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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:17 am 
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While doing my usual eBay trawl I came across a seller selling off whistles that he said he used for decoration. They were pretty grubby but two of them appeared to be wooden. He said that he could not tell what make they were, but I could see that one was an old style Sweetheart and the other looked nicely shaped but appeared to have lost it's rings, but the price was low enough to take a punt on it.

They arrived yesterday and to my surprise one was a low D, I had not noticed the measurement photo the seller had posted.

They were in a filthy state so I cleaned off the surface grime with wet wipes and found that the low D was a Swayne :D that still had it's rings but they, and the rest of the whistle had been covered with what looked like black boot polish.

I have cleaned it off as best I can, but decided to not go too far with the cleaning as the whistle looks and handles ok now, the only thing left is to clean the brass rings.

My question is, what is the best way to remove the stuck on crud from the brass without damaging the wood.


David

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:13 am 
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Congratulations on your score...

You might go directly to Jon to get his advice—and perhaps he might even be able to buff the whole thing back to its original glory. Is it one of his boxwood instruments?

Best wishes.

Steve

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:30 pm 
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Hi Steve

There are a couple of scratches on the surface and there is a light yellow colour showing through, so I suspect that it is either box or possibly olive (I can see patterns in the wood which made me suspect Olive).

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:00 pm 
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Nice one Davy.
I hope to play it soon.
I would use brasso on the rings.
Or you can use toothpaste.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:04 pm 
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I don't know if this will work, but I work on my recorders quite a bit, and I've had a few old ones that I bought used, and were pretty gross. It depends how careful you are (I'm very careful), but to start, try using toothpicks or wood cuticle sticks (called orange sticks), which are sharp, but flat on one side, kind of like the shape of a lipstick. Because they are a softer wood than your whistles, they are unlikely to harm the wood, but are strong enough to scrape off gunk. Also, try a bit of rubbing alcohol on the brass only; I use cotton swabs for this purpose. You can also find some of those really fine nylon cleaning brushes for recorders or flutes, which can help to scrape off the gunk on the brass without harming the wood.

I have used alcohol wipes on where the mouth goes, but then I quickly rub them dry and apply an edible oil right away, such as sweet almond with a bit of vitamin E. In fact, I treat all my recorders with sweet almond oil (except for the wood block that is supposed to absorb moisture from your breath).

You can visit this, or other recorder sites, for information about recorder care, which will be valid for wood whistle care: http://www.lazarsearlymusic.com


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:46 pm 
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Thanks for the tips Mae, I will try them when I get back from my weekend in Ireland.

Patrick, I look forward to hearing you play it, and the Sweetheart and the Howard G when it arrives.

David

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:17 am 
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I've used this stuff on whistle parts and many other things. It's pricey, but a little bit goes a long way. There's a product called Simichrome that sounds similar but I've never tried it.

http://topbrite.com/Scripts/default.asp

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:03 pm 
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I would try (carefully applied) solvents and patience before polish. Some of them, like Simichrome, polish by abrasive action and would be fine for exterior surfaces, but could affect the fit of metal to metal in tuning slides.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:10 am 
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rge3 wrote:
I would try (carefully applied) solvents and patience before polish. Some of them, like Simichrome, polish by abrasive action and would be fine for exterior surfaces, but could affect the fit of metal to metal in tuning slides.

Whatever you do to clean tuning slides, be sure to wipe them off thoroughly before assembling them. You don't want to leave any bits of abrasive material in there. I use 0000 steel wool, gently. I don't know what other makers recommend, but I recommend not using any lubricant on a slide. It just attracts dust and other gunk. A well fitted slide doesn't need it.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:23 am 
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Thanks for all the tips.

David

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