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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.
It's what Otto Link himself used to do as well as Frank Wells but he had a slightly different approach. For Frank it was partly to get a specific result for the baffle shape. That's one of the main advantages of bending since refacing is a reductive process, we try and cut (remove) material to reshape the baffle and create a specific profile. Bending gets you there way faster, doesn't require as much material removal and therefore more in line with the original concepts.

Simon is on the money when he says it's a bad idea if it's already thin, because the likelihood of cracking the tip is big. The hammer method is good too but requires striking and that means being careful Since these are assembled from halves, there is a chance it could come unsoldered. I've never seen it but it can happen.

Since most of our heroes from the 50's had work done by guys like Wells, we can assume some of them had this work, notably Coltrane and John Gilmore from what I have been told by some old timers.

SK
 

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You guys need to be careful with your links. On the occasion I have physically bent a tip I have used what I call the tap method. On a piece of finished granite I tap the tip repeatedly while holding from the shank end. I dont slam it...just a firm tap. You would be shocked at how little force is required to move the tip .005 or .010. Then of course, correct the rest of the curve. I have found that if you maintain the angle properly you can not twist the facing too much so your reface work is more even. This does not work with most other pieces. Link brass is VERY.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Here’s a few photos of the piece I opened using this method.
I also used a tap method on a steel anvil with masking tape on the surface.
Also had a little electrical tape on the bite plate.
Little by little I opened it to around .115.
I checked the facing along the way.
It took very little facing work afterwards as I managed to not twist it.
I took the baffle down a little just behind the tip and then just cleaned up the rest of it.
The piece is now playing very nicely.
I didn’t loose any length or height in the baffle through the process.
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106571
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106574
 

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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.
I think that is the way it was done.
 

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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.
I've done it a few times when it was necessary, like when there wasn't enough material at the tip to open it but you don't actually bend it like with a pliers, you place the tip rail face down on a flat hard surface then with a small soft plastic coated mallet you strike the bite plate area gently. Measure it to see if you did anything at all then adjust the intensity of your strikes accordingly. It may take a few tries to see how hard you should hit it but whatever you do don't jump in too fast or kaput, mouthpiece hell.

You can also do this if you want to raise the baffle without adding any material but you have to take the bite plate out, hit it then put the bite plate back in. Phil Barone
 

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I have a NY STM that Doc Tenney opened for me about 20 years ago this way it is a wonderful piece.
Sebastian Knox also opened a double ring this way for me about 2 years ago. He did such an amazing job that I put my Tenny piece away in the drawer.
Sebastian says bending them gives them a bit more baffle, so a little more edge as it raises the floor when you bend it. Then he corrects the facing curve. Ended up with a .108 tip opening. He uses a tire iron as well.
 

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I've done it a few times when it was necessary, like when there wasn't enough material at the tip to open it but you don't actually bend it like with a pliers, you place the tip rail face down on a flat hard surface then with a small soft plastic coated mallet you strike the bite plate area gently. Measure it to see if you did anything at all then adjust the intensity of your strikes accordingly. It may take a few tries to see how hard you should hit it but whatever you do don't jump in too fast or kaput, mouthpiece hell.

You can also do this if you want to raise the baffle without adding any material but you have to take the bite plate out, hit it then put the bite plate back in. Phil Barone
My thinking is similar. Bending the tip makes sense when (1) the material at the tip is thin or (2) to raise / reshape the tip baffle. Clinical experience is crucial when diagnosing the problem. The sound of a mouthpiece IMHO is in the shape and size of the chamber - I believe that is why Links are so popular.
 

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Here’s a few photos of the piece I opened using this method.
I also used a tap method on a steel anvil with masking tape on the surface.
Also had a little electrical tape on the bite plate.
Little by little I opened it to around .115.
I checked the facing along the way.
It took very little facing work afterwards as I managed to not twist it.
I took the baffle down a little just behind the tip and then just cleaned up the rest of it.
The piece is now playing very nicely.
I didn’t loose any length or height in the baffle through the process.
View attachment 106570 View attachment 106571 View attachment 106572 View attachment 106573 View attachment 106574
Good job and nice work.
 

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i do enough mouthpiece work so that i love my rico mouthpieces, when i'm done. i use rico graphtonite because i like working with the plastic they use. and they're cheap.

i sure wouldn't bend a brass mouthpiece. they're cast, so there's no guarantee that they won't break, rather than bend. and even if you can bend it, you're still going to have to sand the facing, to get it right.

so you'll need a piece of good quality fine sandpaper a piece of glass, for a
flat surface under the sandpaper, a small piece of glass to check the mouthpiece and a set of feeler gages. when you get past the thickest feeler, you can use two adjacent ones and then three adjacent ones, to check the facing. you use adjacent feelers so that there's never a possibility of the outer surfaces of the feelers not being parallel.

you want the facing curve to be very close to the curve of a bent reed. and you want to make sure that the gap between the small piece of glass and the mouthpiece is the same on both sides. if one side is less open, you can drag the facing on the sandpaper, with your finger pushing down lightly over the high spot. but start out only lightly dragging it a half an inch, on the sandpaper.

but since you're going to sand it anyway, you might as well open the tip by sanding it. just remember that the facing curve has to be close to the curve of a reed, mounted to the mouthpiece.

and there are two problems with changing the table, to open up the tip. one is that the facing curve you wind up with is still not the curve of a bent reeds. also, you need to make sure that roughly about half the facing is level with the table. and that takes a lot of sanding.

anyway, good luck and have fun.

p.s. you'll have more
fun if you're not screwing around with an expensive mouthpiece. start out with a few cheap pieces.
 
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