Burst leadpipe on vintage cornet, replacement options?

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by Kayin, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. Kayin

    Kayin Pianissimo User

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    May 30, 2010
    All right, I have an 1870 vintage Moses Slater cornet, super ornate, like presentation horn ornate. It's seen better days, but it appears to be restorable. Except the leadpipe has about a four inch split down the side. I wrapped it in painter's tape (no residue) and the horn blew (I wanted to hear what a 140 year old cornet sounded like.)

    I understand there is no patching that. Not sure I'd care to play it if it was. To get it back to playing shape, should I just buy one of the leadpipes available online and use that as a replacement? Whole pipe, not just the split part, to clarify.

    Before anyone says it, yes, this will see a professional for a good diagnostic. This is quite a history piece, it needs to be checked out thoroughly.
     
  2. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

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    If you mean by "the lead pipe" what is actually called a 'bit', it can be readilly replaced with any similar 'bit'. By 'bit', I mean the removable section of the leaderpipe into which the mouthpiece is installed. I doubt that what you have was built with a contiguous piece that is soldered to the instrument. Any decent tech can make one from the leaderpipe removed from a 'sacrificial' cornet.


    OLDLOU>>
     
  3. Kayin

    Kayin Pianissimo User

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    May 30, 2010
    No, the bit is missing. The pipe the bit fits into split down its seam all the way down to the main tuning slide.

    This horn is quickly turning into a basket case. Really going to just have to wait on the say of a technician.
     
  4. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

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    Because of the many various wrap designs of cornets it is hard to visualize the configuration of that pipe. Some pics please?


    OLDLOU>>
     
  5. Silversorcerer

    Silversorcerer Forte User

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    Atlanta
    I've been checking these threads about your Slater because I just purchased one that must be very similar, and also has some similar problems. The piece that is split on mine is what is generally referred to as the receiver, and it is split right where the brace that connects to the 1st valve solders on, and the brace flange piece is loose from the receiver. It doesn't look to me like something impossible to fix. I work on guitars, which is quite different, but when someone brings me a guitar that is broken, the usual question is "Can this be fixed.." My answer is that anything can be fixed;- the question is how bad do you want it fixed, not whether it can be fixed.

    I can play my Slater the way it is but the air leak degrades the tone. Even so in the high register it has amazing clarity, suggesting that it is worth fixing. Next week I'm getting some estimates. I'll find out how bad I want it fixed. If you think about that when it started it was just a bunch of brass tubing, then certainly it can be fixed. If yours is like mine, then the original parts need to be salvaged because they are all engraved extensively.
     
  6. Silversorcerer

    Silversorcerer Forte User

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    I found out a little more about Slater and the time period of my horn, which has the address 42 Cortlandt St. New York on the bell. Apparently this was his address after Distin had worked for him, so he was probably making Distin designs at that time and earlier. If our Slater horns are of the Distin pedigree, then these are probably very respectable horns for that period. Apparently he also won some awards in 1881 and did enter some showy horns in some contests. This information was from a Google reference book on New York musical instrument makers, but I can't copy the text. I did grab a screen shot. It is about the most I could find about Slater.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Ej...=0CCoQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=Moses Slater&f=false
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010
  7. sd4f

    sd4f New Friend

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    Dec 30, 2009
    Some photos would help.

    I'm thinking about an idea how i would do it, but i doubt anyone would recommend what i'm saying.
     
  8. Silversorcerer

    Silversorcerer Forte User

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    Say it. If there's a good reason not to do it we won't and if it sounds like a good idea, we might try it. There's no penalty for suggesting something. :dontknow:

    I have also discovered that my shank has a similar split right where it fits into the receiver. This suggests that both were damaged in the same incident, probably one where the horn was dropped with the shank in place and it received a hard impact from the right side. The impact twisted the receiver and the thin part of the shank inside it against the brace and split both of them. Working on broken musical instruments is like forensics...

    I have a gig this morning but I'll post some photos later today. The engraving on these two Slaters borders on excessive and with the patina of the tarnish, this one looks pretty cool even in relic condition.:-)
     
  9. sd4f

    sd4f New Friend

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    Dec 30, 2009
    First, I'd make a jig to clamp it together to close the tear. Then just join it together.

    Depending on where you want to go, is where the joining method can vary.

    If you intend to replate, then it won't really matter, you would want to use brass filler material to keep it fairly homogenous in material. Clean up the excess material, and replate.

    If you don't want to replate, then a white filler material would be more desireable, so stuff like silver solder. Only problems is i'd have to check what temps they melt at, because it's no use trying to solder with a filler that melts at higher temperature than what you are soldering.

    Once it's joined, just with a file clean it up back to how it should look. If the white material looks to shiny, you can probably find some chemicals to help accelarete the ageing process, it's not very hard to find out what.

    Like i'm not going to say my method is be all and end all, i'm just saying how i'd attempt it. I would probably practice on other stuff first and experiment to make sure the result i'm after is what i'm going to get.
     

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