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Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby pete edwards » Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:59 am

definitely oscar-worthy!
thank you for taking the time to educate us. you could be the AvE of the tuba world!
when the tool "squeezes" the bearing it does so in a 120 degree triangle- would it be beneficial to do it twice, rotating the tool 60 degrees so in effect you're squeezing in a hex pattern? or maybe it makes no difference? when you say the contact patch is 5mm, you mean lengthwise, right, not around the diameter of the stem?
I imagine this could be done (carefully) with a 5C collet in a lathe (with the valve detached from the horn of course)
my problem is mainly end-play. how do you address that?

sorry, so many questions
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Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby the elephant » Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:39 am

I don't know how to fix vertical end play, Pete, except through tiny shims made of teflon between the rear face of the rotor stem and the recess in the rear cap, using trial and error until you have things where they need to be. The proper method would be to have the rotors plated, I suppose, and then re-fit them from scratch, but that does nothing for the worn casing parts.

Some here call the set screws on Miraphone valves a temporary solution, but I have always used them, even on brand new horns, to good effect. (Pic below.) If you have lathe skills making something like this would be a snap. Note that Miraphone drills a tiny hole across the screw, through the post/threads, and pulls a very fine neoprene rod through and nips it off flush with the OD of the screw. This gives you two nice, rubbery contact points on the threads to keep the screw from moving once adjusted. This works for many years. I have not seen but one or two where this no longer gripped properly.

I add something similar to valves, or I *did* when I had access to a lathe. [I am going to be in the market for another lathe as well as an end mill this next year. They are hard to find used down here in Land Mass. (CNN Ref. Sorry.)] I plan on adding set screws to my four Olds rotors in the earlier photos. They all have more end play than I like. Also, four of the above Miraphone valves are all missing their set screws. Some kid at Jackson State must have removed most of them from all five horns that these were picked from, because only one cap has them, and the other three have been wallowed out so that real Miraphone set screws are too small. I will have to buy new rear caps for those.

The bearings are tapered and as they wear down the valve moves up into the bearing collar over time. So that is where the end play comes from. A pointed set screw works great.

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Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby the elephant » Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:44 am

Pete, do you remember adding solder to your bell rim that one time in the backyard at our house on Stella? You had a propane torch in your hand and the bell section was resting on our grill. Our friend Ron R. called for you. I got the phone and walked out back to let you talk to him and I was like, "Come on over, man; we're barbecuing trombones!"

Some of my first repair experiences were with you and that propane torch; you even used the gas stove top to move a brace or two on your King. Thanks for that; it made me realize there was no voodoo to this work, you simply did it. You have no idea how much that motivated me to look for a repair job after I moved here. Same with Eric Swanson. He did some work for me and I was completely amazed at what a guy in his garage could do to improve a horn.
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Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby pete edwards » Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:01 am

Yes i remember that well. I always think of those episodes & chuckle when experienced people start poo-pooing others starting out wanting to learn. They would freak out at some of the stuff I've done to expensive instruments (of my own- i never do any instrument work for anyone else)
I'm still a hack but I have been a machinist & engineer now for ~25 years so I haven't outright destroyed anything in quite a while.
I like the set screw idea, but I may try the shims first- McMaster-Carr sells brass shim washers down to .001" thk.
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Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby the elephant » Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:01 pm

Yesterday my sprained ankle was feeling somewhat better, so I tried to do some work. I am now working mostly on the BBb parts tuba as a restoration candidate. (I am still not convinced that it is worth the effort and funds, that perhaps it really does need to be relegated to the parts bin.)

I need to get my act together on the Z60, which takes some practice, not so much in *doing* the work but in *how* to do the work, as in learning which heads to use, set to which angles and such. I know that I need/want/covet/lust for/desire/must have two more attachments (for *now*, that is) and I will order them next month when I have more cash.

Anyway, I decided to put in more time on the bell before heading out to pick up a new tank of acetylene to fix the holes and cracks. I want it close to finished before I do all this heating so I can learn just how much distortion and warpage can happen. (Normally you would rough out the bell damage and repair the holes, afterwards doing the fine work. I know I am doing this backwards, and am doing so for self-training purposes.) I also damaged the bell flare edge and it is all tulip-like in shape. Damn. Well, I think I know how to even that back out, but I will have to trim the flare to be the correct diameter in the end. Actually that has to happen anyway. Right now the bell is about a quarter inch different in OD from north/south to east/west. I knew this would happen, but I was sure it would happen EVENLY and it did not. I know how to remove the tulip-ed rim edge (I think) and will try that tomorrow, but the process will thin the brass even more so that the bell grows ever wider. Hmm...

Whatever.

Further, I got sick of looking at the horribly mangled garland, so I took that outside to clean it up. I stripped it, sanded off the burnt lacquer patches, rant it through the dent machine (gently) and the Fast Eddie (less gently because it was not being pressed thinner) until it looked a lot better. I removed the badly rusted steel bell wire and cleaned that up pretty well, reshaping it to fit the garland's wire channel. Lots of rust was cleaned off the inside but I did not actually chemically clean the inside surface. I might, but probably not. Lastly, I spent about an hour on the channel and fold-over lip. Ugh...

Saving one of these is difficult at best. This one needs to be cut into patching stock. But I tried to reinstall it for practice. I do not want to dump about $150 on a new one only to find out that I suck at this procedure. I have done only one of these, and it was back in 1998 or so, IIRC. We had a MW bell with a throat and pancake almost identical to a 188, but with a wider rim. The rolled lip had been crushed and bent up somehow. (It looked intentional.) We cut it to the size needed to fit a 188 garland and got it to fit, but the final shape was slightly more Miraphone-ish with the MW throat. I am not sure how well the owner liked it, but it was his idea. He even provided us with the garland. *I* thought it played just fine, personally, but a garland on a MW horn looked weird to me.

Again with the "whatever" bit.

So I know what has to be done to get one of these off and on, but I am not sure I can still do that with a single chance and experience that came to me decades ago.

With that in mind I putzed around for two hours but I could not get the badly mangled garland to fit. The slightly larger than factory spec bell needs to be trimmed. I am not willing to even think of doing that until it is completely finished.

But I tried and learned a lot in the process of trying.

The bell "stack" will be done on my next pass with the Z60. The flare might be, too. Maybe not. The holes and cracks await, though. Soon, soon...

Even after a fifteen minutes on the Fast Eddie this was as good as I could get it. It is trash, I think.
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The worst of the steel rust is gone, but the thing needs to be cleaned. The rusted wire is much cleaner, now, though.
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What concerns me right now is that the garland shape did not match the bell shape in the angle. I think the garland is pretty different from when it was new. But the alteration of the bell shape due to the dent work would (I believe) belie my abilities with this machine, rusty or not; I am better than that. So I am at a loss. I do not want to buy the part only to find that it will not fit.

I guess I will have to take some very careful measurements of the CC bell and the BBb one to see if there are actually differences or the lack of a proper fit is due to my monkeying about with the smashed garland. It was a big oval when looking through it when I started. And the angle fits the bell for about half the circumference. But the other half is a complete no-go. I did not rotate it to see whether the bell was misshapen as I had to quit for the day. I will look at this more tomorrow if the weather improves. (It is cold, rainy and very windy outside right now, and the carport workspace has about a half inch of water on the floor. Yep, the yard flooded this morning and has not yet fully drained. The city has a crew unplugging the Canal Street drainage culvert, but hey, they work hourly and it pays more to work at a comfortable pace, heh, heh... Once it is opened up the yard will drain in about ten minutes.)

This is a No-Go.
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Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby roughrider » Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:31 pm

Keep posting with text and pictures, please.
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Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby pete edwards » Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:37 am

just fill the gap with solder!
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Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby the elephant » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:08 am

HA! It would be like ten pounds of the stuff! The gap/distortion is like a quarter of an inch wide, man!!! ;-)

In other news, I think I ruined this bell using too much pressure on the already very thin flare edge. I have never had to fix this much damage on a beadless bell, only on bells with rolled beads. The one garland I have replaced was on a bell that had suffered one deep crush on the back side. Something had slammed into and through the wooden case and crushed the bell in a deep V from the opening down towards the bottom bow. The rest of the bell was still in good condition and it was very easy to roll and smooth the damage to MATCH the curvature that was still present along most of the bell flare; it had its own, built-in reference shape. This bell had no remaining reference that was trustable.

Tabor got it pretty well roughed in. I did the final roughing in and some of the finer work and was really quite pleased with it when compared with my CC — the flares looked to have the same curvature to my eye. I decided to use my new Power Disc and forgot how much friction it removes from the process, so I add some back in by over-tightening the damned thing. Now the rim has too much surface area for the space it has to live in. I think I can sort of save it, but I think it is probably ruined.

I will still do all the work to the cracks and holes for the practice, and I will try to flatten the rim, but once that has been done I believe a new garland will not be able to be forced onto the new curvature.

damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn…

Well, I promised in my very first build thread (the Holton Monster Eb) that I would record my screw-ups as a part of the learning process. I screw up. You learn from it. HAHAHA!!!

This is so embarrassing...

The blue line is where I think it used to be and the red one is where it is, probably due to my having used too much pressure on the dent machine. This is due to my not having used one very much since about 1998, and probably never for this *specific* repair.
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Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby the elephant » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:21 pm

J.c. says to re-anneal the edge of the flare and that it ought to snap back to more or less the correct shape. I have to pick up a new acetylene B tank this afternoon. I will give that a try later if the weather holds out. Finger crossed.

Since I will have all the gobs of acetylene I need I will start grinding out the holes and cracks to silver solder them closed.

One way or another today will tell me whether this bell will be usable...
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Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby the elephant » Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:51 pm

Okay, details later, but it more or less worked. And the holes are very sloppily patched and in need of a lot of grinding and then gentle sanding to feather them in, so to speak.

Still lots of crap to accomplish before I decide whether I F-ed this bell up or if it will be usable, but I am thinking I can order the garland from Badger safely. I just didn’t want to do that and then decide the bell was junk.

Thanks for helping reverse my cranial/rectal inversion, J.c. Sherman!

The wife is driving us to our errands in town, so I am on my phone. More later when I have an actual keyboard...

EDIT: Okay, so I am home now. The bell ripples did not smooth out completely, but they lessened by about 90% or so. I was trying to do it "wrong" but after some time I figured it out. However, while doing it wrong I used the torch tip to gently press down some of the spots that were not flattening out onto the steel table top. These are the small but sort of deep ripples that are now left. When I flipped it over and allowed the rim to move around on its own it came back to mostly straight, so the ripples that are there are from my first attempt. Lesson learned.

Tomorrow I will fix all that as well as the various small blobs of silver solder that need to be cleaned up.

I still have the two tiny, folded lines that I am not sure how to fix, or if I can just leave them alone. They are not going to vibrate the same as the surrounding areas of the flare, so I may decide to trim out the folded excess brass and then silver solder together what is left. First I have to see if I do well enough with grinding down and finishing the holes and cracks I filled. Then I have to practice trimming out the tiny overlap by creating one in some sheet stock and then fixing it. I would *really* like to have those two huge flaws repaired, and now that it is dead soft in that area I may be able to pry them open and then trim them. I doubt I could open them up and then move the metal back into the bell's shape. I think I will address those two folds after I have the garland on and the bell is a lot more rigid. Maybe not. I don't know. Again, this is my second time doing this, and the first time was like 20 years ago.

I am satisfied that all the holes and cracks have been well filled, and that is a relief. I have like 24 in the bottom bow and a two inch crack in the top bow. The two bows also have HOLES in them. Not pin holes, but HOLES. These may have to be patched. I might try to cut them out and silver solder in new material. I have done this in the past, too, but I had a lot of trouble fitting the new piece into the hole and not having to prop it up somehow. It needs to fit, but it also needs to fit perfectly and be tight. Both are in places where I should be able to grind a little and file or sand a lot on the inside to smooth it enough to be worked with a dent ball after they are in, and I hate patches, so this may happen.

Anyway, the bell rim is still bad looking but it is something with which I can easily cope, now.

After too much dent machine madness…
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After some annealing… (Still bad, but it is *MUCH* better. I am not sure the photos actually capture how bad it was and how not horrible it is now.
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I filled nine holes and cracks, cleaned everything off and did a minor polishing (or brightening, actually) job to look for anything I may have missed. There were three spots with like zero penetration, so I did a crap job cleaning them, obviously. I cleaned them again, and silver soldered them from the other side. Here is what three holes look like when they have been filled on a stripped bell that was just chemically cleaned a few minutes before. It looks like bullet wounds, man. Damn. Anyway, all that cleaned up, too. You can also see the many places where I lightly dented the metal with the torch tip trying to fix the flare the wrong way. I did not listen to the brass tell me what it needed. I just kept trying to tell it what to do. My mistake. Tomorrow will see that all fixed, too.
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Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby the elephant » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:41 pm

It is cold, windy and shady in the carport today, near freezing @ 33º F and the wind SUCKS! I had intended to grind down the huge lumps of silver solder that I had to glob on to fill my improperly cleaned and prepped holes and cracks because I am a dipstick of enormous magnitude. Also, my vision is not too good these days, thanks to my diabetes. I could not see well enough to do this work at anything other than beginner quality, and that is an insult to most beginners.

Still, I stuck, it out, did only a little irreversible damage, but lots that I will try to fix on another day with better lighting and less wind and, oh yeah, not so FREAKING COLD!

I filled all the holes. The small cracks are okay. The long crack needs some additional work, but it *is* sealed, so I may just leave it alone. I really do not care about how this horn looks up close. I am just using as a teaching mule and test bed. If I was a smoker I would also probably treat it like an ashtray, but that is neither here nor there.

So, I will not post the horror photos until I can post photos where I fixed everything, because embarrassment sucks.

Here are three that do not make me cry like a little child when I look at them.

Ciao, y'all... :-/

It is too damned cold and windy out here!
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Yeah, the rim is F-ed up again, but I had to practice some more with the Z60 (and can fix this easily enough), and after I used a rasp, files and sandpaper I wanted to see where I was, so I lightly buffed each hole on both sides and then pressed them out on the Z60. Since I am now half blind I took these closeup shots to look at what I had done versus what still needed to be ground down. The first run of this plainly shows how inexperienced I am at filling holes. I have always patched them for physical reinforcement. Truthfully, I had never considered simply filling them because I felt that most of them are due to excessive folding and the metal is super weak at the fold line. I was wrong about that, and am now attempting to learn a seriously dense skill set in like three days. So it looked like crap. But when I need to do this to my keeper CC 186 it will not bee my first rodeo.
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There are three such folds in the metal in this area that was obviously VERY stretched out. The impact must have been against something steel and it must have been very hard to stretch it like that. Perhaps a fussy high schooler pitched a fit and hit the bell with a music stand leg? Hmm. I have to figure out how to fix this. So far, the easiest thing that comes to mind is also the most destructive: anneal, pry open, trim out, hard solder closed.
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Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby roughrider » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:45 pm

Thank you for posting! I always look for your posts first. Keep up the great work!
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Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby the elephant » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:06 pm

WOW! What a long, mind-bending load of nonsense I just typed up and then deleted!

Allow me to try again.

So I was busy with the orchestra season starting up, then became overwhelmed with Christmas work, as is the norm. Since Christmas I have been too sick to work outside. My diabetes side effects have been really bad and I have been either in the bed or barely functional for long stretches.This happens every year after the terrible food I eat during the holidays. This year was worse than normal for that as I had no choice but to eat the junk served by churches at gigs. (Carbs. Nothing but CARBS! That is like death to a diabetic!)

I am now feeling somewhat normal again and work starts back up tomorrow morning with three quintet performances down in Jackson. So I plan on getting back to work very soon.

I have finally decided that the BBb parts horn is to be fully restored and cut to CC. I want another 186 CC for a practice horn that stays out and accessible in my practice studio 100% of the time. (I have a massive dislike of unpacking and repacking gig bags when I need to practice for several reasons. Having a horn that was always ready to go was a real boon in the past, so this tuba will end up being "that" horn.)

To make this conversion work I need to buy a few parts. I will need the complete 4th slide loop, the L-shaped dogleg from 4th to the MTS, and a leadpipe. I will also need a complete 5th valve unit (which is the two-slide circuit with braces, a complete rotary valve and a complete lever and linkage system). Lots to buy. Ugh.

For my CC I have to add a 5th valve. It plays quite well with only 4 valves, but the low end is challenging. For that tuba I already have a brand new 186 5th rotor unit, as well as a brand new 5th lever and linkage system using the Minibal links. I just need the complete slide loop.

I like how the 5th plays on my Jinbao 410. Since these parts are all very well made and are available at much lower prices than new genuine Miraphone parts and they will work fine (with some caveats) I decided to use them on my CC, at least initially. I can always change them out later on down the road.

Here is what I have on order:

• Crook, top slide (1)
• Crook, bottom slide (1)
• Outer tubes, top slide (2)
• Inner tubes, top slide (2)
• Outer tubes, bottom slide (2)
• Inner tubes, bottom slide (2)
• Ferrule, top and bottom slide (4)
• Ferrule, valve body to Z tube (1)
• Brace post, top slide to mouthpipe (2)
• Brace post, bottom slide to 4th branch (1)
• Brace post, bottom slide to 4th slide (1)
• Brace post, bottom slide to 3rd slide (1)
• Brace foot (10)
• S-shaped dogleg - bottom slide to top slide (1)
• Z-shaped dogleg - bottom slide to valve body (1)

When you buy their braces you purchase the cast post and two discs separately. I don't yet know whether they are already curved or if they are flat. Regardless, you have to file the post to fit, and then silver solder the three parts together. I like to assemble braces ON THE HORN, and this will not be possible with silver soldering. I will have to make an adjustable jig to hold these together at the correct angles while I hit them with the torch. Because of this I may opt for Miraphone braces later if they come pre-assembled; in the end they will just look nicer.

We shall see, as I always say.

Tabor sold me the rest of his leftover Minibal links, and this was like a random handful of two different sizes. The two sizes are the exact same as the ones I used on my CC 186. After that was done I had a handful of leftovers, too. They were not enough to make a full valve section worth of linkage arms. As luck would have it, Tabor's and my leftovers combined to allow me to make two complete sets! How about that for luck? :mrgreen:

I have only one of the four needed stainless steel arms for valves 1-4, though, so I will be buying three more of them soon. Hey, why not now? ~brb~
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Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby the elephant » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:52 pm

Hey, I picked up the three needed push rods, the single shoulder screw (very hard to find locally or even on McMaster-Carr) and some of the Jinbao braces already assembled from one of our TubeNet sponsors! GREAT!

So I have all these parts on order from the factory, some of the braces in non-kit form, and the rest of the Minibal linkage parts. Cool beans, as we used to say. I am happy about all that.

Now I need to order some stuff from Ed Stregge.

So, I am oddly excited about the chance to be the first nitwit to cut a 186 from BBb to CC. I have both here (from the same year, no less) and can easily photograph and measure (including fluid volume) each part side-by-side, so why not? Discovering the exact differences between the BBb and CC horns could be useful to someone, somewhere, someday. (Theeeeeeeeere's aaaaaaaa plaaaaaaace for us...)

Once I have all the BBb parts carefully measured I can see whether they are the same parts that have been trimmed, or if they are separate parts altogether that simply look almost the same. The volume tests will be interesting for that reason. (Too bad Klaus passed on. He would have been fascinated by this comparison.)

I am starting with a known-good CC and what is still a questionable BBb. To do all this I will first start my overhaul and restoration to the CC bugle and try to restore each BBb part at the same time as its CC brother. Once the CC is back in playing condition I can then spend time with the BBb to see if I can simply cut the parts or if that won't work. (If it won't then - of course - it will stay a BBb and will get sold, but with a CC-style 4th slide and a 5th valve.) Either way, I will need to assemble it as a BBb FIRST to see if it is even a decent tuba. (I am sure it is at least very decent, if not excellent, but one never knows.)
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Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby roughrider » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:56 pm

It was terrific to open up TubeNet this afternoon and see that you are back posting about your restoration projects! Keep up the great work and continue to post your photos and text. It is very much appreciated by those of us who frequent this particular area ( some having a great deal of skill such as yourself and others like me who do not have any :oops:)!
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Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby Stryk » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:35 pm

I'd like to find a 60-70s vintage 186 C. They are GREAT playing horns.
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Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby the elephant » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:48 pm

roughrider wrote:It was terrific to open up TubeNet this afternoon and see that you are back posting about your restoration projects! Keep up the great work and continue to post your photos and text. It is very much appreciated by those of us who frequent this particular area ( some with a great deal of skills such as yourself and others like me who do not :oops:)!


Thank you very much for the encouragement. Occasionally this can be discouraging work, but most of the time it is very rewarding. However, after a long break, I procrastinate in picking it back up, so the encouragement is always appreciated. :oops:

Stryk wrote:I'd like to find a 60-70s vintage 186 C. They are GREAT playing horns.


I totally agree — for most of them. Some of them were real stinkers, though, and the best of them never had intonation as spot-on beautiful as most 188s have, but some had very nice pitch. The best though, IMHO, are the ones with "186 tuning" that was very consistent in its tendencies even if a bit inconsistent with the amounts of the errors.

The BBbs of this era had roughly the same tendencies, so one could learn to play a good 186 BBb and then be pretty proficient with just about any 186 BBb. And if you had to learn CC on a 186 you discovered that the slides needed to be set roughly the same and that the same pulls and alternates would be needed for the same fingerings on the same partials. Very consistent stuff!

My CC 186 does not play as well in tune with itself as my Jinbao 410, but it is actually easier to hear and adjust the errors, and none of them are out of the "186 norm" for this. I was able to pick it up and play it very well in tune the first time because of this predicable nature. The quality and amount of sound is so nice, even in the full orchestra in most cases; this horn has only ever barked on me two or three times (during the first rehearsal with the MSO) and since then I have only gotten better at playing loud and low without the tone breaking up. The trombones really like playing with it.

I had a lot more trouble playing the smaller leadpipe horns of the mid- to late-1970s in a large ensemble. They play better in tune and are much sweeter/colorful in timbre, but they are easier for me to get that undesirable "tearing metal" tone. The older ones with the earlier, larger rolled and seamed leadpipes float my boat more for this reason, and those horns all seem to be in the year range of about 1967-1973, from TNFJ anecdotal info.

Whatever. I really like mine.
____________________________________________

And now: another episode of "The Winds of Wade"…

This tuba has a number of small parts that are damaged enough that I want to replace them. I plan on repairing and moving the old ones over to the BBb as many of these parts on this horn are ruined or are on the shopping list of parts needed to help me get it pitched in the key of C.

Today I bought

• bell garland
• top bow guard
• bottom bow guard
• keel
• thumb ring base
• MTS crook

The next batch will be ordered after an upcoming freelance gig, and will contain

• L-shaped water key branch
• valve lever shaft (with nut)
• slide branch - 1st (long)
• slide branch - 1st (short)
• crook (1/3/4/upper 5) x3

A note on the garland: I have never installed one of these and it can be a real bear, even when you know what you are doing. I got one from Badger that has no engraving on it. I hate that, but not having to make sure it is clocked correctly over and over while I tap it onto the bell rim makes me happier. This is for the BBb bell that had cracks and holes. If I can do this well I will buy a fully engraved one from Miraphone and put it on the CC as mine is sort of beat in ways that cannot be repaired easily. A new one would be easier in the long run.

Anyway, all this is to show that I will soon have a lot of new parts for both horns, as well as parts already here awaiting installation. Now if they would just get here... HAHAHA!!!
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Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby the elephant » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:55 pm

Okay, so Eva finally got back to me. They no longer engrave bell wreaths. They can get it done for me, but it might not look exactly the same and it would be $70 more, at least. The part would cost me $110 (or so, based on the exchange rate at time of billing) plus the $70, plus international shipping for a large, heavily padded box.

They no longer have the wooden forms and steel mandrels to make the old leadpipes in the old way. They can *copy* mine… but, of course, I don't *have* the one that came on this tuba; it had been replaced many years ago — with the wrong pipe. Anyway, if I could ship a 1971 pipe to them it would cost me a minimum of about $600 to have one made the old way, with hand rolling and seaming sheet brass, and then drawing it to a mandrel, then hand bending it.

That is just too much for me. So I have to monkey around with a few pipes and perhaps bend three or four myself, too. I will end up with something I really like at some point. What is on there is very good. What I removed was even better, but needs some work to make it actually fit the horn.

Hmm… I guess I'll have to make my own bending forms, then. That sort of sucks.

Then I find out that Badger's website has items listed for sale that are not in the paper catalog, and Ed has no recollection of ever offering these items for sale, despite them being listed on the website. That was a big disappointment for me. I selected three items on his website and called him to confirm he had them in stock. His answers were, "No," and, "HUH? Where did you see that?"

I *can* get some of the things Ed does not have (but his website offers to customers) directly from Miraphone, but the prices are still pretty high, and then you have to add in the high cost of international shipping. Eventually I will get together a list of every part I could possibly ever need from Miraphone (so long as it is something currently made), buy all that mess at once, and be done with it.

This means I have to do a lot of actual *repair* work to get some of these bashed up old parts back into usable condition (on the BBb) or cosmetically "new looking" (on the CC).

Well, as least I have some firm info on the leadpipe and Kranz.

Now I just need the parts I have on order.

This is taking forever and I am not very patient in such a situation. My head will probably explode before I get all my stuff.

Rats… :mrgreen:
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Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby Casca Grossa » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:49 pm

It will be worth it when it's done. Can't wait to see the finished product.
Mack-a-clone 186 Chairman Mao
Blokepiece Imperial
Lignatone Eb Sigmund Freud
Amati Eb Klement Gottwald
Blokepiece Solo
Mack Brass Bass Bone Sun Tzu
Douglas Yeo Replica Mouthpiece
Why have 3 valves when you can have 6 and a main tuning slide kicker???
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Re: Dueling 186s - Twin Restorations

Postby the elephant » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:53 pm

Way back in October, the elephant wrote:Top bow after magnetic de-denting. I did not tart this up any by polishing it, so the surface looks like garbage, but it is now very well shaped in this spot.
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Bell "stack" (I hate that term, but pretty much everyone knows what it means, so…) where the leadpipe had punched in two deep dents, nicely smoothed by the Z60…
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Without adjustment the leadpipe wants to live right here, but *I* liked the old spot. I will fix that later. For now it goes where the Sharpie is.
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The leadpipe showing the factory finish on the left, the lightly burnished on the right showing the pitted finish that has to be fixed, and in the middle the heavily burnished showing how much less I will have to sand off the pipe to get it smooth enough for buffing.
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It took me about an hour and a half to fully burnish this pipe, and the finish was smoothed enough to allow me to hand sand it smooth in only an hour using 400 grit automotive wet/dry sandpaper. Tedious, but nearly no metal was removed.
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After buffing it out I did a dry fit to mark the horn and wire it down. Then I soldered it onto the tuba.
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It lined up pretty darned well, IMHO.
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Looks straight enough to me for now.
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I had to hold it down with my fingertip here. It kept wanting to tip forwards and open up a small gap between the pipe and the top bow. It did not take any force to hold it down properly, it was just gravity screwing with my day.
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This is the brace I cannibalized from the BBb parts horn after a lot of cleanup, sanding and buffing. It has deep pits all over it from decades with spotty lacquer. The lacquered parts were still factory thick, and the spots that were bare are deep pits. I got it as smooth as I could before I became bored with it.
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The fit is not perfect. It is bent for the circumference of the area about an inch higher up, which is larger, so it has a more gradual curvature. This brace, right here, needs to be bent. I did not feel like it and just filled the stupid gaps. Again, it will move later, so it does not have to be customer level work; its just for me and only for a month or two until I can install the 5th valve.
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It's on! I have cleaned up as much as I feel is necessary for this temporary stuff.
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I like the way-too-wide 188 leadpipe better. Time to do some “big bending” to try and get it to fit since it is so different from a 186 leadpipe. The 186 leadpipe, however, works really well and did not need to be bent to work nicely. There is room for improvement, but not much, so I probably won’t mess with it.
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