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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentMouthpieces(Moderators: BGuttman, Doug Elliott) How to tell if a mouthpiece is solid silver?
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Author Topic: How to tell if a mouthpiece is solid silver?  (Read 2584 times)
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The Sheriff
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« Reply #20 on: Dec 13, 2017, 04:21PM »

I is VERY expensive to even start working with solid silver.  I thought about it at one time but couldn't even consider it.
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« Reply #21 on: Dec 14, 2017, 12:39AM »

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It's very good, small, but very good. I imagine it's 12C-ish in size, perhaps a tad smaller. V-cup and very efficient. I'd play it all the time but it is too small for me, though I do enjoy playing it from time to time. I always leave it sitting out so I can just grab it and play it when the mood strikes me. A Stork T2 is probably the closest to it in overall shape, but of course, the T2 is closer to a 7C size-wise. The rim on the Stork is narrower, but surprisingly it feels very similar to the Almont, and has a similar blow and feel, albeit a larger volume of sound than the Almont. There is lineage; Almont-Giardinelli-Stork. The Giardinelli blank is nearly identical to the Almont.

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Yes I understood Giardinelli bought Almont's tooling when he retired......  Also that TD would send his brass players to Almont's to have mouthpieces made.....
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« Reply #22 on: Dec 14, 2017, 03:19AM »

A quick alternate way to see if something is silver is to take a silver mouthpiece and a non-silver mouthpiece and dunk everything except the throat in hot (not dangerously) water. Silver will heat up noticeably faster than brass, and you'll feel the transmission of heat through the mouthpiece change.

I first observed this while having the luck to eat a hot bowl of soup with a real silver spoon.


Thanks for the tip! I might give that a try.
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timothy42b
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« Reply #23 on: Dec 14, 2017, 05:27AM »

I is VERY expensive to even start working with solid silver.  I thought about it at one time but couldn't even consider it.

There are a couple of blogs out there where people decided to make silver bullets like the Lone Ranger used.

It turned out to be extremely difficult and they never got good results. 

It would seem like a bullet might be simple compared to a mouthpiece.  But maybe not, I've never tried either.
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #24 on: Dec 14, 2017, 05:45AM »

There are a couple of blogs out there where people decided to make silver bullets like the Lone Ranger used.

It turned out to be extremely difficult and they never got good results. 

It would seem like a bullet might be simple compared to a mouthpiece.  But maybe not, I've never tried either.

Bullets tend to be launched at much higher velocities than mouthpieces.
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« Reply #25 on: Dec 14, 2017, 06:29AM »

Bullets tend to be launched at much higher velocities than mouthpieces.

Unless you had a REALLY BAD practice session.  Evil
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Jim Theobald
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« Reply #26 on: Dec 14, 2017, 07:57AM »

You talking about elemental silver, or sterling?
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« Reply #27 on: Dec 14, 2017, 09:46AM »

You talking about elemental silver, or sterling?

I'm just guessing --based on how well it has weathered with heavy usage for over 60 years-- that it is silver or silver alloy of some kind.

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« Reply #28 on: Dec 14, 2017, 10:40AM »

The most popular alloy of silver is Sterling, which has 7.5% copper (balance silver).  It's much harder than pure silver and wears better.  That's probably the reason King used it for the bells.  Probably machines easier as well.
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« Reply #29 on: Dec 14, 2017, 01:00PM »

Here's a series of articles about experiments casting silver bullets.

http://www.patriciabriggs.com/articles/silver/ranger/

It is interesting.  but it does not seem to have occurred to them to turn the bullets on a lathe instead of casting.  You can buy rifle bullets that are lathe turned out of solid copper, silver shouldn't be that much harder.

Probably more expensive though. 
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #30 on: Dec 14, 2017, 02:25PM »



I suspect it is solid silver. Is there a way to tell if it is solid silver?



Take it to a jewellers?
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« Reply #31 on: Dec 14, 2017, 02:35PM »

It is interesting.  but it does not seem to have occurred to them to turn the bullets on a lathe instead of casting.  You can buy rifle bullets that are lathe turned out of solid copper, silver shouldn't be that much harder.

Probably more expensive though.
Beyond the difficulty of procuring silver rod in the proper diameter, there would also be the issue of waste. You've making a lot of chips, and the only way you could recover any part of the cost would be to sell them as scrap.

Take it to a jewellers?
Where's the fun in that?
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« Reply #32 on: Dec 14, 2017, 03:32PM »

Here's a series of articles about experiments casting silver bullets.

http://www.patriciabriggs.com/articles/silver/ranger/

It is interesting.  but it does not seem to have occurred to them to turn the bullets on a lathe instead of casting.  You can buy rifle bullets that are lathe turned out of solid copper, silver shouldn't be that much harder.

Probably more expensive though. 

Cast blanks using lost wax. Use a lathe for secondary operations such as cleaning up the rim and shank, and getting the innards the right shape. Easy peasy, assuming you are or have access to a MP geometry guru. Could even go into quasi-mass production, since casting a whole lot of wax forms is a piece of cake compared to trying to cast silver in a steel clamshell bullet mold meant for lead.

Coin silver might still be available as raw material for electrical contacts. Fat sterling wire is basic hobby-shop stock, I believe. ROI uncertain, commercial success not guaranteed...

If anything, I'd expect a solid silver mouthpiece to be cooler outdoors, since it would conduct heat away from the face a skosh quicker than brass. For marching at snowy football games, I had a clear plastic piece that was a lot more comfortable in that respect.
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Le.Tromboniste
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« Reply #33 on: Dec 14, 2017, 04:52PM »

Silver is more costly than brass but not outrageously so.

As far as I know, silver is worth at the very least 100 times more than brass for the same volume.
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Maximilien Brisson
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« Reply #34 on: Dec 14, 2017, 06:27PM »

I thought the idea of silver bullets was a romanticized idea that originated from before bullets needed tight tolerances. Black powder type guns.
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« Reply #35 on: Dec 15, 2017, 02:35AM »

I thought the idea of silver bullets was a romanticized idea that originated from before bullets needed tight tolerances. Black powder type guns.

They're also handy for dealing with an outbreak of Werewolves..

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SilverBullet
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« Reply #36 on: Dec 15, 2017, 05:05AM »

I thought the idea of silver bullets was a romanticized idea that originated from before bullets needed tight tolerances. Black powder type guns.

You're just a youngster.  Some of us grew up watching Lone Ranger on tv.

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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #37 on: Dec 15, 2017, 05:37AM »

Weren't silver bullets part of the plot in "Die Freischutz"?

Oops, it's "Der Freischutz"
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« Reply #38 on: Dec 15, 2017, 05:54AM »

I thought it was the name of a Christmas song.
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« Reply #39 on: Dec 15, 2017, 06:00AM »

As far as I know, silver is worth at the very least 100 times more than brass for the same volume.

Yes silver is way more expensive than brass but it is still a reasonable cost in comparison to gold.

Current Gold and Silver Prices
Gold   $1,255.75
Silver   $16.09

A solid silver mouthpiece could still be had at a reasonable cost whereas solid gold would be out of the question for almost everybody.
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