Soldering Back Together... dun. dun. dun...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Maui_Jimmy, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. Maui_Jimmy

    Maui_Jimmy Piano User

    Jun 28, 2011
    Deer Park, TX
    So it was easy breazy firing up the ole torch and pulling the 35' King Liberty all apart. Now it's time to put her back together.

    Question is: Can I use the Silver Bearing Solder I have left over from Radio Shack projects, or do I need to get some 60/40 Solder? If I shouldn't use the Silver Bearing Solder, why not?

    Any other tips or tricks appreciated, except for the ones telling me to send it to a pro. Ima gona do it my self.

  2. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    No problem if it is the low melting point lead replacement, I have used it on a Frankenhorn project, the only thing I found it is a little harder, as with any soldering make sure the joining surfaces are clean and well fluxed.

    Regards, Stuart.
  3. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

    Mar 9, 2011
    Florida, US
    Have fun with it, use whatever you want. If this kind doesnt work, try that kind and so on. Fun project!
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I have found that solder designed for electronics projects does not do a good job. You really need to flux the parts to get a strong bond and good flow. The wimpy flux in electronic solder seems only to work on clean copper pads and the legs of electronic parts.

    Maybe with some decent (external) flux, the solder doesn't matter.
  5. the newbie

    the newbie Pianissimo User

    Jan 27, 2011
    San Francisco
    you just inspired gonna ask my plumber to solder together a trumpet for me, he has lots of copper pipe lying around.
  6. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    Use stained glass flux over electronic flux.

    If the horn is silver plated, you want to use low temp silver solder. The lead in solder stains silver plating and it tends to 'creep' away from the joint and look ugly. If it isn't plated, 60/40 is fine, just get a fan running to avoid too much fumes. Flux is acid and can errode the nasal tissue, and lead fumes aren't great either.
    Make sure to buff and clean the areas to be soldered. Solder won't flow on dirty surfaces and will just pool around the area. Remember, solder works by Capillary action - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and will flow TOWARDS the heat source. Use heat to control where you want the solder to flow.

    Alignment of a horn is key when re-assembling a horn, as is the fit of all the braces and joints. You don't want to use pressure to clamp anything down, or squeeze any parts to make them fit. This causes stress and messes up the way the horn plays.
    I don't know how much you took off the horn, so I will assume you just pulled off the leadpipe and bell and didn't pull apart the tuning slide.
    Make sure the tuning slide is parallel by checking with calipers from where the ferrule connects the upper and lower tubes to the crook, as well as at the ends of the upper and lower slides. Also make sure it is parallel by checking looking from the top or bottom of the slide.
    Once that is done insert it in to the lower main tuning slide attached to the body and insert the leadpipe. Make sure the center line of the leadpipe (remember it is tapered so you can't follow the top or bottom of the tube) is parallel with the bottom of the main tuning slide. Also look from the top down to make sure it is parallel with the lower main tuning slide from that angle as well. Solder just the leadpipe to body brace.
    Next check the bell tail and make sure its parallel with the bell flare just past the crook. Again remember that it is tapered and you want it parallel with the center line and not the actual taper of the tube.
    Make sure the ferrule from the valve body fits the bell tail snuggly.
    Insert bell and check that it's center line is parallel with the leadpipe's center line. Check from the top down and check center lines. Solder bell to body brace only.
    Now fit the front and rear S braces. Make sure they fit without gaps at the front and back of the brace feet, as well as the top and bottom sides. Use brass pliers to adjust the fit so you don't mar the surface as much. You can also use soft jaws in a vise.
    Once they fit without tension, solder those in the correct spot.
    Solder the bell tail into the valve body and the 1st valve slide brace as well.
    Do any cleanup needed.

    If you took it apart any farther than that....good luck to you and use the sample parallel alignment things above on the rest of the horn.
  7. A.N.A. Mendez

    A.N.A. Mendez Utimate User

    Oct 25, 2005
    Sunny Ca.
    Kinda where I was going too.... :-?

    Any chance you could film this entire endeavor? Perhaps in installments, so we could get a break in the segments from a sore tummy

    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  8. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc New Friend

    Oct 19, 2011
    SC weekdays, NC weekends
    I don't know about that. One summer job I had on a construction crew, back when I was a kid and Moby Dick was a guppy, I worked around an old guy who was a plumber from "the old school" of welding. Over the course of a few days I watched the guy align a couple of hundred feet of 8 inch pipe, then weld it perfectly flat and smooth, even upside down.

    The new plumbers all cut PEX tubing.

    I guess you could call old plumbers. They can probably solder it blindfolded.
  9. Maui_Jimmy

    Maui_Jimmy Piano User

    Jun 28, 2011
    Deer Park, TX
    Thanks for all the good info and I appreciate the detailed instructions Brekelefuw. I know that helped with the learning curve :) I'm going to get the "proper" solder. The bell is silver and the body is brass. I don't think I'll make a movie with my soldering skills, but I'll surely post pics once it's complete for a before and after.

  10. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    I forgot to add the best tip I have ever received when it comes to soldering:

    Hot metal looks the same as cold metal.

    When you have had to buff your skin off of an instrument, you will learn the importance of that tip.

Share This Page