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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentInstruments(Moderators: tbone62, slide advantage) Building a BBb Contrabass, a Photo Essay
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Author Topic: Building a BBb Contrabass, a Photo Essay  (Read 10108 times)
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Slipmo

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« on: May 26, 2016, 12:12AM »

Hey all, I recently commissioned my good pal and fellow shop mate, Brad Close (Blowero on the forum) to build a BBb contrabass trombone for me. Inspired from the 1901 Conn BBb that was recently here at The Brass Ark and with beer involved, Brad accepted my wacky idea. We're doing a dependent valve version because... why not!  Evil

Anyway, parts are more or less all here now, scavenged from various sources and I thought it would be a fun project to document the process of Brad's build on here for all who are interested. It will probably be a while, as we've lots of leadpipe orders to fill and lots of repairs and other more important jobs in the pipeline, so I can't say how frequent I will update with new photos...but without further delay! Here are most of the slide parts, raw drawn tubing for bending, crooks, valves, bows and bell flare. Brad will fabricate all of the other necessary parts.

The inspiration:


The raw materials:


Hope you enjoy the photo essay!
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Noah Gladstone
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thetuningslide
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2016, 12:19AM »

Very cool, I'm highly interested as to how this will turn out!
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elmsandr

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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2016, 05:30AM »

Ohhh..

I've been meaning to do this myself for a while.  Never bothered to plan it, though.

Source for flare and J bends?  Are they existing parts or special fab?

Cheers,
Andy
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Andrew Elms
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2016, 06:03AM »

DEFINITELY looking forward to the essay!!!!!

I hope it's not beer that you rent....8P


Thanks to you & Brad!!

Eric
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Eric, Leandra, Sara, Jared & Lily
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2016, 08:10AM »

Can't wait to see it!!
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Slipmo

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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2016, 01:33PM »

And some more interesting stuff... measurements off one of the Minick BBb contras (#2, George Thatcher's original BBb). Brad is doing his own design for ours, but cool to see how others have done in the past.



Here's that Minick Contra (which I sold for George a few years ago)



Bell is a very early Miraphone contra prototype bell that I found in a pile of parts here in LA. It was never mounted. The J bends are also parts found in depositories. Slide tubes are from Conn. Drawn tubing is custom X large bore straight pipe sourced from one of my connections  Evil
The rotary valves are from Marcinkiewicz.

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Noah Gladstone
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2016, 01:36PM »

Just hate the thought of that double slide....

Played a Mirafone BBb with a double slide a while back & it was FREAKIN AWFUL!!!!!!!!


Hope you guys can get around that!


Eric
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2016, 01:36PM »

We do expect to hear it played when it's all together.
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2016, 03:59PM »

Awesome project!  Any plans on making it a product offering?

Looks like you're short s mouthpiece receiver/upper cork barrel.
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Slipmo

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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2016, 07:45PM »

Just hate the thought of that double slide....

Played a Mirafone BBb with a double slide a while back & it was FREAKIN AWFUL!!!!!!!!


Hope you guys can get around that!


Eric


I know, Miraphone slides are terrible, but I think its the tubes they use, not necessarily the 4x slide tubes. Of course 4 tubes are incredibly hard to align and the weight of it makes it slow... but the 1901 Conn had original 115 year old raw brass inner slide tubes and it worked surprisingly well! Hopefully using beautiful Conn slide tubes will yield a decent 4x slide  Good!


Awesome project!  Any plans on making it a product offering?

Looks like you're short s mouthpiece receiver/upper cork barrel.

This one is just a single commission, so no plans to offer any kind of production models.

Good eye, Brad's gonna make that piece  Good! There are actually a lot of little pieces and braces not shown in my original photo (I didn't want to lose anything small while setting up the shot), as well as many parts to still be fabricated.
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Noah Gladstone
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2016, 12:02AM »

Good eye, Brad's gonna make that piece  Good! 
Guess again. Evil

That's a different part - upper cork barrel assembly with lock ring. So of course Conn/Selmer, in their infinite wisdom, couldn't possibly ship that in the same box with the other cork barrel assemblies that are made in the same factory. Don't know
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2016, 12:23AM »

I play a Haag carbon fiber slide on my bass trombone...extremely light outer slide!! It just occurred to me that maybe that would be a great Idea for a BBb Contra.
I realize that  you guys are going for a classic look but maybe someone else could pick up on that for future builds? :)

//Mattis
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Slipmo

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« Reply #12 on: Jul 05, 2016, 12:42AM »

Brad has been making some progress. The handslide is almost fully together. Outer slide is done and he's finishing the inner slide soon and the return crook. I'll post a photo when its all done.



Sexy crossed crooks (we used some Brassark seamed crooks for this project):

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Noah Gladstone
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Euphanasia

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« Reply #13 on: Jul 05, 2016, 09:05AM »

But you could have made it TIS!!!    Evil
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Stewbones43

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« Reply #14 on: Jul 05, 2016, 09:23AM »

Here is a question for those who know far more than I do-anyone can answer.

Is there any reason why the cross-over on the hand slide should be at the bottom of the slide?

When Noah started this topic, my mind went into overdrive; how would I go about building this (if I had the cash, the tools and equipment and the time-just remembered, I am retired so I've got the time, damn)(oops, I forgot the skill-I will never have that :( )
My version came up with the cross-over at the hand grip, forming a semi-contoured brace similar to that on the Williams trombones and the Martin Urbie Green.

In the early 1900s, the Salvation Army made some BBb contras with the cross-over at the hand grip as shown in the pictures on Doug Yeo's site:-  http://www.yeodoug.com/articles/trombone_gallery/trombone_gallery.html  I had the opportunity to briefly play one of these in a now, sadly closed shop in Birmingham, UK some years ago. It was remarkably easy to manage but, because of the very narrow bore, not easy to play. I hope that the one Noah is building is bigger than the sub-0.500in bore and 8in bell that this one had. Eeek!

I will continue to follow this thread with interest.

Cheers

Stewbones
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bonearzt

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« Reply #15 on: Jul 05, 2016, 10:38AM »

There are actually two,  one at each end.
The top crook, in the photo, isn't installed yet.



Eric
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« Reply #16 on: Jul 05, 2016, 10:57AM »

There are actually two,  one at each end.
The top crook, in the photo, isn't installed yet.



Eric


I think I see what Stewbones is getting at.

There needs to be one "diagonal" connection between tubes to move the path from the left slide to the right slide. Why make the diagonal connection at the end crooks? Why not make it at the handle? That way, the end crooks could be parallel to one another, allowing for more symmetry in the tubing of the outers?
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Stewbones43

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« Reply #17 on: Jul 05, 2016, 01:00PM »

I think I see what Stewbones is getting at.

There needs to be one "diagonal" connection between tubes to move the path from the left slide to the right slide. Why make the diagonal connection at the end crooks? Why not make it at the handle? That way, the end crooks could be parallel to one another, allowing for more symmetry in the tubing of the outers?

Yup! What he said.

Cheers

Stewbones
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« Reply #18 on: Jul 05, 2016, 06:25PM »

How does jazzbone do it?  I seem to remember he had a different crossover arrangement. 
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« Reply #19 on: Jul 05, 2016, 07:11PM »

How does jazzbone do it?  I seem to remember he had a different crossover arrangement. 
He crosses over at the handgrip with a floating section to allow more compliance.

Cheers,
Andy
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Andrew Elms
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