Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Before / In Progress: Besson Compensating Euphonium

above: Before pics of this Besson Compensating Euphonium
 This is another, old, abused and fantastic instrument. It has REALLY been put through the ringer, but I hope to breathe some new life into it. Let's have a look at it, and see where we are at right now. As always, click on the images for a larger view.

First, this horn has quite a few loose solder joints. They are noted with red circles and arrows. The specific locations are;
  • 4th piston tubing leading from the piston to the tuning slide
  • 3rd slide knuckle to left side outer slide tube
  • 4th piston shorter tubing on the back side of the horn
  • 2nd slide leg
 Obviously, this sort of thing makes it difficult to play, so the instrument is going to have to be taken apart to properly repair it. How far apart? This far...

Was it completely necessary to take it this far apart? Yes, because to properly re-solder those joints, they must be taken apart to be properly cleaned and prepped for soldering. This also conveniently allows me easiest access to the nastiest dents that are in the knuckles. 

 Below is a good indicator of a bad solder joint. Notice how the color on the inside of the ferrule is green. This is corrosion between brass that is caused by moisture, which means that this joint has been loose for some time.
 Here is the same tube next to another solder joint that was still intact. Notice the metallic color of the solder in the ferrule on the right and the corrosion in the ferrule on the left.
The bell has a hole in it and a few patched sections. I am going to try to replace the bell rather than patch these up if possible. Stay tuned for further updates but don't fret, I have good help...

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