We can rebuild it...

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by Heavens2kadonka, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Age:
    31
    1,329
    1
    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    I have a few questions about restore work for old horns..

    - When dents are pulled, I know it leaves a permanent "scar," but does the sound still remain "damaged"?

    - How much does it generally cost to strip a horn of its plating or lacquer, down to the raw, and then to replate/relacquer?

    - If I were to consider doing either one or both of these, who should I consider in doing the work? Who has the best reputation for restoring old horns?

    - Considering the trumpet in question is a VERY old trumpet (Year 1900), is there a problem in doing this work?

    And FINALLY (For now)

    - Does anyone have experience in playing trumpets of this particular age?

    Thanks in advance.

    Van
     
  2. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    1,140
    2
    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    I'll address this one -- mostly from experience. Dents that have been rolled out generally don't hurt the playability of the horn. Of course, if it was run over by a truck, that is a different matter. I knew a professional who would not play a horn until it had been dented and repaired. He believed repaired horns sound better. OK. My current horn is a fab horn that was a "B stock." It had about a 3 inch crease is the bell (remember my primary instrument is trombone) which was professionally rolled out. Barely noticeable. The best playing horn I have ever had my hands on (to date, of course).

    I think the condition of the leadpipe, and the valve compression has a lot more to do with playability than dent removal. I don't think you could tell the different in sound between a horn that was repair and a new horn in a blindfold test.

    Jim
     
  3. CJDJazzTpt

    CJDJazzTpt Pianissimo User

    91
    1
    May 31, 2004
    New Orleans, LA
    For restoration I know Leigh of Eclipse does really good work. You can check out some pics right here on TM to see what he did. I am sure that you wont find anyone better. You just have to decide if you wanna ship your horn 'across the water' to him in London. (I think thats where he is located anyway)
    Anyway...you should e-mail him to get an idea of what it will cost.

    Also, Anderson Silver Plating in IN will relaquer or re silver your horn for you at a pretty good price... There are also guys floating around here that do these types of work.

    Cory
     
  4. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

    488
    4
    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    My Constellation had quite a few dimples and small dents taken out and it sounds fine. I agree with Jim that the leadpipe and valves are what makes or breaks a horn.

    For valves, I'd recommend the Brass Bow, which is owned by Wayne Tanabe. In fact, the 'overhauled' Constellation that I bought is just now being shipped back from the Brass Bow. The valves were replated, fitted and precision aligned. The work isn't cheap! It costs about $500 to get the valves replated and then hand fitted with another $135 for a precision valve alignement (aka PVA). The PVA consists of not just aligning the valves but replacing the parts of the valve that can break down with a substance called 'Delrin' (sp?). This is a space age material that is inert and won't break down with time like cork woud--as an example. The shop also keeps a record of the pieces so that if you lose one of them it can be replaced.

    The Brass Bow can also do the metal work for around $300 to $400 or so, depending on how bad the metal is. Expect your horn to be gone for quite a while! My horn has been gone for almost three months because the valve replating has to be sent out. So be ready for a loooong wait!

    So, to do things right is going to run you somewhere around $1,000 to $1,200 here in the USA. My recommendation is that you do this only on a vintage, professional level horn that you really want to play.

    Bill
     
  5. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    4,529
    8
    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Bill, it is possible to remove the dents without leaving a mark. If you take a look at some of Leigh's work you'll see how it's done. He disassembles the horn and then "burnishes" the bell. That means that he places the bell over a form or mandrell and actually "rubs" the bell with a tool, much like a dent "dolly" used by an auto repairman...except it gets rubbed over the surface and not used to "hammer against". Then the horn is reassembled and refinished. You can't tell if the bell is brand new or has been seriously worked on when the job is done.

    Of course, it isn't a cheap process because of lots of hours involved...but if you want it fixed so that it looks "absolutely new", then it's the only way to go.

    Good luck with the Connie.

    From the beautiful East shore of Kootenay Lake (dialup is slow... but it's better than two soup cans and a waxed string!)


    Toots
     
  6. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

    488
    4
    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    Hmmm, I'd like to see some of Leighs work. The folks at Borodi do good work, even the folks at the Brass Bow agree with that. Where I see the dents have been taken out are in the curves, not the bell. Has Leigh perfected repairing those? It doesn't look at all bad in normal light, but if you get a really bright light and turn the horn back and forth you can see where it's had dents taken out---even though the metal now feels smooth.
    Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays!

    Kootenay Lake? Floating in a canoe and fishing I presume? Sounds like the sort of vacation I should have had!

    Bill
     
  7. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    1,140
    2
    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    Vacation. I heard that word once. It means something fun I am quite sure. I know that word has meaning ... it will come to me -- AT DEATH. :D

    Jim
     

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