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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentRepairs, Modifications and Maintenance(Moderators: john sandhagen, BGuttman) Questions about dating and maintenance on old King 3B
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tubonist
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« on: Dec 19, 2017, 09:37AM »

I've been lurking this section trying to find out how other people stripped the lacquer from their bells, and I have a few questions from that experience.

1) How did you strip the lacquer from your 3B, and how old was it?

I have seen many different methods, and I really don't want to screw up my horn's bell. I have heard of folks annealing their bells, which is said to incinerate the lacquer and soften up the brass. I think that's the direction I'm going toward.

2) Are there any ways to get a manufacturing date/rough estimate of age from the horn?

Thanks!
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BGuttman
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 19, 2017, 09:48AM »

The serial number will give you an approximate date of manufacture.  There are several serial number lists on the Web.  If your horn is old enough, the one on hnwhite.com will get you there.

King used an orange epoxy lacquer that is nearly impossible to strip.  There are some really potent strippers (not available to the public) using methylene chloride (carcinogen; replaces oxygen in air).  A strong caustic can work; some have reported success using Easy-Off oven cleaner.  But be warned, the caustic can cause the brass to blacken and it may be a real problem to polish it back up.

Some have reported success with citristrip, which is a terpene.  Contact times are LONG and you may need to do several applications.

I don't recommend ashing off the epoxy.  The temperature is REALLY high (500 C) and you will soften the solder joints.  You can anneal a King lacquered bell without harming the lacquer.

What are you hoping to accomplish with this stripping?  It's an irreversible process and if you don't like the result it will be impossible to make it exactly as it was.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 19, 2017, 09:50AM »


2) Are there any ways to get a manufacturing date/rough estimate of age from the horn?
Thanks!
if manufactured by H.N. White:  http://www.hnwhite.com/Serial%20Numbers.htm
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john sandhagen
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 19, 2017, 05:00PM »

Annealing means getting well over 500 degrees, however the solder will become loose around 350...so you get a bag of trombone.

You can use chemicals or abrasives, but as a tubist and a "doubler", the horn will spend much more time tarnishing than looking good.
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John Sandhagen,
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 19, 2017, 05:57PM »

The guaranteed way to strip Kings is an aerosol can of Easy-Off heavy duty oven cleaner.

I did 8 applications of other chems on an indestructible 1970s King 606. Easy-Off ate it right down to metal in 10 minutes. Cheap, fast, pin point accuracy.
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salsabone
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 19, 2017, 06:56PM »

As an a somewhat aside from the original discussion... I just stripped the lacquer off of 2 Reynolds Contempora trombones('61 and older) easily with about 12 hours of citristrip application.  It worked very well.  I was thinking that I could use the same type of method with my somewhat ugly 1963 King Symphony brass bell trombone.  The results to my Reynolds bells have been eye opening as looks and my perceived tone goes.  Does anyone thinks this will work on my King or should I try Easy off first.  Thanks for the suggestions!
Salsabone
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