Friday, February 25, 2011

The latest addition to my family - F.E. Olds and Sons brass Sousaphone

above: my new *ahem* F.E. Olds Sousaphone

I have recently purchased a used Sousaphone made the F.E. Olds & Sons Company. This particular model was manufactured in the Fullerton, California plant. These are before pictures. I plan on restoring it as much as possible, but this will be slow going as I only get to work on it on it during my lunch breaks at the shop. 

I really like the Olds brass Sousas. This model has a very cool engraving INSIDE the bell flare:
These horns are very similar in design to the old style King 1250 Sousas. They are the same bore (0.687") and the valve cluster layout is virtually identical, with the exception of the placement of the main tuning slide and the lower mouth pipe. I like the Olds better because I like the larger main tuning slide, which the King doesn't have. 

Another cool feature and detail that these old horns have that new ones don't is a set screw in the bell screw flange that would allow you to operate the bell screw, but would prevent it from accidentally falling out! See the picture of where the set screw would go below:

The downside is that some animal once hung this beautiful horn on a wall using MACHINE SCREWS, leaving many holes in my poor, poor horn. These can be fixed, but I haven't decided if I am going to patch them, or make flush patches...

 So, here goes. The first step is to remove the old funky lacquer and some kind of finish that someone else applied to it sometime in it's life. Then a thorough cleaning and dents. Then to patch or not to patch? 

So next is the big question: should it be finely polished and resprayed or should I finish it in a scratch brush finish then lacquer it? HELP!!!!

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