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Crane Bell - clear coating ?

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Crane Bell - clear coating ?

Old 08-08-22, 03:01 AM
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Aardwolf
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Crane Bell - clear coating ?

Hiya Folks,
I've been using a Crane bell for a while and it's great, but I have it mounted on the stem and it's the natural point to hold the bike
when I'm walking on a pavement etc. Predictably this tarnishes the brass bell dome quite quickly.

So I'm thinking how about a clear coat on the dome ? I've got some DecoArt DuraClear gloss varnish (polyurethane) that I've used
on most things. But I haven't tried clear coating brass before.

Anybody have a suggestion for what to use, or think this is a bad idea ?


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Old 08-08-22, 05:09 AM
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The bells get polished 2x/yr.
If the bell is not completely coated, then the interface or edge my allow for tarnish or corrosion to occur, especially under the washer of the nut.

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Old 08-08-22, 07:08 AM
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I ainít no musical wizard but I think if you coat the bell it will lose much of its glorious ring and sound a bit lifeless. Metal polish and wax.
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Old 08-08-22, 07:20 AM
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Yep, I am concerned about changing the glorious tone.
I'll try some Pledge then

Apparently polyurethane laquer is well known for sealing brass, but paint stripper will remove it.
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Old 08-08-22, 07:36 AM
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There are a few musicians lurking here so maybe they have some input. Do trumpets, saxes, etc have a coating?
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Old 08-08-22, 07:48 AM
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My Crane bell is fine without clear coat
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Old 08-08-22, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by RustyJames View Post
There are a few musicians lurking here so maybe they have some input. Do trumpets, saxes, etc have a coating?
Nicely done, a quick search gives the following info on laquering Saxophones
https://sax.co.uk/blogs/news/does-it...part-2-lacquer

The part that I like is
When put to a blind test, it was really difficult to tell the difference between lacquered and unlacquered saxophones
So it looks like laquering a Crane Bell isn't going to affect the sound to a noticeable degree.
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Old 08-08-22, 09:02 AM
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I believe they have a lacquer of some kind from the factory. Eventually that will wear down. I didnít like the uneven spotty appearance that resulted, so I just went the opposite direction of the OP and stripped the lacquer. Now the brass naturally tarnishes evenly. I am fine with that; in fact I prefer it to the shiny look. Just another option.
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Old 08-08-22, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Aardwolf View Post
Nicely done, a quick search gives the following info on laquering Saxophones
https://sax.co.uk/blogs/news/does-it...part-2-lacquer

The part that I like is
When put to a blind test, it was really difficult to tell the difference between lacquered and unlacquered saxophones
So it looks like laquering a Crane Bell isn't going to affect the sound to a noticeable degree.
Brass wind instruments don't ring. A closer analogy, anyway, would be to research coated / uncoated cymbals.

(Waiting to see how many posts until someone comes up with a clever "more cowbell" reference.....)
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Old 08-08-22, 01:15 PM
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More research, this time on cymbals:

From https://www.finishing.com/214/83p2.shtml
Applying lacquer. Do this if you want the cymbal to look as close to showroom new as it can get. Once you have the cymbal thoroughly cleaned you can apply a very light coat of lacquer then slow buff it after it has dried.. We have experimented with a number of lacquers and found a fast drying, hard finish lacquer that can be slow buffed and does not affect the brilliance of sound of the cymbal.
And that's from George Lawrence, drummer for Poco

So it looks like lacquering a bell shouldn't affect the sound too much.
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Old 08-08-22, 01:25 PM
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I have a copper crane bell that's going on my next bike build (saddle also has copper rails/rivets. I'm hoping that it will tarnish green with time. Probably some sort of coating (or low copper content) will prevent that from happening though.
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Old 08-08-22, 01:34 PM
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From Merriam-Webster
verdigris

noun
a green or greenish-blue poisonous pigment resulting from the action of acetic acid on copper and consisting of one or more basic copper acetates

So you should be able to create it youself, and sure enough there's instructions on the web:
https://www.frugalfamilytimes.com/20...-green-patina/

Obvously try it on something else first
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Old 08-08-22, 02:12 PM
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Thanks. I've read about using diluted white vinegar to green up copper bells, but am not sure if there is a coating on top. Your tarnishing experience says not (all my other Crane bells are annodized black).
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Old 08-14-22, 07:39 AM
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I seem to have found a solution, and I can't hear any difference in the bell tone.

I tried polyurethane varnish but it didn't want to stick to the brass.

Then I got some of this: Rustins Metal Lacquer
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/..._title_o00_s00

Two coats of that and a ride later:



You can see the hand muck on the surface, but it just wipes off - no need to polish it
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Old 08-14-22, 10:52 AM
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I wanted a more patina'd bell for an equally scruffy looking bike, so I took the last one I bought apart and put the dome in one of the cat's litter boxes for a few days. After cleaning it, it looked "right" for the bike.
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Old 08-14-22, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Aardwolf View Post
Then I got some of this: Rustins Metal Lacquer
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/..._title_o00_s00
Awesome. My daughter's bike has a Crane bell that doesn't stay shiny for long, good to know there's a solution!

Wondering how it goes on chrome?
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Old 08-15-22, 12:09 AM
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According to the product info it should work on chrome:
  • Has excellent adhesion on chrome, brass, copper and silver.
On the bottle is says "not suitable for mild and stainless steel"

Last edited by Aardwolf; 08-15-22 at 12:10 AM. Reason: typo
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