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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m just curious how many refacers are using this technique with any regularity.
Obviously only a possibility on metal pieces.
I just recently used this technique myself on a piece that I opened quite a bit.
From approx .90 to .115.
I didn’t want to open it by solely removing material as it would have bought the bite plate very close to the rails.
The finished result was excellent.
The facing work needed was very minimal and consisted of only a little balancing of the rails.
Also minimal work was needed at the tip and baffle areas as they didn’t change drastically from the initial facing.
Bite plate was also strangely unaffected (I think I got lucky here).
But even if it had to be replaced it would have been preferable to do this than cut away large amounts of material and rework the baffle areas.
I feel like the piece is closer to what it was before only more open.
Is this technique being underused?
I really don’t hear of it mentioned very often.
Seems like a good way to preserve more of the original characteristics of a piece.
 

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I am aware of bending in the repair of mouthpieces but certainly not opening them. Metal by its nature wants to stay static and movement induces fatigue. Obviously the material from which the mouthpiece is made will exert its influence upon the outcome but here I wish to quote you "I think I got lucky there". I am certain Mojo Bari will soon offer his perspective. Well done but you've been a naughty boy so no beer tonight ;-)
 

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This is a technique that's been used for years and years on mental pieces to get them more open.

Bob Ackerman showed me how he used to put the shank securely in a tire iron and then apply pressure to gently bend it on a curve.

Also, we use a raw hide mallet and a wooden block to achieve a similar thing with certain pieces at the shop.

Of course you have to really know what you're doing and the baffle work done needs to be nice. There are also certain pieces that you would not want to bend if they had a thinned or weakend tip already.

Overall the method works really well and I'd rather see people use this technique than the butt cut, which I believe just kills the piece. I've never player a good butt cut piece to date.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am aware of bending in the repair of mouthpieces but certainly not opening them. Metal by its nature wants to stay static and movement induces fatigue. Obviously the material from which the mouthpiece is made will exert its influence upon the outcome but here I wish to quote you "I think I got lucky there". I am certain Mojo Bari will soon offer his perspective. Well done but you've been a naughty boy so no beer tonight ;-)
Too late on the beer front.
I understand the concern on metal fatiguing but this would be more of a concern if it were bent repeatedly.
 

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I didn’t want to open it by solely removing material as it would have bought the bite plate very close to the rails.
You don't need to remove material, you can also do this by angling the table (butt cut)
which I believe just kills the piece. I've never player a good butt cut piece to date.
I think that depends on who does the butt cutting. Bill Wrathall was and Ed Pillinger is a master at this, but you have to be very skilled with facing curves. (Bill also used to make and repair movie camera lenses afor Ealing Studio so knew a thing or two about curves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is a technique that's been used for years and years on mental pieces to get them more open.

Bob Ackerman showed me how he used to put the shank securely in a tire iron and then apply pressure to gently bend it on a curve.

Also, we use a raw hide mallet and a wooden block to achieve a similar thing with certain pieces at the shop.

Of course you have to really know what you're doing and the baffle work done needs to be nice. There are also certain pieces that you would not want to bend if they had a thinned or weakend tip already.

Overall the method works really well and I'd rather see people use this technique than the butt cut, which I believe just kills the piece. I've never player a good butt cut piece to date.
I’ve seen a few nice pieces lately (double ring Links, Florida STM’s) that have been opened too far, where the bite plate is showing through the baffle.
 

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I’ve seen a few nice pieces lately (double ring Links, Florida STM’s) that have been opened too far, where the bite plate is showing through the baffle.
Yup ... Baffle work is an art. Although, my double ring has some bite plate showing through and it's one of only 3 Links I still own. It plays circles around every other Link I've owned and played and that number would be probably be in the thousands by now due to my line of work
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yup ... Baffle work is an art. Although, my double ring has some bite plate showing through and it's one of only 3 Links I still own. It plays circles around every other Link I've owned and played and that number would be probably be in the thousands by now due to my line of work
Who did the work on that piece ? (if you don’t mind me asking).
 

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Who did the work on that piece ? (if you don’t mind me asking).
Well ... When I got it, the bite plate was already showing through on one side. It's a transitional W.T. stamped on the table. It measured .087 and looked dead on original for Wolf's facing work. I've had many other W.T. link pieces. There was also still original era plating on the baffle, so it was weird that the bite plate was showing through on the corner. The story of obtaining the piece was also weird and involved the piece sitting in a case that was in a swimming pool and a bass player that doesn't play sax, but saved this piece for 40 years in his drawer because he knew it was a good piece. That's neither here nor there, I got Jimmy Jensen at the shop to face it and clean it up for me. Measures .089 now and I've used this piece as my fall back / main piece for years. Even if I take a detour for a while and play another piece (which I will because there are some other pieces out there that I love!!!) I will not sell it because of what it can do.
 

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Yup ... Baffle work is an art. Although, my double ring has some bite plate showing through and it's one of only 3 Links I still own. It plays circles around every other Link I've owned and played and that number would be probably be in the thousands by now due to my line of work
I have a friend with an original Florida DR 8* that is probably the second best Link I’ve played and I’ve played a lot over the years too. There’s no way it’s an 8* by eye balling it. Probably closer to a 6* or 7.
I put a reed on it and split double Fs and early Brecker came out of it. I should have never played it in front of him. I offered him $1000 on the spot and he wouldn’t take it.
The idea of bending vintage mouthpiece, or even working on them, makes me cringe.
 

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I have a friend with an original Florida DR 8* that is probably the second best Link I’ve played and I’ve played a lot over the years too. There’s no way it’s an 8* by eye balling it. Probably closer to a 6* or 7.
I put a reed on it and split double Fs and early Brecker came out of it. I should have never played it in front of him. I offered him $1000 on the spot and he wouldn’t take it.
The idea of bending vintage mouthpiece, or even working on them, makes me cringe.
Probably is smaller. Yes, my DR is bright and powerful. You can get Brecker on it if you want. The DR STMs are by far my favs.

Anyway, working on a Link is only cringe worthy because there are so many that have been ruined unfortunately. Too many good small tips opened up :(.

I am however a supporter of making sure the table is flat and correcting the curve on a piece. I've never had a piece play worse after Jimmy has done that for me. They clear up in tone and project more and just sound balanced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I wouldn’t mess with a classic piece.
However I did buy an earlier Florida no USA serial numbered baritone piece years ago from an eBay seller.
It was stamped 5*.
He failed to disclose that he had messed with the facing on it, rendering it unplayable.
Regardless I kept the piece as I thought I wouldn’t see another one in a hurry.
I sent it to Brian Powell to see what he could do with it.
He said that it looked as though the piece had been altered by tip bending but with no facing work afterwards.
The tip was crooked.
He faced it to a 7 tip (which is about where it currently was sitting).
It is an amazing piece that I will hold onto indefinitely.
 

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Unless you are winning odds like in the lottery a full reface is needed after bending the tip. It is not the prefered method. I dont like doing it . Howerver, when a large tip is demanded of a small piece it becomes a necessary evil. Bias or butt cutting can help and there can be a mixture of techniques. Generally speaking, aside from a reface to address a skewed curve, significant baffle adjustments are a necessity. Links lend themselves to this techinique since the metal is soft. Hard or brittle metal is not so forgiving.
 

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Unless you are winning odds like in the lottery a full reface is needed after bending the tip ..... Links lend themselves to this techinique since the metal is soft. Hard or brittle metal is not so forgiving.
I agree with both of these for sure.

I think the method of preference depends on the facer personally and what the desired goal is.

The one thing I've learned over the years though is that none of this stuff is new. Bob told me stories of guys doing this stuff in the 1950's.
 

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I rarely bend open tips except for repairs. On Master Links, the scooped sidewalls often come up all the way to the window opening. Major tip and side rail cutting will make the window too wide for a standard reed width. So I think this is where tip bending was mostly used in the past by Frank Wells, etc. Norbet Sachell has commented that he does a lot of it.

The metal weak point is across the edge of the bite plate closest to the tip. So bending the tip open hinges there and creates a kink in the facing curve. The bite plate can fracture or pop out from this too. The facing curve shape needs to be reconstructed to remove resistance from the kink.

Bending open Dukoff tips is easier and has less issues.
 

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I used to have a really interesting old Link that was opened by this method. Not certain, but after checking with some folks it seemed like it could have been the work of Frank Wells. I think he opened it from a 6* to a 10* with this method which also created a specific low flattish baffle.
Was a great piece, I kind of regret trading it....
 

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It is old and it can work very well but it does introduce additional vaiables and increases the number of question marks regarding the final producti. I do it as seldom as possible. Id rather pass on a job opening a 6* to a 10 than risk an unhappy outcome. Mouthpiece work is like art. Your most recent work marks your best performance. While I am open to exploration and experimentation I dont need the work bad enough to risk what I have built.
 

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I thought this would be about the fun Frank Wells hammer technique, but it's just boring old bending ;)

If I had a piece that couldn't reface due to lack of material, I probably would just move it on or trade it for something closer, although I have owned a piece that was faced by the Hammer Technique. Seems like it could cause trouble to me with a hard angle where the bend takes place, as has been discussed. But glad it seems to have worked for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Unless you are winning odds like in the lottery a full reface is needed after bending the tip. It is not the prefered method. I dont like doing it . Howerver, when a large tip is demanded of a small piece it becomes a necessary evil. Bias or butt cutting can help and there can be a mixture of techniques. Generally speaking, aside from a reface to address a skewed curve, significant baffle adjustments are a necessity. Links lend themselves to this techinique since the metal is soft. Hard or brittle metal is not so forgiving.
So a stainless Berg wouldn’t be a good candidate?
That’s a pity as it would be a good way of saving on tools.
 

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I am aware of bending in the repair of mouthpieces but certainly not opening them. Metal by its nature wants to stay static and movement induces fatigue.
There is a difference between deformation and fatigue.

Metal, by its very nature, wants to thermodynamically revert to its lowest energy state.
 
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