Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mouthpiece Refinishing - King 25

above: before photo of vintage King 25 mouthpiece.

We received an old King 1250 Sousaphone in the shop last week. With it came this old, beat up King 25 mouthpiece. It was going to end up in a box, rotting away on a shelf so I wanted to see if I could make it look a bit better. This is the first time I have ever done it, so let's see how I did.
 
BEFORE
 Front

Back
Rim
Shank
Engraving
 
AFTER


Front


Back


 Rim

Shank
Engraving

Here is what I did and how I decided to do it. First, I put the mouthpiece in a lathe and cut just enough off the outer edge of the rim to get rid of the dents. I did not use the lathe on the area around the engraving because I did not want to ruin the engraving. 

I then sanded out the rest of the dents and scratches. I did not remove all of the dents from the playing surface of the rim because the dents were deep and I didn't want to change the characteristics of the mouthpiece too much. I tried to operate under the assumption that the less material I have to remove the better. After this process, I buffed up the mouthpiece and silver plated it. 
It isn't perfect, but it is a distinct improvement. What do you think?

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