(Re)plating silver for small repairs

Repair and modification discussion
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A.N.Other
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(Re)plating silver for small repairs

Post by A.N.Other »

If not already known, just in case someone has a similar issue:

I have an old and cheaply bought silver Willson 2704 Euphonium where the leadpipe was exchanged to an unplated brass replacement part. As the instrument itself plays and sounds great (seems to be "cut to be in tune"), the only thing really bothering me (besides that the soldering could have been done nicer) was the brass colored lead pipe. I finally found a simple solution (for me) with a fluid containing silver named Sheffco Silver Plate Solution which was recommended for small surface repairs in trumpet and sax forums. There are also other similar solutions available from various online stores.

I gave it a try today and it really worked super easy and remarkably well for the whole lead pipe. Time will tell durability.

Here are pictures of the leadpipe before and after the treatment.

before:
Before.png
after:
After.png
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Alexander 164 BBb
Besson 226 BBb
STAGG 77TU RF
Willson 2704 Euphonium
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iiipopes
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Re: (Re)plating silver for small repairs

Post by iiipopes »

Caswell also has a similar kit.
Jupiter JTU1110, Conn Helleberg 120S
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Daniel C. Oberloh
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Re: (Re)plating silver for small repairs

Post by Daniel C. Oberloh »

Typically the proper repair would involve adjusting the fit of the new replacement pipe assembly, then sending the assembly to be double silver plated and finally careful solder and cleanup. Not terribly difficult to do right, if one knows what they are doing. Spot and brush-on plate is good for touching up solder edges and masking them from oxidation but anything more then that is just temporary.


Daniel C. Oberloh
Oberloh Woodwind and Brass Works
Easy Mac
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Re: (Re)plating silver for small repairs

Post by Easy Mac »

It will be mostly gone from the pipe in a few months. That stuff only "plates" until it meets itself, so like super, super thin, and it "detaches" from the base metal very easily. I have used it to touch up a peeling bell flare before a concert where I will be prominent, so I don't look like too much of a rag bag on stage. It works well, but it disappears in about 90 days, and if it is on an area that you have to touch, it will be gone in less than a month.

There is nothing wrong with it, but it is a lot of money to just throw away like that. It is great for stuff that is never touched, though, and does not harm anything, so wipe some on, and then keep wiping it on, over and over, if the result makes you happy.
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