Work Holding Mandrels

To hold trumpets and cornets you can make a wood mandrel or special

holding device. If you go to a unfinished furniture store they will have

spindle type chair or table legs. Many large lumber stores have the same

thing. Take a horn with you and find one which fits snugly into the bell

section of the horn. It should be smooth without any decorative spinning. You

can place this in the vice (get a good vice, preferably a machinist

vice) and use it to hold the instrument while you solder or work on the


I also use a piece of 2x4 wood stud about 12" long with two 2B drum

sticks glued into it at a right angle(see diagram above). This is where a picture is worth a

thousand words. The distance between the drum sticks is equal to the distance

between the center of the 1st and 3rd valves. This type of holder is great

for use when "Ragging" the valve section of a trumpet or cornet. You must

remove the valves to place the body on the holder. Unlike the wood mandrel,

this holder will not allow the horn to rotate. I make these holders to

accomodate the horn I am working on at the time. It only takes about three to

cover all the different brands. Make them as you need them.

Moremandrel designs available upon request.

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