DIY Bell Bending

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Dutchie, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. Dutchie

    Dutchie New Friend

    Apr 11, 2010
    P.E.I., Canada
    I should have mentioned that I purchase this cornet for $50 as an "experimental" horn. My intention of course is not to destroy it, however in terms of slotting, bracing and all that fun stuff I'm not overly concerned. I'm simply interested in trying my hand a horn modification.

    Chet Fan: Good point. I'll likely pick up a small duffle bag and stuff it with soft material

    Again, this is not meant to be a primary horn. Simply something to pull out for a song or two as an eye catcher at a gig.

    Thanks for all the help!

  2. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    That's easy, take it to a machine shop. Those guys work with metal on a daily basis and this task is chump work for them. They're your best bet and they'll probably do it for free if you play them a song afterwards. Just let them know how much of a bend you want.
    If you want to do it yourself:
    attach a broom handle to a vise that's firmly secured to a table and insert the broom handle in the bell. Bend slowly to the angle you want. Be careful to not to mis shape the roundness of the bell.
    good luck
  3. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    This isn't machine shop work and if you follow the above it WILL kink. The section of the bell needs to be annealed (heated cherry red and allowed to cool). Then it needs to be filled. Pitch is your best bet, melted and poured (Schilke used this method) into the bell, then bent over a form that has the disired radius. Then you melt the pitch and let it run out. If you heat evenly it will come out in a plug with just a bit of liquid.

    PS Do it outside, it really stinks!
  4. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    1) Remove bell from horn

    2) Anneal only (heat to red hot and cool) the area of the bell where the bending is going to happen

    3) Plug bell and fill with pitch and allow to cool to room temp

    4) Slowly bend bell - you may want to "re-anneal" to prevent kinks

    Ditto what Ed said - trying to change (or create) the radius of an instrument's tubing requires a lot
    of skill, patience and if you don't fill it with a proper material it will kink and the part will likely be scrapped.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010

    MTROSTER Piano User

    Jan 25, 2007
    Why not get a pro to do it?:dontknow:
  6. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Well then, paint it white an chartreuse and get out the black light! ROFL

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