Home Valve-Plating / Honing?

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by Spincircles, Feb 10, 2010.

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  1. Spincircles

    Spincircles New Friend

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    Feb 24, 2007
    Hello, all.

    Been lurking on forum, this might be my first post.
    Comeback player after realizing my miserable range just a mouthpiece problem from grade 5 to Freshman at Illinois State Univ.

    I suspect I'm becoming a small bore trumpet junkie.

    I have a lot ( a LOT) of old cornets/trumpets with worn vavles. Most not tremondously collectable / valuable.

    Anybody done home-based copper valve plating. Honing? Casing burnishing? I suspect nickel plating at home is a bridge too far, but I'm considering copper plating at home.

    I own a couple of soutbend 9" machine lathes that might be used for honing.

    Am willing to do some homework and report back, but would appreciate a nudge in the right direction to get started.

    Thanks.
    Pat "Spincircles"
    Troy, Mi
     
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to TM, Spincircle!

    Go to: 2nd Front Page

    Scroll down to and order the Erick Brand Repair Manual. All you need to know, and fun stuff as a bonus.

    Have fun!
     
  3. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    I've never heard of a copper plated trumpet piston.

    Wouldn't it stick to the brass casing?
     
  4. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

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    Negative. H.N. White, Holton and perhaps many others standardised on copper or bronze plated pistons for many years with great success. I currently have several vintage King and Holton trumpets, cornets and a euphonium with cupric plated pistons that are fantastic.


    When I worked for old A.J. 'Bill' Johnson, the former owner of The York Band Instrument Co. in his retail shop, we rebuilt valves with bronze plating on a regular basis.


    OLDLOU>>
     
  5. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

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    Copper works reasonably well on valve pistons - I have several really old horns with what appear to be copper-plated pistons (could be a red bronze; after a century or so, the appearance differences seem to fade). I wouldn't consider copper other than for restoration purposes, though, since nickel is a much better-performing choice. Boosey used to do their pistons in what they called Solbron (reportedly meant a combination of solder and bronze), then later Silbron (silver and bronze). They can look pretty much like copper after some wear.

    Sorry, OLDLOU, we were apparently responding at the same time.
     
  6. Spincircles

    Spincircles New Friend

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    Feb 24, 2007
    This is starting to sound sounds plausible.

    Anybody have a reference to documetation on copper or bronze plating of trumpet valves. I suspect it was an electronic plating process using a donor material and the valve as the annode to which teh material would adhere. All taking place in a bath of some sort of brew through which the material have to jump over from the donor material to the valve.

    Note: I'm pretty cautious. understand industrial hygiene ventilation and NIOSH air quality standards, have an organic respirator, a powered respirator, and will NOT be a lung damage victim in this process.

    Thanks,

    Pat "Spincircles"
    Troy, Mi
     
  7. Indian

    Indian Piano User

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    Here is a company that does plate copper on to brass: http://bbplating.thomasnet.com/item/all-categories/copper-plating/item-1009?&forward=1 . Perhaps a call to their Technical Department would help.

    In response to the H. N. White copper plated valves I have a 1930s period horn with copper plated valves. I got this particular horn when I first started my collection. It was an eBay horn and when I recieved it and saw the valves I just knew I would need a valve plating job. I did not realize that the valves had copper plate instead of chrome plating. I was dead wrong. I cleaned up the horn and test played it and found that it had excellent valve compression and the valves had very little wear. The copper plating had held up extremely well for over 65 years. The copper plating had held up as well as the chrome plating on other similarly aged horns.
     
  8. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

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    It is fairly common to use copper for heavy build up and do a nickel flash over the copper. Plating involves all kinds of BAD chemicals, I would consider dimensional plating from Anderson. It isn't very expensive and you can let them worry about the EPA.

    You could do external honing (pistons) on a lathe or variable speed bench motor. You do need a flow of lubricant and it is better if the lube recirculates through a filter assembly. Just order the external hone assembly from Sunnen.

    I don't think you can do internal work to true the cylinders without a proper honing machine. With the economy in the doldrums, you could probably find a good machine for very little.
     
  9. Spincircles

    Spincircles New Friend

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    Feb 24, 2007
    I live in Metro Detroit, home of hundereds of idled or bankrupt job-shops that used to support the Big three ato companies. If I want a piece of commercial equipment I can find it used for peanuts.
     
  10. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

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    For several pictorial tutorials on copper plating and extensive valve rebuilding go to Horn-U-Copia.net where you must register and scroll down to 'workshop techniques' where you will find all of the info you can possibly absorb for home copper plating of piston valves. Enjoy!!!


    OLDLOU>>
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010

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