11-21-2015, 01:46 PM
#1
  • MPH
  • Member
  • UK
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Hi,

When the ikon SBS was first released there was concern that the head would tarnish as it is brass and I know that a lot of people got their's coated somehow or other.

So, I was wondering... If you got yours coated, how is it now? Are you happy with the results?

If you didn't get it coated, how is the head now after some use? Is it OK, or is it showing any signs of wear?

I ask as I have an unused head that I hope to use soon, but was wondering if I should get it protected with some kind of coating?

Thanks for any advice!

Matt

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 11-21-2015, 01:47 PM
#2
  • chamm
  • Expert on nothing
  • Central Ohio
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I haven't yet coated mine. It has a little patina on it, but not too bad. I can put up some pics when I get home.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 11-21-2015, 01:48 PM
#3
  • chamm
  • Expert on nothing
  • Central Ohio
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I can also put up some photos of some un-lacquered brass on my trombones, to show what will undoubtedly happen over the years.


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 11-21-2015, 01:52 PM
#4
  • MPH
  • Member
  • UK
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(11-21-2015, 01:48 PM)chamm Wrote: I can also put up some photos of some un-lacquered brass on my trombones, to show what will undoubtedly happen over the years.


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Great! Thanks!!!

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 11-21-2015, 01:59 PM
#5
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Mine is the original brass, still looks great..hardly any patina yet..

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 11-21-2015, 06:51 PM
#6
  • leonidas
  • Senior Member
  • Jerez de la Frontera
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......one day i, too, will own a sbs............and then i will let the world know of its condition......one day............

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 11-21-2015, 07:29 PM
#7
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Mine is currently with Chris at RazorPlate. Before I sent it to him at had a little tarnish to it. It is a lovely razor that will look even better in the black rhodium plating that it's being coated in.

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 11-21-2015, 07:44 PM
#8
  • sch1989
  • Senior Member
  • Mesa arizona
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(11-21-2015, 07:29 PM)Occam Wrote: Mine is currently with Chris at RazorPlate. Before I sent it to him at had a little tarnish to it. It is a lovely razor that will look even better in the black rhodium plating that it's being coated in.

I had chris coat mine in black rhodium as well. Came out great [Image: OZy68nV.jpg]

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 11-21-2015, 11:25 PM
#9
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(11-21-2015, 07:44 PM)sch1989 Wrote:
(11-21-2015, 07:29 PM)Occam Wrote: Mine is currently with Chris at RazorPlate. Before I sent it to him at had a little tarnish to it. It is a lovely razor that will look even better in the black rhodium plating that it's being coated in.

I had chris coat mine in black rhodium as well. Came out great [Image: OZy68nV.jpg]
That razor turned out great. Chris does an excellent job! I am waiting patiently for the return of my sbs and realize Chris is a very busy and meticulous person as you can tell by his work. It is no wonder he is so sought after in the plating world!!!!

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 11-22-2015, 12:36 AM
#10
  • MPH
  • Member
  • UK
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Thanks for all responses!

I love the rhodium but was also wondering about Delta Echo Razor Works? Anyone used Delta echo?

Also does anyone know if there are any clear coatings, so you can still see the brass?

Thanks again!

Matt

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 11-23-2015, 07:18 AM
#11
  • chamm
  • Expert on nothing
  • Central Ohio
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OK, so I've had time to put together a few pictures. First, here is one from when the razor initially shipped:
[Image: 2ba1f9dc-f918-46a5-96e0-703c2b12ecee_zps...g~original]

And here are two from last night:
[Image: 73502362-5057-4d77-9719-9f86e4336051_zps...g~original]
[Image: d500094a-75d2-4450-b562-fa409ac45c4e_zps...g~original]

Note that this is after a thorough cleaning with some scrubbing bubbles, so those aren't water evaporation spots visible on the razor. That is oxidation which again, is completely normal and unavoidable even under the most careful care. Brass contains copper, and copper reacts with oxygen in the air. The only way to prevent that is to keep it in some sort of chamber where it is surrounded by a noble gas, or to coat it with something that will keep the oxygen from attaching to the copper.

For brass musical instruments, a thin layer of lacquer is applied immediately after the brass has been polished. This lacquer is chemically nearly identical to clear nail polish. However, here is a trombone handslide after many years of use:
[Image: Photo%20Nov%2022%2022%2013%2034_zpsknenv...g~original]
The lacquer can be very susceptible to the normal oils and acids in your skin, and after a while, parts of it will wear through, due to normal use. You can see the "flecks" where the lacquer has come off, and the underlying brass has begun to oxidize. To the point that this doesn't usually affect the sound, most brass players don't bother doing anything about it. In fact, the procedure to fix it is to polish it to a shine and re-apply the lacquer. However, most musicians are reluctant to start taking metal off of an instrument that is playing well, because you can profoundly affect the quality of sound by messing with this stuff. Changing a brass wall, even my a few micrometers, can have a very significant impact on the sound, and most trombone players are head-cases to begin with. Biggrin

So, no matter how much you fight it, your untreated razor will look like that trombone slide on the bottom. (Maybe not so patchy, since it was never lacquered to begin with.)

Personally, I have tried lacquering brass razors, and it was an abject failure. One of the things we coach young kids to NEVER do when they get their instruments is to give them a hot bath. The lacquer coating is quite water-proof, but extremely brittle; The metal expansion from a change in temperature will cause it to crack and flake off. Hope you like only cold shaves!!

You could, of course, polish the metal when it starts to look worse that you want to tolerate. However, polishing = removing metal. If you polish it twice a day, it'll wear down to a nub in a year or ten. You could certainly have Delta Echo apply their coating to one of them. They look phenomenal, but I don't know exactly what they use for their coatings. My best guess is that they apply some sort of automotive paint process, which would be extremely durable, but would also add some significant thickness to the razor. Depending on the type, priming, layering, etc, automotive paint can add anywhere from 70µm - 160µm.

The other, very reasonable option, is to have it electroplated in nickel and/or rhodium. These metals, especially rhodium, do not react with atmosphere. Typical rhodium electroplating is around 0.75µm - 1µm, so substantially thinner than any sort of coating process. If you look at a Gillette plated in Rhodium from 1933, it will probably look nearly identical to the day it was made, even if it was used heavily. Nickel is far more economical, and looks fantastic, but will normally wear a little with use. Day-to-day, you probably won't notice, but your children and grandchildren might need to get the razor re-plated. Wink

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 11-23-2015, 07:45 AM
#12
  • MPH
  • Member
  • UK
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(11-23-2015, 07:18 AM)chamm Wrote: OK, so I've had time to put together a few pictures. First, here is one from when the razor initially shipped:
[Image: 2ba1f9dc-f918-46a5-96e0-703c2b12ecee_zps...g~original]

And here are two from last night:
[Image: 73502362-5057-4d77-9719-9f86e4336051_zps...g~original]
[Image: d500094a-75d2-4450-b562-fa409ac45c4e_zps...g~original]

Note that this is after a thorough cleaning with some scrubbing bubbles, so those aren't water evaporation spots visible on the razor. That is oxidation which again, is completely normal and unavoidable even under the most careful care. Brass contains copper, and copper reacts with oxygen in the air. The only way to prevent that is to keep it in some sort of chamber where it is surrounded by a noble gas, or to coat it with something that will keep the oxygen from attaching to the copper.

For brass musical instruments, a thin layer of lacquer is applied immediately after the brass has been polished. This lacquer is chemically nearly identical to clear nail polish. However, here is a trombone handslide after many years of use:
[Image: Photo%20Nov%2022%2022%2013%2034_zpsknenv...g~original]
The lacquer can be very susceptible to the normal oils and acids in your skin, and after a while, parts of it will wear through, due to normal use. You can see the "flecks" where the lacquer has come off, and the underlying brass has begun to oxidize. To the point that this doesn't usually affect the sound, most brass players don't bother doing anything about it. In fact, the procedure to fix it is to polish it to a shine and re-apply the lacquer. However, most musicians are reluctant to start taking metal off of an instrument that is playing well, because you can profoundly affect the quality of sound by messing with this stuff. Changing a brass wall, even my a few micrometers, can have a very significant impact on the sound, and most trombone players are head-cases to begin with. Biggrin

So, no matter how much you fight it, your untreated razor will look like that trombone slide on the bottom. (Maybe not so patchy, since it was never lacquered to begin with.)

Personally, I have tried lacquering brass razors, and it was an abject failure. One of the things we coach young kids to NEVER do when they get their instruments is to give them a hot bath. The lacquer coating is quite water-proof, but extremely brittle; The metal expansion from a change in temperature will cause it to crack and flake off. Hope you like only cold shaves!!

You could, of course, polish the metal when it starts to look worse that you want to tolerate. However, polishing = removing metal. If you polish it twice a day, it'll wear down to a nub in a year or ten. You could certainly have Delta Echo apply their coating to one of them. They look phenomenal, but I don't know exactly what they use for their coatings. My best guess is that they apply some sort of automotive paint process, which would be extremely durable, but would also add some significant thickness to the razor. Depending on the type, priming, layering, etc, automotive paint can add anywhere from 70µm - 160µm.

The other, very reasonable option, is to have it electroplated in nickel and/or rhodium. These metals, especially rhodium, do not react with atmosphere. Typical rhodium electroplating is around 0.75µm - 1µm, so substantially thinner than any sort of coating process. If you look at a Gillette plated in Rhodium from 1933, it will probably look nearly identical to the day it was made, even if it was used heavily. Nickel is far more economical, and looks fantastic, but will normally wear a little with use. Day-to-day, you probably won't notice, but your children and grandchildren might need to get the razor re-plated. Wink

Wow. Thank you for taking so much effort to help and advise me. It really is appreciated.

I will spend a little time considering my options! It's a beautiful razor, so it certainly deserves to be looked after!!! 

:-)

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 11-23-2015, 10:12 AM
#13
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Mine stained considerably in transit from the guy I bought it from!  It was in good condition when he packed it up; when it got to my house, it was heavily marked with dark areas of oxidation.  I was able to remove some, but not all, of these areas, and it has acquired even slightly more patina over time.  

So far it hasn't bothered me enough to send it out for a replate.  I don't use it much anymore, so I'm not sure I want to put the required money into it.  I dunno.  whenever I do shave with it, I enjoy it, and if I fire it up for one shave, I'll generally use it for about a week before I put it away again.  But I am reaching for it less and less right now.  I've learned in the past, though, that unless I don't touch a razor at all for a year or more, never to get rid of a razor just because it doesn't come up in the rotation that frequently.  I've often really enjoyed using a razor that had been sitting for a few months, and was always glad that I hadn't sold it.

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 11-25-2015, 09:51 PM
#14
  • chamm
  • Expert on nothing
  • Central Ohio
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One additional point of clarification that I think is important: (plus, I can't get to sleep...)

Tarnish, or patina, is not comparable to rust, for example, in iron. Both are oxidation reactions, but tarnish is, by definition, self-limiting. That is, the very thin layer of oxidation actually "seals" the metal, protecting it from further oxidation. The oxide formed on iron, however, is extremely friable. It provides no protection to the underlying metal, so given time and the right conditions, it will eventually corrode all of the metal.

I thought this seemed like an important point to clarify. Leaving the natural brass patina will cause absolutely no structural harm to the razor, ever, only cosmetic. And if you're impatient, you can even accelerate the formation of the patina. There are several ways, but the safest and easiest is probably to dip it in apple cider vinegar and put it in the oven for a couple minutes. (If you really want to do this, Google it, don't follow my vague and probably incorrect instructions! See my forum title...)

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