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topic 8732

? How to Accelerate the Process of Aging Brass ?


I recently acquired a vintage Conn saxophone that was badly re-lacquered at some point in the past. The color of the lacquer doesn't look appropriate for a classic horn and makes it look really cheesy. I love the horn but I hate looking at it. Since I will be doing a complete overhaul and re-padding I'd like to remove the offending coating and let the brass age naturally and then clear coat it to prevent further damage.

My question is this. . . Is there any chemical or product that I can use to accelerate the darkening of the brass or do I just have to wait?

Bob Faria
North Wind Instruments - Boston, Massachusetts


Dear Bob,

Try contacting a chemical supplier that works with plating companies (I'm sure you can find one on this web site). They'll be happy to sell you the proper chemicals to oxidize the brass, or you could search around and find what chemicals you need. If you don't want to get that involved, you could spray a tinted lacquer over the cleaned horn which would give you a temporary solution.

Good luck.

Jake Koch
G. J. Nikolas & Co., Inc.
supporting advertiser
Bellwood, Illinois
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How to accelerate the process of aging brass? Jake Koch answered You could search around and find what chemicals you need. Does anyone know the name of chemical?

E Kay
- Minneapolis

One possibility is "Brass Darkening Solution [linked by editor to product info at Rockler]"; another is "Liver of Sulphur [linked by editor to product info at Amazon]". Good luck.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey



Andy [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- UK

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