Getting into trumpet restoration

Discussion in 'Trumpet Repair and Modification' started by TRMPT250, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. TRMPT250

    TRMPT250 New Friend

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    Jun 26, 2015
    So I'll start off by saying I am new to this forum. I used to play a little professionally, but I had to give it up for school. However, now that I have some free time, I am trying to get back into trumpet.
    I purchased a used, beat up horn on eBay, and decided to try to restore it myself. I got through the basics, cleaning the horn out, getting all the slides out and greased, but now I want to know if there's anything else I can do on my own to get the thing in really good condition.

    Here's my "restoration wish list".
    - There is a very small hole in the lead pipe. My current method of fixing that was with a little plumber's tape. Obviously, this is not a real solution, but is there anything I can do without a shop?
    - The lacquer and finish on the horn are faded. I was thinking about refinishing it, is this a good idea? Maybe removing the lacquer, polishing the brass, and relacquering or putting a matte finish on or something.
    - The horn is a little beat up, and has some minor dents in it. Fixable, or should I just go to a repair shop for that?

    If anyone has any input at all, that would help me out so much. I'm fully aware the best way to go about this is to go to a repair shop and have them fix it up, but I'd really like to learn how to do at least some of this myself.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

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    I have found that you can rub some dents out of the bell and do a decent job straightening the bell rim with just blocks of wood. Stripping it is very easy, I've used Citristrip a few times with good results. And I did use an SOS pad to give a bell a brushed finish but haven't yet tried to laquer but thought about polyurethane. Braces and stuff I've had success with small amounts of JB Weld. I'll try almost anything but I won't mess with the valves, although on a Mendini I did sand the crap out of the first valve to keep it from sticking. Lots will tell you to take it to a pro but if your not to worried about ugly I think it's fine to try. Have fun and good luck with your return and your new project!
     
  3. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

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    By the way what kind of horn is it? Lots of extra parts out there for some horns
     
  4. TRMPT250

    TRMPT250 New Friend

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    Jun 26, 2015
    It's a King Cleveland 602 cornet. Thanks for the advice, I don't really mind if it's not the most beautiful horn , this is purely because I want to learn how to do some basic repairs. I have a Stradivarius for when I need to play a pretty instrument.
     
  5. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

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    Tons of those out there and plenty of new parts if needed corks and felts and such. Careful with new corks and felts on the valves, but if you can read a metric rule you'll do alright getting things to line up just file and trim small amounts at a time
     
  6. breakup

    breakup Mezzo Piano User

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    For the hole in the lead pipe a DIY would be a bit of solder, but if you use a lead based solder you will not be able to plate over it, lacquer or some other clear finish will be OK. If you are going to solder you must know how to do it first, if you don't know how or aren't very good at it, take it to a shop.

    As others have said, if the dents do not effect the playing, I would let them go, unless you just want to learn how to remove dents. Then a dent should be pushed out from the inside.

    A lacquer or other finish should be sprayed on but you will need to take everything apart and mask it so the spray doesn't get inside. I wouldn't want to have to clean dried lacquer out of the inside of a slide tube or a valve body. If you try to spray the horn with everything in place the lacquer or other material could get in the joints and "glue" everything in place, and that sounds like a lot of fun to fix.
     
  7. ALWilts

    ALWilts New Friend

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    PTFE on a trumpet, that's a new one to me! Great idea.. They must call it 'Plumbers Tape For Everything' for a reason!! :D
     
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    ALWilts, I'd go with a new leadpipe, cheap replacements can be found, and most are cloned from the Bach 25 leadpipe. Too easy for the solder to enter the leadpipe itself, which would also ruin it. As for the finish, your best bet would be to remove the lacquer and then keep the raw brass polished (or not).
     
  9. ALWilts

    ALWilts New Friend

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    Thanks for the tip Vulgano, though it wasn't my suggestion :-) but it's something I probably would have done!
     
  10. TRMPT250

    TRMPT250 New Friend

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    Jun 26, 2015
    Thanks so much! This is a lot more help than I expected, and it's wonderful.

    Dennis78 - I do need the corks replaced, but I was just going to order new, self adhesive ones online and install them. The felt on the valves is actually in good condition.

    Breakup - I want to try dent removal if it isn't too difficult, how should I go about getting inside the horn to push them out?

    Vulgano Brother - I've heard mixed reviews about a raw brass horn, that maintaining them can be very difficult and sometimes not worth the trouble. Do you think it's the way to go? I always get silver plated horns, so I've got no experience in this department. Also, is installing a new lead pipe something I can do, or should I have it installed professionally? I have access to soldering equipment (I work in a physics lab), so I could teach myself how to use that before I try on the cornet.

    ALWilts - the plumber's tape solution is actually working really well, I'm a little proud of that. Mostly disapointed that I have to play a horn held together by tape, but proud as well.
     

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