Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mini BBb Tuba or 1/4 BBb tuba

This is something I've wanted to do for a while...

Originally, I was going to use a large bore rotary valve set, but upon realizing that I need 15 ft of 3/4" tubing, I opted for a smaller valve set to reduce the weight.

Luckily, I found the Barcone sousaphone that was used for the Bass Horn. The valve set was a little on the small side - .545" - but I didn't have to make a main tuning slide or figure out some of the wrap.

I took the Getzen Baritone Bugle and mounted the rest of my King tubing (after bending them into large crooks) on to the valve section. The leadpipe came from the baritone jazzophone that I had scrapped a while ago for the valve section and modified the first slide into a top slide - it was very successful!

As for the tuba.... well, it's OK. It's about 24 inches tall and has a 10" bell. It plays OK in everything but the lower register - essentially anytime I have more than two valve down, it plays like a bucket, just super stuffy and narrow. It's a practice instrument: practice to see if something like this is possible, which it is, and practice as in something I can practice on if I'm traveling or in a car or bus or if I want to ride a bike somewhere and not lug around a 30+ pound tuba or sousaphone.

Old pictures without braces:

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Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

BBb Bass French Horn Finished! With Video!

About a month ago, I finished the bass horn, but never got around to updating this post.

So, without further ado - the conclusion of the BBb Bass Horn...

I decided not to bend the first valve crook, I didn't think I would have enough tubing left over to finish the fourth valve and have it still play in BBb. Instead, I split a piece of outer tubing down one side and covered the thin spot. It looks a bit odd, but doesn't leak!

Ben was kind enough to stand with the body to show an approximate size for some people that were interested in what I was doing:

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I had at first thought of having a removable leadpipe, with a small crook loop, but upon bending it and trying to get it into the right shape AND still be sturdy enough ... I scrapped the idea in favor of a more traditional non-removable leadpipe.

In the next couple of days, in between normal class work - flute padding and trombone slide alignment - I began using what parts I had left from the euphonium to cobble together the rest of the fourth valve wrap and main slide. I used one of the smaller crooks for the second valve:

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And fit the inner slides to the crooks (you can see the first slide patch). Before going on to solder all the fourth valve tubing together, I first went over to the main lathe and cut the inner and outer valve slides to the correct lengths - much easier than using the band saw! Each slide has about 4 inches of pull (8 inches total). Though, as I found out, the second slide can only be removed once the first slide has been. The first slide has an ever-so-slight bend that prevents the second slide from being pulled out more than an inch and a half. Of course, the way I play, I don't usually pull out second slide unless first slide is pulled out a bunch.

Sometime the next week or next couple days, I worked on the fourth valve wrap. I used some of the extra inner branches that I bent earlier (I had previously tuned the open bugle). At first, the slide was going to be pulled in the same direction as the main slide, but upon further experimentation, I realigned the tubing so that the slide would be pulled in the same direction as the other valve slides. In the following picture you can see the first attempt at the leadpipe on the left, the first attempt at the fourth wrap, and some approximation of where all the inner branches would be.

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I noticed that the inner branches would interfere with the valve caps, so I had to move some of the tubing around so that I could still have access to the rotors for maintenance.

It was a frantic push to the end, as I think I only had a couple days left... Anyway, I began searching for braces and started mounting all the tubing. I bent the leadpipe, fit the slides, tuned the slides, and braced all the parts that needed bracing. I added a thumb hook, though Ben told me I needed a duck foot or some other support that rested on my finger instead of being held by my thumb. Drilled a hole for the only water key - an Amado - though I've discovered that I need at least 2 more to actually drain the water efficiently. I used most of the braces from the euphonium and a few from mini sousaphone. The others were various trumpet braces and some telescoping braces from cornet/trumpet.

I was going to use the Fred Young mouthpiece, but it had just a bit too much of a woofy sound. Fortunately, the Sellmansberger Solo #2 mouthpiece worked wonderfully. I owe this possibly to the fact that the mouthpiece is made to work with F and Eb tubas, but given the french horn length of an F tuba, I though it might work well with a rather cylindrical, almost contrabass trombone sized french horn. It really makes it sound like a french horn in certain registers.

Anyway, here are the final pictures. Since I didn't have enough time to buff all the parts, I decided to go with a scratch brush finish to simulate a satin finish. After playing it a few times over the next couple of days, I knew I couldn't keep the raw brass finish, so I took it over to Kennelly Key's up in Lynnwood and they sprayed a clear coat of lacquer over top. Yes, I know there are still patches of tinning and some heavy spots of solder, but for a PROTOTYPE, it works GREAT... though I still needs to cut the main slide an inch or so....

Hand tuning works just like on a normal french horn, though hand stopping is a little more difficult as the throat is larger than my hand.

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Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

As a size comparison, here it is next to the King 2350 and a King 1265 Jumbo sousaphone:

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And some video!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bass Horn Part 8 - AAARRGGGHHH!!!


I asked Dan about how to fit the two bell parts together, he suggested cutting triangles out of the flare to decrease the throat....


I had flared out the baritone bell stack to nearly match the bell flare taper, but still couldn't get it close enough.

Then, I cut about a quarter inch of the large end of the stack to decrease some of the extreme flaring at the edges. This was to help mate the two sections together. Asking Dan what to do next was not very helpful - he wasn't sure but gave me a suggestion to just start brazing the two section together.


I had to cut more of the bell stack off, about another quarter inch, as it wasn't touching the inside of the bell at all. The overlaps of the brass on the flare - should have cut them off - meant that I was brazing unevenly and effective filling large gaps with brazing wire.


Once I had brazed the first half (in thirds around the bell), I had to hammer the section together more and flatten out the overlap so I could braze some more.


In realizing that I was just screwing up, I figured out that I should have soft soldered the parts together, that way if I had to adjust something I wouldn't have to cut it apart. The triangles I had cut from the bell didn't help, I was left with ugly gaps and three small holes where the bell stack didn't go far enough down (I still need to fill those).

The bell was together, but was EXTREMELY UGLY. I started filing and hammering, and filing, and hammering, on both the outside and inside until I got something sort of smooth. The problem with the triangle cutting was that I had uneven flaring on the bell, meaning that I have I think two flat spots that WILL NOT come out because there is too much brass in that area to move.

I'm probably going to have to apply two ring patches around the inside of the bell and on the outside to cover the massive EYESORE and make something that looks a little better.

On the plus side I tacked it on to the body and now it actually looks like a french horn....


I screwed up the leadpipe. I found the right position but kept thinking about having a removable leadpipe like a crook extension on a french horn. I decided to bend it by hand.


Leadpipe is trashed, it might work if I need it to, but for now I'll have to find and pay for another.

During the final hour of the day I decided to begin strapping the slide crooks to smooth out the hammer marks from bending. Well, I must have not hammered enough because I strapped a hole right into the first crook trying to remove the hammer marks - must have been a ridge there.


Tomorrow I'll be bending a new first valve crook.







Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bass Horn Part 7


I didn't buy the right wood. I should have spent the money on actual timber, instead of the particle board. But it was cheap and I still have a 6' x 4' piece (cut into 2x2).

Anyway, bending the crooks was interesting.

The first valve crook took me about 4 hours in order to make it look right, it still isn't right and I have no desire to fill it with Cerrobend again, Dan thinks I should be able to slightly bend the tubing with a drumstick or mandrel. It's off by like three millimeters from parallel, it won't run inside the slide as smooth as needed.

The third slide was bit more involved but took less time as I had some practice bending the right curves. plus I had to make another tool and had to screw down more board to support the tube during the bending process.

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I didn't think I could bend the tubing in a close enough curve (2.5 inches) without using an entire 30" tube (I have 6 left for the leadpipe/main-slide and the fourth valve), so I only bend the outer portion and used parts from my huge euphonium to complete the inner curve.

Oh, and I had little accident in filling a tube - didn't hold on to the cork...

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Friday, I spent the day making ferrules and tacking the body together. I may need to flip the valves after-all...

Here are some pictures:

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Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bass Horn Part 6

Working on the valve block today didn't go quite as planned. I had hoped that the valve caps could be on top like they are on the French horn, but with the paddles flipped and the relatively short paddles, I couldn't fit the tubing around where needed, but most importantly get the correct height for the linkage to move freely.

I'm sure if I had more time I could machine a solid rise to sit between the two supports and the linkage bar, but trying to shim the two spots and still not achieving the right height was leading to more headaches than necessary. The work-around was to flip the section back over like you would find on a tuba... Sure you can still have access to the rotors for maintenance, but it loses some of it's Professional-Quality-Appeal. This does move the valves down and up a little, and should give me enough clearance to still depress the paddles. It should, if I wanted to and had better skills in the future, allow me to flip the valve section over again and use a new linkage set - maybe even strings!

I also filled the first branch after the valves with Cerrobend and bent the end toward the valve block. In draining the oil from the tube before filling with Cerrobend, I noticed a small crack in the seam. It's a little worrisome as this might lead to more crack, but it's in such a spot that I can cover it with a brace. Found a ferrule to fit the tube that I had torn through (old stupid mistake...) and made a ferrule for the two new inner branches. Then I cut the ends of the new inner branches and fit them together, then cut the first branch connecting to the valve section to the proper length to bring the tubing around as it should.

The current total estimate length, through the valves, leadpipe, two branches, body, throat and part of the bell (maybe) is around 178.5", this leaves me with about 37.5" to add between the leadpipe and the to inner branches. This is where it gets tricky....

I need to add the main tuning slide, but leave enough room to either cut tubing out to adjust the pitch up, or add a longer tuning slide to adjust the pitch down. This of course means I need to figure out the bell situation...

At the moment, the bell is in two parts. I have a throat from a euphonium/baritone bell, it fits the body collar perfectly and is just about the right length to fit with the design. The bell is the flare from the mini sousaphone - 19", again a near perfect fit for the design. The only problem is that the tapers of the two are different, meaning that I either have to make a new throat and mate it to the bell, or add a right of brass around the section where the two ends meet. The former would involve serious brazing and cutting tabs to join the main throat and then more tabs to join the ends with the bell - possibly more trimming of the bell inner throat. The latter would probably involve less work, but would look much worse (in my head). Of course if I could find a small 5.25" sousaphone collar, I could have a removable bell.

This is the next goal, although I could always start on bending the first and third crooks.

Of the parts I still need:
Braces (I should have the right ones)
Possible second valve crook from a King tuba/sousaphone
Possible trigger mechanism for the main slide and a thumb lever
Some other things I might think up...

Finish-wise, I buffed the leadpipe, though it has been drained of pitch as I still might need to bend it more or bend it back. When I'm done with it, I'd like to get it bead-blasted with bright trim and then a coat of lacquer, but that's just wishful thinking at the moment.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Updates all around!


Lots of progress made on the Bass Horn. My tubing showed up sometime in March and I purchased some Cerrobend - then found the paint can full of pitch.... Bought a pitcher, thermometer, pan, and electric hot plate to melt the Cerrobend. Also bought some wood and made the big jig and some drawings of the approximate sizes for the valve crooks.

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Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

In bending the tubing, I had to first fill each pipe with vegetable oil, drain it and then fill it with Cerrobend. Then let it sit in a cold bath for 30 minutes, before bending it into the curves I needed.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

The first part didn't go to well, I over-annealed on 30+" tube and burnt two holes in it.... ugh.... Second and third try were much better, the the second tube suffered a kink during the bending process. So I had to hammer out the marks and then will have to sand the hammer marks off before buffing and assembly.

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The next issue I ran into, was that I couldn't get the ends to be as curved as I wanted. I have a 17" circle by which I'm bending the tubing, but because I have about a 1/2 inch or so where I plugged the ends, I couldn't get the extra bit to be as curved. The solution was to take a smaller diameter circle and bend the ends around that. This helped especially for the tube leading into the valve section and will help when I bend the branch after the valve section (so that it meets up with the fourth valve).

I also bent the leadpipe and cut the end to match the receiver. Just need to buff it and burn out the pitch, then buff again...

On Friday, I got two of the inner bows in relative positions, although I may need to refill them in order to get the exact position... Not much time left. Still need to address the bell and the paddles for the valves.... OH and bend ALL THAT OTHER TUBING, though I might not have enough for the fourth valve if I screw up another 30+" tube. AND I need to find braces!

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Finally, I'm almost done with my King Jumbo econo-overhaul. Just need to solder on the last two guard wires and do a final buff/polish/cleanup. I've buffed the bell with rouge two weeks ago, even got inside the back of the bell! I think there's some gold plating left back there. The body should look just as nice once I get around to polishing.

Before and After (almost)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Bass Horn Part 4

Took off all the tubing from the valve section, unscrewed the linkage finally, and ordered about 35 feet of tubing.

A little riser between the linkage and the posts will be enough to level out the arms and provide a smoother valve function.

Bought a leadpipe and found someone to make me a bass trombone sized french horn mouthpiece for a reasonable cost.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bass Horn Part 3

Did some more work, well not much...

The rotor block and linkage has been giving me a lot of trouble. I had to use corrosion cracker three times under heat twice and about 5 days to free up the screws that held the linkage on the valve block. Once this was free, I unsoldered the braces, removed the tubing, and ultrasonically cleaned the valves and casings. No need for the tubing anymore!

Trying to figure out a way not to machine a whole bunch of new parts or trying to find parts to work, I looked at the linkage braces - these would work if I mounted them back on the valve block. I tried this, but soon discovered that, although the linkage hooked up with the stop arm on the rotor, it wouldn't fully depress. So now I either have to file off a millimeter or two from the braces or add a washer to each side to bring the linkage up. It should work since the distance between the "S" links and the stop arms doesn't change, just the height.

I had wanted to know where the valves needed to be and some length of the overall bugle, so I grabbed a F horn off the wall and started sizing things up to get the correct valve/left-hand placement. After that I started planning how I would add the extra tubing needed to drop the pitch to BBb. Unfortunately, this quick measurement gave me about 222" or 18.5 feet! And this was without a tuning slide! Now I'm going to have to readjust the open wrap in order to place a main tuning slide and still looks like a french horn.

Still need to find a leadpipe - it was recommended that I locate an Allied universal euphonium leadpipe, but I might have to have a custom leadpipe made to expand to the .687" bore needed for the main slide and the valve block. Also a mouthpiece that resembles a french horn mouthpiece but fits the bass trombone/tenor tuba shank receiver. Lastly a whole bunch of tubing to bend into shapes and most importantly ---- a collar and tenon for a removable bell!

Lots of work ahead....

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Bass Horn Part 2

Worked on the bell today. Took a scrapped euphonium bell, cut the rim off and part of the throat to the approximate sizes needed.

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Unfortunately the rate of expansion of the euphonium bell is slight more that the taper on the sousaphone bell. I'm going to try and see if I can mount a male/female collar/tenon for a removable bell right where those parts are so that the difference in the tapers won't be as obvious.

Otherwise.... It looks good!

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Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Custom BBb Bass French Horn

I like bass versions of instruments, hence why I built a bass trumpet.... Way back in grade school, I started on French Horn and played it for a few years until the middle of 8th grade, when I switched over to tuba. Sometime ago, I ran across Roger Bobo's Bass Horn in CC and then saw Tim Sullivan's CC version using a sousaphone body.

Both of these are interesting instruments - Roger's is close to a french horn in terms of it's design, while Tim's is like the second or third movie of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids! (Honey, I Blew Up the Kids!) and is a mammoth/jumbo french horn.

The one thing I don't like about Roger's is that there are several loops after the valve section, where as on a French Horn, there's only one loops and then the bell.

On Tim's I'm not a fan of the short leadpipe - it works for him and that's what matters most.

For me though, I thought about using a Buescher Eb helicon, but this was just a bit too big and would require another wrap of tubing like Roger's bass horn.

So I came across an ad for a mini sousaphone - one of those Barcone Italian-made mini sousaphones that have a tiny bore and are very much a 'joke' instrument. This was about the perfect size for the body and the bell was about the right size, so I bought it. It showed up and was better than I hoped, well for the most part.

Naturally, a French Horn has to have rotary valves, I took a tenor tuba or the world's largest euphonium and removed the valve section. It's a four valve rotary block with about a ~.684" bore, I should be able to make the King standard parts work instead of trying to find more of this tubing or drawing the tubing to several sizes. The best part is that the valve section nearly fits right where the valves would be on a French Horn! I still need to remove all the tubing and flip the block over and figure out how to make the linkage work...

Anyway, The body was dismantled and the original valve section removed, then buffed and set aside while I worked on the bell. Removing the collar and the bell tenon, leaves just the bell flare. I need to find either a baritone bell to use for the throat or make a new section to fit between the bell flare and the body joint. I've measured the placement and I need about 7 inches between the body and the bell, but an 8 inch section of a bell to fit the body... I may have a baritone bell to use for this. Then I will have to cut the middle and splice in the removable collar and tenon, so that the bell can fit into a more convenient case.

The bell is 19-inches and the body is about 21 or 22 inches wide. Hand-stopping should still work fine on this.

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Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bass Trumpet

Finished with the Bass Trumpet:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

More on the bass trumpet

I began soldering the valve slides on to the valve block, but in the process of aligning the third valve slide, part of the tubing split in three spots and broke into pieces... Not too happy now.

There should be enough tubing to rework the slide configuration, but it may point down like a marching trombone or mellophone, unless I can find another main tuning tube.

Then I worked on a customer's 100 year old trombone, rolled out the bell throat (was crushed) and fixed the brace... Only when I was looking at the main tuning slide, did I notice that all of the braces were pitched at an angle - meaning that the customer attempted to pull out the slide, yet since the slide was stuck (a newer slide meant to bring the pitch down to modern 440), he pulled and pulled until he pulled the large end out about an inch and pulling the bell back an inch, everything else stayed where it was. Now I need to lightly and slowly hammer all of the braces back to parallel and lap the main slide to make it a bit more free.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Update on the Bass Trumpet

Found a block of valve casings in the back that are slightly larger than the King 600 - about .470" maybe a little larger. No pistons anywhere though, and I don't feel like digging through a drawer to find them.

Finished the first valve tubing and I'm pretty sure I have the correct length for the second valve. The third slide is giving me issues. I need to find one piece of tubing that is about 6.5" long and .517" OD, essentially the outer slide on the casing side of the main slide in the leadpipe of a King 600 trumpet. I found all the other parts from other King 600 blocks, but one of them didn't have this part. A search through the back came up with nothing, I may have to dig around for some larger tubing - or if I can find all three of those valves....

Then I just need to cut the tuning slide by about 3 inches so that I can remove it. Brace everything after that and then it should be done!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Bass Trumpet / Valve Sackbut

Spent some more time on this project...

The main problem I ran into was figuring out the correct open bugle length and trimming the slides down. It's a lot of work; Back and forth between the grinder, de-burrer, grinder, pipe cutter, grinder de-burrer ... and so on until I had reached a main tuning slide length of about 7 inches on each end. This put me into about a sharp Ab (A flat).

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A little more cutting on some of the straight tubing between the valve section and the leadpipe brought me to a couple inches of Bb. Took some of my left over tubing and spliced it into a section of longer tubing, replacing it, and I came to Bb with the tuning slide pulled out about an inch.

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I was worried that the small bore of the trumpet section would hinder the airflow and somehow make for a stuffy or pinched sound. The way it was setup with the trumpet lengths, yes, it was incredibly stuffy. Found a couple other King 600 blocks with parts of tubing on them and proceeded to measure the ~13" I needed for the first valve slide loop.

Silly me! In the process of soldering the first valve tubing, I placed it on the third valve and convinced myself that I was right. Of course once I tried tuning it to the ~19" that the third valve should be, I discovered my error... so now I had first valve in third valve - in tune, but wrong side of the valve block.

Anyway, had some trouble removing the ferrule on the first valve, so I soldered an inner slide from the second valve and then soldered on the outer slides from the third valve (which came from I think the leadpipe main slide outer slides). Still need to address the total removable slide length, as I have to take off the outer slides from the crook, then solder them to the first valve crook.

As for the second and third valve slides, I might make a double slide for the second valve to keep the side width the same, and leave some room for my hands, and for the third valve I might have a slide within a slide - sort of an extension - as I'm using whatever tubing is available from the parts bin.

With a 12D trombone mouthpiece it sounds a bit like a trombone, but with the Conn mouthpiece that was included with the G/F bugle, it sounds a bit more like trumpet. If I could find an actual bass trumpet mouthpiece, and maybe an actual leadpipe/main-tuning-slide, it might sound better. For my purposes, it should work fine. Still a little wary on valve combinations... If the leadpipe was a little smaller, yet still accepted a larger mouthpiece shank, the tuning and sound might be better off. I considered using a trumpet leadpipe, but wanted a larger mouthpiece - I guess I could always turn down the shank on one of the trombone mouthpiece or maybe cut the leadpipe (!!!!) to the smaller diameter - we'll see how it all works once I've added the bracing and whatnot.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bass Trumpet

(Random picture from 'bass trumpet' search)

Ahh, the bass trumpet... should be a valve trombone, but should be a large trumpet an octave lower than the standard C/Bb trumpet that everyone seems to start out on in grade school. The name sounds cool, just as all bass and contrabass instruments are, yet it seems to be just a valve trombone with smaller bell.

I found a CG Conn bugle in the key of G/F (the main tuning slide allows for enough pull to drop the pitch to F and then be able to tune the bugle in F as well (there's a little line to show where F is)) and while I considered having some sort of contra-alto or contrabass trumpet in G/F, it seemed more appropriate to have it in tenor range like a trombone - lot's of trial and error here, I'll explain:

I took a trombone bell from the scrapheap and burnished all the dents and deformities out as possible, soldered it on to a trumpet tail crook, and then attached it all to a King 600 trumpet block. Strangely enough, this dropped the pitch to Ab from Bb. It worked and had enough pull in the valve slides to play in Ab, but I wasn't real happy learning a new fingering set or transposing. So I went back to the bass bugle (something like 12-13 feet) and cut one of the tubes in half and placed the King 600 valve block into it.... BAD IDEA!

It played awful! The leadpipe and tuning slide made up the first 6 feet or so of .48x" bore then dropped to a .46x" for about 4 inches then back to the .48x". Very stuffy, very unhappy.

Scrounging for a .480" section was impossible, so I decided to cut down the total length. To bring it from G/F to Bb (in the tenor range), I needed to remove 4 or 5 feet - easy enough, it's all cylindrical bore tubing before the bell tail. So removing most of the tubing, without drastically cutting anything as it may not work, I came down to a trumpet pitched in flat C, not Cb (C flat), but a C that was flat. Great! Knowing some C tuba fingerings, Bb had to be first valve.

Not in this case. Since the valve section is still in trumpet Bb, all the tuning slides mean SQUAT. After a bit of playing with different fingerings, I figure out that 1-2 or 3 would give me Bb - granted it was a stuffy Bb because of the small loop of small bore tubing, but I was at least heading in the right direction. The main issue was placing the MAIN tuning slide.

I couldn't place the main slide where a normal trumpet slide is, otherwise it would run into the bell or not have enough pull to tune it in all types of weather. So looking at the parts I had in front of me, I removed the tuning slide from the leadpipe and measure from the tail to the valves. Asking a few trumpet and horn players about tuning helped figure out that about 3-4 inches were needed, just about what I had for clearance in that area.

Not knowing exactly how much I needed for bass Bb, I taped down the third valve and pulled the slide out to where Bb should be. A little tuning hear, a little organ drone there, I came up with about the proper length I needed for the main tuning slide. The original tuning slide was about 13 inches long on each end, so I need to take off about 5 or so inches from each tube, well one side is a little longer than the other to make up for the placement of the valves.

At the moment I have things tacked on just enough for me to play it. It looks like a long trumpet - slightly larger bell and an obviously larger mouthpiece, but to me it sound like a dark trumpet, almost a trombone. The bell is, if my memory serves me, 7 inches maybe 6.5 inches wide. It's like a trombone bell that had the rim cut back, kind of like when people modify modern trombones to resemble the sackbut. The taper of the bell and throat is similar to the sackbut second from the left in this video.

I think that's what I've made - a valve sackbut. Which might be where the bass trumpet really is, somewhere between the trombone and the trumpet, not quite a valve trombone, but not really marching variation of the trombone/baritone.

Here's what I have left:
  • Find longer tuning slides from the scrap trumpets, even if that means putting a slide within a slide
  • Fix the clanking valves that are bottoming out on the casings (regulation)
  • Cut the tuning slide and solder it into place, check tuning and adjust pitch, then repeat this until I find the bass Bb
  • Tape up some braces for placement or tack them on
  • Unsolder everything, clean, buff, then solder it all back together
If given the time and training, I would modify the leadpipe to give me a more even transition into the valve section. Or better yet find a .480" valve block and splice that in. I'm thinking the leadpipe might be the bad bit, it uses a small trombone receiver, so there is a bit of a bore jump. If I could locate the parts for an alto horn or an actual bass trumpet leadpipe, that would be great. For a project though, and something I could maybe play in the community band or at least loan out, it'll have to do. The mouthpiece I'm using is the one that was stuck in the bugle, it works better than my baritone/trombone testing mouthpiece - which is great for those instruments, but give me a bit too much of a trombone sound, when I'm looking for something a little darker yet with that bright trumpet sound.