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An Over-the-Shoulder view of the machine shop at Oberloh Woodwind and Brassworks
Any shop that does extensive restoration and repair of band instruments must have a metal turning lathe. Here a tapered steel mandrel is being turned to be used in the fabrication of the mouth pipe for a Conn Circus Bore Cornet, part that has been unavailable since the 1920's.
A mainstay for every workshop, the trusty drill press. Here Steve drills out a pattern blank before cutting the shapes stenciled on the material.
Some of the more complicated types of woodwind repair also require special tooling be made. In this image, the shop milling machine is set up with an indexing attachment, which allows for the fabrication of unique tooling made specifically for a given job.
A close up of the business end of the milling machine demonstrates its ability to cut through solid steel as if it were swiss cheese. Precision is the name of the game here.
At Oberloh Woodwind and Brass Works, we have made a substantial investment in capital equipment. If you're going to work on brass instruments, you have to know how to repair valves. With our Sunnen honing machines, we can perform valve repairs faster and more accurately than any other known methods.
Above, the process of externally honing a piston is shown. This process will make the valve absolutely straight and round. To the right, a trumpet valve cylinder is being internally honed. This process will remove any distortions in the cylinder wall, making it absolutely straight and round. It's a messy job, but somebody has to do it!
As can be expected with precision valve work, accurate and detailed measurements are crucial. On the left is a tool used to measure variances inside the valve casings. The piston fits inside the casing usually with .001" clearance or tolerance. The Sunnen honing machine enables us to make accurate adjustments to one tenth of that or .0001" (one-ten thousandth of an inch.) For reference, a human hair is about .002" - .003" in thickness, talk about splitting hairs!
Off to the buffing department...
We do a lot of repairs and restorations that require instruments to be polished and buffed. Above are valve sections for trombones, after the dent and solder work has been performed, awaiting preliminary polishing. Soon the bells will be mounted, then the assemblies will be buffed to a high luster.
At Oberloh Woodwind and Brass Works, all of our staff take great pride in the final finishes we apply to all the instruments we restore.
On with the tour