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 Cleaning metal clarinet for rebuild
Author: Matt Locker 
Date:   2018-02-08 23:19


I have acquired a metal clarinet that I will be rebuilding. It's actually in pretty good shape overall but needs a really good cleaning prior to doing anything else. What are your thoughts on how to properly clean the body? Soap & water? Buffing pad? Others?


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 Re: Cleaning metal clarinet for rebuild
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-02-09 02:10

Start by removing everything from the body (springs, screws and anything else steel) and give it a good wash in hot soapy water using a nylon trumpet valve casing brush to scrub the bore and a toothbrush and nail brush on the outside. That will remove all the grime, but won't polish the plating.

Is it silver or nickel plated?

Silver plating turns blue/black over time and that can be cleaned by using silver dip or using liquid silver polish, then washed again and polished to a shine with a silver polishing cloth (or polished to a cleaner finish if it's a satin finish). Don't machine polish silver as that can wear through the plating.

If it's nickel plate it will usually turn a dull grey colour and that can be hand polished, but that will take a lot of time and effort as tarnish on nickel is stubborn. Nickel plate can be machine polished, but it is usually applied thinly, so it can also be worn through if you use a polishing compound or mops that are too coarse or apply too much pressure.


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 Re: Cleaning metal clarinet for rebuild
Author: Matt Locker 
Date:   2018-02-10 01:06


Thank you for the recommendations. I believe it is nickel plated. I will start with a good bath w/ brushes and then go from there.

Thanks again,

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 Re: Cleaning metal clarinet for rebuild
Author: David Spiegelthal 2017
Date:   2018-02-10 03:51

Brasso or Flitz or other reputable metal polishes do a good job on metal clarinets.

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