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Brass tubing



 
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adms
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Joined: 18 May 2021
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Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:30 am    Post subject: Brass tubing Reply with quote

Seeing as the [last topic]https://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52320[/last topic] that touched on this was from 15 years ago, rather than revive it I thought I'd bring up the question again. Re-direct me if this has been asked and answered:

If you're a hobbyist looking to do a little tubing work, where do you get your supply of brass tubing? Allied Supply only sells to professionals. I checked the [reference]http://centralsteel.com/products/BRASS.php[/reference] Brett Getzen made in that older thread, but they only do 330 brass in H58 temper, not the bendability of H55. McMaster has 260 brass, but I don't know that it's of a quality needed for instrument making.

What do any do for supplies? Order from Allied through a friendly music store and deal with the middle-man charge? Just get all your pieces from donor parts horns? Any suggestions for where I might get a bit of tubing to practice / experiment with?

Thanks all.
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Divitt Trumpets
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You won't find the thin walled, telescopic tubing for building instruments from any metal suppliers. Our industry is too small for normal suppliers to carry it, and most of it is drawn in-house.

Your best bet is probably buying from Votaw, as they sell to the public. Or MK Drawing, who sells lengths of tube that fits certain brands.
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musicman2k
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Joined: 13 Feb 2020
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

B.A.C. Musical Instruments will draw tubing of any size of mandrel they have in 24-36" lengths.
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Mike Prestage
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Joined: 09 Oct 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any source you might find for purpose made brass instrument tubing is likely to be frighteningly expensive if you're buying it to practice with rather than for a specific project. There is a supplier here in the UK who sell to anyone and stock a small range of tubing but I've never been tempted to buy any - IMO scrap horns are the way forward if you want something to tinker with.

If you're looking for tubing from sources outside the musical instrument industry, the temper is more or less irrelevant because it'll be good to familiarise yourself with annealing early on anyway. I don't know whether there are any brass alloys that are problematic to bend even when fully annealed but personally I'd take a risk and assume that any thin walled tubing will be made from something bendable.

I also wouldn't think too much about the composition of tubing or any other technicalities unless you're actually building a serious instrument. The biggest things to be aware of are that you won't be able to match the particular bore and wall thickness of a horn (unless you're very lucky!) and that telescopic tubes in general are likely to be a looser fit inside each other than the inner and outer slide tubes of brass instruments. K&S metals make thin wall brass tubing in some sizes that could be viable for trumpet tinkering. Their Imperial sizes are 0.014" wall and are sized by the outside diameter so that gives you 0.441 and 0.472" bores from their 15/32" and 1/2" tubes. If you have a good selection of scrap trumpet/cornets, you'll probably find some outer slide tubes that the K&S 1/2" would fit inside nicely. The K&S 17/32" might also work as an outer for some horns' inner tubes.

Hope this helps.

Mike
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Master Jabroni
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Joined: 29 Dec 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not go through a middle man? It gets you what you need and helps a business stay in business.
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RETrumpet
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Joined: 26 Jan 2021
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

M/K sells inside and outside tubing in both brass and Nickel in 30" lengths.

https://www.mkdrawing.com/trumpetcornetslidetubing/
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Bob Stevenson
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 100 year old Cousenon trumpet which has all it's tubing clearly rolled and soldered from flat sheet. You have to look carefully but the seams are visible and appear to have been soldered with ordinary lead solder.
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Getzen
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless you are going through someone like MK or a manufacturer you aren't going to be able to find what you are looking for. Trumpet sized tubing with the correct OD, ID, and bore does not exist as an off the shelf option anywhere I've ever seen.

Every piece of tubing we use is drawn to size from 12' bars of raw stock. It is really the only way to get the dimensions we want with the surface finish required.
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yourbrass
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Brass tubing Reply with quote

adms wrote:



What do any do for supplies? Order from Allied through a friendly music store and deal with the middle-man charge?


Yes, unless you're ambitious and want to go into our trade. It really isn't that expensive if you're talking one or two 30" lengths.
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Mike Prestage
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:09 am    Post subject: Re: Brass tubing Reply with quote

Speaking as a hobbyist, I think it makes a lot of sense to avoid paying for legit tubing until you've had some practice at soldering, bending etc.

We're very lucky in the UK to have Trevor Head, who offers introductory repair training both as a first step for future professionals, and for unabashed hobbyists. FWIW he has a stock of generic thin wall brass tubing in his teaching workshop, in addition to many, many scrap horns. His one week foundation course is obviously expensive in comparison to any sum a beginner could plausibly spend on materials but it's great value for money IMO. If there's any possibility that you could get to Wales for a week (you certainly wouldn't be the first to come from overseas) I'd highly recommend it. https://trevorhead.co.uk/

Mike
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