How to Mend a Broken Horn?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by worzel, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. worzel

    worzel Member

    I've got my hands on an old beat up Sovereign tenor horn which is great in every respect. But it does have one injury that could do with being fixed.

    360 degrees round from the bell the pipe has become disconnected. It is where two pipes are joined by a sleeve that goes over both of them: one of them is loose. Is still sits pretty much in place and doesn't make much difference, but some air does escape from there.

    So what are the options for fixing this? It is a snug fit when I push it back in, but the springiness of the horn pulls it out again. So I'm wondering if I should put a bit of super glue around the exposed bit and then shove it in.
  2. John_D

    John_D Member

    Take it to a good repair guy. Sounds like a quick and easy job for them, but its always worth getting it done correctly, especially with a good instrument.
  3. worzel

    worzel Member

    I was hoping someone on here would know how it is done correctly.
  4. fhornjd

    fhornjd New Member

    Definitely do not use superglue, take it to Dawkes, Rosehill or Phil Parker's for a proper repair.
  5. worzel

    worzel Member

    Maybe I should have asked, "how would someone like Phil Parker's go about repairing this?"
  6. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Soldering, I'd guess
  7. worzel

    worzel Member

    Yeah, looking at the joint, it does look like a standard plumbers soldered joint. Maybe I'll stick a compression joint on it :)
  8. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    It is a standard soldered joint, but to repair it the two surfaces will have to be proerly cleaned and prepared otherwise the solder won't flow and you won't get an air-tight seal, or at the vary least the joint will eventually break free again and you'll be back to square one.

    The answer on "how to do it properly" was given in the first reply....;)
  9. worzel

    worzel Member

    To do that would require dismantling a joint on the other side I guess. I wonder if there's a simpler more temporary solution. I think I have seen some old instruments with what looks like moulded plastic around a joint. It looks like the sort of stuff they use in computers to hold the cables in place. The sort of stuff that can be cleanly removed and doesn't react with the metals or plastics being joined. Does anyone here know what I mean?

    H'yeah, hence the rewording to "how is it done properly". But I have to say that since renovating our flat and comparing the professionals work to our own, I'm not sure why getting the pros to do it is so highly rated.
  10. You could do the job yourself .... but it's not an expensive fix but could go horribly wrong and ruin a good horn. Consider the silver soldering job you are going to undertake. What if blobs of excess solder lodge inside the instrumet bore. That would certainly make your instrument harder to blow.

    Finding a good repairman is probably a good move. Maybe if your Cortiou horn had gone to a good repairman for a valve alignment service, new felts and check for internal solder problems it may have made a dramatic difference to the resistance issue you spoke about elsewhere.

    Boosey instruments are notorious for joints not properly soldered (Davis Daws once showed me his cornet where the bell was not solidly fixed to the valve cluster and was just manufactured that way - still he made it sound pretty good despite this)
  11. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I dunno... The only Courtois bass trombone I ever tried (new at a trade stand) was astonishingly high resistance to blow, and I've heard others make the same complaint. Di's Courtois flugel is similar. I saw worzel's comment, and immediately tagged it as complementary evidence for a general prejudice that I seem to be slowly building against Courtois instruments. I wouldn't go so far yet as to speak against them personally, but I've yet to run across one that wasn't - maybe it is their design philosophy to make blowing hard work?
  12. worzel

    worzel Member

    Yeah, I'm not going to attempt to solder it myself as I don't have any experience there, and unlike plumbing or wiring, you can't just rip it all out and start again if it all goes horribly wrong.

    I don't remember speaking about a resistance issue per se. It is a wider bore than the sov and easier to blow air through. It just doesn't resonate so readily, especially above G on the stave. I think the extra playability of the sov is a combination of easier resonance and more resistance to airflow, making it easier for me to control a quieter sound.

    But anyway, why would I expect to have to have a brand new instrument serviced to make it playable? No. The Courtois was a mistake. I should have heeded the advice of most and waited for a second hand sov.
  13. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    an eighth of an inch drill bit, and a pop riveter should sort it !
  14. worzel

    worzel Member

    Are you sure you and they are not confusing resistance with lack of resonance? I'll double check tonight and see which horn is easier to puff air through.
  15. worzel

    worzel Member

    I dunno. I'm leaning more towards replacing the section with some pushfit PVC piping now.
  16. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    The trombone I tried was both very resistant to airflow and also remarkably unresonant. Other players found it workable with (notably the trade stand owner, who was taken aback by my lack of enthusiasm for it), but it felt like it must have been either strangely designed or badly put together somehow.
  17. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    Not good in cold conditions, the fittings fall apart, so no xmas carolling if you fix it that way !

    My god, what a way to get out of it !
  18. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

  19. foxy bingo

    foxy bingo New Member

    I think the Bee Gee's/ Al Green may know the answer to the question!
  20. You're probably right. I tried a Coutois for a weekend playing with a band over Easter break. It was OK but I was happy when I returned home to the prestige. But you shouldnt assume that an instrument is tweaked to its optimim when it comes off the production line. Ive played some absolute dogs with a Besson globe stamp on their bell and also played some really good ones.

    Also .... Consider if the felts are old and worn (and in some SA band instruments rotted away) or some well meaning old timer has stamped out replacement felts from an old felt hat he picked up at the local markets (yes it happens) or again some well meaning metal worker or plumber repairs and instrument (but not quite). Best to find an approved repairer and stay with them.

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