Restoring an old Conn case

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cozzagiorgi
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Restoring an old Conn case

Post by cozzagiorgi » Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:28 pm

I have an old Conn case that I would like to restore. Anyone got some experience with that? Wht materials to use, how to replace broken wood etc.

I think I remember someone posted on that subject some weeks ago, but I can't find the post.
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I'm a fan of high end custom and vintage trombones.
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Doubler
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Re: Restoring an old Conn case

Post by Doubler » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:50 pm

JoAnn's Fabrics for material, Walmart for spray paint, Hobby Lobby for balsa wood, Ace Hardware for TiteBond glue. Wood filler and papier-mache have their uses as filler. Case restoration is done for the love of it, not the money (Guess why?). Have fun!
Current instruments:
Olds Studio trombone, 3 trumpets, 1 flugelhorn, 1 cornet, 1 shofar, 1 keyboard

Previous trombones:
Selmer Bundy, Marceau
Doubler
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Re: Restoring an old Conn case

Post by Doubler » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:19 pm

Forgot to add 3M Super 77 Adhesive works nicely for gluing cloth.
Current instruments:
Olds Studio trombone, 3 trumpets, 1 flugelhorn, 1 cornet, 1 shofar, 1 keyboard

Previous trombones:
Selmer Bundy, Marceau
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cozzagiorgi
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Re: Restoring an old Conn case

Post by cozzagiorgi » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:51 pm

Thanks for that. Will look into those materials.
ƒƒ---------------------------------------------------ƒƒ
I'm a fan of high end custom and vintage trombones.
Follow my Instagram account @Swisstbone and I'll show you all the nice bones I come across!
#hornoftheweek
Mamaposaune
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Location: Central Jersey

Re: Restoring an old Conn case

Post by Mamaposaune » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:13 am

I've restored several cases completely, stripping them down to bare wood, and partially done many others. Still learning from my mistakes, but I am getting better, I think. For repairing the wood, wood putty (I've thinned it down with Elmer's wood glue a bit) but make sure to carefully sand smooth any imperfections before covering; like painting a car they will be magnified. Tolex for the outside -
I've found the thinner type (not with the felt-like backing) is easier to work with. Attach with contact cement. I agree with JoAnn's fabrics for the interior, they have a big selection, and I've had good luck with Elmer's wood glue (as thin a coat as possible to avoid bleed-thru) but have not tried the others. Finally, take your time (it could take weeks!) enjoy the process, and take before and after pictures.
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cozzagiorgi
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Re: Restoring an old Conn case

Post by cozzagiorgi » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:00 am

Mamaposaune wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:13 am
I've restored several cases completely, stripping them down to bare wood, and partially done many others. Still learning from my mistakes, but I am getting better, I think. For repairing the wood, wood putty (I've thinned it down with Elmer's wood glue a bit) but make sure to carefully sand smooth any imperfections before covering; like painting a car they will be magnified. Tolex for the outside -
I've found the thinner type (not with the felt-like backing) is easier to work with. Attach with contact cement. I agree with JoAnn's fabrics for the interior, they have a big selection, and I've had good luck with Elmer's wood glue (as thin a coat as possible to avoid bleed-thru) but have not tried the others. Finally, take your time (it could take weeks!) enjoy the process, and take before and after pictures.

Cool! How did you go about taking off the existing cover? Is the metalware easily removable and easy to put on again?
ƒƒ---------------------------------------------------ƒƒ
I'm a fan of high end custom and vintage trombones.
Follow my Instagram account @Swisstbone and I'll show you all the nice bones I come across!
#hornoftheweek
Mamaposaune
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:48 pm
Location: Central Jersey

Re: Restoring an old Conn case

Post by Mamaposaune » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:14 am

The hardware is the toughest part, I end up pulling out the rivets with screwdriver and needlenose plyers. It is a painstaking process, and I need to fill in the holes afterwards. The covering comes off easier if you put hot, wet towels over it for several minutes.
The challenge I had with a Conn Stratoliner case was the bell flare - I should have done the flare with a separate piece of tolex. I had previously done a Bach French-style case, and a King case, and was able to stretch the tolex over the flare. I ended up taking the Conn case to the curb, still sad about that!
afugate
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Re: Restoring an old Conn case

Post by afugate » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:34 am

How do you handle restoration of the contours of the inner parts of the case? Styrofoam, wood, something else?

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Mamaposaune
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Re: Restoring an old Conn case

Post by Mamaposaune » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:41 am

I suppose there are many possibilities, personally I only use wood, sometimes I'll put a layer of felt or some other cushioning material between the wood and fabric. Styrofoam eventually breaks up, and foam doesn't hold the horn firmly in place. I like the case to fit a particular horn, so I'll use pieces of wood to hold the brace in place, like the original vintage cases did.
Mamaposaune
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Re: Restoring an old Conn case

Post by Mamaposaune » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:48 am

There is a thread on restoring a case under the classifieds, I'm not sure how to share a link to it but I just found it under 'WTB Conn 72H case". Pics and all!
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cozzagiorgi
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Re: Restoring an old Conn case

Post by cozzagiorgi » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:56 am

ƒƒ---------------------------------------------------ƒƒ
I'm a fan of high end custom and vintage trombones.
Follow my Instagram account @Swisstbone and I'll show you all the nice bones I come across!
#hornoftheweek
Doubler
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:56 pm

Re: Restoring an old Conn case

Post by Doubler » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:36 pm

My goal for the shattered Olds Studio case that came with my horn was "presentable". I didn't want to take the extra 200 -300% time it would have taken to make it like new. I haven't been able to upload images on TC, so here are links:

Before: https://imgur.com/8V04JOK and https://imgur.com/IKhz9Ix

After: https://imgur.com/on659UA , https://imgur.com/V6xNoxx , https://imgur.com/T0ZGC3k , and https://imgur.com/JDoKw94

Anyway, I hope this shows what a little effort can do. Fairlane57 and Mamaposaune show what a lot of effort will do; thanks for the link, cozzagiorgi!
Last edited by Doubler on Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Current instruments:
Olds Studio trombone, 3 trumpets, 1 flugelhorn, 1 cornet, 1 shofar, 1 keyboard

Previous trombones:
Selmer Bundy, Marceau
Doubler
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Re: Restoring an old Conn case

Post by Doubler » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:03 pm

Here's one that I didn't have to do as much work on, since it wasn't in as bad shape. I touched up nicks, tears, and small gouges everywhere on the outside; the inside only needed a bit of regluing. There are no "Before" shots; these are all "After".

https://imgur.com/T1DPFZV , https://imgur.com/9zAEmqj , https://imgur.com/baSzSKL , and https://imgur.com/yuI6e5u
Current instruments:
Olds Studio trombone, 3 trumpets, 1 flugelhorn, 1 cornet, 1 shofar, 1 keyboard

Previous trombones:
Selmer Bundy, Marceau
baileyman
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Re: Restoring an old Conn case

Post by baileyman » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:58 pm

Restoring cases--best way to get a nice small French style case that does what you want and no more.
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cozzagiorgi
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Re: Restoring an old Conn case

Post by cozzagiorgi » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:49 am

Doubler wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:36 pm
My goal for the shattered Olds Studio case that came with my horn was "presentable". I didn't want to take the extra 200 -300% time it would have taken to make it like new. I haven't been able to upload images on TC, so here are links:

Before: https://imgur.com/8V04JOK and https://imgur.com/IKhz9Ix

After: https://imgur.com/on659UA , https://imgur.com/V6xNoxx , https://imgur.com/T0ZGC3k , and https://imgur.com/JDoKw94

Anyway, I hope this shows what a little effort can do. Fairlane57 and Mamaposaune show what a lot of effort will do; thanks for the link, cozzagiorgi!
That case looks great! How did you repair the broken wood?
ƒƒ---------------------------------------------------ƒƒ
I'm a fan of high end custom and vintage trombones.
Follow my Instagram account @Swisstbone and I'll show you all the nice bones I come across!
#hornoftheweek
Doubler
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:56 pm

Re: Restoring an old Conn case

Post by Doubler » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:03 pm

I stuck it back together piece by piece with TiteBond*, the shape held together with 3M blue painter's tape, which I removed afterward. I then filled gaps with wood filler. After sanding, I coated the outside of the area with TiteBond, and sanded it again. I used many coats of textured spray paint to hide all the imperfections I didn't bother with (although there were many, many dings and chips I did take care of), and the result is what you see.

* I prefer TiteBond to Elmer's because I am of the (shared by others) opinion that it is stronger. I once did a test of TiteBond by breaking a piece of wood and then gluing it back together, followed by breaking it again to see if the glue held. It did; it broke in a different place, as the TiteBond seemed stronger than the wood itself. Elmer's did not pass this test at the time. Also, it makes a great hard, sandable, but very slightly flexible coating not unlike epoxy, but without the mess nor the cost. Cleanup is done with a damp-to-wet paper towel. Try that with epoxy!
Current instruments:
Olds Studio trombone, 3 trumpets, 1 flugelhorn, 1 cornet, 1 shofar, 1 keyboard

Previous trombones:
Selmer Bundy, Marceau
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cozzagiorgi
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Re: Restoring an old Conn case

Post by cozzagiorgi » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:30 am

Ok. The woodwork seems doable. How about replacing the inner lining? That looks really hard!
ƒƒ---------------------------------------------------ƒƒ
I'm a fan of high end custom and vintage trombones.
Follow my Instagram account @Swisstbone and I'll show you all the nice bones I come across!
#hornoftheweek
Doubler
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:56 pm

Re: Restoring an old Conn case

Post by Doubler » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:40 pm

Replacing lining is a big, time-consuming pain in the neck (actually a bit lower!), but for this case, I didn't have to; I just reglued the loose areas. I used a black Magic Marker and a Sharpie to hide the wear on some of the obvious pieces by coloring the entire pieces after shampooing the velvet with carpet cleaner. I reinforced the torn/partially shredded cloth hinge for the mouthpiece box by gluing a piece of thin remnant cloth over it and painting it. The accessory box was missing, so I fabricated one out of heavy corrugated cardboard and covered the outside in velvet from JoAnn Fabrics. The cardboard was both strong and flexible, so just bending it at the right place created the hinge. I filled the holes in the edge with - you guessed it - TiteBond and painted the edge and inside.
Current instruments:
Olds Studio trombone, 3 trumpets, 1 flugelhorn, 1 cornet, 1 shofar, 1 keyboard

Previous trombones:
Selmer Bundy, Marceau
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