Journal: June 9, 2013

Hello fellow brass nerds. Firstly, I want to thank the community for all of the support on the Trombone Forum and on my Facebook page for all of the new products that we are working on at The Brass Ark and Brass Medic. The first 50 MV5G mouthpieces are finally done at the machinist and will be prepped and plated over the next few weeks. I appreciate everyone who’s asked to be on the list for one being patient as we roll these out. Also, I wanted to thank all of the clients who have purchased and continue to support our leadpipe project. I know it has been hard to keep up with demand and has taken some time to work our way down the list, but I wanted to let you all know that we understand how it is to wait for a new piece… it is important to us not to rush product. Brad hand makes each piece in house and we try to keep up a high level of quality control.

The entry today has to do with a new leadpipe prototype we have been testing out at our shop. With the great success of the seamed tuning slides, I asked Brad if he thought he could create a leadpipe out of seamed material to see how it would perform compared to a traditional seamless pipe. Brad made two MV50 pipes, one in .020″ yellow brass and one in .016″ copper. Both are quite successful: The yellow pipe being extra focused with much more center (a great pipe for loud players that are looking for something to reign in their power), The copper pipe being just sublime to play with instant response and beautiful bloom to the sound color and fantastic slotting. This is one of my favorite pipes Brad has created so far

Here is a shot of the finished copper MV50 leadpipe :

So, I thought I’d give everyone a little bit of a behind the scenes tour of how we make a seamed copper leadpipe! First thing to do is cut a piece of copper material to the right size (we use MATHS to figure out what size piece to cut). After the piece is cut and cleaned in the acid, the seams are filed to make them smooth.

Once the material is smooth, it is ready to be formed into a tube on a steel mandrel. Brad does this by hand, matching the seam as he goes. This is time consuming work as the seam can’t overlap or be too far apart, but must be just right. The tube is then hammered into shape and the seam is joined by brazing (super hot flame that basically melts the brass together making it one piece of material.

After the tube is brazed, we place it on our leadpipe mandrel and draw it on our draw bench. Brad finishes the leadpipe on the lathe and builds either the press fit ring (as shown) or fabricated a threaded collar depending on what brand the leadpipe will fit. A quick polish and we have a Brass Ark/Brass Medic seamed copper leadpipe!

Our seamed leadpipes will be available to order right away. Send me an email if you are interested. Seamed pipes add $60 to the price of a standard pipe and are available in yellow brass, nickel silver and copper: a yellow brass seamed press fit pipe would be $180, a copper seamed press fit pipe would be $210. Seamed pipes are not returnable as they are custom made to order.