Saxophone Forum


by Astaril
(3 posts)
5 years ago

I don't want to relacquer, but it's rusting. Any other options?

Hello!

I've got a Selmer Super Action 80, Series I, that I inherited from my dad and I've been playing for about 20 years, since I was a kid. I stopped playing a few years ago when I moved to Scotland. I stored it at my mother's house while I was gone, but I recently came back to visit, and opened up the case, and it looks like it's rusting. I nearly cried.

It's always had tarnished finish spots (my dad got it used that way), but they've always been the same colour, and not dangerous looking. All the tarnished spots around the bell have now turned dark brown, and scary-looking. Is it rust? It feels smooth still, not like car rust that flakes off or comes off on my fingers or anything. Is it just the next stage of tarnish and harmless?

I am pretty scared I'm going to have to relacquer it, which I *really* don't want to do. Are there other options to stop this spreading or getting worse? Can I really, really gently buff it off myself, and leave those bits bare? I am not concerned about the look at all. I just want it to stay looked after and in good shape. It's my instrument baby, despite being ignored for a couple years lately!

The first picture is what all the spots used to look like (and that one still does - it's up on the body), and the other pictures are what the spots look like now on the bell.  I'm not sure why it happened. It's lived in that same house in the same room for a decade before when I lived there too and never had any problem like this. 


Thanks so much for any advice or help on this. I am going back to Scotland in a month, and need to get it looked after before then!

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  1. by GFC
    (794 posts)

    5 years ago

    Re: I don't want to relacquer, but it's rusting. Any other options?

    Don't worry about it.  The red stuff is copper sulfide that forms an oxygen-impermeable barrier.  It actually inhibits green corrosion that can cause damage.  

    Relacquering is seldom worthwhile because of the ungodly expense of doing it right and the propensity for damaging the horn if it's not done right.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20120118063025/http://www.cybersax.com/QA/Q&A_Relacquering_Pros_&_Cons.html 

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    1. by Astaril
      (3 posts)

      5 years ago

      Re: I don't want to relacquer, but it's rusting. Any other options?

      Ah. Thank you! I shall stop panicking quite so much then.

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  2. by yonysatur
    (10 posts)

    5 months ago

    Re: I don't want to relacquer, but it's rusting. Any other options?

    The best way is do it a full body relacquer and new pads. Doing it right is a long process and must be a repairer who really understand it. Visit Mendel sax or email to Mendelhorns@yahoo. This gentleman is one of the finest in NYC.

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    1. by historicsaxwhisperer
      (400 posts)

      5 months ago

      Re: I don't want to relacquer, but it's rusting. Any other options?

      this one was 4 years ago.

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  3. by yonysatur
    (10 posts)

    4 months ago

    Re: I don't want to relacquer, but it's rusting. Any other options?

    Hi there. The relaquer is not the problem at all. The problem is who is going to do it. Thi is a little long process and not well understud by many of the repairers. There is a special gentelman in NYC who really understand saxophones. His job is the taken of any vintage and or modern horns re-design them and bring them in some direction to work with the organism physiology (biologic/natural activity). Visit Mendelsax. This guy is the latest sax genius i ever seen in.

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