Outer slide tubes not parallel

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dbwhitaker
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Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by dbwhitaker » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:46 am

I recently bought an old Holton TR-180 online and had it shipped to me. The slide action was poor so I took it to a local shop that previously did great work on another slide. Unfortunately, when I got it back the action was still poor, so I took it to another local shop that was highly recommended. The repair tech initially seemed stumped about the problem but eventually determined that the tubes of the outer slide are not parallel. The distance between the tubes near the crook is 1/8 inch narrower than at the handles. He said he'd come up with a plan to fix the slide either by widening the crook somehow, or potentially cutting the handle(s) to shorten them.

Has anyone had a similar problem? Any guesses about what could cause this? There's no (other) indication that the slide has been modified, repaired, or significantly damaged in the past.
Playing again after a very long break and having fun.
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by Posaunus » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:20 am

I think you need a new tech.
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by JohnL » Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:06 am

Seen it before. Coulda just been "born bad" (i.e., not put together properly at the factory). Could also have had the crook repaired/replaced at some point and the person who did it either didn't realize that it needed to be adjusted or just didn't care.
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by dbwhitaker » Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:06 am

Posaunus wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:20 am
I think you need a new tech.
Why?
Playing again after a very long break and having fun.
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by tbonesullivan » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:21 pm

Any tech that is stumped by a warped slide or tubes out of parallel is one one I would ever want working on any of my slides. Checking for parallel tubes inner and outer is BASIC. Many slides have out of parallel tubes due to initial factory issues or due to damage to the end bow.

The "Braces" are made of multiple pieces of metal, and can be adjusted in size with a torch.

Here is Dan Oberloh "Doing It RIght". Notice that he's got it on a leveling stone and checking the measurements FIRST THING.

http://www.oberloh.com/SPL/spl1.htm
David S. - daveyboy37 from TTF
Bach 39 Alto, King 2103 / 3b, Yamaha YSL-640, Bach 42T, Kanstul 1570CR, Kanstul 1588CR, Yamaha YBL-612 RII, Sterling Perantucci 1056GHS Euphonium, Yamaha YBB-631S Tuba
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by Posaunus » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:22 pm

tbonesullivan wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:21 pm
Any tech that is stumped by a warped slide or tubes out of parallel is one one I would ever want working on any of my slides. Checking for parallel tubes inner and outer is BASIC.

Here is Dan Oberloh "Doing It RIght". Notice that he's got it on a leveling stone and checking the measurements FIRST THING.

http://www.oberloh.com/SPL/spl1.htm
Couldn't have explained better than this why dbwhitaker needs a competent tech.

Dan Oberloh's presentation is a great example of what a good tech can (and should) do with a damaged slide.
Such techs are unfortunately not numerous or evenly distributed throughout the country. Those of us who have a local slide genius are indeed blessed! :good:
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by dbwhitaker » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:24 pm

Thanks for the responses. I learned a lot from the Oberloh site.

I think it was unfair to my tech when I wrote that *HE* was stumped. It would have been more accurate to say that *I* was stumped by what he was doing. I'll reserve judgement about his work until after I get my slide back.
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by tbonesullivan » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:47 pm

dbwhitaker wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:24 pm
Thanks for the responses. I learned a lot from the Oberloh site.

I think it was unfair to my tech when I wrote that *HE* was stumped. It would have been more accurate to say that *I* was stumped by what he was doing. I'll reserve judgement about his work until after I get my slide back.
Yeah, there shouldn't be any cutting of the braces. They are made of multiple pieces, and in reality slides are matched inner and outer, which is why many companies have a matching number on the side, because each slide can be a just a tiny bit off. The end bow really decides what width the slide will be, and they aren't always bent exactly.
David S. - daveyboy37 from TTF
Bach 39 Alto, King 2103 / 3b, Yamaha YSL-640, Bach 42T, Kanstul 1570CR, Kanstul 1588CR, Yamaha YBL-612 RII, Sterling Perantucci 1056GHS Euphonium, Yamaha YBB-631S Tuba
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by Posaunus » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:51 pm

dbwhitaker wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:24 pm
I think it was unfair to my tech when I wrote that *HE* was stumped. It would have been more accurate to say that *I* was stumped by what he was doing. I'll reserve judgement about his work until after I get my slide back.
If his plan is really "to fix the slide either by widening the crook somehow, or potentially cutting the handle(s) to shorten them" then, as you saw (or can easily deduce) ... it will not work, and possibly permanently damage your slide. The slides (inners and outers) need to be made perfectly straight and parallel. The tech should have been able to demonstrate and explain this. Fixing your problem, if done correctly, will probably not be inexpensive. :idk:

Good luck! :shuffle:
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by Doubler » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:07 pm

I agree that a competent tech should be consulted. The thought of butchering a slide makes me cringe!
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by brassmedic » Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:36 pm

It's possible one would have to cut the brace, if it is already bottomed out in the sockets on both sides. Of course he should see if the tubes can be pushed closer together first, and only cut the brace as a last resort (removing the brace from the socket and trimming a bit off one end). But usually there is enough space inside the sockets to push them closer together without cutting anything.

I'm not understanding why people say this "won't work". If the distance between tubes is shorter at the crook than at the brace, there are only two ways to remedy that: make the brace end narrower or make the crook end wider.
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by BGuttman » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:59 am

There are some braces that are not adjustable - they have no sockets. I think my Bach 36 LT slide is this way, but I've also seen others. That would require some inventive means to shorten the brace.
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by tbonesullivan » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:01 am

Pretty sure at least one of the braces has to be adjustable, otherwise there would be no way to align the slide if it got really messed up. Usually the outer slide is done first, and then they inner slide. I know my Bach 42 has three piece braces for both the cork barrels and slide.
David S. - daveyboy37 from TTF
Bach 39 Alto, King 2103 / 3b, Yamaha YSL-640, Bach 42T, Kanstul 1570CR, Kanstul 1588CR, Yamaha YBL-612 RII, Sterling Perantucci 1056GHS Euphonium, Yamaha YBB-631S Tuba
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by elmsandr » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:50 am

BGuttman wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:59 am
There are some braces that are not adjustable - they have no sockets. I think my Bach 36 LT slide is this way, but I've also seen others. That would require some inventive means to shorten the brace.
That 36 slide does have sockets, they are just very short to save weight (assuming yours is a factory job). The brace is three pieces, as are most pro trombones. Some have only one socket, but most have one on both sides.

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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by brassmedic » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:36 pm

I think the Olds Ambassador had a one piece slide brace.
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by JohnL » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:06 pm

brassmedic wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:36 pm
I think the Olds Ambassador had a one piece slide brace.
The brace on the inner slide is two-piece (flattened oval cross section), the brace on the outer slide is one-piece with a round cross section.

Olds had a thing about one-piece braces; Supers had all one-piece braces for a while.
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by tbonesullivan » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:16 am

The Getzen 4147IB has a pretty huge single piece brace on the outer slide. That's the only current model that comes to mind.
David S. - daveyboy37 from TTF
Bach 39 Alto, King 2103 / 3b, Yamaha YSL-640, Bach 42T, Kanstul 1570CR, Kanstul 1588CR, Yamaha YBL-612 RII, Sterling Perantucci 1056GHS Euphonium, Yamaha YBB-631S Tuba
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by Crazy4Tbone86 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:53 pm

Every time I saw those Olds trombones with the non-adjustable outside slide brace, I didn't know what to think of them. One side of my brain said....."this is short cut that will likely never result in a parallel slide." The other side of my brain said..."Wow! The Olds company must have a manufacturing technique that guarantees every slide crook will be exactly the same width to the 1/1000th of an inch!" The next time I get my hands on an Olds trombone with the fixed brace, I will definitely measure the slide to see how accurate it is!

I'm very surprised to hear that the Getzen 4147IB has a fixed outside slide brace. I can't confirm it with the photos on the Getzen website. I guess I'll be looking for that the next I see Getzen trombones at a store or Trombone Festival/Workshop!

Back to the topic of parallel slides..... Let's not underestimate the knowledge, wisdom and craftsmanship that goes into creating a trombone slide that is perfectly parallel. As a technician, I can tell you that some slides are easy to fix and others are quite challenging. I try to keep an open mind and discover something new about trombone slides constantly. Here are some of the most significant things that I have observed over the years (other technicians, feel free to add to the list)...

*Many trombone slides are actually "born bad" at the factory. I have measured "artist level" trombone outer slides (enter any brand you can imagine here) that have been non-parallel by as much as 25 to 30 thousandths of an inch coming directly from the factory. No disrespect to the trombone manufacturers and the people who work for them. As trombonists, we are indebted to their inventions and products. It is probably impossible for them to keep the assembly line moving and create every slide that is parallel to the 1/1000th of an inch.

*Do not assume that each outer slide is "hand-fitted" to its inner slide. I observed this at a factory about 20 years ago. The tour guide stated clearly that "every trombone slide was hand-fitted and adjusted to be an exact fit." Then I watched as the employee took the two parts of the slide out of their jigs, wiped them with a cotton cloth, put them together and sent them down the line. I don't think he even looked at the slide as he put them together!

*A leveling stone does not guarantee that a slide is absolutely straight. It can only guarantee, in the hands of a skilled technician, that the part of the slide that has no sleeves or stockings is straight. I have seen many trombones that are "dead straight" on a leveling stone, but perform horribly because there are bends in the "stocking" area of the inner slide or there are bends in the "sleeve area" of the outer slide. Fixing these problems is a whole new set of skills.

*One of the biggest flaws in slide alignment is that the width of the inner slide is not exactly fitted to the width of the outer slide. How do you check for this? With inner and outer slide fitted together, place the rubber bumper on the floor. Pull the inner slide up to the point where the inner slide is out of the cork barrel about 3/4 inch. Carefully look at one side of the slide and hold it absolutely centered. Without moving a muscle, look at the other slide....is it absolutely centered? I have found that on about 80% of trombones, the answer is "no." For many slides, fixing this is a huge difference in slide performance.

*Being able to set up an inner or outer slide (on a stone or any other device) is one skill. Soldering it together is a completely different skill set. When a solder joint cools and goes from liquid to solid, it will many times "pop" and shift as much as 10 to 11 thousandths of an inch, even if held in a jig. If you want your slide to be perfect, you should use a technician who is experienced and patient enough to know how to work with this aspect of soldering. Long story short....it can sometimes take 10-20 attempts to get the solder joint perfect so that a slide is EXACTLY parallel with its counterparts.

*Removable leadpipes can easily make a great slide not parallel. I have seen dozens of trombone slides that work perfectly without the leadpipe. Stick the leadpipe in and the slide has some drag. If your leadpipe is crooked, it is likely impacting your slide negatively. Get it to a technician who can make that leadpipe straight!

*Many trombones need the inner slide to be constantly readjusted to keep the inner slide tubes parallel. My theory is that the weight of some outer slides can possibly pull downward on one of the inner slide tubes more than the other. I imagine it can also be caused by separating the inner and outer slides in a careless manner. Some manufacturers (Bach and Conn come to mind) install those small 90 degree braces at the corner of the outer lower slide brace in order to stabilize the inner slides and keep them parallel.

Welcome to the quest for the perfect trombone slide! Of course, we haven't even mentioned the cleaning and polishing aspect of trombone slides! Any other tricks for creating the perfect slide out there?

Brian Hinkley - Player, Teacher, Technician, Trombone Enthusiast :cool:
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by tbonesullivan » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:33 pm

Crazy4Tbone86 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:53 pm
I'm very surprised to hear that the Getzen 4147IB has a fixed outside slide brace. I can't confirm it with the photos on the Getzen website. I guess I'll be looking for that the next I see Getzen trombones at a store or Trombone Festival/Workshop!

*Many trombones need the inner slide to be constantly readjusted to keep the inner slide tubes parallel. My theory is that the weight of some outer slides can possibly pull downward on one of the inner slide tubes more than the other. I imagine it can also be caused by separating the inner and outer slides in a careless manner. Some manufacturers (Bach and Conn come to mind) install those small 90 degree braces at the corner of the outer lower slide brace in order to stabilize the inner slides and keep them parallel.

Welcome to the quest for the perfect trombone slide! Of course, we haven't even mentioned the cleaning and polishing aspect of trombone slides! Any other tricks for creating the perfect slide out there?

Brian Hinkley - Player, Teacher, Technician, Trombone Enthusiast :cool:
There is one used at the brass exchange, with some close up photos of the outer slide brace. If it's adjustable, it must be... internally???

https://www.thebrass-exchange.com/conte ... -pre-owned

Regarding slide alignment, I have some slides that just seem to eventually need a straightening out. I have others, like my Bach 42 slide, that has been lightning fast for years. I know that there are some techs who hate gig bags, due to bad slide support. Many also dislike the hard cases that keep the slide at the bottom in a slot, which is often quite a bit too large for the slide itself. The case for my Yamaha YSL640 leaves the slide enough room to knock back and forth. I had to put some padding at the end to keep it stationary.

Another thing I picked up from a friend was always using a trombone stand. He picked it up when he cook a lesson from Steve Turre, who said he feels that resting the outer slide on the ground with the weight of the trombone on it can torque the slide. I don't know if it's really true, but I have noticed a lot less issues since I stopped resting my slide on the floor. Also keeping a trombone on stand just feels safer to me.
David S. - daveyboy37 from TTF
Bach 39 Alto, King 2103 / 3b, Yamaha YSL-640, Bach 42T, Kanstul 1570CR, Kanstul 1588CR, Yamaha YBL-612 RII, Sterling Perantucci 1056GHS Euphonium, Yamaha YBB-631S Tuba
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by JohnL » Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:21 pm

Crazy4Tbone86 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:53 pm
Every time I saw those Olds trombones with the non-adjustable outside slide brace, I didn't know what to think of them. One side of my brain said....."this is short cut that will likely never result in a parallel slide." The other side of my brain said..."Wow! The Olds company must have a manufacturing technique that guarantees every slide crook will be exactly the same width to the 1/1000th of an inch!" The next time I get my hands on an Olds trombone with the fixed brace, I will definitely measure the slide to see how accurate it is!
It didn't take that long for Olds to figure out that at least one brace needed to be adjustable. That said, I have some "all one piece" Supers with really good slides.
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by brassmedic » Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:30 am

It's not impossible to align a slide with a fixed brace. It's actually relatively easy to slightly bend the crook and make it the correct width.
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by Crazy4Tbone86 » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:06 pm

Yes, you can bend the crook to make it almost any width. However, any bending that makes the ends of the crook not parallel will likely introduce some type of problem or stress into the slide. There are tricks like creating a little more play in the ferrules before soldering it, but any trick is some form of a compromise. For this reason, I think I can safely state that most technicians would prefer to work with an outside slide that has an adjustable brace.....it gives the technician the infinite ability to make the outer slide tubes absolutely parallel. Constructing an outer slide with a one-part brace could be very challenging if the crook needs to be manipulated a significant amount.

To further understand this problem of variation in widths of slide crooks, dig this..... I just received a nickel-silver OEM Bach 42/50 slide crook from MK Drawing today. It is about .040 of an inch more narrow than an MK Drawing yellow brass OEM Bach 42/50 slide crook that I have had in my inventory for a year or so. Both of these crooks sit dead flush on their open ends on my leveling granite and their ends appear to be absolutely parallel. I am NOT going to say that MK Drawing makes an inconsistent or inferior product.....as a matter of fact, I think their stuff is fantastic!

Brad, I mean no disrespect to you. I think you are probably one of the finest brass technicians in the USA. I play on your leadpipes for large-bore tenor and bass trombone. Someday, I would love to try playing one of your sackbuts. The special order Bach 42 yellow brass seamed long open leadpipe you made for me about a year ago is crazy good! Keep up the good work.....we need people like you to advance the art of trombone playing.
Brian D. Hinkley - Player, Teacher, Technician and Trombone Enthusiast
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by hornbuilder » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:20 pm

The Getzen 4147 is a 3 piece brace. The sockets are inside the tube, instead of on the outside, as is more commonly seen.
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by Crazy4Tbone86 » Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:48 pm

Ah, the mystery is solved. I guess you need to have the horn in your hands to see it. Thanks Matt!
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by bigbandbone » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:35 pm

I'm a retired repairman. 40+ years. Here's my 2 cents.
-
First, and most importantly, you must determine why the outer slides are not parallel or not flat. There can be many reasons.
-
Once you've determined why, then you can decide how to address the problem.
-
If you repairman skips the first step you will probably end up with an unacceptable result.
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Re: Outer slide tubes not parallel

Post by brassmedic » Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:10 am

Crazy4Tbone86 wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:06 pm
Yes, you can bend the crook to make it almost any width. However, any bending that makes the ends of the crook not parallel will likely introduce some type of problem or stress into the slide. There are tricks like creating a little more play in the ferrules before soldering it, but any trick is some form of a compromise. For this reason, I think I can safely state that most technicians would prefer to work with an outside slide that has an adjustable brace.....it gives the technician the infinite ability to make the outer slide tubes absolutely parallel. Constructing an outer slide with a one-part brace could be very challenging if the crook needs to be manipulated a significant amount.

To further understand this problem of variation in widths of slide crooks, dig this..... I just received a nickel-silver OEM Bach 42/50 slide crook from MK Drawing today. It is about .040 of an inch more narrow than an MK Drawing yellow brass OEM Bach 42/50 slide crook that I have had in my inventory for a year or so. Both of these crooks sit dead flush on their open ends on my leveling granite and their ends appear to be absolutely parallel. I am NOT going to say that MK Drawing makes an inconsistent or inferior product.....as a matter of fact, I think their stuff is fantastic!

Brad, I mean no disrespect to you. I think you are probably one of the finest brass technicians in the USA. I play on your leadpipes for large-bore tenor and bass trombone. Someday, I would love to try playing one of your sackbuts. The special order Bach 42 yellow brass seamed long open leadpipe you made for me about a year ago is crazy good! Keep up the good work.....we need people like you to advance the art of trombone playing.
Thanks for the kind words. I totally agree - much easier to adjust a brace than a crook. But if you have to, it can be done.
Brad Close Brass Instruments - brassmedic.com
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