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Thread: Euphonium 1st Valve Worn Away

  1. Euphonium 1st Valve Worn Away

    For a while now my Euphonium (an old Besson Sovereign) has been making a loud noise whenever I pressed the valve and ignored it as I only use the instrument occasionally. When I took the piston out to work out what was wrong to my horror the bottom section of the valve piston had worn away so the spring cannot sit correctly within the valve casing. Was wondering whether this was fixable or anything I could do to repair it myself. I was thinking that perhaps spring dampeners might create a semi permanent fix but perhaps they would just compound the issue as they wouldn't sit correctly? Any thoughts on a fix?

    Many thanks,
    Ben
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Posts
    633
    JB weld for now, a new piston later.

    Dennis
    3 notes and the truth.

    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard, Wick 4AL
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
    1917 Conn C/D/Eb mellophone original
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original, Bach 5GS

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,984
    I would contact a really good repair tech and see what he says -- like from one of the better known custom shops. I'm thinking of people like those at the Kanstul shop, Dan Oberloh, Dan Schultz, et al. It might be possible to repair that with minimal expense since you might be able to get away with just sending the piston to them. Also think about posting this to Tubenet (which those guys read) and seeing what people say.

    I'd avoid going the JB Weld route except as a last resort for a couple of reasons. It's messy and might end up adding weight to the piston or introducing other problems. But the real problem is that once you add JB Weld into the equation, you've got a situation that no repairman will want to face. Getting that stuff off and then doing the correct repair with solder is very difficult and at least somewhat dangerous (toxic fumes and all).

    I'm just thinking that you may be able to save this piston if you get it to the right person.
    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)

  4. #4
    Oh gosh, that's ugly. That was some serious corrosion to eat away the bottom of the piston like that. You don't want to continue the damage and eat through the passage through the valve.

    I'm with Garry -- bring it to a good repair tech who can make a brass disk and braze it into the bottom of the piston.

    I'd suggest J.C. Sherman near Cleveland who is terrific with stuff like this.
    --
    Barry

  5. Thanks for the feedback guys however I live in the UK so I will try to contact a local repairer. In the meantime would you recommend taking the valve out and putting in a bag or something to prevent further corrosion?

  6. #6
    I wouldn't put it in a bag. I would wash it well with clean water and some mild dish soap.
    --
    Barry

  7. Clean the entire horn to make sure any old solder flux has not leached into the valve passages. I started to get a little corrosion similar to that on the valve slides of a Besson BBb 3-valve comp tuba I used to own. The bows were just coming right off the slides. My tech and I isolated it to the acid in the solder flux leaching out and deteriorating the solder joints, cleaned the bows, re-soldered everything, and soldiered on.

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