Holton 345 Redux Bookmark and Share

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:02 pm

Okay, so USPS tracking still thinks my last three packages have not yet been delivered and that this one from Voigt has not yet left US Customs in NYC. Also, it is offline/unavailable/broken/digitally incontinent/whatever about 50% of the time in the middle of the night now. What is up, USPS? Did you guys not pay your bills again?

My valve arrived today, more or less unscathed, but not as I had expected. I thought I was purchasing a 100% nickel silver unit (as it said 100% nickel silver in the description). Not so. The rotor is brass. The rear bearing plate is also brass. The casing and all the little bits are solid nickel silver.

I am glad of this, though.

I have always had issues with NS-to-NS parts binding if they become dry. Mating inner/outer slide legs NS outer-to-brass inner always seems to be the best choice for both strength and for free movement when the grease dries out. For this rotary valve this did not appear to be an option, though, or I would have ordered it. Anyway, that is exactly what I received today.

The thing is beautiful and very well made, too. The tolerances are tight but the action is fantastic.

So I am pleased. 8)

Once it warms up outside and I have some free time I will swap out the St. Pete rotor unit for this one. (And get back to work on this horn, generally.)

Note that there is nothing wrong with either of my two St. Pete rotary units. The two that I own are seemingly very well made. [The two valves are much better than what they produced in the early 1990s!] I am hoping the internal scoops are a bit less pinched and a little closer to the correct size. If they are not: whatever. This is a brand new valve with brand new bearing surfaces, and that makes me happy.
I got nothin'…
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14233
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby roughrider » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:50 pm

Excellent!
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: 475
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:33 pm

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:00 pm

Okay. I'm back. And the Holton is no longer a silver plated tuba. Well, the bell is. But that will eventually change, too. However, the inside of the bell will forever be silver because I do not want to abuse the bell on both faces. I still may opt out of doing this to the bell *at all* but I am not sure. Right now I can put the bell back on the branches and start to mount up the pistons to everything.

More later. My wife turned 50 today and we are headed out for dinner and a movie. I know, that is boring old folk stuff, but we are boring old folks...

Image
I got nothin'…
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14233
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby roughrider » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:47 pm

A great picture! Keep us in the loop!
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: 475
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:33 pm

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby The Big Ben » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:59 am

Happy Birthday, Ms. Elephant!

The branches look great! Must be nice to see it all come together!
User avatar
The Big Ben
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 3097
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2006 12:54 pm
Location: Port Townsend, WA

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby bort » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:24 am

Happy Birthday to your wife!

Is her gift a tear down and rebuild of one of her horns? (It's a joke!)
B&S GR-41
User avatar
bort
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 10366
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 11:08 pm
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby bort » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:24 am

Happy Birthday to your wife!

Is her gift a tear down and rebuild of one of her horns? (It's a joke!)
B&S GR-41
User avatar
bort
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 10366
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 11:08 pm
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:03 am

bort wrote:Happy Birthday to your wife!

Is her gift a tear down and rebuild of one of her horns? (It's a joke!)


We plan to send her 8D rotors off to Anderson for a *real* rebuild (and not the half-assed effort made at the shop in the D/FW, which, upon examination really pissed me off). Then we will reassemble it very carefully. It has one part that is now quite thin, but we have a replacement from a parts horn we bought years ago for her. (It was a really surprising find, the serial numbers being only about 45 apart, but found halfway across the US from where we got hers. Just random luck.) As purchased, hers was hastily rebuilt and there is a lot of sloppy soldering and some slides that could be aligned better. It plays like a dream, though. So, like my horns, we got a player for not a lot of $$$$ because it had *issues* mechanically. We fixed most of those, but there is a lot of cosmetic work to do. And yes, she will do much of the work herself. I have been training her part time for years and this will be her first big project. We have four other horns she really likes that also have issues, and she has been working on those for some time now, slowly, getting each step of her work checked by me. She is getting better, too!
I got nothin'…
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14233
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby Tubajug » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:27 am

Looking good! Now you've got me considering taking the silver off of my next project horn...
Jordan
King 2341 with a Holton "Monster" Eb bell
Eb Frankentuba in progress
Martin Medium Eb Helicon

Used to own, but still a fun thread: Lyon & Healy Eb

If at first you don't succeed, skydiving's probably not for you.
User avatar
Tubajug
5 valves
5 valves
 
Posts: 1657
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:23 pm
Location: Lincoln, NE

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:51 am

Tubajug wrote:Looking good! Now you've got me considering taking the silver off of my next project horn...


It is terrible work. It is dirty, it kills your fingertips, and it takes many, many hours, unless you want to overdo it by speeding up the process, thereby removing a lot of brass in the process. I *think* (hope, pray, etc.) that I did not remove enough metal to make much of a difference. The bulk of the particulate was silver. There was always a small amount of the brownish/greenish stuff mixed in, showing me that no matter how carefully I worked that some brass was coming off, but I believe it was a LOT less than what would have come off using a high speed floor-mounted buffer. I had absolute control. And that took me weeks to do. AND - to be honest - the bell has not yet been done. I did the piston block, the old slide crooks I decided to re-use and all the branches. The valve section is all new tubing (save for some of the crooks). That leaves me the bell. The big *** Holton keg-sized bell. The bell with 20 square miles of silver to remove. I will look at that today to see what I want to do about it.

Not recommended unless you do it painfully slowly, as I said: one square centimeter at a time. And even then... 8)
I got nothin'…
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14233
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby bloke » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:03 pm

You can come up and use my machine to buff the silver off the bell, if you want to.
You'll never (figuratively) get all the silver off that bell with a 1/3hp 1725rpm...and I doubt any 1/3hp 1725rpm rig will reach far enough down inside to remove all the silver. Additionally, a 1/3hp - when the buffing wheel is hitting all the way around on the inside will (simply) stop - i.e. it's own internal safety switch will turn off the motor.

obviously...If you use my stuff, it's at your own risk, please.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 44613
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:03 pm

Thanks for the offer, man!

However, as I stated above I do not want to risk doing both sides, so the inside will remain silver, sort of like a Conn 2J where the inside of the bell has to be polished and is all spotty and gross-looking, heh, heh...

I may take you up on this, though to do the exterior. However, my stuff here will do, most likely, and, it is very easy to control so very little brass is removed. It is just painfully (and woefully unprofitably) slow work. I am just not willing to subject this old bell to being sanded or buffed on that much on *both* sides of the wall. I am too chicken to do that. I don't want this bell to be made of aluminum foil in the end. ;-)

If I get frustrated to the point of wanting to try something much faster I will give you a call. Thanks, again!

[NOTE: I may just leave it with its currently very scarred-up, patchy silver plate and try hard to forget how ugly it ended up after all my friggin' work...]
I got nothin'…
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14233
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby bloke » Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:26 pm

yet another option...
Anderson offers a "careful" silver strip...

When MOST of the silver is gone (in their best judgement), they STOP and leave the item with a little bit of brass showing and some silver (by then, not very much at all) remaining.

r/t shipping could cost $200, but (knowing Wade) you would take it up there yourself, and work with them to schedule to do it on the day you got there.

There are under-$60 motels in Elkhart.
A possible plan would be to head up there leaving Yazoo City (aka Metropolis: "the city that never sleeps") c. 6:30 P.M., arrive there when they open (7 A.M. Eastern), drop off the bell, go crash in a cheap motel, sleep until c. 3 P.M., go pick up the stripped bell before they close, and drive home. You would be home by c. 3:00 A.M. (Central) and could sleep a few more hours before getting up as late in the morning as you could manage (re: your schedule that day).

Of course, with most of the silver gone (inside and outside) you might have a fighting chance to finish removing it with your 1/3hp set-up...though (again) you might need to use mine - stopping here on the way home from Elkhart (??) - to be able to reach down into the interior.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 44613
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby The Big Ben » Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:35 pm

the elephant wrote:However, as I stated above I do not want to risk doing both sides, so the inside will remain silver, sort of like a Conn 2J where the inside of the bell has to be polished and is all spotty and gross-looking, heh, heh...


Would bead blasting the inside so it is an even satin improve the looks? No metal removed that way...
User avatar
The Big Ben
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 3097
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2006 12:54 pm
Location: Port Townsend, WA

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby bloke » Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:32 pm

The Big Ben wrote:Would bead blasting the inside so it is an even satin improve the looks? No metal removed that way...


I've bead-blasted some heavily-silver-plated 1950's and 1960's vintage tuba bells.
Depending on how early or late in the 1960's these were made, some of them featured VERY THICK (borderline "clad") silver plating. There is a considerable risk - when bead-blasting silver plating - of the silver plating coming off in "sheets", leaving a completely-stripped area right next to an area where considerably thick silver plating remains...

hashtag: UGLY
hashtag: OH CRAP !!!
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 44613
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby The Big Ben » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:54 pm

bloke wrote:
The Big Ben wrote:Would bead blasting the inside so it is an even satin improve the looks? No metal removed that way...


I've bead-blasted some heavily-silver-plated 1950's and 1960's vintage tuba bells.
Depending on how early or late in the 1960's these were made, some of them featured VERY THICK (borderline "clad") silver plating. There is a considerable risk - when bead-blasting silver plating - of the silver plating coming off in "sheets", leaving a completely-stripped area right next to an area where considerably thick silver plating remains...

hashtag: UGLY
hashtag: OH CRAP !!!


Ah. So that won't work. Good to know. Thanks.
User avatar
The Big Ben
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 3097
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2006 12:54 pm
Location: Port Townsend, WA

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:20 pm

Problem for the consideration of the Freak Jury. :-P

I am absolutely certain I am NOT buffing the bell flare at the throat AT ALL, EVER. It is way too thin from previous work. No way. Nope. Not gonna happen.

I have (of course) already sanded and buffed all the silver from most of the bell "stack" so that it is now halfway back to bare brass. This (of course) looks like hell. So once again (of course) I need to figure my way out of a hole so that my hard work does not net me a butt-ugly tuba.

I have one of my two 24J bells torn down for the dent machine. So the guards, collar, rim and elbow are now separate parts, and (of course) the thin ring ferrule that holds the flare to the elbow is in great shape, and it might just save me. (Of course.) This will (of course) make my weird looking 345 even more *distinctive* (in a police line-up sort of way).

My idea is to put a clearly defined line on the bell so that I can remove the silver up to the touchy section, leaving that part bright silver, just hand polishing it from time to time.

Here was the old plan:

• Remove silver from all six branches, piston set and slide crooks that would be re-used
• Leave bell alone altogether
• Fully assemble tuba so that I can use it at work again
• Later take off now-removable valve set, mask off bell, buff and degrease the six branches only
• Lacquer only the inner branches
• Keep bell polished

Now that I have gone and stripped off all the peeling, horrid silver and removed all the solder pads and smears and other ugliness the stack looks really decent.

I am still pretty adamant about not doing anything to the inside of the bell, and now believe that to buff the place where the throat transitions to the flare would be very foolish. Maybe someday I will buy one of those trick Kanstul bells or locate a mysteriously undamaged, mint 345 bell. Until then, I will have a two-toned horn.

I snagged that ring ferrule from the 24J bell and placed it on the 345's bell and it actually looks pretty good. It gives me a clearly delineated line where the horn can be silver on one side and brass on the other. It looks odd but it works.

However, it then looks like my bell has been cut and ferruled together. (Not that I care what anyone thinks has been done to my tuba, especially when a quick gawp down the bell will confirm 100% that it is a one-piece affair.) However, the ring fits perfectly where I want it to, but it covers the very nice engraving that Holton only used for a year or two (1964-1966 I think). I have only ever seen four of these tubas with this engraving, so I do not want to destroy it, especially for s stupid cosmetic gimmick like what I am proposing.

To cut it to fit just below the engraving starts to look a bit weird to my eyes. I have photos for you all to look at and tell me what you would do.

I *can* remove the silver from the touchy spot, but I think bad things will happen if I do this. Also, the bell has been heavily worked in the past and the engraving has been "thinned out" from a ham-fisted tech on the buffer. It is difficult to see except for up close. So lots of light sanding and buffing on that part is also a no-no to my way of thinking.

So I can leave the bell the wildly weird two-tone it is now with a cleaned up line but no real hard point to break up the two finishes, or I can install this ring as it fits now, and screw the silly engraving, or I can cut the ring and place it where I want it and clean up the plating to that line and just have it look a little odd to everyone.

The nice part is that I can lacquer the brass part of the bell or leave it alone and polish it. But that would entail two different polishes and a lot more work to make it look purdy fer muh MSO "pay-trons".

Here are pics o the bell with the ring in both places. What do you think?

This is where the ring fits naturally, with no modifications. I think I like this a lot, but then that engraving...
Image

This is where it needs to go to both avoid the engraving on one side and the bell-to-top-bow brace on the other...
Image

Here is where the ring falls as it currently fits...
Image

Here is where it probably ought to go...
Image

Where it fits...
Image

Where it does not disturb anything. (Yes, "mama e" is holding the ring in place and she is upside down.)
Image
I got nothin'…
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14233
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby bloke » Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:12 pm

Take that thing off of there, buff the silver off the entire bell exterior, and have Sherry re-engrave it to sharpen up the post-buffed appearance of the engraving.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 44613
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby roweenie » Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:36 pm

bloke wrote:Take that thing off of there, buff the silver off the entire bell exterior, and have Sherry re-engrave it to sharpen up the post-buffed appearance of the engraving.


+1

I'd prefer a two-tone bell over that ring, any day.
User avatar
roweenie
pro musician
pro musician
 
Posts: 1886
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:17 am
Location: way down yonder in the cornfield

Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:04 pm

bloke wrote:Take that thing off of there, buff the silver off the entire bell exterior, and have Sherry re-engrave it to sharpen up the post-buffed appearance of the engraving.


The section I commented on is *very* thin. And I do not want *anyone* touching my horn for something like that. I do not want to buff the inside at all nor the outside in the three inch tall area that has been badly crushed, worked out and buffed to death. It is too weak and I believe holes will appear in the hammered-out creases. It is very, very thin. I did not know that until today. So no further buffing will be done. I just want an opinion on my listed options. I dislike all of them, which is why I am asking. I do not trust my "taste" in this. I want others to look at it and help me figure out the least bad of my options.

No more buffing except up to the bottom of the ring.

Also, I forgot to mention that my budget for this tuba is done. I have no more money for it save for some additional brace parts. We are in a really tight spot and will be for many months until our situation changes, so I have to wrap this project up. Maybe one day I will get this thing fixed up the way I want, but something always kills my ability to do that. All three tries with fixing this tuba up to my satisfaction have been snuffed out before I was finished, and I had to reassemble and play it in a halfway state that has caused me problems in our hall.

It is getting there, but engraving and plating are 100% out of the question for years, most likely. Just the way life happens sometimes.

Thanks again for the offer of the use of your buffer, Joe.
Last edited by the elephant on Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I got nothin'…
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14233
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

PreviousNext

Return to Repair, Modification, and Construction

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest