Gifted a Conn 40B, picking it up after 20 years, how to clean?

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by Tizzdizz, Dec 10, 2016.

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  1. Tizzdizz

    Tizzdizz New Friend

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    Dec 10, 2016
    Hello folks, I found this forum through searching about a horn I was given by a friend yesterday. He saved it from being thrown out after his friend's dad passed away, and I'm so glad that he did. He's not a player, but he knew it wasn't trash. Serial number indicates it's from 1936, and it has 40B stamped under the lead pipe. It has a few minor dents and one broken solder, but no big deal really. The Vocabell is very straight, which is nice.

    So I played trumpet a long time ago, then switched to low brass (tuba/baritone), and am picking it back up as an adult. I love this horn already, and I've learned just a bit about it.

    I gave it a good cleaning with some water and rags last night, oiled the valves and they work fine. Slides all move fine too. Unfortunately the valve springs don't match (middle one is longer/stiffer), but it doesn't matter too much to me yet. I'm hoping you guys can give me some guidance as to how to clean it and possibly remove some of the tarnish, maybe a light polish? I don't know what works with these types of horns.

    Once I cleaned off the grime, I started to see some silver coloring, but as you can see from the photos, it's not really there and I can't tell if it's at all salvageable. You can see where it's worn through to the raw brass in the typical grip spots.

    Anyway, if this were your horn what would be your plan of attack?

    Also, I have no case for it. Any suggestions for at least a gig bag? It came with a Conn 4 mouthpiece in OK shape, and that's it.

    Edit: Meant to include a link to an album with more pictures. http://imgur.com/a/Fe9lQ
     

    Attached Files:

  2. jimc

    jimc Mezzo Piano User

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    If it's silver-plated, I'd use the aluminum foil trick to un-tarnish it. Followed by a conventional polishing with MAAS. The results are like magic.

    Skip the gig bag, that bead-less bell won't appreciate getting knocked at all. You need a hard case.
     
  3. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

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    Be sure to thank your friend, and not just once. That is a very fine instrument. Congratulations on your good fortune
     
  4. Bochawa!!!

    Bochawa!!! Forte User

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    Yes, very nice!
     
  5. Tizzdizz

    Tizzdizz New Friend

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    Dec 10, 2016
    Oh, most definitely. I offered him money several times, he's just happy someone has found a use for it after he rescued it ~10 years ago. I've been sending him updates as I've researched and learned more about it, and progress photos too. He's a happy camper. I may have to bring over a fruitcake or jello mold the next time I stop by!

    Hope to try the aluminum foil trick today. Cheers!
     
  6. Kevin Whiting

    Kevin Whiting Piano User

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    Nice! Congrats on have a very good friend.

    Post pics after your polish step. I'm betting it will be a real looker.

    Kevin
     
  7. Bochawa!!!

    Bochawa!!! Forte User

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    This probably goes without saying it, but I'm going to say it anyway . . . Make sure you take the valves out first! Actually, take the whole horn apart.
     
  8. Tizzdizz

    Tizzdizz New Friend

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    Dec 10, 2016
    The cork valve washers that go underneath the buttons are disintegrating, and I'd like to replace them but I'm not sure what size is going to work. Anyone have one of these horns that can give an idea?
     
  9. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

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    Take it to the tech, who will clean it inside and out better than you can, and replace the springs, corks, and felts. Not worth messing with on your own.

    Tom
     
  10. Tizzdizz

    Tizzdizz New Friend

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    Dec 10, 2016
    So, I can't believe this beautiful silver horn was under all that! I was expecting a little silver plating to be intact, and had assumed most was long gone. But no way, this thing looks so good now. Definitely going to bring it into a shop to have it gone through, possibly have the small dents removed, new springs/corks etc.

    I am so pleased with the results - thanks for the tips guys! Part 1 of pics:

    IMG_3340.jpg IMG_3342.jpg IMG_3343.jpg IMG_3344.jpg IMG_3348.jpg
     

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