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Thread: Polishing Tips for Silver

  1. #1

    Polishing Tips for Silver

    Many people have asked me how to polish silver instruments. You need to do two things. First you need to clean and polish the horn, and second you need to keep the tarnish from coming back very soon.

    Silver is a relatively soft plating, so you should NOT use a standard metal polish. Use something that is made for fine silver finishes. I prefer Hagerty Silver Polish with Tarnish Preventative. The kind I use most often is a cream in a bottle. You put some on a soft cloth, polish an area of the horn, let it dry for a minute or so, then polish it off with a clean soft cloth. It leaves a protective coating that will help keep tarnish from forming.

    For hard-to-get-at areas, Hagerty also makes a spray polish. It is easy to spray it between valves and on other tight spaces. Then you can thread a clean cloth between the valves to pull back and forth, which will polish it off.

    Of course there are many Hagerty silver polish products on Amazon:
    Hagerty Silver Polish

    3M makes a polish for silver called Tarni-Shield, but it doesn't give as nice a shine as Hagerty in my opinion.
    Last edited by davewerden; 11-28-2017 at 01:08 PM.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
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    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  2. #2

    Polishing Tips for Silver

    (posted by Rick F.)

    After using Tarni-Shield myself for quite some time on my YEP-641S, I've come to the same conclusion. I've switched to Hagerty's this past year. I use the polishing gloves on the main part of the horn, and the spray for hard-to-reach areas. Tarni-Shield requires a cold water rinsing to get the protective affect according to 3M folks. This takes more time and is messy.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  3. Polishing Tips for Silver

    Is polishing a part of proper maintenance, or does it abrade the silver, eroding material for appearance's sake? I've never polished my Yamaha, but maybe I should?

  4. #4

    Polishing Tips for Silver

    Maybe someone else can tell us technically/scientifically what happens when you polish. However, I believe it is a good idea if done properly.

    If you use a polish with tarnish preventative you should not need to do it too often, so wear on the finish should not be a big factor. Between polishings you can probably use a damp cloth to clean it and another cloth to dry it.

    There is a practical factor at work. If you leave it without polishing for a long time it will build up a very tough coating of tarnish. If you then need to make it look nice, it will take a lot of elbow grease, which I assume might be much harder on the finish than regular, gentle polishing.

    I have never tried it, but there are little strips you can of silver, and they are supposed to "absorb" the tarnish that would otherwise attack you horn. They are made to be put into silverware cabinets, but I wonder if they would work if placed inside a horn case???

    NOTE: this is all opinion! Anyone out there have some facts?
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
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    3,110

    Polishing Tips for Silver

    Dave Werden said,

    I have never tried it, but there are little strips you can of silver, and they are supposed to "absorb" the tarnish that would otherwise attack you horn. They are made to be put into silverware cabinets, but I wonder if they would work if placed inside a horn case???
    I've tried these. About 5 strips came with my first bottle of TarniShield from 3M. (I no longer use TarniShield as I prefer Haggerty's). These strips (look like carbon paper) are supposed to absorb sulfides and other pollutants in the air to prevent tarnish from occurring in an enclosed area or container. I taped one inside my case and changed the strip every few months. I wasn't convinced they actually worked. But after reading this article...

    3M Anti-Tarnish Strips

    ...maybe I wasn't using enough strips.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    When the Saints Go Marching In (arr. Mashima) at ACB Conference Ft. Lauderdale
    Cell phone video of : El Cumbanchero:

  6. #6

    Polishing Tips for Silver

    Hmmm. I notice that 3M emphasizes the importance of an air-tight container for these strips to work their best. Perhaps if we are opening and closing our cases regularly it would not work as well. However, I suppose I could try it on my baritone horn, which doesn't get out much!

    Thanks for the link.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  7. Polishing Tips for Silver

    If you can still find it, the cloth silverware is kept in is called "silver cloth". This cloth contains silver.

    The idea is that the silver in the cloth will tarnish before the air gets to your horn. Just make a bag and stuff your horn in it when not in use.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    170

    Polishing Tips for Silver

    I have a Meinl Weston 451 with a silver plate. I have used Hagerty Silver Polish with success; however, on a more recent polish, my horn developed a black coating on one of the tuning slides afterwards and some dulling in other areas even though I polished the same way which is in the manner in which is recommended. Is there something that you may know that could cause this, and is there a way to get the black off as the polish itself won't budge it? Maybe the silver dip? Also, I've only used a silver polish three times over the three years I've had my horn.

  9. #9

    Polishing Tips for Silver

    Originally posted by: uieuph

    ...my horn developed a black coating on one of the tuning slides afterwards and some dulling in other areas even though I polished the same way which is in the manner in which is recommended...
    Are you talking about the part of the slide that is normally hidden?
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    170

    Polishing Tips for Silver

    The part that has this is the third valve slide on the front or exposed side.

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