Heat hardened lacquer, what awful colors!

By: frugalhorn

Feb 08 2013

Category: Uncategorized

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Last post I said I would do a little blog about stripping lacquer. If you’ve ever stripped a double horn you’ll know what a pain it is to clean the loosened lacquer from around the valve cluster.

A reader suggested that the lacquer should be stripped prior to dis-assembly. That is totally correct. Generally, In warm weather, I do that and I do it outdoors. The stripper I use has chemicals that are hard on your body if you breathe the fumes. The containers of most strippers will have warning labels. (unfortunately the environmentally safe strippers I’ve tried don’t seem to work very well)FEO1-4-9Dad’s Easy Spray is good stuff and I have tried many different brands, this seems to work pretty well. It comes with a spray bottle that will deliver it into hard to reach places, for instance, in-between the Bb and F valve cluster tuning slides. The sprayer will fail before you run out of stripper and spray bottles from the hardware store will not work. It’s too thick. Additionally, it will not touch the old King Gold lacquer, I’ve found nothing that is an available over the counter stripper that will remove the old King lacquer.  I try to eliminate the nasty fumes by working outside, generally on a breezy day. But during the winter, it needs to be done inside at 65 degrees or above. I leave the room  (Root cellar) after application.

The lacquers vary in their difficulty of removal. For instance, a new 8D is a snap and a single pass with this stripper will be all you need. Once you applied the stripper the action starts within a few to 20 minutes, the warmer the faster. FEO1-4-6You’ll notice the failure of the lacquer, It can be washed off, either  with water or a solvent. But you notice the areas where heat has been applied to remove braces, etc. The stripper has not been able to cut the lacquer.It seams that the heat hardens the lacquer and makes it much harder to remove.FEO1-4-7So an advertisement of “baked lacquer” being stronger may well be correct. Below are a couple of pix of a hardened area and the method which I use to remove it. I sand it away. Sometimes multiple passes with the stripper will remove such areas. Some factory lacquer will need more than one pass. Yamaha and some of the old lacquers are fairly tough, some, like Reynolds and the new lacquers from the Eastlake plant, and Markneukirchen are quite easy to remove. FEO1-4-10FEO5-12FEO5-13This last pix is the white scuffed look of partly sanded lacquer. If you have any additional comments about this process please chime in, We’d all like to know what really works and what doesn’t work.

The next blog will cover the de-scaling of the valves and valve cluster and the re-assembly of the corpus.


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