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Re: Conn 20j

Postby edsel585960 » Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:38 am

Keep us up to date. Inquiring 2XJ lovers want to know how it goes. :)
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Re: Conn 20j

Postby arpthark » Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:16 pm

I wonder why the piston didn't fit? Did Conn re-tool the valvesets between eras?
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Re: Conn 20j

Postby andrew the tuba player » Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:48 pm

arpthark wrote:I wonder why the piston didn't fit? Did Conn re-tool the valvesets between eras?


Over the 2xjs life span they tweaked certain elements. This included the piston diameter, port size and port allignment. Thus a 1940s short action 1st valve would not fit my '65 20j casing. Which is what seems to have started this whole ordeal. I'm not sure exactly how this came about as I used to play the heck out of this horn until this happened. The valve was quite a bit bigger too. A valve switch happened at some point. That's been the hard part if this search. Not only are 2xj parts rare but they also have to be the exact part or it will not work. I've learned alot about 2xjs with this process. :oops:

edsel585960 wrote:Keep us up to date. Inquiring 2XJ lovers want to know how it goes.


I have an update. I was having issues buying the valve as they have been cutting hours at work. But after a quick sale of a saxophone project that wasn't getting the attention it needed I bought the valve today! Now I have to wait for it to ship to my tech. Then he will take the precise measurements and let me know what it needs. According to the measurements both techs took it should be almost an exact fit. The valve and casing are both in good shape and still quite cyndrilical so he is hoping that minimal adjustments will be needed. So now we just have to wait and see if I stumbled upon the pearl I've been hoping for or a lot more tech bills :wink:
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Re: Conn 20j

Postby royjohn » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:21 pm

Hi Andrew,
Hoping this goes well for you. My understanding is that about 0.001" undersize of the cylinder diameter is about as close as you want to go, but that is trumpet measurements and is really very close. Probably more like 0.0015" for most trumpets. Maybe some of the repair guys will chime in, but I would think 0.002" or so would work fine for a tuba. Maybe you can get away with a bit more.

If the valve is too far undersize, it will take about 0.002 or 0.003" of nickel plate. If you are more undersize than that, you'd strike plate with some copper first and then the last couple of thousandths with the nickel plate. So if you can get away with not plating, that is good and if you are less than 0.005" under, you can just nickel plate and that would keep costs down, too.

If I am way off on this, I hope someone will correct me. I'm excited that your horn may soon come back to life! Keep us updated! :D :D :D :D
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Re: Conn 20j

Postby andrew the tuba player » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:50 pm

I am excited as well. It's been quiet way to long. Hopefully it won't need plating. But we'll have to see how it fits with the cylinder. We are pretty sure that it's from the same series judging by the measurements. I really wish they has a system of identification of parts compatibility. That would make this ALOT easier.
Hopefully this valve will work and I can get on to some more fun projects such as the new lead pipe and fixing some minor slide dents. If I can get it reliably playing I also want to have an upright bell made for it so it can be more "socially acceptible". :roll: though rest assured the recording bell shall not be cut. I don't want to trade a 20j for a 21j
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Re: Conn 20j

Postby andrew the tuba player » Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:35 pm

Well I got my valve today. Diameter is good but the ports are completely wrong. It's a shame too because he said it fit beautifully and would have required nothing to work.
Last edited by andrew the tuba player on Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Conn 20j

Postby royjohn » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:48 pm

Hi Andrew,
I was so disappointed to hear the valve you got didn't work in the 20J. IDK where you have looked for a valve...you might check with the Jacksonville State University band, as all their tubists march with 20Js. They might have a valve they'd let go or might buy your horn for parts so you could look for one that played. I would also check with some brass repair people. Dan Oberloh and Rich Ita come to mind, also Southeastern Music in Huntsville, AL, who I understand maintain the horns for JSU. IDK what a parts horn 20J goes for, but I do know that JSU is always looking for spares to buy. I guess your tech has already tried Allied... I wonder if someone could rework the valve you just got, since it is the right diameter.

There was a 20J available last year at my local music store, I'll check and see if it is still there.

I sure hope this eventually works out for you. Sure is frustrating. :(

Very Best,
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Re: Conn 20j

Postby andrew the tuba player » Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:04 am

I'll ask him about Allied. I'm not sure as I already had this lead when we started. It was from Southern Music. Hopefully he has one that will fit that we can swap for but I'm not sure how many valves he has lying around. I also just received another lead so I'll keep you all Informed on that one.
The hunt continues
As far as selling it goes I really don't want to sell it as its an important horn to me, and I would feel terrible knowing it was being cut up for parts. The rest of the horn is in too good of shape for that.
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Re: Conn 20j

Postby andrew the tuba player » Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:47 am

I picked up the horn from the shop today as we continue the search. I talked to him some more about rebuilding the 1st valve that I had and he said it is definitely doable provided he gets a sleeve that will fit the valve. (I beleive the largest he had was for 20k valves which is slightly too small). He said that he would straighten the valve, repair the damage and then lap it down to size at which point it would have to be sent off for plating. So he does have the tooling to do everything up to the plating except for the sleeve. He said as a quick off the wall quote that it should be a couple hundred dollars but it would come down to labor and exact pricing for the replate to get a detailed quote. I will probably save up some money while I'm searching and if nothing comes up by the time I have it then just get this valve repaired.
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Re: Conn 20j

Postby royjohn » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:07 pm

Given the amount of damage on your valve, once it is lapped down, it will probably be pretty far undersize and will need a pretty thick copper strike before the nickel plate...your tech will probably specify this, but make sure that the ports are plugged both when the valve is strike plated and when it is nickel plated. The last time I talked to Anderson several years ago, plugging the ports alone cost something like $50 each time they plated (this was for a set of three trumpet valves, I think), but if you don't do this, your ports becomes quite a bit smaller, something you really don't want.

I'm going to check and see if my local tech has a valve, but he's only in Wed thru Fri, so it will be next Wed before I can talk with him. The staff at the local music store where he works said he did have some old parts, so I'll ask. It's a long shot, though.
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Re: Conn 20j

Postby andrew the tuba player » Sat Nov 12, 2016 7:04 pm

Ok thanks.
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Re: Conn 20j

Postby andrew the tuba player » Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:52 pm

So while I'm waiting on the valve I figured I'd throw an idea out there and see what 'yall think.

So the finish on the body is pretty well intact other than a few spots on the back but the bell looks pretty rough especially up close. (Definitely a 10ft bell). I was thinking of stripping, scotch briting and waxing the bell flare so it would look decent. I'm thinking stripping the flare but leave the finish in the throat to give it the glow the the gold wash bells have in the throat. I'm hoping that it might also hide the crease in the bottom left. I may try to smooth that one out though.

So my question is does any one have any pictures of a recording bell that is stripped? I have seen a thread with a stripped 21j bell but never a recording bell.
Also I've heard that the laquer (what little remains) on these horns is tough to strip.

And lastly I've also heard rumors that changing the finish on them can effect the big warm sound that they are know for.

It's just an idea I've been throwing around. I'm not sure if I want to yet because the horn has character but it may also make it look alot better. Here are some pictures to see the condition. It's a little hard to see in the originals.

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Conn 20j

Postby royjohn » Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:31 pm

If I were going to satin finish a bell like this, I'd probably remove the finish and the fine scratches and marks by sanding with fine sandpaper. Then any dents which still showed could be taken out, which would be cheaper because it wouldn't be necessary to take out all the burnish marks, as they could be sanded out in the final finish. I'm not sure how one does a sating finish, but I have seen it done with all strokes parallel to the bell axis and it looks pretty cool (this is on a straight bell). Something similar could be done with the front facing bell. Possibly it is done with careful strokes with about 400 or 600 grit paper. Maybe an expert will chime in here.

The only problem I see with this is that then one would probably want to match the horn and take the finish off all over, leaving you with satin finished brass. A very big job with such a large horn. I have chosen to leave mine in it's charmingly worn semi-lacquered state...but would applaud you if you decided to refinish. The Jacksonville State College band, which marches with about 15 of these, spray paints them silver (eewwww!) I'm told.
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Re: Conn 20j

Postby andrew the tuba player » Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:45 pm

Yeah I've seen pictures of them. They look good from a distance but have a powder coat look up close.

That's the thing. I don't want to do the full horn because the body looks pretty good. I'll have to look at it. I figured maybe the laquered body with the satin bell would really look cool with the gold wash effect (if that worked out the way I'm picturing). But like I said I'm still tossing it around. I personally don't mind the look too much so it would have to be something that would enhance it in my opinion.
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Re: Conn 20j

Postby TUbajohn20J » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:52 pm

Can't wait to see and hear the finished project. I love me some 20J!!
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Re: Conn 20j

Postby The Big Ben » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:29 pm

royjohn wrote:I'm not sure how one does a sating finish, but I have seen it done with all strokes parallel to the bell axis and it looks pretty cool (this is on a straight bell). Something similar could be done with the front facing bell. Possibly it is done with careful strokes with about 400 or 600 grit paper. Maybe an expert will chime in here.


Satin finish is done with a bead blaster.
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Re: Conn 20j

Postby Donn » Sat Nov 19, 2016 11:19 am

I have no real experience, but obviously the deeper the scratches, the more material has to be buffed off to get back to a flat surface. To me, it looks like the last finish an instrument gets, on its way to the scrap heap.
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Re: Conn 20j

Postby andrew the tuba player » Sat Nov 19, 2016 5:35 pm

Yeah it would be done with scotch Brite and some citrus stripper if needed. I don't have access to a bead blaster to actually do a satin finish. But the reason I brought it up is my brother in law has an old bell front euphonium that the laquer was 60% gone and turning brown and red so he stripped it, abradded it with scotch Brite and added a healthy layer of car wax to seal it in. Now he just lightly polishes it with a polishing cloth and it looks great. It's nice and shiny but not as Bright as the laquer. I was thinking of doing something like this and leaving the laquer in the throat to give it the deep glow inside almost like a gold wash bell.
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Re: Conn 20j

Postby royjohn » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:10 pm

Hi Donn,
You wrote:
To me, it looks like the last finish an instrument gets, on its way to the scrap heap.


While I'm not a great fan of satin finishes, I'd have to say a lot of people don't agree with you and some want a satin finish
on a new horn, although this tends to be restricted, because of cost, to the smaller brass, like trumpets. I have seen some good
satin finished trumpets and have to admit they do look nice. It's true that you could end up taking off a good bit of material from
a dented and dinged horn to get it smooth enough to satin finish, but a careful worker could probably avoid this. The 20Js are so thick,
they could probably withstand some thinning with few ill effects. I've never run a bead blaster, but it might produce a satin finish
without the necessity of taking out all the small scratches.

While you could consider satin the finish of last resort, a good satin finish would probably be buffable to a shine with very little loss
of material, so if you produced the finish with 600 grit paper, you could always end up by buffing the horn to a polish...of course this
would probably entail taking the horn apart unless you wanted to do a hell of a lot of work with a flex shaft and some small buffing wheels.

Myself, I tend to leave the silver or lacquer alone if I can, but my favorite finish is raw brass and when the lacquer is mostly gone, I'll sometimes
strip what's left...never have done a tuba, though...my 20J is about far enough gone on the lacquer to be taken to raw brass, but it's just
too much work for me.

I guess moral of the story is diff'rnt strokes for diff'rnt folks, so satin finish may signify "read for the scrap heap to you." To me it's "wow, that's nice,
but it would look so much better in raw brass." LOL :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Conn 20j

Postby andrew the tuba player » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:47 pm

My favorite by far is satin silver. My 52j is satin silver as well as the 25j I had. I'm not wanting to do the full horn. The body laquer is actually in great shape except a few spots on the back. It's just the front of the bell which is all the audience really ever sees so it makes the whole horn look bad to them.
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