Re: Best way to remove laquer?

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Posted by Joe Sellmansberger on April 14, 1999 at 00:18:57:

In Reply to: Best way to remove laquer? posted by Ned on April 13, 1999 at 23:05:40:

The MOST hassle-free way for you to deal with it is to take it to one of those guys who refinishes antiques. His furniture stripper will take it right off, and barely - if at all - discolor your brass underneath. If you are worried, you can have him to run a "test" with a couple of slides, or something. I am a repairman. Others may get on and say that "I am crazy" or "That is dangerous", but the truth is that the furniture guy uses just about the same (if not sometimes the same exact) stuff that musical instrument overhaul shops use for removing old finish. You should remove all plastic, rubber, or nylon parts from your horn first, and of course it is really far superior to do a TOTAL disassembly of your instrument before handing it over for lacquer stripping.
If you insist on doing it yourself, go to the hardware store and buy "heavy-bodied" paint stripper (a gooey jel) and some rubber gloves. Set your horn on a piece of cardboard in your garage with the garage door open (ventilated, but away from sunlight). Blob that junk on your horn wherever there is lacquer that you want to strip, wait thirty minutes to an hour or so, and jet it off of the horn with a high-pressure water hose. (They recommend scooping it up and reusing it, but heck, that is MESSY, and the stuff will be drying up anyway.) If you can obtain the use of a GENUINE RUBBER hose, you can hook up the rubber hose to the hot water faucet for your clothes washer or the drain faucet on your hot water heater. With a high-pressure nozzle and HOT water (BE VERY CAREFUL ! ! !) you can REALLY easily "jet" off the loose lacquer and stripping jel very easily. DON"T try this with a synthetic hose! The hot water will make the hose pop off of its end connectors after a minute or two, and either you will flood your house or scald yourself !
If I were you, I would take it to the furniture refinishing guy. DISCLAIMER: There are enough really stupid people in the world that I cannot be held responsible for what anyone or any product does to your instrument regarding any of these tips.
Have fun!

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