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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:06 pm

roweenie wrote:
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.


The ring would make it a two-toned bell with a very clean line for the changeover rather than some weird, meandering line that sort of fades from one finish to the other. It would serve the same purpose as a thin chrome strip on a car to allow a two-toned paint job; the chrome cleanly divides the paint, since just having two colors of paint next to each other is pretty ugly and hard to pull off. And I think it would be hideous left as is. I just want to know which position the wire needs to be in. I hate that I have to do this, but I see no other satisfactory solution save to risk ruining the bell with more buffing.
Last edited by the elephant on Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby roweenie » Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:19 pm

The one thing that would bug me about it is that it goes right over the engraving :cry:

If it were anyplace else, (I regularly play detachable bell horns, so it's not a game changer for me) I might be able to learn to live with it.
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:22 pm

In talking to my wife about it while we examined the bell I think I will indeed try to buff/sand/pray the silver off the whole exterior. I can avoid the truly worrisome spots, which are small. I do not think the five or six very small cracks actually go all the way through. There is more metal there than I was thinking. It will be tricky and I don't really trust myself, so I may just do the vast majority of the bell, which is physically quite solid, and then just sort of pussyfoot around the troubled area and the engraving.

Joe, perhaps a trip to Sherry will be do-able after next Christmas. And it is only engraving, after all.

I still do not know what I will do, but a full removal of the silver on the outside is looking more like what may happen. I will move on to other tasks until I can figure out what I want to do. Those tasks all involve brand new parts, so there will be none of this bovine scatology...
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:04 pm

roweenie wrote:The one thing that would bug me about it is that it goes right over the engraving :cry:

If it were anyplace else, (I regularly play detachable bell horns, so it's not a game changer for me) I might be able to learn to live with it.


The second version has the ring about a quarter inch below the engraving. It is about an inch and a half lower than where the ring naturally fits. The second pics in each pair are in this position. Doing this would require I cut the ring, remove the amount needed to fit the slightly smaller area of the bell below the engraving, and then re-round and braze it. Then I could solder it down and buff up to it. The engraving would not be touched.
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby YORK-aholic » Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:14 am

I don't have an answer for you, but thought I'd mention that my 1959 Holton 340 has this same engraving.

With the ring, it looks a bit like the horns Kanstul made with a similar ring. If you are going to use the ring, I'd say make it a bit smaller and have it under the engraving.

And I'd go with (and stick to) the story that it is a tone ring, similar to the early (?) 2165 tubas.
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:10 am

YORK-aholic wrote:... my 1959 Holton 340 has this same engraving.


Good to know! I should start a file of photos of Holton big horn engraving and the year it was done, just because there is someone out there who would consider that to be "interesting"...

YORK-aholic wrote:... it looks a bit like the horns Kanstul made with a similar ring.


I agree. This was in my head when I looked at the Conn bell ring: This has been done before on the Kanstuls that used the big contra bell, which was an enlarged version of the King K-90, which used the 2341 two-piece bell and the bottom bow, etc. When he came up with his big tubas they just soldered the bell together with the thin wire rather than spending the $$$$ on a mandrel to make the bell in one piece.

Of course, in my fevered state of tuba paranoia I thought that adding this fake ring would somehow lower the value of my horn, knowing all along that it would not since you only need look into the bell to see it is not cut.

YORK-aholic wrote:If you are going to use the ring, I'd say make it a bit smaller and have it under the engraving.


That is the better choice if I use the ring.

YORK-aholic wrote:... it is a tone ring, similar to the early (?) 2165 tubas.


Bingo. Not only has it been "tuned" to be the precise gram of desperately needed added mass and then "scientifically" located at the optimum location on the bell, but, being external, has a number go "industry secret" aerodynamic/acoustic properties. You won't believe how this ring affects the low register in the preliminary wind tunnel tests done at JPL...
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby Heliconer » Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:48 pm

1. I'm an oddball fan of two-tone bells
2. Solder the cut ring below the engraving and stick to the tone-ring story. ;)
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby bloke » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:27 pm

...and non-GMO...

Some plants and animals found in nature are two tone, so - arguably, if you make your bell look ...well... that way, you could also claim that it is (in addition to non-GMO) "natural".

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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:30 pm

Okay, so after looking it over *very* carefully with a big ol' magnifying glass for about a half an hour and using some nifty thickness gauges that you can use on tuba bell walls, I determined that the wall thickness was no more or less thick in the problem area than the uncrushed area at the same "latitude" and that the bell is just thinner there, in general. The cracks I saw were actually very deep, very small impact points (probably from the edge of a Manhasset stand desk or something sharp like that) — OR — very deep, very small areas in folds that did not burnish out and that got crap stuck in them over the years (like silver polish). I have some very close photos so you can see what I beheld with the glass. My eyes are too old to have seen this detail level unaided. (The barn door is wide open for a tacky joke, here, kids.)

The engraving, while very faint, was still healthy enough to handle a tiny bit of buffing and sanding, but the silver needed a pretty good amount of both as it had been babied here to preserve the engraving, so it was very thick. Conundrum time...

So I tried several things, mostly different compounds, and then remembered something I had discovered many years ago.

Two thousand grit wet/dry sandpaper will literally polish off the silver in small places with minimal harm to the underlying brass, if you go slowly and carefully. I ended up using 400 grit to do all the basic sanding to the thin spots and the engraving, perhaps 10 seconds of fairly vigorous scrubbing, to dig into the silver, and then would sit there and polish for a good while with the 2000 grit and the silver came off and the engraving still looks the same. It did not thin out any more. So maybe bloke's friend could go over the pattern with her tools and make it look new-ish. That might be something I want to try after Christmas with some spare gig cash, perhaps a year from now. (Thanks for the suggestion, Joe.)

So I managed to get just about all the visible silver from the bell exterior. Chemically, if it was dipped into the right stuff it would still show up all over. But the metal is still pretty solid. Much of it was already highly damaged and thin; five or six more hand polishing sessions would have started to reveal brass in many places. And some spots were really, really stubborn.

Anyway, no ring needed, no damage found, no real damage inflicted, and my engraving still looks good. Right now I have a big gauze bandage over the very sharp, diamond-footed brace to the top bow. Lining up the bell with the top and bottom bows was a bear for several reasons, so I wanted to leave myself a solid reference point and needed to work on the top bow beneath the brace where it had been punched in a bit. So, with that still on there and my propensity for slashing or gouging myself on such things, it is heavily padded. And all that silver is under the bandage. I will get that stuff off and neaten up the rest of the bell over this week. I am busy, with a quintet service, a freelance gig with a rehearsal and three MSO rehearsals and two MSO performances between now and Saturday night. I also have one morning of teaching. So this project is sort of on hold until next Sunday. I may do some stuff if I get time, but mostly I will be napping.

For now the plan is to leave the inside silver. I can change that in the future if I want, but I probably don't want.

It was raining all day and about 52º so it sort of sucked to be out there for five hours. Buffing tuba bells makes my back hurt so I would take breaks and "mama e" would sand some while I walked laps in the backyard. My Health app says that today I only logged about a half a mile during my breaks, but hey, it was raining. I also chose to eat my lunch al fresco; the chips quickly became crappy from the humidity. They still tasted great, though. I promise.

Greetings from Hell.
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Cracks? NO! They are just deep, dirty folds/creases from when the crushed area was pounded flat and burnished. Whew! :tuba:
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Am I about to say goodbye to my bell engraving?
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A two-tone bell? Perhaps a tritone?
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Since I am leaving the inside silver I left the lip silver too, because making it brass would have looked like absolute poop.
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Bonus shot. Highly collectible. "I am from France." (old SNL ref.)
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Here is that stupid ring, again. Not sure why it's there, but there it is.
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Hey, I did not F this up!
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It is still two-toned, but I like it this way...
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby bloke » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:26 pm

I really didn't see any honest-to-goodness "cracks" in your pictures...only some not-quite completely elevated creases...but pictures are only 2-dimensional...so whatever. If there actually are cracks, you would like to fill them, but don't want to risk a f-up by actually brazing them, that no-lead "hardware store" plumbing solder (that has some silver in it) is pretty good for filling cracks, because (unlike lead solder) it doesn't flow worth a $h!t...which makes it better for crack-filling, because it tends to stay where it is put.

If you check out a one-post thread that I just posted today (mouthpipe thread), that...

(i.e. "Make me a new mouthpipe precisely curved like the old one, yet - instead of the original taper - copying the 5450/6450 taper...and with a standard - instead of euro - receiver...but with the end of the standard shank mouthpiece extending out to the same spot as the euro shank mouthpiece. Do it before I have to leave to drive back to the other side of Little Rock for a faculty meeting, and also put my other mouthpipe (red-rotted) back on, so I have something to play - while you get the new one silver plated.")

...kinda stressed me out, and I (yup) I had to go take a nap...with one of the cats...so I "get" the nap thing...particularly on rainy Sundays.
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby YORK-aholic » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:25 pm

With some of the silver still sitting in the engraving, perhaps the engraving is easier to see against the (now) brass bell background.

Thank you, I'm now brave enough to do the same on a York sousaphone flair that I've trimmed down to 20" (from 26") to possibly replace the flair on a Holton 340 bell that has a 'few' cracks. I'll cross that bridge if/when I get there. If I end up going that route, mine will have an internal and external tone ring...
(May I presume 2 are better than 1?) :tuba:
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby roughrider » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:07 am

It is looking just terrific, Elephant! Keep up the great work and continue to post as you can. Thanks.
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby bloke » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:31 am

That's not going to call for re-engraving at all... ' looks great.
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:09 am

So I bought a new Baldor USA-made buffer. It is the same small size I have been using, only it is a Baldor and not some cheap POS that bogs down when you have to lean in with the work. I have never seen a Baldor seriously bog down, even the 1/3hp ones like I got. It can be done, I have heard, but not by doing what I am doing.

I don't need it right now, but my Chinese thing was toast after only four hours of actual wheel time, and now it comes to a complete stop if you use much pressure or come at the wheels from certain angles.

The Baldor will work on my current pedestal and will be a seamless transition. When I get my carport wired for 220 for welding I will sell my 110 Lincoln and get a Miller, and I will then move up to a Baldor 10" buffer with much longer spindles than what I currently have to cope with.

That day is coming. Not soon. But it will happen one day. Once I have a dedicated 220 line for welding and buffing, etc. I will be making some crazy stuff, to be sure. Very little will be tuba-related. And that makes me smile.

Anyway, this is not a big deal for some here, but it is one for me. I am excited about this. I will finally have a good quality buffing machine, even if it is a small one. You can do a heck of a lot with a good 6" buffer.

Goodbye, ratty orange Chinese buffer.
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby Three Valves » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:08 am

the elephant wrote:

My wife turned 50 today and we are headed out for dinner and a movie.


Dinner AND a movie??

WOW. She must have caught you doing something awful!! :tuba:
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby bloke » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:23 am

Mr. elephant,

Your attic pictures hint (??) at head clearance in some spots.
I tend to wonder if some 2x4's/insulation/sheet rock, a couple of 220 circuits, a motel unit, and some permanent stairs might (??) offer you a good working space. (I actually picked up a solid/good-working motel unit used for $200.)

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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby the elephant » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:40 pm

The Cirque folks are our guests this weekend. I have to head out to the reading rehearsal. Tomorrow we have dress. Saturday is the concert. I will try to get in about four hours a day on this. Then I have two weeks more or less off.

Today I finished stripping the silver off the bell exterior and then spent some time with a small hand buffer to work out most of the sanding marks. Lots of dirty work. I think this tuba will end up looking pretty nice once I am finished.

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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby roughrider » Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:18 pm

Beautiful picture!
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby bloke » Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:26 pm

yep...
That's going to end up looking really good.
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Re: Holton 345 Redux

Postby The Big Ben » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:20 pm

Nice! The whole horn will look beautiful when it is back together!
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