Building Trumpets

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by JLSmith526, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. JLSmith526

    JLSmith526 Pianissimo User

    Feb 16, 2010
    For some time now I have been a gear head about trumpets, and the process to build them and mouthpieces.

    This is something I would like to learn even more about, and hopefully learn how to actually build trumpets.

    Only problem is that I don't know where to start. Locally there are no companies that hand build horns, and I don't have connections to any builders.

    Does anyone have any suggestions either on someone to contact, or a direction to go to try and start the learning process.

    I really appreciate the help!
  2. a marching trumpet

    a marching trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Work at Bach's factory?????
  3. a marching trumpet

    a marching trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Murfreesboro, TN
    All in all I guess its like how my dad and I have had to work with metal before, you need the right tools and knowlege of what you want to create and how to use your tools. I would say get the measurements for a standard Bb trumpet like a Bach model 37. Yeah I guess you'll need a lath other stuff, dont really know. Um if you get the metal measurements and learn how to work the tools then you'l' be fine to try, just get some metal working skills. Um to save money try making a few frankin Horns learn how to weld and all that. But then again im 17 so dont take everything I say as legit stuff, just what I "think I know" and how I would go about it at my age. Oh! and the metal mix is important I know that

    Perhaps Mouthpieces are a better area to start? Alot smaller and all you need is a Lath for that sooo yeah.....
  4. Harald

    Harald New Friend

    Sep 11, 2008
    Iowa City, IA

    You may want to check out this URL:

    They offer a one-week workshop where you learn to build a natural trumpet. May be a good starting point.



  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Try this link. 2nd Front Page The Erick Brand Repair Munual is a good place to start, and if you click on "home" you will find all kinds of fun stuff.
  6. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Another good place to start would be to find a local repair shop which handles brass instruments and ask if you could learn how to repair brass instruments first. That will give you a great basis for learning how to work with the metal, learn how to soft solder, how to silver-solder (braze), how to smooth out dents/ripples, etc., and learn what's involved in assembling instruments.

    From there you would need to move to where there is a trumpet maker willing to take you on as an apprentice to learn how to start with the bare sheet brass and turn it into a trumpet.
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    pick up a cheapo on ebay, get a torch, thick leather gloves, solder, rosin and go for it.

    To get good results, you need someone to guide you. The course on natural trumpet building is also my recommendation. There you learn basic brass skills.

    Keep in mind, building a horn is reserved for the few that have the tools, creativity and time. Assembling horns from used/new parts is easier. Results come from experience. That is time and repetition.

    I am very "critical" of frankenhorns. I do not believe that a player generally has the knowledge to make intelligent decisions on bore, leadpipe and bell without playing them (for an extended time in several different rooms) first. I think a long option list serves to feed egos, not ears. There is nothing wrong with pimping a horn. We just need to realize that the performance is "heard" at the speed of light, not the speed of sound..............................

    Good luck!
  8. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    Where is "locally?" There was a video made by Nebraska Public TV a number of years ago called "Sounding Brass." It features the Bach factory, Monette, when Wynton first hooked up with him, Cliff Blackburn, hornbuilder Steve Lewis and so on. It is very informative and will give you a good overview.

    Your best bet would be to learn the repair trade or do an internship/apprenticeship at a real factory. At least, take a vacation and visit them: Getzen, Schilke, Blackburn, Fred Powell, Larson, Calicchio, Kanstul...
  9. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    I build trumpets.

    After I had been playing trumpet for a long time, and also had some pretty good repair and machining skills, I visited factories in the US and Japan and hand builders in Germany. Each of the hand builders has a particular strength, e.g. lead pipe, so would buy in the rest of the components and do their own assembly. For instance, Schagerl (Austria) have their bells made by Worischek (Germany), and a lot of the makers in Europe use Bauerfeind valve clusters and bells by Berndt Sandner.

    The overall design concept and subsequent assembly is the most important part of the deal. It doesn't matter whether you are using common components, it's how you put them together and how and where you brace them. Every single thing (pinky hook, finger ring etc) on the trumpet affects how it plays.

    Good luck in your quest.
  10. JLSmith526

    JLSmith526 Pianissimo User

    Feb 16, 2010
    Locally is Eastern Iowa.

    Is that video available on youtube or anywhere online? I'd be interested in watching it.

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