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Heterodox nonconformist
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403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently acquired an early Babbitt STM alto 10* and whereas I do really dig it, I feel that it's a great candidate for a reface. I've noticed that the tip rail, while even in thickness from side to side, is asymmetrical in its curve, and also that there is a place in the chamber that is slightly out-of-round. In addition, I'm not sure, but the facing curve probably is not perfectly identical on both rails - that would be a real feat for a mouthpiece this irregularly open to come straight out of the factory with a perfect curve. Overall, I love the sound, but it's more resistant than what I would like.

Anyway, never having had a mouthpiece refaced before, I'm seeking guidance. Based on what I've read here and elsewhere, I have compiled a short list of prospectine refacers who seem to deal consistently turn out great pieces.

Brian Powell
Ed Zentera
Erik Greiffenhagen
Theo Wanne
MOJO
Adam Niewood

Perhaps I could get some really strong persuasive arguments (oh God, I sound like English class) for the above, or others, if they do dynamite work that tops these guys. Do feel free to add your personal experiences, and it would really help if one of these guys is known for excellent work on really open mouthpieces.

Thanks!
 

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Heterodox nonconformist
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403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, duly noted. And I do realize that the above listed are all great refacers, which is why I was hoping for something a bit more specific. Like I said earlier, what would be great would be if anyone has any personal experience with one of them doing really outstanding work on a ridiculously open mouthpiece. Thanks anyway.
 

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Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
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9,842 Posts
renaissance_man said:
Thanks, duly noted. And I do realize that the above listed are all great refacers, which is why I was hoping for something a bit more specific. Like I said earlier, what would be great would be if anyone has any personal experience with one of them doing really outstanding work on a ridiculously open mouthpiece. Thanks anyway.
OK, someone else with more knowledge of refacing than me will have to chime in on that specific question. Offhand I can't see why the large opening should make much difference. After all, it wouldn't be a large opening on a baritone mouthpiece.
 

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Heterodox nonconformist
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403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
chitownjazz said:
...it wouldn't be a large opening on a baritone mouthpiece.
That's true, but I daresay that the shape of the facing curve is drastically different between the two. That baritone piece would, for one, have a much longer facing than any alto piece, for instance, so there is a huge difference. A .120" tip on alto would require even more precision, I'm sure, because the curve has a lot farther to go with a lot less length at its disposal to get there.
 

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renaissance_man said:
That's true, but I daresay that the shape of the facing curve is drastically different between the two. That baritone piece would, for one, have a much longer facing than any alto piece, for instance, so there is a huge difference. A .120" tip on alto would require even more precision, I'm sure, because the curve has a lot farther to go with a lot less length at its disposal to get there.
All I can say is that I sent my unaltered Fla STM 10 alto to Mojo to look at. So I know he has seen big link facings, and has thoughts on how they should be. I didn't have it worked on as it was once my main piece and may be my main again sometime in the future.
 

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Brian Powell is THE MAN!!! I wouldn't hesitate to send that piece directly to him. The work he did on my dukoff is just mind blowing.
 

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The key to doing large tip openings is to have an extended set of feeler gauges. The classic E.Brand set stops at .050". The Winslow set is extended. A lot of us have made up our own set of feelers. Mine goes up to .125". I have faced pieces up to .150" tips using the tip gage as the last measuring point. If your set stops at .050", then you need to free-hand the rest of the curve to the tip opening. Some guys do an amazing job of this because they are artists. But I think it is a poor strategy not to use an extended gauge set.
 
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