Saxophone Forum


by SUBLIMEBEAT
(4 posts)
10 years ago

delacquering yamaha

if i wanted to delacquer my student marching horn (a yas 23), what would be the necessary steps? would i need to fully disassemble the saxophone? i read the other post about delacquering but wondered if there would be a difference since mine is a modern sax. thanks in advance

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  1. by sax_maniac
    (984 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: delacquering yamaha

    Not knowing why you want to delacquer it, you definitely need to take the horn completely apart unless you plan on replacing all the pads. You can buy lacquer thinner at a hardware store, but extremely hot water will also do the trick. I've run alto and tenor bodies through my dishwasher at home once I got most of it off and it finishes the job nicely. Get some 0000 or finer steel wool in case there's any that won't let go easily. Hopefully you're familiar with taking apart and putting back together your horn. If you're not, be prepared to spend significant time with your first attempt, and don;t expect everything to work once you put it back together. There's a million things that you can mess up when monkeying with your horn. Be careful. Be gentle. BTW - I refurbed a YTS23 recently and thought that Yamaha's construction methods were easier to work with than some other horns I've worked on. Tenors are easier to repair than altos, though. More breathing room and finger space. Good Luck!

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    1. by SUBLIMEBEAT
      (4 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: delacquering yamaha

      thanks for your help; i'll keep you posted of my progress. by the way, it's my first time doing something like this -- i thought it'd be a cool summer project

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      1. by johnsonfromwisconsin
        (767 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: delacquering yamaha

        I too have thought about doing this to that cheap YAS-23 I got. It has areas of superficial corrosion on the body that would only be fixable by a complete delaquer, hand polishing-corrosion removal, etc. _maniac, once such work is done, how costly is it to have the body relaquered properly? Personally, I don't like the feel of bare brass.

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        1. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: delacquering yamaha

          Properly is the operative word. I think it's around $200 for a basic lacquer job with no other work done - no dent removal or anything. Can't advise you further with that - I don't relac horns. Ever since I de-lacqed my 10M, I fell in love with bare brass. It was probably the horn, though - not the lack of lacq. As it's a YAS-23, I'd just let it be. Strip it and play it. I would every so often go over my bare horn with polish. I found the true shine of polished brass much more brilliant and captivating than a lacquer shine. I also like to fiddle with stuff, so I didn't consider it a hassle to go over it with a Blitz polishing cloth routinely. You don't really have to do it that often. Stored in the case, they don't tarnish all that quickly - especially if you use 3M anti-tarnish strips. Tenor bodies are a bit more accessible than alto bodies, though, when you consider how many square inches are covered up with rods and keys, so they are easier to shine up than an alto. You might really dig the way your horn plays or feels without lacquer. On an alto, I don't think it would be as noticeable as with a tenor or bari, but you might want to give it a try before deciding if you wanted to relacquer it.

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      2. by SUBLIMEBEAT
        (4 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: delacquering yamaha

        sorry i also forgot to ask if you had any tips on disassembling the sax. and i recently read that yamaha uses a tougher type of lacquer than other companies; is this still able to be removed using boiling water? or would i just need to put in boiling water many times?

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        1. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: delacquering yamaha

          Lacquer thinner will rip off modern lacquer. The boiling water might not be enough if the Yamaha lacquer is indeed tougher- I used that technique on an old Conn without any problem. I've also used engine degreaser in the spray can. Don't think Al Gore would have been too happy about it, but it worked. As far as advice for disassembly, I recommend writing down the order in which you take the keys and guards off. Take off the easiest ones first. So when you put it back together, you go in reverse order. I did that with a bari I was unfamiliar with, and it worked out like a charm. My other advice is to never force anything unless you know what you're doing. Put the screws or rods back in as soon as you take the key off. Screws are generally interchangeable, but not necessarily. When you're done stripping, you want to remove the screws and put on a dab of key oil in case anything feels like rusting. Yamaha doesn't use these, but old Conns have set screws on the post that are steel and if they rust on both ends, you're screwed. A good summer project indeed. Don;t be in a hurry and use due care and judgement - you should be ok. The tough part is getting the action and interaction all worked out once it's back together. subtle changes can take considerable troubleshooting if you're not familiar with the workings. It develops over time. My first disassemble/assemble took me about 6 hours. I can do it now in about 30 minutes but usually take my sweet time watching TV or something simultaneously and spend about an hour or two.

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      3. by saxjazza22
        (13 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: delacquering yamaha

        Hey sax maniac, I have an old cleavland sax, thats pretty beat up. If I took apart my sax, and put it in the dish-washer, would it take the lacquer off? Also, if I wanted my sax relacquered, could I have it done in colored lacquer?

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        1. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: delacquering yamaha

          The precise answer is "maybe". Not all lacquer is created/applied equally. The highest temperature dishwasher I'm aware of is a Bosch which heats the water up to around 161 F, I believe. Used to have one a few years back. (Maybe it was 170-ish but not on the order of boiling by any means). Some lacquer will come off with lots boiling water. If you want to go bare brass, you could do it yourself with lacquer thinner then run it through a cycle to give it a clean, non-poisonous finish. Also, there's sure to be some "cling-on" lacquer, so 0000 or finer steel wool is good for addressing those spots that won't let go. There is probably someone out there who would do a colored lacquer for you. I don't have specific names for you in that regard. If you are looking to have the horn relacquered, let them take off the old stuff. Their methods might be more sound than the ones I use. Be aware, if there are any screws, running the body through the dishwasher would encourage rusting which is a nightmare. I leave the screws in when I clean a horn and then remove, oil then replace them. I leave them in because they may not necessarily be interchangeable and then they don't get lost either. I recollect the King I worked on used lots of pivot screws that were fairly easy to work with.

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        2. by SaxMan
          (559 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: delacquering yamaha

          it might, depending on how hot it gets in there. my dishwasher would most certainly - ourt water heater truns water out at about 190 degrees, and then the washer heats it a little more - almost to boiling. there might be a cold cycle, not sure. just wash it in the tub with some dish soap, a simple green for the smell.

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          1. by sax_maniac
            (984 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: delacquering yamaha

            SaxMan, a public service announcement. You are wasting tons of energy and in danger with a water heater at 190. In fact, I'm suprised that your water heater will actually heat it that high. The recommended setting is more around 150. To have instant water at 190 generally requires a dedicated small scale heater and low-flow faucet local to the sink. More likely, you have absolutely no idea how hot your water is and you are once again pathologically stating your opinion as fact.

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          2. by SaxMan
            (559 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: delacquering yamaha

            the hell I am wasting tons of energy - I cant tell exactly how far over the faucet is, but i would say that when I fill the sink, I use about 30 or 40 percent hot water, the rest cold, the water lasts forever, weve had about 10 people take a shower in one day, load the diswasher twice and wash a sinkful of stuff in the sink, and we still didnt run out fo water, we might have had the laundary machine running - not sure. to get it that hot, all you have to do is turn it all the way up. As long as you arent stupid, having water that hot isnt a problem. Who gives a shit aobut energy? the way the united states is going, it isnt going to see its 4th century, who gives a damn afterwards.

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