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Red brass bell = copper bell?



 
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deleted_user_c26dccb
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:08 am    Post subject: Red brass bell = copper bell? Reply with quote

Hi!

Just a quick question. Yesterday I had a chat with a fellow musician who told me a bell made of pure copper is absolutely impossible and that instruments with a "copper" bell actually have a red brass (90% copper, 10% zinc) bell.

So basically he says copper and red brass are just different terms for the same alloy used. Could someone confirm this?

Thanks in advance!

Jeff


Last edited by deleted_user_c26dccb on Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ChopsGone
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your friend is full of it. I have horns with red brass bells, from the more copper rich brass of the Olds Recording to heavy red brass in Calicchio. But I also have horns with copper bells, including in Calicchio. Is there some zinc in the copper? Wouldn’t doubt it. But to prescribe an exact ratio and then to equate that with red brass is just wrong.
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James Becker
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope, copper is copper.

Manufacturers with pure copper bells include Conn Coprion, Schilke, E.K. Blessing (Elkhart), Getzen, all above formed in a copper plating tank by Anderson Plating. Others like Kanstul and Calicchio were formed from flat sheet stock evident from their visible seams.

Though red brass is 90% copper 10% zinc it's color is not near as deep.

I hope this is helpful.
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deleted_user_c26dccb
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok! Thank you so much for the replies.
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shofarguy
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To extend what Mr. Becker stated, Zig Kanstul learned to form copper bells from sheet stock back in the 1980s 0r early 90s, when he built the prototypes that became the model 1525 & 925 flugelhorn.

He found that copper needed a strip of bronze in between the layers that form the seam, as copper could not be brazed to copper, directly. Hence the yellow stripe that runs the full length of Kanstul copper bells.
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deleted_user_c26dccb
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

-message deleted-

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Yamahaguy
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A beauty indeed!! Love that scratch finish too
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austincustombrass
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If Adams has copper stamped on the bell it's pure copper from sheet metal. A bit of a pain in the butt to make but a glorious sound results from their efforts. My F5 has a pure copper bell and it's arguably my favorite horn in the collection.

Regards,
T
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Rod Haney
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is copper harder to make from sheet than near pure silver which I understand is hard to work. I ask because I have a Brittania silver 1 piece side seamed rimless bell by Taylor on my Eclipse Enigma, and there is only 1 very tiny pinhole in the seam, otherwise undetectable. Do the Adams copper bells have to have another alloy to join the seam.? I had an Olds flugel with a copper bell and never noticed it if it was there but?. When I talked with Leigh about the pinhole, he said it was very uncommon to have so undetectable a seam but it was joined with the same silver as the bell was beaten from. Both Andy and Leigh are experts at what they do but I just haven’t seen a horn where 2 metals were used to side seam, but then I don’t know a lot🤷🏻‍♂️
Rod
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Danbassin
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rod Haney wrote:
Is copper harder to make from sheet than near pure silver which I understand is hard to work. I ask because I have a Brittania silver 1 piece side seamed rimless bell by Taylor on my Eclipse Enigma, and there is only 1 very tiny pinhole in the seam, otherwise undetectable. Do the Adams copper bells have to have another alloy to join the seam.? I had an Olds flugel with a copper bell and never noticed it if it was there but?. When I talked with Leigh about the pinhole, he said it was very uncommon to have so undetectable a seam but it was joined with the same silver as the bell was beaten from. Both Andy and Leigh are experts at what they do but I just haven’t seen a horn where 2 metals were used to side seam, but then I don’t know a lot🤷🏻‍♂️
Rod


Sterling Silver is a bit different (and a number of threads on this material already exist elsewhere on this site), but the two processes described above when working with copper bells are similar to those used by various manufacturers working with silver. Bach, for example, had an earlier line of Sterling Silver bell Strads, which were made from hammered sheet metal. Their "Sterling Silver Plus" was actually greater than 99% pure silver, and was electroformed around a mandrel, as described above with case of Anderson's work for Schilke.

Best,
-DB
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Rod Haney
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danbassin wrote:
Rod Haney wrote:
Is copper harder to make from sheet than near pure silver which I understand is hard to work. I ask because I have a Brittania silver 1 piece side seamed rimless bell by Taylor on my Eclipse Enigma, and there is only 1 very tiny pinhole in the seam, otherwise undetectable. Do the Adams copper bells have to have another alloy to join the seam.? I had an Olds flugel with a copper bell and never noticed it if it was there but?. When I talked with Leigh about the pinhole, he said it was very uncommon to have so undetectable a seam but it was joined with the same silver as the bell was beaten from. Both Andy and Leigh are experts at what they do but I just haven’t seen a horn where 2 metals were used to side seam, but then I don’t know a lot🤷🏻‍♂️
Rod


Sterling Silver is a bit different (and a number of threads on this material already exist elsewhere on this site), but the two processes described above when working with copper bells are similar to those used by various manufacturers working with silver. Bach, for example, had an earlier line of Sterling Silver bell Strads, which were made from hammered sheet metal. Their "Sterling Silver Plus" was actually greater than 99% pure silver, and was electroformed around a mandrel, as described above with case of Anderson's work for Schilke.

Best,
-DB


The bell on this horn is sheet at 99%+ and is a one piece. I understand the Bach’s and any done at Andersen are electroformed and therefore have no seam. The Sterling was a bit more able to be worked because I believe it had cadmium? included in metal. I come from a family of welders and they usually bond with like metal, the seaming is much more like brazing or joining aluminum (if you are really good) so I’m not familiar, just curious. There is considerable buffing on seamed instruments.
Rod
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Steve Hollahan
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:59 pm    Post subject: Red brass Reply with quote

Red brass refers to the amount of lead content in brass.

Copper is copper.
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Mike Prestage
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:06 am    Post subject: Re: Red brass Reply with quote

Steve Hollahan wrote:
Red brass refers to the amount of lead content in brass.

Copper is copper.


Steve, did you mean copper instead of lead? Brass often does contain a certain amount of lead but AFAIK it has little or no effect on the colour and I'm not sure how common it is for there to be lead at all in sheet stock. Lead bearing grades are certainly widely used for bar stock because they're easier to machine.

Mike
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Nixer
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shofarguy wrote:
To extend what Mr. Becker stated, Zig Kanstul learned to form copper bells from sheet stock back in the 1980s 0r early 90s, when he built the prototypes that became the model 1525 & 925 flugelhorn.

He found that copper needed a strip of bronze in between the layers that form the seam, as copper could not be brazed to copper, directly. Hence the yellow stripe that runs the full length of Kanstul copper bells.


Interesting thread, thanks.

The new Getzen Eterna Deluxe 900DLX, with its copper sheet bell, has a similar yellow seam stripe on the bell.
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Steve Hollahan
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:14 am    Post subject: Red brass Reply with quote

I was taught in machining course that red brass is free machining and contained more lead than yellow.
However, just checked "Machinerys' Handbook" and it seems red brass has more copper content, up to 86%.

Sorry for mistake.
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Liberty Lips
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yellow brass is 70% copper and 30% zinc. Gold brass, also called bronze, is 80% copper and 20% zinc. Rose brass, which some also call bronze, is 90% copper and 10% zinc. These percentages vary with the manufacturers, of course, but that is the basic nomenclature. Trace amounts of other metals, lead in particular, are common.

Copper isn't necessarily harder to work with, it's just that its properties have to be taken into account. It has a higher melting temperature than brass, which is why copper is brazed with brass wire rather than copper wire, and it also requires a different annealing schedule than working with brass sheet requires. Also, being a bit softer, it's easier to dent than brass is, and will split easier if thin sheets are used.
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shofarguy
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:43 am    Post subject: Re: Red brass Reply with quote

Mike Prestage wrote:
Steve Hollahan wrote:
Red brass refers to the amount of lead content in brass.

Copper is copper.


Steve, did you mean copper instead of lead? Brass often does contain a certain amount of lead but AFAIK it has little or no effect on the colour and I'm not sure how common it is for there to be lead at all in sheet stock. Lead bearing grades are certainly widely used for bar stock because they're easier to machine.

Mike


I once had a digital copy of the catalogue from the foundry that supplied Kanstul. It listed all the elements present in each product. The sheet brass Kanstul ordered was a ratio of copper and zinc with trace amounts of tin, manganese and certain others I don’t recall. It’s possible that it had traces of lead, but I don’t remember it being listed.
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Flip Oakes Wild Thing Bb Trumpet in copper
Flip Oakes Wild Thing Flugelhorn in copper


There is one reason that I practice: to be ready at the downbeat when the final trumpet sounds.
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