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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Gilligan, Apr 9, 2005.
Bingo! We have a winnah! (One moment while we check his card)
I am a machine repairman by trade [yes a card carrying journeyman] and I agree that lapping your valves is best left to a trained pro. but if you insist on doing it yourself just remember the old oil commercial --you can pay me now or you can pay me later. if I had an old beater and the valves needed cleaned up I would go mild dish washing soap and then tooth paste [and I am used to working in the .001's] if it was a good horn I would pay a trained tech. I have never met Robert but he is right - I used to work part time in a music store and "home techs" and marching band made us money. old geezer Dave
Thanks for all the responses guys!! I'm sorry It has taken me so long to get back. I'm looking for this information to lap my main tuning slide to be glass smooth.
I have actually converted an old LA Ambassador cornet (Cheap $30 eBay project horn.) to have a reversed tuning slide with an adjustible finger ring attached to the bottom tube that enables me to operate the main tuning slide with my left thumb. I use a baseball style grip with my left thumb under my first valve slide. This configuration enables me to tune any note (I can even compensate for a flat fourth line "D".) and is far easier and more comfortable than holding the horn with your fingers positioned to operate the first & third valve slides togeather.
Main tuning slide? Old Cornet? Have you tried cleaning it up with Brasso yet? If not, do so. You could be in for a pleasant surprise. The thing with many of the older horns is that the slide doesn't need "lapping" so much as it needs the crud and corrosion taken off. Go easy with the "elbow grease" and defiitely don't clean it beyond where the "marks, spots and stains" disappear. Stop frequently, regrease it, and try to see if you've taken enough off to allow it to move smoothly.
You may find that either of the tubes is somewhat "out of round" also... a repairman is generally required to run a sizing ball through it and get it back to "circular". Pretty inexpensive work.
Ed -- why not forward me your resume? We always can use people like you. Ever consider a career as a band instrument repair tech ?
Also, (just wondering) -- didn't you play the lead role in the old TV series, "Sargeant Preston, RCMP" ?
Funny you mention that, Robert; I tried to convince Leigh to move his shop out here to Alberta so I could work with him after I retire. When I started telling him the bears are OK.. if you ignore them, they'll ignore you... well, he kinda got scared off I think. But the trout fishing did tempt him somewhat. (He fishes for CARP! Can you imagine that? Big ol' suckers! We used to jig for them with ugly treble hooks because they were (and are) considered to be trash fish.)
There's a fine band instrument repair school in your area (how close, I would not know) -- Keyano College in Fort McMurray.
About the carp ... this throws a different light on Leigh. I can't imagine what, in Heaven's name, he would want with a fish like that. Of course, here in the US, we have an affinity for catfish (we actually eat them), and they share some characteristics with carp.
Yeah, I used to travel down to Kentucky to a factory and would have catfish once in a while. Not bad stuff as long as it's cooked right (had one that the cook (certainly wasn't a "chef") overdid... was like chewing on the bottom of an old army boot.)
Yes, "Fort Mac" is located only about 400 miles from here; surprisingly expensive place to live due to the explosive population growth due to the tar sands (oil sands) projects. Still, I wasn't aware that they had an instrument repair program...they are more known for their heavy equipment education up in that neck of the woods. (and I do mean "woods"!)
Here's a link for anyone who might be interested:
Hmm... since I already have a Management degree to go with my Engineering... maybe I could knock a diploma off in 6 to 8 months? Might be worth considering.
Hi, Ed --
Interesting to see you note that "Fort Mac" is only 400 miles away.
My feeling is that no band instrument repair program is offered via a correspondence course ... there is simply too much "hands-on" manipulation of the tools and metals, that the student must grasp. Most students are surprised just how physical this work is, particularly the "lower brass" instruments. I could be wrong, however ....
If you look into the program, let us know your findings.
There are only five (5) band instrument repair schools in all of North America, three (3) of which are in the Upper-MidWest USA.
I've tried the toothpaste and brasso solutions already and while they have greatly enhanced the action it still needs to be a bit smoother and I'm being very careful to only take as little off as possible.