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Horn repair



 
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johnfin
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Joined: 17 Mar 2011
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:22 pm    Post subject: Horn repair Reply with quote

Can i solder the bell brace to the valve casing with a 300 watt soldering iron? Its an old horn and dont want to put money into it.
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JayKosta
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Joined: 24 Dec 2018
Posts: 630
Location: Endwell NY USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll likely get some actual 'professional advice', but my amateur DIY experience is NO, an electric soldering tool is not appropriate.

What I have used is a small butane soldering torch (check Home Depot), and 'silver bearing low temp paste solder) from an electronics supply store - it comes in a syringe with the right amount of flux and filler already mixed.

The small torch lets you concentrate the flame/heat in a small area, and the paste solder is applied to the cold joint and then the metal is heated until the solder flows. You will likely have to use some sort of clamps or wire to keep the parts in the desired position until the solder has cooled. Then use an old tooth brush and Q-tips to clean the area. .

Do practice on some thin copper tubing (plumbing stuff) to get the hang of torch soldering.

Jay
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LittleRusty
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Joined: 11 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bet that it wouldn’t take a tech more than a couple of minutes to reattach, especially if you don’t care about the cosmetics. That would also mean that the right tech might not charge you much, maybe less than purchasing a new torch and silver solder.
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Ed Kennedy
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Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 2714

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's just plumbing. heat both surfaces up and wipe the excess solder off (while it's melted). Score the edges of the brace with a scraper or file. You need a torch, flux (paste flux from a hardware store will do) and solder (either tin/lead or silver bearing which is probably all you can get because of safe water rules. Got to keep the lead out of those water fountains). Line up and mate the surfaces, preferably without stress, heat the area, dip the solder in the paste flux and dab it on the hot joint, touch the solder to the line between the brace and the baluster. When it melts, move the torch, the solder will follow the heat. Viola! You're done!!
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A.N.A.Mendez
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Joined: 27 Jul 2005
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Location: ca.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely ! The tech you take it to after you do your bit will appreciate the extra $$$ IF he can fix your fix.....
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Ed Kennedy
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Joined: 15 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A.N.A.Mendez wrote:
Absolutely ! The tech you take it to after you do your bit will appreciate the extra $$$ IF he can fix your fix.....


Yep, I LOVE dad repairs.
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Mike Prestage
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Joined: 09 Oct 2012
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Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Valve casings make good heat sinks so the job you need to do is more demanding than many on a trumpet in terms of heat. 300W is a pretty serious soldering iron but I still doubt it would be enough. I'm really struggling to imagine how you could harm the horn by trying though.

There might be more potential to make a mess of it in doing whatever else the horn needs before the actual soldering. What's happened to it to require the soldering in the first place? If the brace is a traditional style with large flanges made from brass sheet, these normally fail by one of the flanges fracturing around the joint with the centre part. If this is what's happened, a soft soldered repair will be very vulnerable to breaking again. To properly rectify this, you need to remove the brace from the horn, remove the remnant of the broken flange, make a new flange and silver braze* it in place. This definitely isn't possible with any soldering iron.

I don't understand why people get such negative responses on here asking about DIY repair when they state up front that they're treating the horn as worthless. If someone's just trying to save the cost of a professional job on a horn which has some value and needs repairing rather than just being scrapped, that's a very different thing of course.

Mike

*Silver brazing is more often known as silver soldering but I dislike this terminology because it causes confusion with the various soft soldering materials which contain silver, such as the stuff mentioned by Jay above.
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Mike Prestage
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Joined: 09 Oct 2012
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Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Btw, most cheap butane torches are bigger than you'll want for brass repair. Something like this is ideal:

https://www.amazon.com/Dremel-2200-01-Versa-Multi-Function-Butane/dp/B00MJW07Z0

I'm sure you'll have cheaper options for similar tools but linked to this one because I have personal experience with it and it's available in the US. I bought one a while back because my usual torch was unavailable and I needed to do a job in a hurry. This was the only thing I could find to buy off the shelf locally rather than waiting for delivery. It's a nice product but you pay a bit of a premium for the Dremel name and the fact that it comes in a fancy box with a bunch of accessories that you don't need for brass work.

Mike
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yourbrass
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Joined: 12 Jun 2011
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Location: Pacifica, CA, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it's dirty, you'll have endless fun watching the solder drop of onto the floor. If it's been broken a long time. or didn't have enough solder to begin with, you're going to have a time trying to join it.
Good Luck.
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pinstriper
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Joined: 25 Sep 2013
Posts: 298
Location: Portlandia, OR

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Put me down for "actual tech will charge less than you will spend buying a torch and the right solder and all the extra bits, even if you get it right the first time".

But by all means, never spend $25 with a tech when you can drop $40 at Home Depot.
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