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Discussion Starter #1
Yes, I know I can check ebay and all that. Id like a little help if someone has thoughts.

I picked up an Early Chu Tenor (158xxx) split bell. Its nearly complete but its more overhaul than Im cut out for. I can do pads and a few springs but basically this baby needs it all. Its also not pretty. The rear Eflat clothes guard is gone and there are a few dings. The neck is in good shape...and fits! The lacquer basically sucks. It would be a great candidate for a chemical strip. The rolled tone holes look good. I know these horns bring good cash when rebuilt. My question is how much I could get for it as is to someone who knows horns and either wants a Chu or wants to Flip it?
 

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If it's lacquer, it's not the original finish. Lacquer didn't start showing up on Conn horns until 1929. If there is a floral-type engraving on the bell, odds are the horn was originally silverplate, had the silverplate stripped and was lacquered. If there is no floral type engraving, it was likely a bare-brass horn.

In either case, the current finish is not original. You can always go the "Lazarus" route and have a full restoration, including a replate done on the horn. I did this on a 201,xxx Chu and ended up with a very good result, but the 180 - 220,xxx Chus tend to be the ones more sought after by collectors. Also, I knew my 201 was a strong player and had a straight body (no pitting, not buffed to death) prior to the restoration.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It may have to become a project. I have a tough time letting it go having never played it. It will be a lot of fun going the full distance with one of these. Maybe I will make a thread following its resurection step by step. It sure doesnt look like silver is under it. It doesnt have elaborate engraving. The engraving is pretty worn...it looks like it spent a lot of time in someones lap. It just has some basic engraving and a Made by CG CONN Elkhart Ind. etc...hard to read.

Anyone know what to use to strip a horn of old lacquer?

Anyone need some 1920s rotting pads?
 

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That sounds like a bare brass horn that acquired a coat of lacquer. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I have a 165,xxx straight soprano that is like that, and it is a monster player. In that case, I wouldn't worry about originality and just do the mechanical work. IMHO, bare brass is a pain in the butt finish to maintain.

If it was a silver horn, you usually won't find any evidence of the silver as it was stripped off the horn. The engraving is usually the best clue to what the original finish was. You can also tell by the depth of the stampings on how much the horn was buffed. If the serial number stamping is deep and clear, you still have a good amount of brass left.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Im not a bare brass fan either but I may as well make it bare. Its 75% gone and a fair amount of oxidation, tarnish, and leopard spots through out the rest. The best thing is that the key work is tight and the tone holes look good. There are going to be some very stuborn rods and pivot screws.
 

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Get a large container (5 gallon drum) , cut the top off and fill it full of kerosene and a dash of oil. Immerse horn and forget about it until you feel like doing the work.
No stubborn screws this way !!!
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks. This sucker doesnt want to come appart. A couple are going to have to be repaced as they have rusted had have no head left....any clues on what a newbie can do about that.

....maybe my tech will have to address that? He seems willing to do parts of my project....there are a couple of dents I want gone...I dont do dentwork. He quoted me a low price on that.
 

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Use a small Vise-grip. Attach it to the small screwdriver. Unscrew the rod as much as possible. Holding it tightly, push the key cup down to move it very little. The leverage of the key vs. screwdriver will move it. Repeat over and over until there is enough rod to afix the vise-grip to. Before doing all this, apply some liquid wrench to the spaces between each key.. If the rod is threaded from the lower post, you will need to reverse this process. Once I had to do this about 50 times to a flute thumb key so take your time.
 
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