Frequently Asked Questions

What is a ready-to-plate instrument?

To make an instrument ready to plate to send to us, remove pistons and slides, the instrument should be disassembled, old finish stripped (plating and lacquer), dents removed, well buffed (Plating reflects quality of polish and buffing. Any nicks or scratches left after buffing will be highlighted by the plating.) and degreased inside and out. Then without touching the instrument with your hands, wrap it in tissue or flannel and pack. (See section on how to pack for shipping.)

How long will my instrument take to process for plating?

Normal turnaround for a ready-to-plate instrument is 1-2 weeks. If repair work is required, 1-3 months additional time will be needed, depending on work requested. Piston refits take 4-6 weeks, depending on work requested.

How pure is your Silver Plate and Gold Plating?

We plate with 99.995% Silver Anodes using a plating process that has been used and developed over the past 60+ years. The Gold is a 24K Gold Plating solution that again has been used and developed over the past 60+ years.

Do you have a minimum charge?

We repeatedly receive requests for RUSH Jobs, which cause problems for obvious reasons. If we feel we can accommodate a rush request without mistreating our other customers, a minimum of $50.00 per item will be added to the charges. Minimum charge on non-rush items is $25.00.

REMEMBER: Poor planning on your part does not automatically constitute an emergency on our part.

Will the plating affect the sound of my instrument?

This has been an age-old question. There is not a “yes” or “no” answer. It is and has been conjecture on the part of the player.

How do I take care of my plated instrument?

Each time you finish playing your instrument, it should be wiped down with a soft flannel cloth. If you have tarnish and find it hard to remove, use a good silver polish (i.e., Tarnish Shield, Haggerty).


What guarantee do I get with my plating job?

We will guarantee a plating job up to 1 year under normal use of an instrument. After a year, we will look at a job by years versus time in the field, how the instrument was taken care of, and if we plated on fresh base metal. While we can successfully replate over old silver plating most of the time, we will not guarantee the bond of our plating unless we start on the base metal. Old nickel plating should always be stripped. We cannot plate over chrome (rhodium which cannot be stripped), aluminum or zinc. When chrome-plated trim and accessories come to us, they must be stripped and buffed prior to plate. If the chrome plating is in good condition, we will usually not replate it to save the expense.

How do I consider a bright finish versus a matte or beadblasted finish?

When considering the finish on your instrument (bright versus blasted), keep in mind that staining and general maintenance present more problems on a blasted finish than a bright one.

We strongly recommend bright finishes.

Can I mask off engraving and parts I do not want plated?

Since it requires special tape to “mask off” a part of an instrument, we prefer that you indicate to us which places you do not want plated, and we will mask it off with our plating tape. Also, when packing, do not put tape on any place that you want plated or stripped.

How do I pay for the work you do?

Visa or MasterCard.