Dent work

How do you get this…

…to this ?

You call me! But how do we repair people do that?

The simple answer: We push the horn back into shape using a bunch of different metal sticks. It’s not rocket science, it just takes the right tools and enough experience to know when to do what. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy…and there are some great repairmen who can take it to something close to an art; but let me fill you in a bit about removing dents.

The most common dent any type of horn gets is the bell dent: Saxophones, trumpets, tubas, trombones, french horns, anything with a bell will probably be dented at some point.

If the bell dent is easily accessible we’ll probably only have to use a mandrel (tappered metal rod) and a roller (metal tube on a stick the rolls on ball bearings). These two tools, as well as most other dent tools, are held in a vise while we push and pull the horn over them until the metal is where we want it.

votaw tool dent roller

I won’t describe all the processes involved in removing dents because it’s tedious and if you aren’t a professional repair tech, I don’t advise trying unless you aren’t worried about destroying your horn. There isn’t much information about dent work out there, probably because you’d never be able to adequately write directions to successfully remove a dent. Dent work is something you have to be taught in person and a lot of it is trail and error; it reminds me of learning to draw.





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