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Need help soldering trombone

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  • Need help soldering trombone

    My son came home with a broken trombone on Friday. His spit valve fell off while he was playing for the basketball regionals, and they've got another game (and my son another show) on Wednesday. Here's the damage:







    My deal is that, sure--I have soldered, but I don't do it regularly or even particularly well. I'm kind of intimidated by working on an expensive musical instrument. It seems like my old second-hand propane torch might be the wrong tool for this type of precise heat application.

    I googled for some tips on how to repair this, but didn't find much. There was one video where a guy was soldering a grip on a trumpet. He was using a small butane torch that I've never even used before. . . .

    I'm wondering if this is something I should even try? I would be concerned about loosening the other solder joints that are nearby. What do you think leave it to the professionals?

    Jim

  • #2
    Looks like Heid Music is your best bet.
    Brass instruments are way too easy to screw up.
    Is it a rental? If so, call the shop.
    Len

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    • #3
      If you have to ask for help you should not be attempting this yourself. A competent tech will not charge more than $20 I would guess, but you could very easily ruin it.
      "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

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      • #4
        I played trombone in high school, lots of fun... Now for the repair go to a pro. While soldering brass is actually easy the horns slide metal is thin and the heat easily could discolor the horn. Another possibility would be warping the slide, and believe me, your son would really be unhappy with that . Worst case if the repair shop cannot get it out before Wed, get your son a roll of black electrical tape to wrap the valve port. There is nothing special about the port, it is just a place to drain, well spit... A wrap or two of tape and all is well till you can get a proper repair. If he uses the tape, remind him to leave about an inch unattached and to fold it in half, sticky to sticky to leave a tab to unwrap easily.

        R
        Robin

        Happily working on my second million Gave up on the first

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        • #5
          Originally posted by QSIMDO View Post
          Brass instruments are way too easy to screw up..
          ... especially a trombone slide. That is very close to the tube joints. Just a few degrees too much and the sensitive alignment of the slide will go kaput and then you'll be looking at a much higher repair bill.
          Don't try it.

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          • #6
            You have to take the spring and water key off--otherwise the spring will keep you from getting the saddle clamped back on. Clean the oxidized solder until shiny and flux both pieces with brass or copper flux. Flatten a short length of solid wire solder and put it between the parts. Take two large alligator clips to hold it all together. Apply heat from back side away from the hole in the bow--that hole reinforcement ring is soldered on too and it may fall off if you get it too hot. Some solder may ooze out and you have to clean off with a sharp chisel.

            Now you know why I charge $20 to fix these!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mikem View Post

              Now you know why I charge $20 to fix these!
              Cheap at twice that price!
              David Kaiser
              “You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.”
              ― Robert A. Heinlein

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              • #8
                Might be wise to use heat-stop paste around the hole ring and other tube joints. That stuff really works!
                Southwest Utah

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                • #9
                  Tastefully park a cork in it until Thursday after the game. It's too easy to screw it up and is not a good first time repair on a spendy brass instrument. With at least two brass instrument shops in the area I'd trust them to do it right.

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                  • #10
                    Looking at it if you heat the bracket and tube the brass valve seating flange may drop off if not wired on, I'd guess that was soldered on too.
                    Mark

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                    • #11
                      Glue it on with loctite 330
                      10 minutes and its done never to fall off

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                      • #12
                        Yeah, I was thinking this was one of those deals where if I have to ask, maybe I shouldn't be trying it! My son was telling me that one of his friends' dads had done a similar repair, so was also thinking maybe it's not that bad? I sent him to school today with a roll of black electrical tape. He's going to explore other options with his band instructor, possibility of borrowing a trombone, etc. I doubt they'd be able to turn his horn around by Wednesday, so had eliminated repair early on. . . .

                        thanks for all the replies,

                        Jim

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                        • #13
                          My nephew has a brass instrument repair business, and makes quite a lot of his income from correcting the repairs that amateurs have attempted.

                          George

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Georgineer View Post
                            ... correcting the repairs that amateurs have attempted.
                            Gunsmiths, plumbers, electricians and lawyers ditto...

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                            • #15
                              I wonder if you could sweat solder it on with a heat gun.....

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