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Thread: Polishing Hard Rubber (Ebonite)

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Default Polishing Hard Rubber (Ebonite)

    Does anyone know how to polish HR that lightened in color with playing? Yes I did the search for this btw. I couldn't seem to find a way to bring the ebonite to its original luster. I was thinking shoe polish but that wouldn't taste so good.
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    Default Re: Polishing Hard Rubber (Ebonite)

    I use standard metal polish paste to shine them up but if it has turned brown/green, it will not help that.

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    Default Re: Polishing Hard Rubber (Ebonite)

    Toothpaste buffed with a facecloth does a great job.

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    Default Re: Polishing Hard Rubber (Ebonite)

    Long tones, transcriptions, and patterns in 12 keys add a wonderful shine to any mouthpiece.

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    Default Re: Polishing Hard Rubber (Ebonite)

    +1 for the toothpaste.
    Baking soda on a washcloth will work as well, but won't leave your piece 'minty fresh'.
    If you want to add an extra bit of shine, you can rub it with cooking oil or shortning (NOT LARD) and buff with a soft cloth.
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    Default Re: Polishing Hard Rubber (Ebonite)

    Turtle wax brand polishing compound and scratch remover on a soft cloth.

    Leave the table and facing alone.
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    Default Re: Polishing Hard Rubber (Ebonite)

    For whatever it's worth, like Sigmund451 said, I believe that the wrong polishing material might have the potential to do damage to the mouthpiece's facing.... My friend Adam Niewood is a great mouthpiece craftsman, and I remember when I went over to Adam's house once he polished my metal STM tenor mouthpiece with Flitz metal polish but he made sure to tell me that if you ever do it yourself, make sure that you get a polish without any abrasives in it. I found a tube of Flitz polish the other day and bought it - it does however say "non-abrasive" on it or something like that.

    So, I would guess that whatever polish you use for the rubber piece, like Sigmund451 said, it would make sense to me to not use the polish on the facing (i.e. tip rail, side rails, table, baffle, etc.). Although I am no expert by any means, it does seem like it would be a really good idea to stay away from this area on a rubber piece since the rubber is probably even more easy to damage, or change, than the metal piece's facing.

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    Default Re: Polishing Hard Rubber (Ebonite)

    Soap and lukewarm water is the best thing for mouthpieces. There's no need to polish a HR mouthpiece IMO.
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    Distinguished SOTW Member DavidW's Avatar
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    Default Re: Polishing Hard Rubber (Ebonite)

    If it has turned brown/green, olive oil will help darken it some. It will also give it some shine.

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    Default Re: Polishing Hard Rubber (Ebonite)

    The easiest...least messy...and most effective way...is with a fingernail buffing system. You can go to any drug store and buy a set of three flexible boards. Respectively...they will be marked "Clean", "Condition", and "Polish". They're sort of like emory boards...but larger, wider, soft, flexible, and not nearly as abrasive. The Condition and Polishing boards will bring the outside of a hard rubber mouthpiece back to a high-gloss, shinier-than-new finish with very little effort and with no risk of damage to the mouthpiece.

    Just don't confuse them with the "Fine" or Extra-Fine" boards intended for actually filing nails. The buffing system goes way beyond "extra-fine". There's little to no real abrasiveness at all. They're intended specifically for polishing and buffing...not for filing.

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    Default Re: Polishing Hard Rubber (Ebonite)

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidW View Post
    If it has turned brown/green, olive oil will help darken it some. It will also give it some shine.
    Tastes good, too--and it's 0mg of choleterol.
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

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    Distinguished SOTW Member belliott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Polishing Hard Rubber (Ebonite)

    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post
    Soap and lukewarm water is the best thing for mouthpieces. There's no need to polish a HR mouthpiece IMO.
    Word....

  13. #13

    Default Re: Polishing Hard Rubber (Ebonite)

    Quote Originally Posted by belliott View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post
    Soap and lukewarm water is the best thing for mouthpieces. There's no need to polish a HR mouthpiece IMO.
    Word....
    +1. But...just the other day I came across an old clarinet mouthpiece that came with my R13. The thing looked like it came from the bottom of the ocean. I wanted to see what kind it was, and it turned out to be a Larry Combs LC3. I wanted to sell it but there was no way I could in that condition unless I included a free tetanus shot. So, I scrubbed it with a toothbrush and dish soap (also a no-no), and then polished it up with toothpaste. It ended up looking great. I figured I'd try it before I listed it....and ended up loving the way it played. It's now my main piece! But I'll never polish it again...

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    Default Re: Polishing Hard Rubber (Ebonite)

    Quote Originally Posted by CooolJazzz View Post
    The easiest...least messy...and most effective way...is with a fingernail buffing system. You can go to any drug store and buy a set of three flexible boards. Respectively...they will be marked "Clean", "Condition", and "Polish". They're sort of like emory boards...but larger, wider, soft, flexible, and not nearly as abrasive. The Condition and Polishing boards will bring the outside of a hard rubber mouthpiece back to a high-gloss, shinier-than-new finish with very little effort and with no risk of damage to the mouthpiece.

    Just don't confuse them with the "Fine" or Extra-Fine" boards intended for actually filing nails. The buffing system goes way beyond "extra-fine". There's little to no real abrasiveness at all. They're intended specifically for polishing and buffing...not for filing.
    This is an interesting idea, but you would need to be very, very careful about it...I'm not sure I would use this without any other mouthpiece experience...

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    Default Re: Polishing Hard Rubber (Ebonite)

    Dish soap and a toothbrush won't hurt your mouthpiece.
    Old reed players are like fine wine. They only get better with age. Tom Hagen

    Play the Music, not the instrument.

  16. #16
    Distinguished SOTW Member CooolJazzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Polishing Hard Rubber (Ebonite)

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Max View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CooolJazzz View Post
    The easiest...least messy...and most effective way...is with a fingernail buffing system...
    This is an interesting idea, but you would need to be very, very careful about it...I'm not sure I would use this without any other mouthpiece experience...
    You'd have to have one of these in your hand to realize how safe they are. The polishing pad is absolutely smooth to the touch. It's equivalent to buffing with a chamois pad. You'd have to rub for hours to actually remove any rubber from the mouthpiece. Even then it would be difficult. You'd have to be a little more careful with the pad marked for "cleaning"...but the polishing pads are quite safe. Tooth paste and metal polishing paste are probably more abrasive than these polishing pads.

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