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Re: My Eb Tuba Project

Postby roweenie » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:35 am

Tubajug wrote:In this next picture I highlight a few changes that will have to be made. The piece circled in blue is what connected to the top-action valveset, but you can probably imagine that if I put the new valves there, they would be really high up on the body. So, that piece will have to go and I'll have to make up the 4" lost somewhere else along the way. The orange square indicated where that piece will have to be cut and ferrule added to turn that dogleg around to the front to mate up with the large side of the main tuning slide.

Image

I plan to de-dent and clean up all the bows, branches, and bell as best I can with what I've got on hand. I would really love to send it out to someone to do professionally, so that it's all smooth and straight, but I can't afford that, so I'll do my best here at home!


Very nice work!

Why not just dispense with that blue-circled dogleg, and solder the 4th valve exit port right onto the small end of the male tubing of the MTS? The "lost length" theoretically doesn't really exist - the length will be made up in the mouthpipe (side action ones are, generally speaking, longer than top action ones).

If worse comes to worst, you can extend the length of the MTS 2" on each side.....this can actually be a plus, as an added 5th valve usually takes out about 2" of space of the tubing it is spliced into.

(Also, don't forget you've probably already added at least an inch, by adding a 4th valve to your valve cluster.....and, the actual diameter of the valves on the side action set are probably larger than the original top action ones. Make sure you remember to add the length of the valves, entrance to exit, into your calculations....)
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Re: My Eb Tuba Project

Postby the elephant » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:19 am

None of those pics shows up in my browser, for whatever reason. I have not had this issue with any of your previous photos. It may be a privacy setting. I could view the pics before but now I can only see them if I open them in a new page or tab, and even then they won't display. The browser will only download them to my computer. I don't know what is up with that. :|
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Re: My Eb Tuba Project

Postby Tubajug » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:20 am

the elephant wrote:None of those pics shows up in my browser, for whatever reason. I have not had this issue with any of your previous photos. It may be a privacy setting. I could view the pics before but now I can only see them if I open them in a new page or tab, and even then they won't display. The browser will only download them to my computer. I don't know what is up with that. :|


Hmm.... that's odd. I posted them the same way I did all the others (using a Google drive direct link generator).

And thanks for the thoughts roweenie. I had actually thought the same thing about adding a small piece of tubing between the valve block and small side of the MTS because I'll be putting the 5th valve on the large side. Good to know my line of thinking was on track!
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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

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Re: My Eb Tuba Project

Postby the elephant » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:22 am

… aaaaaaaaaand now I can see them all again.

WTH?

Jordan, (heh, now that I can see what you are talking about) I agree with roweenie. Start with your intended full length from bell to receiver, and deduct what you have right now. The remainder is the length needed for your leadpipe and valve section. Ditch the blue dogleg. It is there to allow your valves to clear your inner branches, but you can also do that by canting the MTS a little bit, so I don't think you need it for this application. This will move the valves down into the center of the body and give you better balance. It will also allow for a longer leadpipe. Where your leadpipe stops expanding is wherever you want that to happen, and this will give you the length of that dogleg to play with in your taper. You could use a leadpipe with a slower taper (which generally improves things on "loose" horns, but I don't like it on small ones) and move the entire taper down and away from the mouthpiece. You could just opt for a slower overall taper. You could use the same taper and end with four or five inches of straight pipe. This would give you lots of options for you to play with later, once the horn is a real, functioning tuba again. You already have a LOT of tubing between the valves and the big dogleg.
_____________________________________________________

Forgive my ignorance, but where is your 5th going? Right after 4th or after your MTS? After the MTS usually works better but either is far better than before the pistons on a large horn. On this a leadpipe rotor would not be terrible, so you really have three options. Can you mock up the horn minus the blue dogleg? A photo of the pistons and rotor and even just a coat hanger wire for a leadpipe will give you a lot to study and ponder. You could set up poser shots with the rotor in all three places. (The one set after the MTS would have to be just taped onto the the existing tubing unless you want to take that area apart, which I would not do for photos like this.) If you have a set of photos like this you can spend lots of time studying this while the horn is put away and you are free to think like a designer. When you have the parts in front of you you tend to think more like an engineer, and sometimes it is better to just look at photos and see what it LOOKS like. You brain will eventually plug your inner-engineer into your inner-designer and a lightbulb will turn on and you will have your needed "eureka" moment. I use photo mockup like this all the time.
_____________________________________________________

One other thing I do when I am laying out something that is seriously different from the original is to take photos of all the parts and then print them in B&W and trace them onto paper. I cut them out and move them around, sort of like using graph paper room plans with scale drawings of my furniture to play with how to set up that room. It is far easier and faster to move pieces of paper than it is to shove couches and chairs all over the place, and it is far nicer to my hardwood floors. Anyway, eventually I make a partial template of what I have to work with. Then I can print copies of that and sketch in what is missing so I can decide first on the layout and then what I will need to achieve that.

Here is a series of very helpful photos that have allowed me to mess with this old King K-90 GG contrabass bugle. I removed all the parts I did not want to re-use, and needed to see what my options are with the York four-piston set I made. It is to be a 5-valved GG tuba with a top "corrective" MTS and a lower "set" MTS. I needed to figure out where the rotor would live and how I would need to lay out the remaining tubing to keep it in GG. Slides don't matter in this case, as you can figure that out after you have a functional bugle with all the valves and a working tuning slide.

I will do this again with the other K-90 for the five rotor CC tuba I want to try to make out of it.

Original photo with my wife holding the piston set where I think I want it to live.
Image

I have processed the photo to get rid of as much dark stuff as I could, since that takes more toner and makes it harder to see through the paper to trace the tuba…
Image

Here is the image file I made from all that. I can now print off as many copies as I need to allow me to sketch my ideas…
Image

Here is a printed copy with one of my ideas penned in…
Image

The last photo is what I am going with. After about ten previous sketches this one worked out the best with the taper rate and the known bore of the piston set. I have a rotor that will fit into the system at the point shown that is the correct bore size, and I have a lower slide to tune with and an upper slide to adjust pitch with. I like it. I can't wait to finish all my other work horn projects so I can move into this fun "fantasy" tuba project.

One last thing that I do when I am really stumped on a lay out is to make parts with heavy coat hanger wire and then modeling clay. I allow the clay to harden on the wire and I then have a set of rigid (but very fragile) dummy parts to move around and look at. This is helpful when working with a leadpipe that will not be simple to bend. You just keep making the wire fit closer and closer to what you need, then cover it in clay and let it dry. This is very dirty, though. I have been looking for the flex stuff used in metal gooseneck lamps. It is some sort of electrical conduit, and having a roll of it is great. I have seen people make mockups using this stuff, but I cannot find it locally. I will probably hit Amazon for some soon, because I am sick of the dirty, crumbly clay getting all over my bench. It is helpful, to be sure, but you can only make one part per block of clay. The conduit is something you can just lay down in the shape you need, and it will sort of hold that shape as you measure curves and such.
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Re: My Eb Tuba Project

Postby bloke » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:06 pm

Jordan,

I'm very aware that you've done a fine job of successfully tackling projects in the past...

Have you done a pre-test - blowing through the well-sealed bugle (with the taper as it will eventually exist) to insure that the offered intonation will justify the project? (I didn't see that anywhere in the thread.) The scariest project I ever undertook was the cimbasso-thing, because there was absolutely no practical way to pre-test, and - until near completion - I only had a "hunch".
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Re: My Eb Tuba Project

Postby Tubajug » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:00 pm

bloke wrote:Have you done a pre-test - blowing through the well-sealed bugle (with the taper as it will eventually exist) to insure that the offered intonation will justify the project? (I didn't see that anywhere in the thread.) The scariest project I ever undertook was the cimbasso-thing, because there was absolutely no practical way to pre-test, and - until near completion - I only had a "hunch".


The short answer is no, I have not. I currently don't have a leadpipe for it (other than the one from the original horn and the one from my 12J carcass). The only part of the original bugle I will not be using is the "blue" dogleg. I'm trusting (hoping...) that the intonation will be close to what it was as a top action horn, which was very good. I haven't gone through and measured lately, but that will hopefully happen again soon. The original valve section was about 8 inches of horn, the leadpipe was 12 (the 12J one is about the same actually, but sticks way out the side of the horn when I tested it for fun), and I haven't measured my new valve block yet.

I have considered trying a stock leadpipe, but I am meeting with a gentleman in Omaha in the next few weeks to iron out my bell, talk rotor placement, and get his thoughts on the leadpipe (he has the equipment and the know-how to draw one for me).

To answer some of Wade's questions, in the photo below, the valve section is sitting as though it is connected to the small side of the main tuning slide (no blue dogleg) and I like where it sits in visual terms. The rotor I acquired will fit on the large side of the tuning slide (I couldn't find one small enough for the small side, and I thought a slightly larger bore would be beneficial for the 5th valve. I've read a lot about where to put 5th valves and people seem to be split over whether they should go on the large or small side of the MTS). I am considering putting it on two ways, either cut out some of the dogleg that would connect to the rest of bugle or simply add it to the end of the MTS or keep the dogleg intact, then adding some tubing between the valve block and small side of the MTS to keep it even on both sides (which would make up the 4" lost on that blue dogleg, but I still should measure as suggested to see if that really needs to be "made up" or not). If I go with the first option, that would put the rotor right under that tubing for the first valve, which makes me lean toward the second option. If it ends up being too long, I have some room to trim on the MTS crook itself.

Adding the rotor there and adding a couple inches on the other side would also move the MTS down toward the bottom bow, which would help fill in some of that space, but that is purely a visual thing for me.

Image

Thanks again for all the input. If I missed anything, let me know!
Last edited by Tubajug on Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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.
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Re: My Eb Tuba Project

Postby bloke » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:24 pm

The top-action config. playing was a "test", as far as I'm concerned.
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Re: My Eb Tuba Project

Postby Tubajug » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:11 pm

bloke wrote:The top-action config. playing was a "test", as far as I'm concerned.


Ok, whew! I was afraid I was really missing something here! I had used it several times at certain Christmastime concerts involving tubas as well a couple of polka gigs. I even took it work (teaching band) and used it to play along with students (including a tuba trio with two students at one of our concerts). I've had it for several years before deciding what to do with it. It was because I liked it so much I decided to go for it and turn it into front action, five valve 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.
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Re: My Eb Tuba Project

Postby Tubajug » Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:03 pm

Here is a roughly drawn plan for where the 5th valve will go. The tubing will go behind the valveset on the backside of the horn (I posted an example of what I'd like to do, thanks roweenie!).

Image

Example:

Image
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.
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Re: My Eb Tuba Project

Postby Tubajug » Sat Feb 23, 2019 7:13 pm

Greetings,

I've been working a bit lately and thought an update was in order.

I managed to get the bottom bow fixed up from being all smashed. I was really surprised quite honestly, with how smashed it was, that I was able to get it rounded out. Granted, it was all "home remedy" stuff, so it's not anything close to a professional job, but I'm quite pleased with it!

Image

The next thing I got done was flipping the dogleg around to be oriented for a front-action horn (this started life as a top-action). I measured and found a piece of Holton Monster Eb main tuning slide that would work as a ferrule. I used my dremel to cut as straight as I could, then dry fitted it. Success!

Image

Image

The next thing was just dry fitting the bows back together for fun. I still have to work on the bell (a tech in Omaha offered to let me come to his shop and show me how to use his mandrels and things to get it straightened out).

Image

Finally, I thought it would be fun to put it together for another mock up with the rotor in place. I did it just before lunch, otherwise I should have slapped some more tape on there and given it a toot, but I haven't cleaned out the valve section well enough lately and wouldn't want to bugger up the valves with grit and things that might still be in there.

In the mock up I simply put the rotor at the end of the dogleg, between it and main slide. I added a short section of tubing on the other side of the MTS to compensate. This put the MTS a bit lower than I had imagined it would be. I still have to measure everything to see if I need to cut into the dogleg to place the rotor or if my length is going to be close to the original with the rotor placed as pictured. It's starting to feel like this might wrap up this year! :)

Image

Still to do (in no particular order, and if you can tell me what I should do first, please let me know):
- Finish dent work
- Measure overall length
- Reassemble bows
- Procure tubing and crooks for 5th valve
- Plan and assemble 4th valve circuit
- Attach valve section
- Rotor linkage
- Make a new leadpipe

Happy Saturday everyone!
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.
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Re: My Eb Tuba Project

Postby bloke » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:00 pm

8)
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Re: My Eb Tuba Project

Postby roweenie » Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:35 am

Very nice work!

If it were my project, I would (using your enumerated steps:

1) achieve a dent-free bugle

2) measure overall length, including valveset and estimated length of the MTS and proposed mouthpipe (keeping the length of the bugle up to the end of the dogleg as a separate number, adapting everything after that first, including the length needed to splice in the 5th valve)....going from top-action to side-action, you will likely need to ADD length after the dogleg....

3) reassemble bugle and simultaneously mount valveset (smaller bows and dogleg can sometimes need slight adjustment to seat valveset properly)

4) plan and assemble 4th valve circuit (make sure you leave a clear path for the mouthpipe to the 1st valve port)

5) mouthpipe

6) 5th valve circuit (I like to keep the 5th valve loose in place, so I can rotate it as needed when assembling the tubing circuit)

7) 5th valve linkage

Clear soft PVC tubing is helpful in estimating length after the MTS during assembly:

Image

I use wood shims to line stuff up during assembly:

Image

I'm just an amateur, so YMMV. There are others here that have much more experience than I do - I hope they will chime in....

Good luck! :tuba:
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Re: My Eb Tuba Project

Postby Tubajug » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:33 pm

Thanks for putting that list in order for me, that's very helpful roweenie. Great photos, too.

With the plastic tubing, do you stick a mouthpiece in it and blow to see how close to pitch it is? What sort of adapter would you use , or just stick the mouthpiece in all the way to the cup, just to get it close?

Thanks!
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.
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Re: My Eb Tuba Project

Postby roweenie » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:09 am

Usually, I just put the mouthpiece in as far as it will go (usually up to the bottom of the cup), but I don't see why you couldn't rig up some sort of adapter to step down the I.D. a little. It's just for getting an approximate length for pitch - an airtight seal is what's most important.
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Re: My Eb Tuba Project

Postby bloke » Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:13 pm

To make a dogleg look more "manufactured" after you cut and turn it, you can use a dent ball to precisely make the cut ends the same diameter, file the two round end surfaces perfectly flat (with a wide/fine file...such as a saxophone tone hole file), and then silver braze the two round end surfaces back together at the desired angle. Again, that eliminates the connection ring, and offers more of a factory look.
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Re: My Eb Tuba Project

Postby Tubajug » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:42 pm

Doing that to the dogleg would certainly make it look more factory, but it's tucked behind the valveset, so I'm not too worried... :wink:

I did a bit of measuring the other night and it looks like things will be working out rather well keeping it close to the length of the original. With the rotor and the bit of tubing after the 4th valve, we'll be right at where it was before (assuming that the leadpipe I get will fit ok with the needed length).

In regards to the little tube between the 4th valve and the small side of the MTS, I was planning on using a piece of outer tubing as a ferrule, should I "stuff" that with inner tubing to keep the bore transition smooth? If so, does that need to be soldered in or just cut to proper length to fit in between?

And just because people love pictures, here I was trying to plan the 4th valve route...

Image

I'm planning on routing it like I did on my baritone project:
Image
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.
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Re: My Eb Tuba Project

Postby roweenie » Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:15 pm

Tubajug wrote:In regards to the little tube between the 4th valve and the small side of the MTS, I was planning on using a piece of outer tubing as a ferrule, should I "stuff" that with inner tubing to keep the bore transition smooth? If so, does that need to be soldered in or just cut to proper length to fit in between?


Wouldn't you just put a piece of outer tubing over the port sticking out? Why would you need to use a ferrule?

In any event, I'm told by some pretty knowledgeable gurus that that particular spot (exiting the 4th valve into the MTS) is critical - I'd take care to make sure there is no weirdness in the bore at that point.
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Re: My Eb Tuba Project

Postby Tubajug » Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:16 am

I meant that the outer tubing would be like a ferrule, I guess. Before I got the rotor, I was planning on using a ferrule to just connect the MTS directly to the 4th valve port, but now with the rotor on the large side of MTS, I'm needing some tubing to keep the length equal on both sides.
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.
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Re: My Eb Tuba Project

Postby roweenie » Sat Mar 02, 2019 3:37 pm

8)
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Re: My Eb Tuba Project

Postby bloke » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:40 pm

I built a piston F tuba this week out of German, Chinese, and bloke parts. It turned out very nice and (lucky again) plays quite well in tune. I'm going to use it in a brass recital next Sunday (which is "tuba heavy"), since I'm not used to it, and since I'm also not particularly accustomed to playing F tubas with only five valves :P . I also have a Mardi Gras gig tomorrow night, so I'll probably take it - instead of the Eb - to get used to blowing through it.

...no pictures...boring project...and not my thread.
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