Author Topic: 30 dollar train wreck  (Read 54 times)

Offline GrumpyMiddleAgedMan

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30 dollar train wreck
« on: October 15, 2020, 07:47:38 PM »
On so here it goes.
I picked up a kind of rough looking piece of wood with some keys attached to it. It was a little more run down than I thought. It came with the bell but no barrel so no biggie. I was kind of figuring on just using it for parts even though it was missing the lower b-f key.  What kind of surprised was that I can't find any cracks in the wood, nothing that would be considered a crack as opposed to grain.
With that in mind I figured I might as well have a go at saving it. I've had to cut 5 of the screws that were really stuck and stripped the whole body of posts. Only problem is I broke the threaded bit of the right pinky levers (b c)in the inside post.  What I need a little help with is can I unscrew those inside posts or am I going to have to get the threads out some other way?
Only happy mistakes here.

Offline GrumpyMiddleAgedMan

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Re: 30 dollar train wreck
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2020, 11:38:46 PM »
Good thing I'm not being paid by the hour, I don't think I could justify the bill  :-\ .  I managed to get the inside posts out and hit it with some alum. So far I had to punch out 4 of the screw pins once I cut the keys. I tried heat and wd40 but it didn't get into it.
Does anyone have experience with replating keys?  The keywork is missing a fair percemtage of its plating. Either doing it yourself with some system or I'm pretty sure its more professional to send them out to a shop to have it done. I know there is a do it yourself electroplate kit and a wipe on solution but are thin at best.
Only happy mistakes here.

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: 30 dollar train wreck
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2020, 04:54:19 PM »
It’s almost NEVER worth it to replate keys, unless you’re doing it for fun or a learning experience.

My advice- use some Weimann metal polish and call it a day.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages

Offline GrumpyMiddleAgedMan

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Re: 30 dollar train wreck
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2020, 05:02:09 PM »
Let me run this by you first. I don't know how stupid this sounds.
Would I be able to plate it myself with solder?  I could flux and flow it on sections that are missing and sand it down and blend it in. I have a few spots that have some actual divits, must have gotten gauged by something.
Would this look ridiculous?  I don't think it would hurt the resale at this point.
Only happy mistakes here.

Offline windydankoff

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Re: 30 dollar train wreck
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2020, 10:37:20 AM »
Low-temp silver solder has a much lower melting point than the high-temp brazing material with which most keys are assembled. I've used it for repairs and mods with no problem. As long as the horn doesn't have cheesy cast-metal keys.

An easier solution worth mentioning is "chrome" color nail polish. It's more fake, but it's easy and removeable. It makes crappy looking keys look normal from a distance. I got some at a pharmacy. I searched for mirror-shiny nail polish, but it doesn't seem to be available. The "chrome" is a reasonable match to silver plating or to German silver.
Windy at BLACK • HOLE Clarinets
"User-Friendly" clarinets in Bb and C
http://www.windydankoff.com/black-hole-clarinets.html

Offline Dibbs

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Re: 30 dollar train wreck
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2020, 02:41:20 AM »
Let me run this by you first. I don't know how stupid this sounds.
Would I be able to plate it myself with solder?  I could flux and flow it on sections that are missing and sand it down and blend it in. I have a few spots that have some actual divits, must have gotten gauged by something.
Would this look ridiculous?  I don't think it would hurt the resale at this point.

You can certainly fill in divots with solder but not really plate things that way.  For filling holes you can use extra easy silver solder from jewellers suppliers. It melts at a lower temperature than that used for joining key parts together. 

Windy, are you talking about using the so called silver solder with about 5% silver intended for electronics ?  I've always heard it shouldn't be used for keywork but I don't know why.  I imagine it's not as strong as the high silver content stuff but that wouldn't matter much if it's just for filling holes.

Offline windydankoff

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Re: 30 dollar train wreck
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2020, 08:18:01 AM »
I was thinking of jeweler's solder. Its purpose is closer to the intended application, and more likely to match appearance.
Windy at BLACK • HOLE Clarinets
"User-Friendly" clarinets in Bb and C
http://www.windydankoff.com/black-hole-clarinets.html