Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations Bookmark and Share

Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby the elephant » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:21 pm

PART TWO

I measured all the valve section parts on the BBb with my CC laying here beside me for direct comparison. Here is a writeup of what I found. Note that a quarter inch is about 6 mm, and I use the .25" measurement a lot. These frequently have been fudged by one mm either way for simplicity of explanation. If anyone wants the exact measurements I can give them to you, but honestly these older horns from the 1960s and 1970s vary enough in assembly from worker to worker in both aesthetics as well as actual measurements that approximations are probably just fine.
__________________________________________________________

Original BBb 186 slides can be used to make a CC 186 valve section with only minor trimming needed for an exact duplicate. If you want to retain the figurations on both ends of the outer slide legs this is mostly possible, as the differences in length are mainly on slides where they are pulled enough that the difference is meaningless. However, there is no analog for the tubes used on 2nd valve, so these *must* be cut.

[In this writeup "slide assembly" means inner/outer legs, crook and two ferrules.]

• BBb 1st — This one becomes 3rd. The slide will be an exact replacement. The BBb 3rd slide runners are identical with those used on the CC.

• BBb 2nd — This one stays as 2nd. It must be cut by a bit more than 5/8” (17mm). On my horn this gives me a slightly flat low B natural when all the way in, so perhaps I might lop off an additional four millimeters? I don't know.

• BBb 3rd — This one becomes 4th. it is about a quarter inch longer than the CC 4th slide assembly. Since this slide is generally pulled out about an inch to two inches this is negligible and ought to be used as is. The short, upper runner out of the 4th valve is the same on both BBb and CC horns, too. The entire 4th slide runner set except for the short upper runner should be replaced with ones from a CC 186 unless you want to do some ferruling work to hack existing parts to fit. I am not sure about the usability of the BBb braces for the CC layout, so those might have to be made or bought. If you *do* decide to cut and ferrule the BBb parts to fit the completely different CC layout you would do well to purchase a lower 5th slide crook. I can explain in detail if you need. I plan on doing this and I will photograph the end result.

• BBb 4th — This one becomes 1st. The slide will be about a quarter inch longer than on the CC horn. If your CC will only have four valves then this can be trimmed from the runners. If you add a 5th you will need to trim the tops of the runners *and* the four slide legs.

• BBb MTS — This is about a half inch shorter on the CC tuba, so the BBb assembly can be trimmed to fit. However, both the pretzel and the water key knee can be trimmed a bit; on my BBb it looks like the pretzel can be cut down by about .5" so perhaps this is the answer? Trimming a new, replacement part (the water key knee) that has to be measured and cut *anyway* would be super easy to do. This would preserve the finished ends on the outer slide tubes. If you do this and do not trim the other slides, in the end only the 2nd slide has the finished ends cut off. For me, I think I can cut in these two rings on both tubes well enough that on one would notice unless they looked directly at the 2nd slide tubes right next to the valves. Of course, they could end up looking like garbage, too.

__________________________________________________________

NOTES

To add a 5th slide circuit the 1st runners (on all BBb and CC horns with only four valves) must be extended away from the valve (closer to the bell) by about a quarter inch to make room for the lower 5th runner to live between the 1st and 3rd slides. A quarter inch must then be removed from the runners' height to keep the stock length.

If you then shorten the slide by a quarter inch this gives you a 1st slide with the same pull length as on the CC 186 tubas with a left/right position that leaves room for the addition of the 5th valve and its slide circuit, but the finished ends of the outer slide tubes will be gone. Fitting spacers into the ferrules is really tedious and would give you a weak joint; I would not do this. New 1st runners (called "knees" by Miraphone) are not costly and ought to be purchased. They come as one part (a really weird looking U-shaped thing) that must be measured and cut by the installer. This is excellent because you can easily adjust the R/L lengths and heights so that the parts fit exactly and are not hacked up. I think you *might* be able to trim the height of the runner by about .5" so that all adjustments would be made there, giving you a correct length 1st loop with a slide that has a quarter inch more pull length.
__________________________________________________________

Right now I am unwilling to purchase a new 5th valve for this tuba. and finding a used one that does not leak is nigh impossible. So I putzed around in my rotary valve boxes until I found a 186 3rd/4th valve that can be used as a 5th with some "clever finessing" to the stop arm. I also found four *very* decent 186 1st/2nd valves that don't leak. This will leave me with all four of the valves from my CC for another project I have waiting in the wings.

The CC 2nd leaks a bit because it has a temporary replacement rotor in it. The one that came with the horn had stripped-out threads in the stem. Some one tried to fix that with the smallest Helicoil kit I have even seen, but they did not do a very good job because it tore out with little effort, leaving a hole much too large for the Miraphone screw. Eventually I will fill that hole, re-drill, and tap new threads. Then I can put it back into the correct casing. It did not leak, but it also did not hold a stop arm retaining screw worth a damn. The current leaking rotor can go back into its original casing, to be crushed and melted in one of my backyard pagan rituals.

Or I could try to fix it.

Either way…

I will have an extra small knee from the 1st valve that will fit in the space available on the horn to turn the one 5th knuckle upwards for the top slide. This will require a wider crook, but it look like the lower 5th crook can be made to work, and I already have an extra pair of these sitting here in my parts boxes. (Note that the other spare 5th crook will be used in the 4th slide circuit I will hack up to fit the CC routing and length.)

Thanks for reading!

More later…

:tuba:
TinyPic sucks. Just sayin'…

Miraphone rotor stem screws = M3.5x0.50
Miraphone cork plate screws = M2.6x0.45 (not a typo)
You're welcome.
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14189
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby the elephant » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:46 am

PART THREE

Ah, some photos. Finally, something to gawp at...

This series shows how I plan on converting the BBb 4th circuit into the very different CC loop.

The basic BBb loop (minus the runner out of the upper valve port).
Image

The valve runners from the CC loop…
Image

The BBb loop…
Image

How to cobble together the lower runner…
Image

Image

Image

Image
TinyPic sucks. Just sayin'…

Miraphone rotor stem screws = M3.5x0.50
Miraphone cork plate screws = M2.6x0.45 (not a typo)
You're welcome.
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14189
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby The Big Ben » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:08 pm

You're havin' more fun than one guy should have! Carry on...

Did you get something worked out for the boy who needed the left handed trumpet?
User avatar
The Big Ben
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 3074
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2006 12:54 pm
Location: Port Townsend, WA

Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby roughrider » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:24 pm

Thanks for the pictures! I have a general :roll: idea of what you are doing here!
1930 King "Symphony" Recording Bass BBb
1916 Holton "Mammoth" Upright Bass BBb
1994 King 2341 Upright Bass BBb
Wedge H2 Solo mouthpieces
Stofer-Geib mouthpieces
roughrider
3 valves
3 valves
 
Posts: 468
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:33 pm

Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby the elephant » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:50 pm

The Big Ben wrote:You're havin' more fun than one guy should have! Carry on...

Did you get something worked out for the boy who needed the left handed trumpet?


Percussion 2/Pit. No trumpet needed. Thanks for remembering him, though!
TinyPic sucks. Just sayin'…

Miraphone rotor stem screws = M3.5x0.50
Miraphone cork plate screws = M2.6x0.45 (not a typo)
You're welcome.
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14189
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby the elephant » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:20 pm

Last night I selected the best five valves from my box of used rotary units. I was lucky in that I had eight from which to choose and four three of them leaked, one of them really badly. (I have four more, but they are for another project.) I wanted to use four 1st/2nd valves and a 3rd/4th valve for my 5th.

Today I set up my table with tools needed to clean up these valves' action, vent them, and then get the rear bearing pates to not fall out. Once all that had been done I wanted to do an initial buffing to remove all the horrid solder and pink scaling and discoloration from a very difficult disassembly process. (All the ferrules had been hammered on, so getting these apart meant too much heat and some burned hands. The buffing really cleaned them up. More detailed work will be done when the horn is assembled, of course.

My workbench for today's project. My little Baldor buffer is of to the right…
Image

My first pilot hole mark from my spring-loaded center punch was a ball. I adjusted and then threw a strike. That one has been drilled as a pilot hole; the final hole was a little larger. And yes, I was pissed off at myself for not catching how far off I was on the first punch. DAMMIT!
Image

Image

Valves 2-5 only need the vent for pressure equalization to remove the pops when the valves are pressed. First, however, has to move a lot of air, so instead of a larger hole (which will want to leak) I use three small holes. This is how I had my first on my Alexander 163 for my twelve years of ownership. I bought Ev Gilmore's old 163 BBb and this was how it was done. I filled my old, leaky vent and re-drilled to be like this, which works really well.
Image

Holes drilled and fully de-burred. Some minor re-fitting has to be done after drilling holes in your rotor casings. And now for some elephantine buffing in my crappy "shop". :roll:
Image

Poser shots: This is after scraping, sanding, buffing, de-greasing and then a good washout in the kitchen sink. (The wife approves of this, thankfully.) The last bit was matching all the parts and stamping everything with the correct numbers and then punching the rear bearing plates four times to keep them from falling out or rotating while I play. These do not leak, and are bone dry. Two are from the 1971 BBb horn in this project, and three are from my parts boxes, all being from 1978 or so.
Image

Image

Image
TinyPic sucks. Just sayin'…

Miraphone rotor stem screws = M3.5x0.50
Miraphone cork plate screws = M2.6x0.45 (not a typo)
You're welcome.
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14189
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby YORK-aholic » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:24 pm

Very Pretty.

I love your attention to detail, but can see why it would be difficult for this sort of work to be profitable in most cases.

It's like when other teachers see something (woodworking) I've built for my classroom and ask me to make them one, I nearly always politely decline. They then reply with, "I'll pay you of course." To which I say, "I couldn't charge you for the labor, but if I did and told you how long it took to make the first one, I'd be worried you'd faint."

Good for you to take the time (and have the skills) to do such a detailed job on what will definitely turn out to be a keeper!
Some old Yorks, Martins and maybe a rotary King...
User avatar
YORK-aholic
5 valves
5 valves
 
Posts: 1070
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:41 pm
Location: Running Springs, CA

Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby the elephant » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:47 am

Thanks!

I know what you mean about requests for work. I would have to charge more than they would want to pay, so I either opt to do free work or I decline. I mostly decline. I prefer to flip horns. I comb through the local pawn shops and Craigslist and buy for $$, run them through my shop, and re-sell for $$$. No one has ever seen the horn before, they have no idiotic ideas about how much the horn is worth or how much my time and supplies are worth. There are horns. There are prices. They can select without poor-mouthing me or trying to make me feel bad for making a fair profit for what I do. It is a "Buy it or STFU" business model, basically. HAHAHA!!!
When presented with a horn and price that are fait accompli it is amazing how much more respectful people are to you and your work.
TinyPic sucks. Just sayin'…

Miraphone rotor stem screws = M3.5x0.50
Miraphone cork plate screws = M2.6x0.45 (not a typo)
You're welcome.
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14189
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby the elephant » Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:07 pm

This represents hours of work. The BBb valve section seemed to have taken a direct hit to every ferrule on it. Every one of them was ovalized or dinged. It took lots of heat and lots of time to rock all these off what they were clamping together.

Once off, I was able to make them all look very good, so I am pleased that that pile of work that I dislike doing is both over and netted me new-looking ferrules. The details are what please me, when doing this sort of restoration work.

So, I have decided that now, after two additional hours of dent hammer work the badly dinged-up 3rd runners now look about as good as those on my CC, and the trashed 1st runners will be replaced with the ones from the CC, which is getting brand new ones.

It has occurred to me that I need to cut the 1st runners and assemble my five new valves, installing the new 1st with the 4th slide unit from the BBb, which is actually the exact, same overall length as the CC's 1st slide and is in great shape. Then I could cut the 2nd slide for CC and install the BBb 1st slide to the BBb 3rd runners (also just about the same as on my CC), so that I have five new rotor units with three solid slides of the correct length. (I cannot assemble the 5th slide until the valve is horn.)

I intend to keep the CC 4th circuit on the horn.

So instead of tearing down BOTH valve sections (lots of sweaty, dirty work) I will just build a new valve section for the CC and then paste the CC's section onto the BBb's cut-to-CC bugle.

Yeah, that means that four of the 5 rotor units I slaved over getting them prepared for use was probably effort expended to help along some other, later project. Hey, the work is done, and it needed doing, so I won't gripe. :mrgreen:

After all this I realized that my Jinbao 5th slide parts (that will not look like Miraphone stuff at all due to the "decoration" being very different *could* possibly be replaced. What ended up happening is that I am using all four Jinbao brass parts (two crooks, two runners) and all eight Miraphone inner and outer slide legs and five ferrules. The bracing will be a mix of both - whatever fits best.

I happened to locate four outer slide tubes with end rings that matched, two exactly and two very closely. (There were FIVE different patterns in my box, so four that will work was a minor miracle.) I found four decent inner legs that fit the outers leak-free with a very nice "pull" and cut all to the needed length.

Then I scavenged four Miraphone slide ferrules and one valve-to-runner ferrule, and again, the slide ferrules are matched pairs and are either exactly the same or really close. The top slide is very visible, so it will get the exact matches. The runner ferrule also matches the stuff on these two 1971 horns.

I have to go to a gig now, so here is a pic of most of the parts I have been working so hard to restore. I think most of them look great and am excited about my upcoming assembly day.

Adios!

Image
TinyPic sucks. Just sayin'…

Miraphone rotor stem screws = M3.5x0.50
Miraphone cork plate screws = M2.6x0.45 (not a typo)
You're welcome.
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14189
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby the elephant » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:03 pm

Time for me to sh** or get off the pot.

Image

Image

All the parts were run through the vinegar; some merit muriatic acid and will probably see that at some point in the near future. I scrubbed them like crazy and tons of black came off. I had to get the valves *very* hot again, to get ferrules off the knuckles. Some did not come off. I checked them and they are still air tight, so they stay as is. The action of all four rotors is still very good. The valves are still air tight, too, so no warping or deforming due to the high temps for such a long time.

Some things in my "new plan" fell by the wayside when I dug in to the BBb parts and found that they were more sketchy than I had thought. I examined the CC really carefully and found the same. My new "new plan" (heh…) became one of tearing everything apart and selecting the best parts from both horns until I have a set of really good parts. I need three new 1st crooks and another half meter of inner slide tubing. Slide action, when dry, is far worse than I had believed, and many of them leak. All the nickel silver outer tubes are fine, except for the MTS. (I already knew about the crappiness of the MTS and have a complete replacement sitting here, ready to go.)

So my plan to build a valve section with the new valves and BBb parts plus the new parts fell through, and I now have TONS more work ahead of me, but I have located and removed all the rot, so to speak. In the end the horn will truly play like a new one. With the exception of the blank rotor casing tops it will look 100% like factory work.

Of course, my warped perception of time and priorities ought to fully prepare you to know that I needed this tuba for a rehearsal and two concerts this week, starting tonight.

<sigh>

I will use the 2165 or the 410 — whichever happens to have the most comfortable pedal D. (I have six of them at ff in one piece.)

My decision to finally start this half of the project (tearing down the CC) happened at the asinine time of 6:00 p.m. That means I was outside being eaten alive by my pack of citronella-loving mutant mosquitos for four hours and then cleaning for two more, finally getting to bed around 1:30 a.m.

Well, I am fairly dim, as you can tell, but the work is done and I have no excuses left to move ahead.

Finally… :tuba:

I was disappointed (yet encouraged) by the build quality of this tuba. I was certain that the mediocre attention to the ends of tubing and gaps in joints of the BBb was due to it being known to be headed for the US school market, and that my CC was known to be going to the US market for much more serious players who owned their own horns and had very high expectations.

I was wrong. They are about the same in all regards. That was a sort of sad revelation for me.

However, that means the BBb will probably be a really good player when it is all finished. I can see no reason why it would be any different from the CC, since they were produced only about six months apart. Getting the already excellent CC back online with all new inner slide tubes and five brand new rotary valve units and tons of dent work is an exciting prospect for me. Having a 5th valve will be great, too. But now the prospect of the BBb being a really good horn and not some ragged out old school horn is also exciting. Cutting it to CC so I can have a very low cost practice horn to keep out all the time in my studio was already making me happy, but knowing that the chance that it will be a very decent horn makes it all that much more exciting.

I am leaving alone all the tube ends that would be a PITA to correct. To me, they do not seem to have been impacting anything. So why mess with them? The ends that are *bad* or that would be easily correctable I will work on. For instance, the five new valves have slightly crooked, and uneven ports to the slide circuits.

Since the cut BBb would never be played anywhere but my house, I can afford to experiment with the NOS 1975 rolled/seamed *small* leadpipe with no receiver but the old style one-piece design with a nickel silver sleeve soldered to the outside of the pipe's small end. I am curious to see how it plays.

I don't think I will be able to find much time to work today or tomorrow. Perhaps I will be back here on Wednesday.

Ciao, y'all.
TinyPic sucks. Just sayin'…

Miraphone rotor stem screws = M3.5x0.50
Miraphone cork plate screws = M2.6x0.45 (not a typo)
You're welcome.
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14189
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby the elephant » Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:28 pm

I pulled apart the three inner branches and the top bow (aka - 2nd branch) of the BBb and managed to get the large ferrule (2nd/3rd branches) off. The smaller one (3rd/4th branches) is a real factory doozy, boy. It is too long to make it around the branch's 180º crook, so it is a straight ferrule that is slid on from the wrong side and then cupped somehow at the end so that it cannot be pulled off.

There is no way to remove it. :shock: :?: :arrow: :|

So it is loose and I rammed oiled Q-tips up in there with the part heated so I could dig out as much of the old solder as possible.

The small ferrule is straight, and lives between 4th/5th (aka - the pretzel). The 5th branch last two inches are dead straight, as are the first four inches of the 4th branch. (Remember this.)

I measured (both lengths and outside diameters of both ferrules and branches and determined where everything needs to be cut to make this horn the same as my CC. Some large ends of branches will need a small amount of expanding (re-tapering, as some here like to say) and one large end has to be made a bit smaller or the very hard, very thick ferrule will have to be expanded. I would rather work on the soft brass branch with a draw ring than try to muscle the ferrule; that is some hard work! Then we have a couple of joints that, after cutting, will simply fit.

Interesting stuff! The net of all this will be a correctly cut CC tuba with slightly skinnier top bow (after the rise up to the crook) and inner branches. I will buy the correct CC parts from Miraphone if this turns out even halfway decent.

The one real issue is that the pretzel (5th branch) is TOO WIDE by about .75" or so. It can be cut, but it will be somewhat squirrelly and might affect intonation a lot. A new one for a CC would be great, so maybe, plus, the CC one is noticeably fatter at the top and has more taper, so when it joins the 4th branch (which is larger, too) the formerly straight ferrule has to be tapered.

All in all I think this will work with a new pretzel and ferrule.

I cleaned the hell out of this nasty, old school beater tuba and then measured the cut locations again, following up with OD measurements of at the points on each tube where he ferrules would end. It looks to br challenging but do-able.

Image

Image

Image

Image
TinyPic sucks. Just sayin'…

Miraphone rotor stem screws = M3.5x0.50
Miraphone cork plate screws = M2.6x0.45 (not a typo)
You're welcome.
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14189
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Previous

Return to Repair, Modification, and Construction

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest