Holton 345 Redux Bookmark and Share

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby roweenie » Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:16 am

the elephant wrote:So the shoulder looks like it is pointing too far to the right


Are you aligning the top bow so that it is perfectly perpendicular to the bell? I don't think that's the way they were originally set up - (at least that's the way it is on my 105). The top bow sits slightly behind the bell on mine.

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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:05 pm

Yeah, I know. The cuts made to the horn cause the joints to be very loosey-goosey and difficult to jig up for soldering. I corrected the fit so this was not such a PITA, but it was still a major hassle. The top bow was clocked way too far behind the bell by Mr. R. The top bow leaned over toward the bow by some 15º to 20º so that the horn looked squashed. None of the body branches were aligned with any of the others. It was a mess.

When I set this up I was having to eyeball the centerline of the bell and top bow so that both were running along the same axis. When I clocked the top bow I did it without the brace, so when I inserted it the top bow leaned away from the bell just a hair. I re-clocked the top bow, but now it fits so snugly (after all that corrective refitting) that you cannot simply rotate it, it has to come off and be reseated. So any alignment you had done has to be redone from scratch. So clock, align right to left, align front to rear. Inspect. Take it off and do it again. Over and over.

The issue was that to be able to feed in the solder the horn had to be on its bell, so the top bow was hanging down and could easily fall off and hit the bench, possibly then falling onto the cement slab. Not good.

I rigged up some wooden shims from the bench to the top bow to prevent it from crashing down (hopefully) and the entire process was ridiculously fiddly. To removed and re-clock the bow I had to lift up the bottom bow and pull the top bow off. Every. Damned. Time. Ugh...

In the end, after about 45 minutes of trying to get these two parts to look like they were aligned perfectly by those nice boys at Holton I finally got it to where it looked good from all 360º walking around the tuba AND with the brace shims snugly in place to prevent any shifting when I heated up the parts for flux. (I sanded and fluxed the parts first, fit them, applied heat, fed in more flux to the joint and then began soldering. These large joints take a lot of solder so I pre-tinned them to make the solder flow better, since I was working outside in the wind.)

After believing I had done a really great job of lining up the bell, bottom and top bows (considering the completely wonky shape of the badly trimmed bottom bow that I had to somehow make to look "correct" (no way, no how) I took some photos and decided that I had not nailed it. I had needed to clock the top bow to the rear of the bell another two or three degrees to allow the bow to fit just a bit more toward the bow.

However, since posting this I have looked at about 50 pics of Jakes horns, and various Yorkophones and they all look just like mine in photos taken from the same vantage point. So I think maybe I did do a good job in this and that it is some weird sort of visual effect from the angle of the photo that was bugging me. In truth, from any other angle it look like the bell and bottom bow point straight to the floor through their respective centerlines.

So I will retract my earlier whining about this. I think I may have done okay. If it is off it is just barely off. :tuba:
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby roweenie » Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:17 pm

the elephant wrote:If it is off it is just barely off. :tuba:


My experience with taking apart these big Holtons (three, at present) is that the boys at Holton were not particularly fastidious regarding the geometry of the bows and inner branches (or cleanly dressed cuts, for that matter) from the get-go.

I've been through this exact same problem, so I get it. The top bow, no matter how I positioned it, always looked as though it was "off axis". I finally decided it must be an optical illusion :oops:

While I don't have one scintilla of his experience, I will always chuckle when I recall an adjective used once by Dan O., referring to these 6/4 Holtons (because I've seen it first-hand for myself):

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=62213&p=517865&hilit=+Holton#p517865

If you're in the ballpark, ya done good..... 8)
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:26 pm

Yep. Pretty much. Thanks for the link. I had forgotten about that thread. I am going to re-read the whole thing. :-)
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:18 pm

So my free fourteen day trial of SmugMug.com expired today and they allowed me an additional two weeks for free. So far it is exactly what I want with none of the stuff that bugged me about Photobucket for the past five years or so. (I was a big Photobucket evangelist for about a dozen years or so and finally stopped recommending them, dumping them completely when they chose to hijack my photos last month.)

I think I will keep looking, but for $50 a year it is a service I like and can afford. So I may go ahead and do it.

Anyone have any issues with the photos in this thread, like the display and such? They come in too large, so I need to know how to use IMG tags to resize them. If I can do that simply by typing some additional tags I will sign up for SmugMug. However, if they do not display correctly or have those crappy hijack images like Photobucket then no way.

I have been off the project for the past week and a half so I could teach some band camp and then attend some DCI with my friend the director and help chaperone his kids. Today I was sleeping all day to recover. (Yesterday I drove ten hours to get to the band hall, from there to Samford in Birmingham, and back to Yazoo City. I got up at 5:00 a.m. and went to bed about 26 hours later. So I slept until close to 3:00 this afternoon.)

Work starts up tomorrow with a lot of fine work to all the inner branches, done comfortably in my air conditioned house rather than outside like all the other work. Hooray for AC!
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby Casca Grossa » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:51 pm

bump
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Why have 3 valves when you can have 6 and a main tuning slide kicker???
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:41 pm

Been busy, sick, sick again, and then busy again. Zero physical work done since I assembled the outer branches.

However, I have been doing tons of research, math, ordering, etc.

I think Brown Santa has some most excellent things to leave on my doorstep in the next week or so. I am very excited about this stuff. It will be a lot of extra work but the final result will make me *much* happier.

More later, as I work my way through another search-and-purchase adventure. This could end with me having to make some crooks, which I am not happy about. Or it could end up being much simpler than that.

And finally — I decided to just shut up and pay for a year of SmugMug. I really like it. It is much better than Photobucket, and for me the cost is both justified and not too spendy to afford. If you try it, you can get 14 days free trial, and then you can very easily get 14 more, so about a month of free use so you can really try it out. I recommend it over imgur (which would be my choice for a free service) or any of the other free hosting services. It seems to me that the days of free anything on the WWW are about gone. If you post as many photos as I do you need a reliable service. And the reliable services do not offer the particular functionality that I need for free or super cheap. My compromise is SmugMug. I hope a year from now I am not cursing their silly name and trying to cancel the service before they charge me again. We shall see.

I will be getting back to work on this tuba again very soon. I was glad for the break, truthfully.
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:51 pm

Possible mid-stream changes to this horn that I have been thinking about a lot:

• cut casing ports and make valves vertical
• leave valves alone and stop making needless extra work for myself
• remove all silver and have horn replated
• remove silver from inner branches and top bow, assemble and replate as a unit
• remove silver from top/bottom bows, inner branches and valve section, buff/lacquer, leave bell silver
• remove all silver and buff/lacquer here at my shop (very do-able for me — I am set up to paint cars)
• make valve section removable, buff/lacquer, replacing outer slide tubing with nickel silver — just because
• if valve section is done as above, have bugle replated (weird, but current favorite for my own stupid reasons)
• try out a 45SL-P leadpipe if I can get it to fit at the short length I need
• rewrap the inner branches and try to seat valve section much deeper within the bugle for balance
• teach cat to play tuba, let her earn my paycheck, stop worrying about what my horn looks like

I need to find a bunch of those removable hardware bits Martin Wilk uses. Seriously, I do.

If you are reading this, Tom Treece, thanks for all the advice and feedback thus far. I will phone you again soon and will send photos as I get stuff done. Thanks so much, sir. You have been hugely helpful to me so far.

Goodnight, all.
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby The Big Ben » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:23 am

the elephant wrote:And finally — I decided to just shut up and pay for a year of SmugMug. I really like it. It is much better than Photobucket, and for me the cost is both justified and not too spendy to afford. If you try it, you can get 14 days free trial, and then you can very easily get 14 more, so about a month of free use so you can really try it out. I recommend it over imgur (which would be my choice for a free service) or any of the other free hosting services. It seems to me that the days of free anything on the WWW are about gone. If you post as many photos as I do you need a reliable service. And the reliable services do not offer the particular functionality that I need for free or super cheap. My compromise is SmugMug. I hope a year from now I am not cursing their silly name and trying to cancel the service before they charge me again. We shall see.


SmugMug makes it easy to have your own domain name if you want it. I was hosting a bunch of my 40th HS reunion. We are the Class of 1974 from Evergreen HS in Seattle so I got evergreen74.org to make it easy for the people to access. Without the domain name, it would be evergreen74.smugmug.com which should be easy to remember but I kind of wanted a domain name. So I got it.

If you wanted 'the elephant.org', you would have to buy it which would be more than just registering a name. You would pay a fee to the owner of 'the elephant.org' as well as the registering fee. You wouldn't have to pay the extra fee to register 'waderackley.org' because no one owns it yet. Can't remember the costs but just registering and attaching a name isn't too much more. Of course, depending on what you used as your smug mug user name, you could be 'waderackley.smugmug.com' for people trying to access your pictures. SmugMug makes it easy to sell pictures, too. It's all built in and you set the price above the actual cost of the pictures. You can put watermarks on the proofs if you want. Would make it easy to sell things like group orchestra pictures of an event or individual professional portraits of people holding their instruments. You could sell them at any price you want or allow people to download them and print them selves Or not, if you don't plan on doing all of that kind of stuff.

Since my reunion was three years ago, I let the domain registration lapse and I access it at evergreen74.smugmug.com. The reunion pictures are still there but I've used it as a place to show some of my other stuff and as a way to print pictures I want hard copies of since I am all digital these days.
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby roughrider » Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:29 pm

Please continue to photograph and document the work that you are doing on this horn. It is a fascinating piece and especially to those of us who have absolutely no skills in this repair/re-invent domain. Thanks very much!
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:44 pm

roughrider wrote:Please continue to photograph and document the work that you are doing on this horn. It is a fascinating piece and especially to those of us who have absolutely no skills in this repair/re-invent domain. Thanks very much!


Thanks for the encouragement! I will be getting back to this very soon. I have customer stuff in line first, then I have to remove the valve section of my Kurath F tuba, realign all the slides and repair the bell (I fell down with it on my back, plus there had been a lot of damage/neglect by previous owners since the late 1980s) and then I can get back on track with this. I have an excellent instrument to use pretty much indefinitely, so this is not a rush project, except that I want to use it on Shostakovich 10 on an upcoming program.

I have been buying parts and some needed tools and have almost everything I want. I still need two lengths of nickel silver outer slide tube and one brass inner slide tube to make crooks and some doglegs.

Can't wait, either!
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:21 pm

OKAY! Back to work. I only had two hours today, so all I did was tear down the valve section. I did not get a chance to clean up excess solder on the slide tubes or braces, and I didn't even tear down the individual slid circuits yet. I'll get to that soon enough.

I chemically cleaned (just barely) the casings and pistons and washed them pretty well so that I can work on the knuckles. This valve section is 19mm (.748"). It was *partially* bumped up to .750" but only to replace bad tubes, so some slide were one size, some where the other. Some were actually both.

Fine. Tiny variations in bore do not make a difference except in the head.

I am bumping up the bore just a tad, an amount I personally have found to be insignificantly larger despite how horrid the numbers may look. I am moving up from the .750" *magic number* to .769" which is a half a millimeter larger than this valve section came from the factory. (19 mm versus 19.5 mm)

The difference will be negligible through the pistons as these are very open, with fe4w distortions, so they already flow quite well. When you think of a half millimeter in terms of, say, a mouthpiece throat, it is a chasm. But when I lay the inner slide leg tubing side by side I can only see that one is barely larger. When you consider filling up that tube with a column of moving air you can see that getting your knickers in a was over the change is laughable. This is not an academic project but a tuba that gets a ton of daily use. Such differences make no impression on me.

Just to be a chicken about things I *might* opt to install 1 and 2 using the current INNER slide legs with the new outers. I can easily adapt the two to one another and that would ensure I do not accidentally go too big for my upper register, which is currently excellent on this tuba. We shall see. However, 3 and 4 are definitely getting bumped to use the new nickel silver tubing.

Not sure, just yet. I will keep scratching the old noggin until I have to actually *do* something about this.

So here is where the valve section is as of today.

This is what I had been using for the past three years.
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

And torn down...
Image

Image

Come to Papa...!
Image

Image

EDIT: I resized all the images in this thread so they fit within the limits of the TubeNet window maximum size. Much better. No more cut-off images. No more text you have to scroll over to read. I did this to most of the images in this thread too, so now everything fits. :mrgreen:
Last edited by the elephant on Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby DouglasJB » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:44 pm

Are you planning on leaving the valve orientation as it was or change it to a more vertical valve set like the CSO York and popular copies?
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:38 am

I *could* chop and ferrule the knuckles so that a vertical orientation would work, but I am not married to that idea all that much and have sort of decided on leaving the set along. It works really well, so why bother? It would be a strictly aesthetic thing, and the ergonomics of the 45º set I have are actually better than vertical valves. They just look weird to me. Not positive. I have a lot of work to do to the casings and such and will decide as I work with the valves the next few days. I can report — happily, no less — that the pistons are in no need of a refit. I have a small vent on 1st that I like, but it needs to be a tad larger. I will open it up and then add vents to the other three, as well. I hate piston valves that pop as you play soft, technical stuff. My Yamaha F did that really badly and it could drive me mad. I never vented them for some reason, however. I looked into it carefully and decided it would not work out well for some reason or other. These all will vent nicely, I think.
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby Tubajug » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:46 am

So have you dropped the idea of using that York valve set you were working on? The one with no "bumps" in the ports?
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:23 am

Not at all. It is still in play, but I want to backtrack some and make some changes. I do not like the casing set port arrangement. I used 2nd (based on some advice I received here that made sense at the time) as it was in the best physical shape. This was a mistake. Condition is irrelevant as long as it is more or less okay and all the parts are present: Anderson can fix all the things wrong with my set. So I made a choice that, while it will work, it will not give me the results I am looking for. It will be a great set of valves as is, once fully rebuilt, but with all the work and expense being dumped into this I want it to be *exactly* what I am looking for, so I have to think about this for awhile.

I plan on buying a new valve section that is a copy of the York layout, and that might just kill off my project if they are good in the manner that these York pistons are good. I doubt this completely, so the York piston set will one day be constructed by me and then have a valve job by Anderson's. Some day. ;-)
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:40 am

HOT DAMN, BABY! I just figured out how to resize my images on SmugMug. It is very cool. I don't have to *do* anything. SmugMug automatically stores your pics in like seven sizes. I had to figure out the encoded size in my image addresses. All I had to do was find the "X5" or "X4" part of the addresses in the above post and change that to "XL" in all the photos. It took me like 15 seconds using cut and paste. Now all the images are a more appropriate size but retain the full resolution, so you can zoom in on them and they still look like the original high res shots, detail-wise. Very cool. I am now GLAD I paid for this service. Photobucket never was this easy or flexible. And of course, Photobucket SUCKS now, too. So there is that...

Wonderful! This made my whole day, man!
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby Tubajug » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:53 pm

What valve would you use instead and why? I'm considering adding a fourth valve for a project I've got in mind.
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby The Big Ben » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:56 pm

the elephant wrote:HOT DAMN, BABY! I just figured out how to resize my images on SmugMug. It is very cool. I don't have to *do* anything. SmugMug automatically stores your pics in like seven sizes. !

Glad it is working for you. Photobucket didn't keep up with new technology. SmugMug is like two or three generations newer technology.
Keep posting the horn repair stuff. Very interesting!
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby roughrider » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:18 pm

Keep Posting! This is terrific stuff!
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