Thursday, January 13, 2011

King Fiberglass Sousaphone Repair - branch patch

above: King 2370 Fiberglass Sousaphone - Breaks to the bottom branch

I think this is a bit of a neat repair. The shell over the fiberglass is broken in two places, making the branch significantly weaker leaving only a fiber mesh. In most cases I would apply a fiberglass patch kit over the area, but since this is a King and the damaged area is the bottom branch, I wanted to add a bit more strength and durability to the area. So a friend and colleague came up with a clever answer: a graft from ANOTHER Sousaphone.

To make this piece, I had to cannibalize another Sousaphone. Luckily we had an old Olds/Reynolds body around that was beyond repair. I used a pair of calipers to determine the size of tube I needed and then took the old body to the band saw. 

After fitting the piece so that it buts up against the ferrule and rounding off the opposite edges, I scored the inside of the patch and liberally applied epoxy to the surface and clamped it into place. The clamps are only to make sure the piece doesn't slip or move.


After the epoxy sets up, I will feather the sharp edges of the patch and have a strong, durable repair that should last the life of the horn. I will post after pictures next week after the horn is finished.
 
 

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