Most buffing can be done at the buffing lathe. The interior partsof a horn
must be polished by hand through ragging.To clean and polish
the spots which are hard to get at, use an old T-shirt ripped up intostrips
about 2" in width. Apply tripoli or other abrasive compound by placingyour
foot on one end of the rag and holding the other with your hand. Rub the
abrasive onto the rag. You can get little sets of buffing compounds atthe
hardware store inexpensively. Make sure it contains at least one stickof
Tripoli. Buffing compounds are wax based and spread like frozen butter.Use
this strip by snaking it through the hard to reach places on the horn.
Pulling it through until the spot is clean. Always scrape the excess solder
away from the braces and flanges before ragging so that you remove
any scratches caused by scraping. You can use a small stick with the
cloth andtripoli to concentrate on small areas which the rag won't get.
There is a product here that is called CLR. It is available at most
home goods stores. It is used to clean coffee pots and copper utensils.
Surprisingly, this is the same solution used to
clean the lime from the inside of brass instruments.
It is a pickling solution which is very safe and does a good
job. If you can't find any like product I will send the manufacturers
address or figure out the formula. Ferree's has this available but itis
A good brass brush, available at a plumbers supply, will usually get
most of the grime out of the inside tubes. I use regular dish washing
detergent to clean all the horns which come into the shop. It removesgrease
good and leaves your hands silky smooth! Also, get some bottle brushes(I'm
sure you have plenty of these around the house). They work great sincethey
are soft and will not harm the inside of the tubes.
Muriatic acid is probably the main acid used for cleaning brass. It is
available at most hardware stores here. You should never leave brass in
Muriatic for too long since it will eat through it in no time at all.It does
remove oxidation and surface dirt. Older horns are often so impregnatedwith
oil and dirt that it can take several cleanings to get them to the point
where you can solder effectively. After you clean them, heat will bringmore
dirt out of the pours of the brass further complicating solder work. Ifyou
experience this, make sure the joint is really clean. I like to scrapeor
ligthly sand the areas which are to be soldered, being careful not toruin
the finish around the joint. You may also have to flush the spot withflux
several times to get the solder to flow. Trial and error are the bestteacher
If you want to silver plate the spots which are wearing out, youwill
need a 6-10 amp battery recharger. This should be easy with all the car
repairs you have to do! You will have to get your hands on some Silver
Cyanide. This is the medium for silver plating.Attach the negative lineto
the horn with a alligator clip. Attach a piece of copper to the positivewire
and wrap a piece of cheese cloth around this wire. Dip the postive wirewith
fabric into the silver cyanide. Plug in the battery recharger and wipethe
area, gently, with the solution. This will place a small amount of silveron
the spot if it is REALLY CLEAN. Use naptha to clean the spot or use acetone.
The best cleaning solution is Triclorethylene. This is a highly controlled
chemical here and only meant for industrial use. I try to use as littleas
possible since it is really nasty.
If you can't find theanswers here, drop us a line.
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