Friday, May 23, 2014

Dented Headjoint and Lip Plate

Burnishing out a dent in a solid sterling silver headjoint

We recently had an inquiry from a customer with a headjoint that was dented in two places -- the tubing and the lip plate.  The customer told us that he had dropped the headjoint, denting it in these two areas.  He wanted to know if it could be repaired, so we decided to find out...

Speaking with Powell's Repair Technician, Rachel Baker, we discovered both good and not-so-good news.  She told us that the lip plate could not be repaired because it's not possible to get under the lip plate and because of the lip plate's curved shape.  Also, the lip plate and riser are brazed to the headjoint, so it would also be impossible to the remove the lip plate.  As for the dent in the headjoint tubing, well, that could be repaired -- but if the headjoint is plated, the repair would never look "perfect."  In a previous post on removing dents, we were able to see the process more closely (you can read the previous post by clicking this link).  If the headjoint is made from solid precious metals and is not plated, the repair could be done with no visible evidence of the dent afterwards.  However, if the headjoint is plated, part of the final steps would result in some of the plating being removed, which would leave you with something that is not "perfect" or even aesthetically close.  The photos below show a plated headjoint that was sent to our shop for further repair, because an outside repair shop had removed dents and then polished the headjoint. -- leaving many "splotches" where the plating was removed.  Since the plating had worn away in the process, the customer decided to send the headjoint to our shop for further dent removal.   We would remove the additional dents and then send the headjoint on for a complete replating as per the customer's request.

Silver plated solid sterling silver headjoint with worn plating after dent removal.

We realize that dents and dings can certainly happen, but unfortunately, it becomes difficult to return a headjoint to its original "look" if it is plated.  As for the lip plate, although Rachel told us that it could not be repaired, she said that as long as the dent is not affecting the way the headjoint plays, it really should not be a problem.

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