Holton 345 Redux Bookmark and Share

Repair and modification discussion

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:30 pm

Going a little nutso today. I need to get out and take a walk.

WORD OF THE DAY
oppression : /əˈpreSHən/ : noun
1. unjust treatment or control
2. the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14553
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:16 pm

This afternoon I decided to mock up the 5th valve, MTS, and 6th branch with the piston section. This was specifically to check the clearance of the rotary valve elbows with the 3rd and 4th piston casings. And they fit fine. However, the lock collar on the leadpipe prevents the 6th branch from living where it used to, about a half-inch lower, causing the MTS to have to slope downwards a bit more and drawing the piston section closer to the 6th branch. At this sharper angle, the MTS is not wide enough to allow the 6th branch to clear the 1st piston casing.

What ended up working was to drop the entire valve section a half-inch down the 6th branch tenon; if you do that then everything fits.

However, that adds half an inch of length that now needs to be removed.

If this is *all* I have to chop out, I can trim a quarter-inch off both legs of the MTS and be done with it. I was expecting something a bit more tragic, but this makes my old leadpipe a No-Go. I can bend a new one, though.

So now I have to manage the lengthening of the short tube between the rotor and the 6th branch by half an inch. I think I will leave the inner and outer lengths alone and cut a longer inner leg with a longer ferrule. This will make the adjustment without having to mess with the 5th valve assembly any further. Then I have to trim .25" from all four MTS legs.

In order to visualize this, I had to stare at this problem from many angles and finally admit that this would not work and then figure out what would. I looked for any other reasonable rescue for this, but none came to mind, so this is what I will be doing tomorrow.

After all that I decided to see if my leadpipe had any sort of chance to be reusable. (It is a really good one that I don't think I can better.) After using a bunch of towels and washcloths to help remove some of the floppiness from the mocked-up tuba I finally was able to get some badly needed information.

After that, I was so disgusted by the FUBARed bottom bow that I decided to work on it until it was once again usable. I will finish that tomorrow, as well.

Pics…

This is a series of reference photos I took so I could ponder a lot of stuff. Mostly these were to check the clearance of the two elbows on the rotary valve unit with the piston casings. I discovered some other stuff during this work.
Image

If I pull the valve out of the 6th branch by a half-inch the needed clearance appears. In this photo, gravity is pulling stuff out of where it had been so that clearance is not shown here. Trust me, though: this is going to work. I just have to make the needed modifications.
Image

Image

Here is the current problem: If the MTS could live in a more horizontal plane (rather than at this current angle) the 6th branch would swing upwards and would rise off of the piston casing. If I want my valves to be removable then I have to have a removable leadpipe, so that collar eats up some of the space that would have allowed the MTS to flatten out (and open up that area). I might solve this by using a different leadpipe collar that is nowhere near so trick. But the "trick-ness" of this leadpipe collar is causing some real issues…
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

I had worked on the 5th valve so much but had not yet seen whether the new MTS crook would allow me to do all this. After lunch, I decided to mock this up. Everything was so loose and "floppy" that is was nearly a useless exercise. However, with some towels and washcloths and a hand here or there, I got things to lock in well enough to see that everything can indeed be made to fit and work correctly, but I will have to bend a new leadpipe. (I have one waiting in the wings.) My current one is the right length for pitch, and the mouthpiece ends in a location that I like. However, where the pipe has to begin its bend around the bell is no longer in the exact, same spot. Everything else seems to work. The bell is lined up on the good side of the bottom bow, but the other side is the one that was horribly misshapen, and it is a mile from the bell wall.
Image

For this shot, we used more stabilizing cloths and I got more usable information from it. It is gratifying to *finally* see that my 4th slide circuit will work as planned, too.
Image

Everything clears. I am not happy with how tight it is, but everything clears.
Image

Image

Trying to use the wrong width MTS crook put me into a funk for a long time. I could not figure out what to do. Then I *butchered* my bottom bow.

Butchered.

I pretty much gave up.

This was before I had gotten back into shape on the dent machine. Today I worked the crap out of the large end of the bow, which had been crushed with my leather mallet to break free the large ferrule. The solder had "crystallized" (I can't remember the term for this, but it became much more like silver solder and required way more heat than I can get from my acetylene torch. It was badly stuck. I worked for three days to get it free. I smashed in the bow and it popped right off, after making a loud crinkling sound from the solder peeling free. This happens when you use too much heat, but I have to pour it on because of the damned wind out in the carport. Every time it blows I lose between 100º and 200º of temp at the torch tip. (Yeah, I measured this a few times.) So I have to use a LOT of heat and move quickly. This ferrule is extremely thick, so "quickly" was not on the menu. Anyway, I FUBARed my bottom bow.

Today, after removing the guard wire so the huge ferrule could be slipped on, I then used a large dent hammer to beat the bow end back into a shape that would accept the ferrule. I cleaned it up with the dent machine as best I could, but it had been stretched; the damage I caused was pretty bad.

Anyway, the ferrule is on, it is aligned correctly this time, there are no leaks, the guard wire is back on (after I pounded out some dents that were in it) and the initial cleanup and light buffing were done to allow me to do the more careful dent work tomorrow.

Right now it is ugly (don't laugh), but tomorrow should see a moderately less embarrassing bow. I'm not removing any dings in the bow guard as that is *not* a can of worms I want to open right now.

Truly.

Anyway, now I can start to reassemble the Holton…

I hope to clean this up tomorrow along with adjusting all the parts of the 5th valve area of the horn.
Image

Image
Last edited by the elephant on Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
WORD OF THE DAY
oppression : /əˈpreSHən/ : noun
1. unjust treatment or control
2. the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14553
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:14 pm

Part of the problem with my 6th branch not clearing the 1st casing is that the MTS has to be at a steeper angle to make room for the large, Conn-Selmer leadpipe collar. If that is not there, the slide can swing upwards almost a half-inch, and this pushes that tube over enough to clear everything.

If I delete the collar things should work without me having to do all the trimming and extending of the tubes in the MTS, 5th valve, and 6th branch. If this worked it would be GREAT because length would not have to be added, driving the already low pitch of this horn even lower and forcing me to trim the already short MTS.
Today I was going to continue my work to the bottom bow and then alter all the tubes in my nice 5th valve "cockpit", but I think I have a solution.

A sousaphone neck receiver has a slotted clamp built in because we do not want the neck to be able to rotate as we march (or stand or whatever) and play. If we did not use it we would have to hold the mouthpiece as we play. (I do this anyway.) If it is made well and everything fits it does not ever leak. Leaks only occur when there is damage, even if the screw is not tightened, on a well-made receiver.

I have, in the past, made leadpipes removable by using two or three lockdown points (braces to the top bow, bell, and mouthpiece receiver) to hold it to the horn securely. These have always worked well. In some cases, the owner specified that they wanted me to make the connection at the valves be, in essence, a very short slide. If the tubes are new and have not been lapped a lot this works really well. It just doesn't "look cool". There is no reason to lock the collar to the valves if there is NO LEAK.

I think I will resurrect this idea for this tuba. If I do that there is no additional space needed for the huge lock ring, so the 6th branch can rotate all the way up. It used to be tack-soldered to the leadpipe and it cleared the casing wall by about 3/16". I think this would be the case again since nothing has changed in that equation. This would put things back to where they had been in the past, which worked perfectly.

That is my project for today, then. I have to make a new leadpipe collar that is a slip joint, like a slide leg.

In the first photo, you can see what I'm talking about. The 6th branch (on the right) needs to be much closer to the leadpipe so that the MTS crook can swing over and push the branch away from the valves as a part of its arc of motion.

Et Voila! Most of yesterday's stress just evaporated. I knew this all along but did not want to have to delete my trick locking collar. Making the decision to use something far less fun and cool has allowed me to fix the issue.

Sometimes you have to let your cool ideas go in order to get the job done.

This is what I am complaining about. The MTS needs to be flatter, which would rotate the 5th valve farther away from the piston valves, thereby allowing the 6th branch to fit without chopping up all my nice, little tubes in the MTS, 5th valve and 6th branch. Finally. A solution.
Image

This is a photo from years ago when I first installed the St. Pete .827" 5th valve. At this time I was using the York MTS crook and everything—while very tightly spaced—fit nicely. I left it like that for years as it caused no problems and it was not a weak construction. Note that the 6th branch is touching the leadpipe ferrule. This is the key to make all these random parts work together, so I need to ditch that Conn-Selmer leadpipe collar. Period. It won't work unless I do this.
Image

If I run the 6th branch up as far as I can (touching the female part of the collar) the 6th branch once again fits as it should. The MTS is at the angle needed for this to happen. This collar comes off the leadpipe and 1st valve today. I will make a mini slide leg for this junction.
Image

"Mischief managed."
Image

Ginger approves of this solution. (She probably thinks she solved this problem for me. She *is* a cat, you know…)
Image
WORD OF THE DAY
oppression : /əˈpreSHən/ : noun
1. unjust treatment or control
2. the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14553
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:23 pm

I think I finally have this mess figured out fully and completely. All contact points meet, every area that needs clearance has it, and all parts are the correct length.
Image

This is my leadpipe coupler solution. It is a friction fit mini slide leg. It does not leak. The leadpipe itself is the tenon, meaning the only internal joint is the normal one between the leadpipe and the valve knuckle. The tenon is inserted directly into the long ferrule and contacts the end of the 1st valve knuckle. I installed a nickel silver end ring to keep it from getting bent. For the leadpipe, I slid on a 3/8" piece of the same tubing. It is there to act as a sort of stop to prevent me from accidentally jamming the leadpipe in too far and boogering up the end of the valve knuckle. On top of that, I added another end ring.
Image

Image

Image

Image

This is the 5th valve "delete tube", which has an internal spacer to fill the gap between the end of the 6th branch tenon and the end of the MTS leg.
Image

Conn-Selmer Doohickey - Esploded
Image

Conn-Selmer Doohickey - No Esploded
Image
Last edited by the elephant on Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
WORD OF THE DAY
oppression : /əˈpreSHən/ : noun
1. unjust treatment or control
2. the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14553
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby roughrider » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:42 pm

Hallelujah! All of your patience and attention to detail has paid off. Now to put it all together and play that Holton 345! :tuba: :tuba:
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
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:33 pm
Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:44 am

Oh, there is still a lot of detail work, like dings and scratches, plus a lot of measuring and double-checking of lengths. It *is* getting there, though. I am hopeful that it will be improved. It was very decent to start with, except for the poor low register endemic to this type of tuba. I had improved that a lot with the first two or three major work sessions. The best improvements have been the use of a larger 5th after the MTS (rather than in the leadpipe) and the bending of a more reasonable taper leadpipe. Everything else (up to this massive teardown and re-tapering of branch ends and such) has been structural or cosmetic.

Today I have to work on the bottom bow again, to remove some rather stupid damage I did with a magnet when I was really tired the other day. I fixed what I wanted fixed, but introduced new crap in the process.

I just ginned up this photo while drinking my morning coffee. It shows the new leadpipe coupler I made (mostly for fun) and the Conn-Selmer one, to illustrate how much of a difference a few millimeters can make when rotating crooks and up-down, right-left relationships. The distance gained was not much, but it not only altered the R-L relationship by 8 mm, but the badly needed U-D relationship improved as a result, raising the branch by 4 mm, the first two allowing the MTS to not flex against the valve casing and the other two as clearance above the casing.

Now I am off to trundle my hot, sweaty mile before I get back to work.

Ciao, y'all…

Image
WORD OF THE DAY
oppression : /əˈpreSHən/ : noun
1. unjust treatment or control
2. the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14553
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:23 pm

Today was another spent "organizing" stuff. Yesterday and today for about two hours each morning I did nothing but experiment with all the various tubing sizes I have in my cut-off boxes. I discovered some nice relationships between some sets. For instance, I have several sets that were purchased from very different sources that fit correctly to work as inner/outer sets, sometimes with up to four different sizes telescoping as a big, fat set of tubes. Unfortunately, some of these that could prove to be very helpful (money-saving, TBH) on an upcoming project are not of sufficient lengths to use as the slide tubes I need.

Oh, well, it was still pretty neat finding out all this stuff and then filing away everything in a neat and orderly manner so I can more easily remember later on that I CAN'T USE ANY OF IT! :mrgreen:

This evening I did phase two of the bottom bow rescue (from my having FUBARed it last year). The other day I spent some time annealing and beating the large end back down from its slightly stretched, polyhedron shape. The ferrule could in no way be installed with it stretched that much. I removed the wire (but left the plate) and tapped the big ferrule on with a large, rawhide mallet. Holton shaped the bow so that the ferrule was too small to remove or install with the guard plate and wire on the tube; it just won't go. No cabe a través del agujero.

Anyway, I removed most of the dents/flats/waves in the affected area. It also finally hardened back up from the annealed state tonight. It feels the way it should.

Tomorrow I will use the dent machine again. It won't be perfect but it will be better. Since this horn will not be lacquered I am almost ready to accept this bow as being done. A patina hides a lot of crap, but I really want to do this as well as I can, despite being impatient to move on.

A lot of the "waves" are actually buffing marks. I hit this lightly the other day to more easily see the damage and follow the light lines. I only used cutting compound, which leaves a lot of unevenness that looks like damage. Also, there are three piles of small parts in the background "cat proofed" using some white towels, and they are making some weird reflections. This "feels" almost smooth enough except for one area.
Image
WORD OF THE DAY
oppression : /əˈpreSHən/ : noun
1. unjust treatment or control
2. the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14553
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:55 am

Bottom Bow Work

The bottom bow of this tuba is an abomination, IMHO. It was brutalized into fitting the ferrules after having been chopped at a really weird angle.

I have been working out the damage as best I can with the dent machine, magnets, and traditional ball-on-rod dent work. I am going slowly and taking steps that I think will preserve the thickness of the metal for as long as I can. Eventually, I will have to buff the horn from one end to the other, including cutting as well as color buffing. (What happens to that buffed finish is fodder for a whole other thread.)

Shortly after I post this, a final trip to the Z60 room will be followed by my heading outside for light sanding using 1000 grit wet paper to lightly clean off the machine marks and underlying swirling from the previous sanding.
Then I can use burnishers to get the basic shine back.

After that, I will lightly buff the area. (The amount of pressure needed should be very low after burnishing the metal.)

<mini-rant>
I hate buffing because it permanently thins the metal. Lots of folks rely on it to hide stuff they probably could have fixed without thinning the material. I have seen work from a certain midwestern seller where the logo of a Bach trumpet had been buffed just about clean off the bell throat. Do you have any idea how THIN that part of the bell would have to be to remove such deeply stamped marks? And this was all because this overzealous, in-too-much-of-a-hurry character did not take a few extra steps needed to correct most of what he was trying to hide; he just erased it along with much of the metal. Wouldn't it have been better to LEAVE visible damage in order to not destroy the part you are trying to save? If it is that bad just replace the damned part! Anyway, now that I have that out of my system…
</mini-rant>

The long lines mark the area I am having trouble accessing with Z60 or magnets. It is thick metal, so using a ball on a rod has also been problematic. The short lines show areas damaged by my magnet when it snapped over from its edge to the flat face. (I was rolling it on the edge to allow me to access inside the curve, which normally can't be done using a puck-shaped magnet.) The "corners" of the puck created some deeply stamped/gouged lines and I am having a bad time cleaning up the mess.
Image

The photo before this showed the bow after two trips through the process. This was the third trip through and it ended my work for yesterday. Everything looks really decent, but I think I can do better, so I will hit the Z60 again after lunch today.
Image

Mr. Rusk chopped this bow in such an odd way that it is now shaped weirdly. I have taken some measurements and studied photos and have a good idea of where (and by how much) this branch was chopped. Knowing this shows me that there is nothing *wrong* with this misshapen bow, but that was cut this way and is shaped as Mr. Rusk intended.
Image

The photo has been canted so that the bow is oriented the way it probably was before it was chopped by Mr. Rusk. The blue line marks the ends points of the guard wire. (Yes, the large side guard and wire really do go up that far. They were incorrectly rotated toward the rear face, probably at the factory.) The green line shows the ends of the inside-face bow guard. The red line shows where the original silver plate ends on this side. I do not know whether this had anything to do with the original shape and orientation of this bow or if this is just coincidence, but the line is spot-on straight with everything else. The yellow line is where I believe the ends of the bow were when it was made. This is just a guess, but the amount cut from the large side totals up with all the other estimates I have made to make the needed 24" of removed tubing.
Image

This is the large end. When I say "brutalized" I am not being cute. This was chopped off, the ferrule was forced on to where he wanted it, and then the tube was PEENED against the ferrule wall. By the look of it, he used a pretty large peening hammer, too. Holy cow…
Image

This is the small end. Same thing, but the peening was not needed, I guess.
Image
Last edited by the elephant on Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:49 pm, edited 4 times in total.
WORD OF THE DAY
oppression : /əˈpreSHən/ : noun
1. unjust treatment or control
2. the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14553
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby Doc » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:07 pm

Brutalized, indeed. :shock:
User avatar
Doc
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 7271
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 11:09 am
Location: South Texas

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:42 pm

I am usually very good at complex dent work, but this bottom bow is being quite the recalcitrant little butthole today.

To fully smooth the section I need to fix would require an amount of pressure I am not comfortable using as it would surely cause a bulge in that area. The inner face of a hand-formed branch or crook usually is much thicker than the outer. All that metal has been compressed under great pressure so that it takes up less space within the shape. In this case, there is too much material there in the first place, and getting it smooth would thin it out, spreading more surface area than the shape allows for, thereby creating a bulge. (Conversely, the outer face is stretched and ends up thinner and easier to de-dent.) This area on the bow is thick enough that I have to *really* crank down. I am afraid of what could happen; I am not prepared to work on that problem.

So I am done. It ain't perfect, but it's greatly improved. Some of the mess between the ferrule and the inner bow guard was already there. (I can see some of it in old photos from 2006 when I got the horn.) I removed just about all of *my* mess and cleaned up additional stuff. I just can't get stuff right next to the guards or the guards themselves.

Time to start work on the bell, perhaps soldering to the bottom bow today.

But first: a popsicle…

This is one of the largest uninterrupted patches of metal on the horn that people can clearly see while I play, other that the bell itself. I am glad it now looks decent.
Image

I ended up not hitting it with the dent machine one more time, but three. My calling this bow a "recalcitrant little butthole" was pretty accurate.
Image

The area between the end of the inner guard and the huge ferrule is as thick as a battleship and very hard to reshape. I could smooth it well enough if the ferrule and guard were not there—and I had the correct arm for my dent machine that allows you to work the insides of curves. But I don't, so this is my stopping point. Honestly, it is hard to see this area of the tuba, so I need to STFU about this and move on. :-|
Image

Mmm… banana popsicles…
Image
WORD OF THE DAY
oppression : /əˈpreSHən/ : noun
1. unjust treatment or control
2. the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14553
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:24 pm

Mockup? Or keep it?

Things are wrong, but I can't get this dirty, old box of parts to fit together any better than this.

The ferrules are nearly impossible to get flat due to the bizarre bottom bow, and the top bow will not sit straight, either right/left, or front/back.

I may take this apart again and do more work to line stuff up properly. I am not happy, but I am *almost* happy enough to move on to the next stage. It bugs me to no end that this horn has always been too big for me to easily see alignment when I set it up for assembly. I keep having to stand on a chair, and even that is not always enough distance to really see everything at once.

Ferrules off, but not bad. Top bow looks good.
Image

WTH? Now the top bow looks off. Dang it…
Image

Peek-a-boo, all you TN Freak Jurists. :-|
Image
WORD OF THE DAY
oppression : /əˈpreSHən/ : noun
1. unjust treatment or control
2. the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14553
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:55 pm

Takeaways from this…

• No leaks
• Solidly built
• No Rusk Slip Joints
• Retapered tube ends at cut points
• The valve section (pistons and 123) will work as-is
• My 5th valve design will fit fine
• My 4th valve layout might need some adaptation
• A new leadpipe must be bent to fit
• Length of old leadpipe can be trimmed by a half-inch
• Top bow leans backward by about a quarter- to a half-inch
• Top bow needs to tilt toward bell (but couldn't)
• Large ferrule pair are crooked (after all that freaking work, too!)

The two ferrules are the most irritating part. To correct this the top bow would have to come off so the ferrule could be pulled. Then the bottom bow would have to come off and the two ferrules would have to be aligned to one another. (Not an easy task with this funky bottom bow. I got that to work once but the horn was really weird looking when assembled. I think this has to stay.)

Aligning the top bow is a massive pain in my buttocks. It will not fit on the bottom bow the way I want. Again, with the funky bottom bow. Sheesh…

What say you, TNFJ? Close enough or try again? It isn't like I have anything else to do right now… :shock:
WORD OF THE DAY
oppression : /əˈpreSHən/ : noun
1. unjust treatment or control
2. the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14553
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby roughrider » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:40 pm

While I have no skills in this area, I have followed your posts about this horn for the last three years. The amount of work and attention to detail that you have put in to it is staggering. My take on this is, If you go ahead and then are driven mad by what you see that could have been fixed, then I would suggest going back and fixing what you feel is necessary. Otherwise, accept the horn for what it is and how you have already improved it. If you can be at peace with that, then carry on and finish the task. Your posts and pictures have been so informative and interesting to read. Do what is right for you.
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
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:33 pm
Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:43 pm

Your reply is very much appreciated, sir. I will stop work on this tuba for a few days and think about what you said. Thanks!
WORD OF THE DAY
oppression : /əˈpreSHən/ : noun
1. unjust treatment or control
2. the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14553
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:21 am

Okay, so I slept on it. My wife also slept on it. Today she looked at it and told me that it is nowhere near as "off" as I am thinking. In fact, of the three times I have reassembled this tuba she thinks that this is the best looking alignment yet, despite the flaws.

Examining the bugle as I received it versus the bugle as it is currently, I can see that this tuba was "off" when I bought it. I didn't notice this at the time. It looked funny (like many cut horns do) but I attributed this to the fact that is was — yes — a cut horn.

The two large ferrules appear to be more canted than I would like, but in this photo of the bugle taken before I disassembled it, they are also a little off. Part of this is due to the slight difference in the angles of the horns in the two photos. The bottom bow ferrule to the bell is the one that is crooked. This is annoying as hell, but it affects nothing. I dislike that it looks like this, but I can live with it. If I have to. I guess. ($1 to Red Green.) The real issue is that the ferrule to the top bow only fits the bottom bow *one* way. I installed the top bow into the ferrule *correctly* (like from the factory) but Mr. Rusk tipped the top bow over to get his valve section nearer to the bell—probably because the horn played flat, just like my problem, and he had to shorten the leadpipe. (There really isn't anywhere left on this tuba that can be shortened.)

The circles show the slight differences between the two top bow alignments. The *only* thing that counts is that the distance between the end of the 5th branch and the centerline of the bell is not the same (as shown by the light blue circle). This dictates how long the leadpipe must be, and this horn cannot stand any additional length or it will not play up to pitch. Of course, you can see that the distance appears to be too long, but when I took the photo the leadpipe appeared to be more than long enough; I just need to bend a new one to fit the new space. If any trimming has to be done, I think a quarter-inch off each side of the MTS should do it, but I can't know this until I play it against a tuner.
Image

I need to learn to take better photos. My stuff always suffers from weird lens effects because I don't know what I am doing. That said, the ferrules in this photo do not look as bad as in the photo above, but the top bow now looks ridiculous. IT DOES NOT LOOK LIKE THIS IN REAL LIFE! Since the ferrules look different in the two photos, this proves that a lot of what I am seeing is due to my lack of skill as a photographer.
Image
WORD OF THE DAY
oppression : /əˈpreSHən/ : noun
1. unjust treatment or control
2. the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14553
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:48 pm

Today I relaxed and stared at old photos of this tuba. I have noted — for certain — that the ferrules are exactly as they were prior to my having pulled the bugle apart. Further, the bell-to-top bow brace is only one inch off the mark from the original one. This means the top bow is only clocked off by about 2º or 3º from where it used to live. And finally, after lots of looking at pics and then looking at the real McCoy in my shop: the bottom bow has a slight twist to it, much like the bottom bow of a 186. It is very subtle, though, so you do not notice it and cannot factor that into your perception of what you are seeing.

This means that I got it right. There is NO way to line this up any better. I hit my marks, but they are a bit different from what I remembered.

It is now time for me to STFU about it and move on with the project.

Umbilicus contemplation secured.

Carry on.

And now a little reminder of the crazy slip joints between the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th branches that were causing me so many issues. Holy moly, I'm glad that crap is fixed…
Image
WORD OF THE DAY
oppression : /əˈpreSHən/ : noun
1. unjust treatment or control
2. the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14553
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby YORK-aholic » Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:53 pm

Those slip joints must have been a bit frightening to uncover. :shock:

You dun good!
Some old Yorks, Martins and maybe a rotary CC King...
User avatar
YORK-aholic
5 valves
5 valves
 
Posts: 1280
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:41 pm
Location: Running Springs, CA

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:13 pm

Ha! I was pulling the large one apart because it sounded like gravel in a tin can when I rapped on it with my knuckles. It would crack open and leak at least once a season, from 2006 through 2017. It no longer does that. 8)

My reaction was to put it down and walk away for a few minutes. I ended up on the street in front of my house while wearing my apron, goggles, and welding gloves. I think the neighbor kid though I had flipped my gourd. I just laughed and laughed, trying to figure out how the heck I would address the mess. I initially thought to put it all back, but to try and make the shims fit better or even to have a single-piece replacement machined for me by a friend. What a friggin' mess…

The rattling was due to Rusk having chopped up the tube end trimmings to make shims to go between the ferrule and the branch on the small side of the joint. The big one had three layers of brass between the ferrule wall and the wall of the branch. three. They did not fit each other very well at all so filling them with solder was an impossibility. The best one could hope for was what Rusk did: a skim coat of solder to block air from passing in or out of that joint. There are no braces on the horn at this location, so when you picked it up from anywhere the weight would cause it to want to sag, and that joint would allow for some movement, thereby cracking wide open over and over. If you fed in solder it would disappear into the bugle.

When I opened it up that area was full of loose balls of solder held in place by short threads of the stuff. This only added to the one-horse-open-sleigh sound when I had to pick it up or put it down. Perhaps his slip joint idea worked out better for him on other horns, but on this one it fairly sucked. I am glad I decided to investigate, despite my having lost access to this tuba for nearly three years now. My re-tapering work went *okay* but I really won't know whether I harmed or helped this tuba by "fixing" it. I guess that day is coming up, though.

Thanks for the comment. :tuba:
WORD OF THE DAY
oppression : /əˈpreSHən/ : noun
1. unjust treatment or control
2. the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14553
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby roughrider » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:49 pm

Congratulations on your successes to this point. It is great that you were able to spend time thinking about what you had achieved and then confirmed through looking at the previous pictures that things are now correct! Keep rumbling to the finish line. I will bet that the horn will sound terrific and and more importantly you will be ready to be back in your chair in the symphony with your Holton 345 very quickly. Great job!
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
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:33 pm
Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:11 pm

8)
WORD OF THE DAY
oppression : /əˈpreSHən/ : noun
1. unjust treatment or control
2. the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14553
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

PreviousNext

Return to Repair/Mod

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests