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Discussion Starter #1
Kind of new here, so not as familiar with all the resources that are out there. I'm wondering what and where are some good places to learn about mpc work: where to start, places to find necessary tools, necessary reading etc. Mojobari mentions the Erick Brand manual, and I've enjoyed his vidwos. Is the Theo Wanne book/kit something worth investing in?
Thank you.
 

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Understand I am speaking as an amateur mouthpiece guy, but I have been fooling around with them for over 30 years. Couple points:

*Mojos YouTube videos are excellent, he also runs a Yahoo group that has a lot of information.
* For tools, you will need some good quality needle files, sandpaper in various grits, a piece of plate glass, some feeler gauges, and a glass gauge. A tip opening gauge is nice, but not necessary if you use stacked feelers or maybe a digital caliper.
* JJ Babbitt sells glass gauges.
* I can’t recommend the Theo Wanne glass gauge, it has too thick lines, and they are not spaced accurately. The tip gauge is OK, but expensive. (His mouthpieces, on the other hand, are excellent!)
* The Brand book is a good start, but you will need more feeler gauges than listed there; that data is from a time when tip openings were much smaller. You can stack feelers to make thicker ones, but measure the result with calipers because just adding the values won’t be accurate. You can buy thicker gauges, but they are quite expensive.
* Get some inexpensive blanks to play with; EBay is a good resource.

Learn to measure a mouthpiece accurately first. After you can do that consistently, start playing with facing curves on cheap crummy mouthpieces and see if you can get them to play. Experiment with baffles and chambers too. It’s fun but frustrating. Don’t ever work on your or someone else’s main piece!

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Skeller047, thanks immensely. I've ordered three $25 Chinese metal tenor blanks off ebay, though thinking I should start some bulk plastic/hr pieces before jumping into metal (a bit cheaper)?
I have a glass plate, a pair of good calipers, some smaller files from BIR days. Seems that a good full set of gauges is worth the initial $; saving money (and patience) down the road. Working on acquiring a glass gauge from babbit, and a dremel.
 

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Theo Wanne has some refacing tools, supplies, and literature you might want to check out. Theo Wanne Refacing I can't comment on the quality of his tools, but I have attended a couple of his workshops and his instructions are clear and easy to follow.
 

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Suggestions on How To Get Into Refacing
By Keith W. Bradbury 3/24/14

1. Join the Yahoo Mouthpiece Work group. There is a lot of content saved in the files and links sections. The older conversation posts also deal a lot with the basics of getting started. They can also be downloaded from the Files – Grouped Posts area.

2. Watch refacing videos on YouTube. I have posted over 45 videos on my MojoBari channel dealing with refacing and other aspects of mouthpiece work. Many are multipart real time videos so you get a real look at the time and effort involved as well as the tools and strategies that work.

3. Start by measuring, measuring, and more measuring. You need to be able to get fairly repeatable facing curve measurements before you can use those readings to guide your work. Hold a straight edge against the table to see if it is flat, wavy, concave or convex. If it is convex, note how this can affect your readings depending on how you hold the glass gauge against the table. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLXNVzWbqiw Tools needed: glass gauge and a feeler gauge set including larger sizes. A dial tip opening gauge, and/or digital calipers are helpful.

4. If you have spreadsheet skills, graph your facing curve readings to visualize them. Compare them to mathematical radial and elliptical curves. There are public spreadsheets on the Yahoo group site. But these are no substitute for your own math and spreadsheet chops. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f4T3jIv0Mw

5. If you do not have spreadsheet skills, record your readings on paper in a notebook. Note which mouthpiece facings play the best for you. Use the good ones as facing targets for the bad ones.

6. Learn to flatten a table. This can be maddening. I have seen high end expensive mouthpieces that have low table heels which indicate the maker still needs to learn how to do this. Having a super flat work surface does nothing if you have bad technique. Most refacers use loose sheets of sandpaper on (I think) a piece of glass. Some just use a table top and some a precision ground granite slab. Here is the system I use: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYhbpUIyZG0 I have several videos where I show how to flatten a tables.

7. Files. You will only need a lot of files if you get into baffle and chamber reshaping. I started with several Asian made files sets from Micro-Mark. I still use some of the riffler files from these sets. But my go-to files for shaping rails, tables and baffles near the tip are all Valtitan needle files. You can pretty much everything you need to do using just a half round file with a “0” cut. So I recommend getting one of them in Valtitan. But you can start out with cheapo files and decide after you wear your first one out.

8. Sandpapers. Get the wet/dry silicone carbide types sold in automotive supply stores, etc. I mostly use 220, 320, 400, 600. But some of my 400 feels the same as the 320 to me. Some like to go as fine as 800 and 1000-1500. You can use them for facing adjustments and also cut small pieces for body and baffle finishing. Small pieces can be wrapped around files and shaped sticks to finish the mouthpiece interior.

9. My videos show the sequence of steps I use. There are also documents on the Yahoo site in the Files - Methods area on reworking steps. The recap by Dan Torosian is good. So is all my stuff ;-).

10. Additional tools are luxuries in my opinion. Just add what you think you need as you go along. Use what works for you and store away the ones that are not that helpful.
 
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