Fixing a cornet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Repair and Modification' started by BrassFriend, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. BrassFriend

    BrassFriend New Friend

    Jan 29, 2010
    Greetings! I have a few questions, if any one can offer help...I would so appreciate it. I have various instrument escapades going, and one is that a few years ago I bought (in complete ignorance at the time) a damaged cornet in a fea market type store. I certainly thought it was easily fixable. GRIN ROFL
    Well, it turns out, no.
    It looked like it had fallen or something had fallen on it. However, the tubing was overall in great shape, it just looked like it needed a little flexing back and resolder a few places. Done. Well, I did not pay much for it. It ended up resting in the storage area for all this time.
    Now that I have learned so much more, I retrieved it, and gave it another glance. Would you believe that a Conn 4 mouthpiece is frozen on it? Grin.
    Anyway, I have been actively trying to unfreeze that and two other frozen areas. And I did get a slide off!!! Thus far anyway.
    I took it in to get an estimate. And to be honest, contrary to what others say online about such a repair, my quote was about five times as much as for what I paid for it. I could easily just buy another one at auction and have a case to boot. But there is something about this cornet that I really like. The valves seem to be RIGHT ON. Just totally centered and working extraoridinarily without oil even. (Currently everything is disassembled as far as I can, right now though.)
    Thereby, I do have someone who is a type of fix it person and is willing to look at it. But if all else fails, I too know that I am capable of certain things as well, and I want to ask any of you. Is there a special tool that can be used to grab round tubing in order to put equal pressure around it? I want to know if such a device exists. I do not know about a tool like this, but if anyone can contribute to this idea, I would greatly appreciate it. As you can see, it is either home remedy or forget it stuff here. I just think it would be cool to try anyway, that is, getting it to function again. I really don't care how it looks so much as getting it to work again--would be great in my opinion. I also can solder this myself. It is not a bad solder fix required if the tubing can be straightened out--which is just a quick fix in my opinion if I can find the right tool to work it carefully. I have a sensitive touch, I believe, to do something like this actually. I just need a little counsel. I do know from watching shows on tv that people actually freeze water inside the tubing first to bend it and all that, which does give me ideas, but actually in this piece of tubing, since I got it disassembled it just needs shorter pieces tweaked.
    Okay, I have rambled officially. Any advice for the do-it-yourselfer at this point? Also, advice to "NOT DO IT" is silly at this point. I am a risk taker.Thanks.
  2. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

    Jan 26, 2009
    Northern California
    You can probably find what you need at Ferree's Tools. They have a printed catalog, but you can also browse through a dizzying array of instrument repair tools and supplies at:

    Ferree's Tools -The most copied tools in the world - Because they work!

    They have a variety of sizes of tubing tools (expanders, etc.) which may be what you're seeking. Or if you were looking for something to help in pulling stuck slides, they have those, too.
  3. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    What you paid for it isn't as important as what it's worth. If it's worth (in good condition) at least what you paid plus the repairs needed, then I'd have it repaired professionally or put it aside until I could afford it. It it's not worth paying for repairs, have at it. Just remember that it's easily possible to destroy more than you can repair - I've seen numerous leadpipes twisted and even broken off by people trying to remove a stuck mouthpiece without using a mouthpiece puller.
  4. BrassFriend

    BrassFriend New Friend

    Jan 29, 2010
    Greetings ChopsGone, Thanks much for the link. I spent some time there looking at the tools. Whew. They really do have the stuff. Thanks. Amazing stuff. Thanks.

    Greetings Dale Proctor, According to this forum and auctions, this trumpet is not worth a whole lot. So I did not mention the name. However, I do not want to destroy it. I want to fix it and make it use-able. Based on all facts, I do not want to invest too much into it, to find that it has no real value anyway. So, it is something I am doing just for me. And when I consider the valves as I mentioned previously, I think this cornet is underrated. I looked at that mouthpiece remover at the tool place (above) and wouldn't you know it, that Conn 4 mouthpiece is actually of a concaved shape where that tool might not work for it. The bout of the mouthpiece is non existent, as it is more V shaped throughout. However, at this point, I've been just soaking the stuff in lubricants and tugging at it every so often to see if something will give. And the slide did give way. yay. :play::thumbsup: Just the mouthpiece and the smallest side slide and the middle bottom valve cap to get off.
  5. guyclark

    guyclark Piano User

    Feb 28, 2008
    Los Gatos, CA
    Hey friend!!

    You might be able to convince the local high-school band director to use the mouthpiece puller that he/she likely has to pull yours. It would help if you asked them nicely ;-), or better yet, had a relationship with the school (student, alum, child attending, etc...)

    Hope that helps!

  6. BrassFriend

    BrassFriend New Friend

    Jan 29, 2010
    Thank you, GuyClark...I will try to investigate that matter.
    That would be great if someone around here had something like that in small town USA.
  7. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Whenever you put pressure on any part of the horn, especially when pulling slides, MAKE SURE THE VALVES ARE INSTALLED.
  8. optiguytom

    optiguytom Pianissimo User

    Aug 29, 2009
    Chattanooga, TN
    Wow! Ivan... I've never heard that, but it sure does makes instant sense! I'm getting ready to unstick some valves and glad I saw this. Not sure if I would have removed or left in, but I do know now. I searched this forum and many other places and came to the conclusion that the best, most penetrating oil was called AeroKroil. I'll give a report maybe after the weekend.
  9. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    I'll second that opinion - that stuff is the best I've tried.
  10. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    There isn't any special tool to grab tubing to put it back in round. To do that, we use burnishers and dent balls to work the metal.
    Often, the quotes for old horns are high because even though the horn might look decent on the outside, as soon as you do one thing to them, the rest of the horn falls apart. There are also not many parts for antique horns, so anything that is beyond repair has to be fabricated (if you take it that far)

    Straightening tubing requires a good touch and an equally good eye. If I have to straighten a bell or leadpipe, I usually just pull it right off the horn to make it easier on myself. Then I can solder the part back on stress free.

    "Whenever you put pressure on any part of the horn, especially when pulling slides, MAKE SURE THE VALVES ARE INSTALLED."

    I learned this lesson the hard way...and that was AFTER I was taught how to do it properly. I was too excited to get my Strad in to working order...

    Another thing about pulling slides is that if you use slide pulling pliers you will likely damage the ferrule that joins the tubing, and there is a chance of the braces or slide tube coming unsoldered. Learning how to remove slides takes a bit of practice so you don't end up twisting the leadpipe, damaging the tubing or torching the lacquer if you use heat and penetrating oil.

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