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Dent Ball Magnets??

Postby eupho » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:33 pm

I embarking on a new hobby and I have an old Conn Eb to work on. I am purchasing a set of dent balls and I am wondering what magnet(s) I should buy to work with them? Thanks for your input.
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Re: Dent Ball Magnets??

Postby Mark Finley » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:47 pm

Neodymium magnet discs, 2 inches wide, preferably 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick

Be careful, depending on the size of dent ball, you can crush a finger really easy if you are just a bit careless
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Re: Dent Ball Magnets??

Postby bloke » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:59 am

I'm (without feigning modesty) very good at using these techniques to remove dents.

Most (yes, most) of the time, I see face-palm quality work done by other shops using this equipment, and I have to go back over it (doing much more than would have been originally necessary)...
...most recently, with a very expensive (and somewhat rare) German hand-made tuba.

It's very likely that everything that may occur to a new user (dynamically) will be the opposite of what will actually occur, but I suppose it depends on individuals' standards.

' no p.m.'s about this, please. I'm a warner, and not a teacher.
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Re: Dent Ball Magnets??

Postby edsel585960 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:35 pm

Mark Finley wrote:Neodymium magnet discs, 2 inches wide, preferably 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick

Be careful, depending on the size of dent ball, you can crush a finger really easy if you are just a bit careless

Ditto. Be VERY careful and keep anything ferrous away from the magnet. They will suck the fillings out of your teeth. :) I got mine on Amazon for 50 to 75 bucks. Watch videos on you tube, they help a lot. Take heed to Bloke's warning as well. It's very easy to damage the horn if you don't take care. Start out on a beater that can only be improved and work your way up.
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Re: Dent Ball Magnets??

Postby the elephant » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:32 pm

Look for N52 strength in the 1" thick, 2" discs. The N50 strength is okay, but has less grunt than the N52. (Of course, N52 costs more.)

K & J Magnetics is an excellent source for non-crappy magnets.

Excellent chromed steel ball bearings can be had on eBay. They are not "dent balls" though. Dent balls are made of tool steel and are not chromed in most cases. Also, the smaller sizes generally are sort of football- or bullet-shaped and have a hole drilled through them longitudinally. What you are need for tuba work are balls in many sizes, from about 0.5" up to about 2.5" or 3" in diameter graduated by half inches. You can do a huge amount of work with a set like this. As you learn you can add missing sizes that you think you may want.

As with most types of dent work: do not use these on bow guard plates. Normally there is a space in there, and the solder normally only lives at the edge of these guards. If you crush one flat against the bow you can break the solder or cause a nasty ridge all around the edge where the solder ends and the open gap starts. It will be very ugly if you do this, or it can come loose in spots.

eBay 2" steel ball

AND DON'T INJURE YOURSELF. These can put you in a world of hurt if you fool around with them. I use these on a semi-regular basis and am decently skilled with them, and I *still* manage to hurt myself every now and then. They are VERY powerful. Do not dismiss this bit of truth.

Good luck and have fun. Just don't be stupid. 8)
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Re: Dent Ball Magnets??

Postby ghmerrill » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:16 pm

I had a lot of success with this approach on my old 1924 Buescher. But I am loathe to do it with any ball smaller than about 1.5". It must take immense skill and experience to use the smaller diameter (0.5" !!! Really?) balls. Any comments on that?
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Re: Dent Ball Magnets??

Postby the elephant » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:17 pm

ghmerrill wrote:I had a lot of success with this approach on my old 1924 Buescher. But I am loathe to do it with any ball smaller than about 1.5". It must take immense skill and experience to use the smaller diameter (0.5" !!! Really?) balls. Any comments on that?


Yes. Smaller tubes are very much a challenge. Do NOT try this on inner or outer slide tubes, ever.
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Re: Dent Ball Magnets??

Postby eupho » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:15 pm

Thanks for all of the advice and equipment recommendation! I will be very careful. I will keep you posted. My first project horn is a 3/4 Conn Eb tuba.
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Re: Dent Ball Magnets??

Postby Three Valves » Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:02 pm

My only expertise is in being a Chick Magnet.

Sorry.
Who needs four valves??

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