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Thread: GENERAL: What should be sent to a repair shop vs. DIY

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,141
    Interesting post Gary. I still wouldn't trust myself to vent my own valves. Working for the FAA for 30+ years we did all sort of things beside maintaining and certifying the equip. When we needed to drill a hole in metal where we had to be sure to not let any filings fall on the other side, we'd put some grease on the drill bit - up a bit from the cutting tip to help catch the filings. This helped a lot but still wasn't without some risk.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    When the Saints Go Marching In (arr. Mashima) at ACB Conference Ft. Lauderdale
    Cell phone video of : El Cumbanchero:

  2. #22
    Oh wow... 3 pages! I'll have to read the in-between at a later time, but for now, I wanted to post back that I took it to my local shop (I honestly forgot I had one of these). For $45, he was able to fix most of the issues...

    FIXED:
    --pounded out a some of the dents
    --All valves caps, top and bottom can be unscrewed
    --Finger buttons can be removed
    Although for some of them turning/unscrewing the finger buttons also turns the "stem" with it (not sure what the technical term is to describe the "rod" portion from the top valve cap and the finger button). His comment was this (the stem turning with the finger cap) is actually preferred, else the alignment of that notch on the valve might get shifted (when you take out the valves to oil them)

    --All slides except for the 4th valve tuning slide
    --we also needed a bottle of valve oil (+$7)

    NOT fixed:
    --as mentioned above, the 4th valve tuning slide has more corrosion than anticipated.
    It was supposed to be a $75 fix that he quoted me midway through the service I'm currently describing (just buy a new slide, and Yamaha YEP-321's being around since... the 60s he said? has good spare parts lying around for that ), but [this part is "IIRC" since I'm recalling from memory] the slide part is partially missing, and the outer portion where the slide goes into may be missing. The variable now is he may not be able to fix that. Currently, it's soldered in place.

    I wanted to get back to playing so I'm leaving this as is for now. For fun, I'll see if this starts to bother me (noticing that it IS indeed out of tune, coming from someone who was never good at listening for in-tune)

    --There's some flattening of the bell, but I requested it be left as is
    Makes it easier to stand on the ground, and won't affect sound. Now that I think of it, I'm hoping this won't be a concern if I get a case for it, but we can always revisit this if it does become an issue.

  3. Here is another question about DIY or Repair Service I have an old B&H Imperial BB Flat Bass, This instrument is about a full tone flat on the 1st valve with all the slides in. I am considering cutting a portion from the main tuning slide. This will enable me to tune each note ie make the instrument sharp and pull out slides to tune
    The hard bit is how much should I cut off or is this a professional job I have no repair shop near The other option is to ship it to England

    I have experience in engineering pipe work and soldering
    Larry B

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,990
    Are you sure it's not flat because of a leak? Are you sure that the first valve is aligned correctly? A "full tone" flat seems WAY too much to have escaped the factory as part of the construction of the horn. By "full tone" do you mean a half step (50 cents)? I would be totally shocked if the cause of this was a 1st valve tuning slide that was too long.

    Don't cut the horn unless you KNOW what the problem is.

    And if you're anywhere in the continental US, there are several excellent repair facilities to ship (or drive) it to that are much better options than shipping it to England.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,141
    I agree with Gary. I wouldn't cut the horn until all else fails.

    BTW, 100 cents is a semitone or half step.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    When the Saints Go Marching In (arr. Mashima) at ACB Conference Ft. Lauderdale
    Cell phone video of : El Cumbanchero:

  6. Over the decades, I have worked on, modified and rebuilt many things around the house. I have worked on, modified, rebuilt and adjusted many things about electric instruments, guitar, bass, etc. I have worked on, rebuilt and modified many things automotive in nature, including rebuilding a Jaguar E-type cylinder head and everything that attaches to it. But when it comes to working on brass musical instruments, I leave it all to my tech. I have neither the tools nor the experience nor the confidence, in recognition of the extreme downside if something goes awry. To quote the character Harry Callahan, "A man has got to know his limitations."
    Last edited by iiipopes; 09-21-2016 at 01:09 PM.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,990
    Quote Originally Posted by RickF View Post
    BTW, 100 cents is a semitone or half step.
    Absolutely right. Don't know what I was thinking.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,990
    Quote Originally Posted by iiipopes View Post
    To quote the character Harry Callahan, "A man has got to know his limitations."
    True. We in general should avoid things that are outside our "comfort zones" if there is much at stake. One reason I bought a cheap bass trombone is so that I could do things to it that I wouldn't want to do to, say, a Bach or Getzen or Yamaha or ...

    My limitations used to include disassembling and working on rotary valves. Thanks to the cheap trombone, this is no longer the case.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  9. #29
    I bought a chinese alto horn, for fun, so it's kind of inexpensive. I think it's worth the money and seems to play ok. but, spare me the lecture, but the tuning slide water key came broken off. perhaps a cold solder job. I've done electrical solder work before, but I'm worried about burning the lacquer. Can a shop do a good job on it and how much will it cost. It's not worth the hassle to send back. yours also, ChinaBrand.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,990
    Soldering that back on would just take a few minutes. All you need is a little Butane torch and the right kind of solder and some flux. Some people use electrical (flux core) solder, and I guess it works for them, but a good quality solid 60/40 that's small diameter (I use 1/32") and a decent flux works best. Then you just need to clean off the surfaces that came unsoldered, maybe sand them with fine paper to get them smooth and even, clamp the part in position (or wire it on in the correct position), flux it, and solder it. You won't burn the lacquer if you just heat the part for just a few seconds, and the solder should just be sucked into the joint (just like soldering a plumbing fixture -- in fact, that's how I practiced this). If you need to, get a little piece of copper or brass pipe at Lowes and practice putting the water key on that before doing it on the horn. That will teach you how much heat is necessary without overdoing it.

    On the other hand, a repair tech can do this very straightforwardly, and I wouldn't expect it to cost much at all ($10? Maybe more. Maybe less?). My guy charges $60/hr, and this would take a max of 15 minutes -- so do the math. Some techs are still a bit prissy about working on "cheap Chinese instruments", but this is a simple quick solder job and I bet you can find someone to do it.

    A final alternative (which will make any repair techs reading this explode in an emotional frenzy) is to just epoxy it back on. I've not done this myself because soldering is so easy. The big arguments against using epoxy (or similar adhesives) on musical instruments are (a) it's a real pain to REMOVE if you ever have to, and (2) Using a torch on it (as part of removal or some repair where you don't know there's epoxy in the joint) will produce toxic fumes you don't want to breathe. My attitude is that if I had a cheap instrument and wanted a quick fix and I didn't anticipate ever having to have someone else fix the fix, then I'd consider epoxy. People have done this sort of thing for a long time with inserts in aluminum arrows and similar applications.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

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