Plating Wear / Oxidation

Plating Wear / Oxidation

Plating Wear / Oxidation    01:56 on Monday, February 06, 2012          

(22 points)
Posted by jduncmusic

I buy flutes for resale (only about 5 in stock at a time- nothing major) and recently acquired a flute that has 3 sizable spots of what I believe is either oxidation or plating wear near the barrel. It almost looks as if some kind of liquid which shouldn't touch plating was spilled on the flute and did some kind of instant oxidation or something. It is discolored in those spots (grey and opaque- not reflective like a typical flute finish). It's definitely NOT tarnish (I know how to polish tarnish off a flute). So my question is, can this be repaired? Is there any easy way to replace plating or cover up oxidation that doesn't involve an expensive replating job?


Re: Plating Wear / Oxidation    03:36 on Monday, February 06, 2012          

(729 points)
Posted by contra448

You don't say what you do use to get tarnish off. I start with a silver polising cloth & then move on to ragging with rouge - that should get rid of anything - even the plating eventually. In my book you are wasting time & money playing with the products which appear all the time on the internet for renewing plating. Likewise brush plating kits - you will spend an awful amount of time getting enough thickness of silver for a long lasting job.

Re: Plating Wear / Oxidation    11:51 on Monday, February 06, 2012          

(22 points)
Posted by jduncmusic

I generally use flitz polish. I've never had an issue with rubbing through plating.

But that's besides the fact, because the plating wear on this flute wasn't caused by me!

I was assuming that was the answer I would get as far as replacing the silver goes, but I figured it was worth the ask to see if someone else knew something I was unaware of. Worst case scenario, I return the flute and call it a day.

Re: Plating Wear / Oxidation    16:21 on Monday, February 06, 2012          

(1279 points)
Posted by JOhnlovemusic

If it is just discoloration you have a plating issue or remnant signs of a repair. If the spot is raised or rough in any way then you have a type of oxidation well below the level of the plating. The way to repair that type of problem will require removing the damaged metal below the smooth line of the nearby area. Then rebuilding the metal up and then re-plating the flute. Most likely you will not get your money back for the cost and labor involved in the procedure.

Re: Plating Wear / Oxidation    16:28 on Monday, February 06, 2012          

(22 points)
Posted by jduncmusic

It's just discoloration- not raised. But I'm now leaning towards just returning it as it does seem like it would be more trouble than it is worth to repair! (decent flute though- A Yamaha 584)

Re: Plating Wear / Oxidation    11:18 on Tuesday, February 07, 2012          

(257 points)
Posted by musicman_944

I would bet that the discoloration is from a poor solder job. If the barrel came off and was soldered to reattach it to the body, it's very possible that an inept repair tech or amateur soldered it back on. When solder is heated, it will often run to places other than the joint where you want it. A good tech will take precautions to prevent that from happening. Once solder is on silver, it's almost impossible to remove it, especially on plated surfaces. Solid sterling silver can be lightly buffed to remove the solder, but with silver plating, you will likely buff through the plating before all the solder is removed.

Since the 584 is plated, about the only fix is to replate the affected area. If you got the flute for a good low price, you might try using a Caswell Plug-n-Plate brush plating system to replate silver over the discolored area. The kit costs about $50 and is easy to use. More info here:

After brush plating, the silver surface will often turn black, but this is normal and the black oxidation can be removed with ordinary silver polish.

Re: Plating Wear / Oxidation    14:13 on Tuesday, February 07, 2012          

(22 points)
Posted by jduncmusic

Thanks for all the info!

It's definitely not a soldering issue. It literally looks like someone spilled some sort of liquid on the flute that had a chemical compound that would immediately discolor the plating. Never seen it before. But in the end I decided to return it. I figured, I could either play around with it and get it cleaned up for a price, play around with it and fail for a price, or try to sell as is at a low price (which might take longer than it typically does for a flute to sell and for less $$). Just wasn't worth the risk!

If anyone is interested in a Yamaha 584 with some cosmetic defects for about $1000 + shipping + 3% paypal fees, let me know asap. It needs a COA, but if someone wanted it right now, I'd sell it as is. Otherwise, it's going back tomorrow. :P

Re: Plating Wear / Oxidation    00:56 on Thursday, February 09, 2012          

(8 points)
Posted by flutesforlyf

Clearly you do not know much about flutes! This is plating wear most likely caused by someone overbuffing a scratch or etc. Please stop trying to sell this poor, defenseless 584 to the forum. and elsewhere is for sales, not here (where people are trying to find answers to their questions). You're trying to sell your flute here for $1025 + shipping AND Paypal fees however on you're merely asking $1000 + shipping and NO mention of Paypal fees. Probably best to return the flute to the "vendor" you purchased it from and settle your differences there.

Re: Plating Wear / Oxidation    01:52 on Thursday, February 09, 2012          

(22 points)
Posted by jduncmusic

Did you look at the photos? I don't think it was from buffing. I've never seen wear like this before. Maybe you can help me so I can learn since you've projected yourself as someone who has some knowledge. I'm really pretty humble. I'll tell you that there is tons I DON'T know about flutes that many of you on this forum probably do. I'm happy to be the newbie... no attitude here. I started turning over flutes about a year ago when I was looking for an instrument for myself, so only a year into it, I still have a lot to learn. I've really had a great time doing it- the kids I meet are super, plus I get to try out lots of models! If time allows I plan to keep doing it, though once wedding season kicks in I'll be back to gigging (I play piano and flute with a small ensemble), so the flutes will take a back seat.

As far as the pricing- If you'd noticed, when I put $1025 + shipping, it wasn't including paypal fees since the $25 would cover most of the fees (you probably just misread). I posted on the other site after the vendor offered me a discount if I kept the flute (I'd rather be transparent than deceptive, here), hence the price difference. So the price you saw there applies here as well. I'm sorry if my post was offensive. I wasn't looking to profit off anyone... I offered it for sale as more of a "just in case anyone wants this, it's available". If no one wants it, I really don't care since it can be returned. I'm not offering it as a "vendor" who is selling a flute for profit (trust me, it would be more than $1000 if I were- that's a darn good price for a 584 from what I've seen).

So if you want, just ignore my post and pretend it never happened. I hadn't realized it would be so unwelcome!! But I guess with every new community you enter, there is a learning curve. My apologies to anyone on this forum who was bothered by it. And to those who weren't, I appreciate your grace!

Re: Plating Wear / Oxidation    02:20 on Thursday, February 09, 2012          

(22 points)
Posted by jduncmusic

Hmmm... the interesting thing here is that fluteforlyf has only posted a few times on this forum, one of them being a sales offer. Just seems like an odd member to be showing me the ropes. But heck, I'm happy to learn nonetheless as they have been here much longer than me. Just an observation....

But best regards, fluteforlyf. I'd love to learn more about you and what knowledge you have to share!


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