above: in progress King 1241 Tuba
This is a bit of a passion project for me. This is a King 1241 Tuba that I am modifying. I have written about it before. Here are a few before pictures of this horn.
The first item on the agenda was to remove the lacquer. Anyone who has had to do this on an old King knows how much of a chore it is. Most commercial strippers won't do much to it.
Second, I swapped the upper and lower tubes on the first circuit so I could pull the first valve slide with my left hand while playing. Next I got rid of the Sousaphone style doubled upper 3rd slide loop. Since the horn is held upright, that doubled up crook is a potential water catch.
I then built a custom pull ring for my second slide. With the extended upper 1st and 3rd crooks, it is difficult to reach the second slide.
I also swapped out the original thumb ring with an Olds thumb ring because (in my opinion) it is much more comfortable than the King ring. The Olds is round and smooth.
What you cannot see is the valve alignment that I gave this horn. The valve button felts were replaced with o-rings. The stem felts were replaced with neoprene bumpers.
The in progress picture above was taken while I was installing the 3rd slide circuit, so there is no bracing yet installed.
I still need to add water keys to the lower 3rd slide crook and the oddly shaped 4th knuckle that catches water. I also need to replace the factory bell with a fixed upright bell. I currently have the recording bell. It works just fine, but if I have gone this far I might as well go all the way right?
This Tuba is FAR from complete. I still have to finish the dent work and find a bell. I need something to practice on!