I'm learning how to fix a beat up trumpet.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Repair and Modification' started by RAK, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    You would also want to anneal small areas you want to deform with the dent balls and burnish the areas you don't want to bend.

    Experienced brass technicians are able to get the bell back to its proper geometric shape, but as Brek said, its a bunch of little steps that are time consuming.

    Greg
     
  2. RAK

    RAK Piano User

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    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  3. RAK

    RAK Piano User

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    Kettle Falls, Washington
    I got Flux and Tin. since the pipe is bent do I bend it back to place with my hand first?(It might snap)Or do I fix the dents first? The bell is damaged a little too. If I get a bell mandrel do I just hammer the bell out? Would I need to use some kind of rollers like they use in videos?

    Thanks for the replies.
    I now see that it would be stupid to take the bell off completely. Way more work than needed. I was thinking of becoming friends with a guy who owns a small music store. Maybe he will teach me how to fix these type of things.

    Is there a place where I can buy music repair tools other than Feree's. His store is a bit too expenisve for me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  4. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    RAK,

    You're a braver man than me Gunga-Din - the nature of metal is that it stretches as it is distorted, so even if you could reverse the sequence of bending by just "straightening in reverse" to the damage sequence, then you will find that the metal is distorted in itself. Another of the properties of metal, particularly soft thin metal, is that when distorted as badly as this piece has been, it will 'remember' the bends and creases and be very likely to have a weak point at those points of distortion (and it will never be exactly right), the metal may even crack and break where the metal is creased. The metal will need to be annealed (softened), repaired, it will harden a bit as it is worked, and then refinished to the lustre of the rest of the trumpet.

    Mate, this is a job for the experienced hand IMHO, if it is your first attempt, my thoughts are that you will create junk from a recoverable (albeit damaged) horn. See if you can find someone to supervise you through the repair if you must - but having worked soft metals all my working life - I don't like your chances of success.

    Sorry to be a wet blanket, but the instrument is probably repairable now, I'm not sure how recoverable it will be if you get it wrong - it will certainly cost more if you stuff it up. If the trumpet is a junker already then have a go, and enjoy the experience, but enjoy it slowly and a tiny bit at a time. I guess you could always put a new bell on it. :-)
     
  5. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

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    In my repair shop I have a different sign:

    There are 3 types of repair:
    Good
    Quick
    Cheap

    You can have any 2:
    If it's good and quick it ain't cheap.
    If it's quick and cheap it ain't good.
    If It's good and cheap it ain't quick.
     
  6. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

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    No, there isn't any place cheaper. The two big repair suppliers are Ferree's (who will sell to anybody) and Allied (who will only sell to business which are legitimate instrument repair businesses -- you need to submit a request to open an account on business letterhead and supply other proofs that you're a legitimate repair business).

    And Ferree's (and Allied's) tools may not be cheap, but they are good. Very good. That's why they sell them. And if you're fixing instruments, you want good tools because bad tools will damage the instrument, often beyond repair.

    What you're trying to do, especially on a student horn which isn't important to anybody at the moment, is a fine thing but there are several things you need to know:
    1) instrument repair really isn't a self-teaching field -- you need to learn from someone who has mastered the craft so that you can actually end up with a repaired instrument that still works;
    2) instrument repair involves working with materials which are very fragile -- they may not seem it in a well-built instrument but brass of the gauge used in instrument tubing is very thin and very easily distorted beyond repair if you're not careful.

    If you are careful you can probably do a decent job, but there's a reason there are repair schools -- you need to learn from someone who has mastered the craft and is willing to pass on their secrets to you.
     
  7. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    The only way I would do this repair is with the bell off of the horn.

    Ferree's is the cheapest place to get tools (as well as one of the only ones that will sell to anyone, like Dhbailey said.)
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    If you are goofing around, you can go to the hardware store and get little hardwood wooden balls and ram them through, It may not be pretty, but the dent is less pronounced and you learned something. I use hardwood spoons and dowels to do quick repairs when I am on tour. There are times when the "right" people simply are not accessible. (I learned this on a tour to La Paz - my horn got smashed in transit - no stores or technicians, plenty of hardwood...........)
     
  9. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    If its just a hobby you can machine tools to help you do the job.
    Just be ready to spend lots and lots of time making your tools and learning how to use them effectively. That's basically what I did after I was shown a few basic skills from a real brass tech.

    For dents that I can't get properly shaped (because I don't have those expensive tools either) I take the parts to a local repair shop.

    Greg
     

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