Very Early Bach C Trumpet
Here's another case of "What were they thinking?". The previous owners had no idea that this Bach Bb trumpet had started its life as a C trumpet. It must have made sense to somebody sometime to convert this trumpet rather than buy a used Bundy for their kid. As painful as the starting point is for me, I really enjoy this sort of challenge.
I had worked on Bach C trumpets #145 and 150 previously and numerous early Bb trumpets, so I am very familiar with Bach's designs from that time. The goal, obviously is to bring it back, as close as possible to how it was originally built. I was able to make a mouthpipe that was close to the original dimensions and making the receiver, brace and ferrules was more straightforward.
At first examination, it wasn't very clear which bits of tubing were from the original trumpet and which were replacements but once everything was disassembled, it was much easier to determine. The tuning crook, waterkey, finger hook and ring, diagonal braces, caps, stems, buttons and most of the ferrules were original, so my starting point wasn't all bad. The bell took some detective work. One of the confusing facts is that a number of the early C trumpets were rebuilt by Bach with later, longer bells. By carefully comparing measurements with other Bach C trumpets and studying the taper of this one, it became clear that it was the original short bell with a section added in the obvious spot.
Removing the large ferrules from the bell taper was more difficult that would be expected. The guy that lengthened the bell first attempted to silver solder the section in place. When that failed, he cut the bell at one of those joints and slipped the two ferrules over to cover his mess. The ragged ends of the break could not be reattached with silver solder so I had to resort to another ferrule joining the bell and creating the correct length. In the end result, that ferrule is the only clue to the horror that this trumpet has experienced. The valves needed plating and refitting which brought this great old Bach C trumpet back to its exceptional playability.