After many years of dedicated service, an instrument can start looking its age. The once bright and shiny surfaces begin to fade and the once shiny silver or polished brass areas where we hold the instrument begins to tarnish. One of your solutions for this situation could be to send it to a repair shop and have the silver redone or have the instrument stripped, polished and covered with a new coat of lacquer ($625). Because of the tight financial conditions of many households as well as the country, I have another solution. Fix it yourself for less than it costs for a cup of coffee.
As you can see from the accompanying photo, my suggestion to your problem is simple and very inexpensive. To repair your instrument, just follow the instructions below.
How to easily cover worn areas on your instrument for pennies-
1. Visit your local hardware store and purchase as many self sticking, brass or silver address plates as you will need. Purchase only the blank ones.
2. Select the areas you will be covering and cut a piece of paper the size and shape you will need to cover the area on your instrument.
3. Place the paper cutout on your metal plate and cut it to shape.
4. Find something which matches the contour of the area to be covered. Usually a wooden dowel or similarly shaped item will do.
5. Secure the plate to the dowel and begin to duplicate the contour of the dowel.
6. Once you have the plate matching the contour of your area to be patched, strip off the adhesive from the plate and secure it to your instrument.
7. If the adhesive fails to securely attach the metal, use either hot glue or 5 minute epoxy, whichever you prefer.
I have used this patching solution on several of my time worn horns and feel that the additional expense to have it done professionally is more than I want to spend, even in good times.