: Remove laquer on '75 King trombone

Post by TromboneSam » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:16 pm

Nice job!
DutchGuy
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Re: Remove laquer on '75 King trombone

Post by DutchGuy » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:03 am

Thanks!

The Leather specialities Hand and neck guard set that I ordere arrived as well.
It was quite a challenge to fit it over the grip though... The left-hand piece happens to fit perfectly upside down, covering the whole area until the lock.
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