Facing Length

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24

Thread: Facing Length

  1. #1
    Forum Contributor 2016-17
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    233
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Facing Length

    I wonder if anyone else has considered this. As many members here, over the years I have bought & collected many mouthpieces. To understand a little bit more about how they function I have read the book “Saxophone Mouthpiece Selection” by Robert Scarff. Steve Neffs and The Wanne’s sites have been very informative as well.

    So, what I have decided to do is to order a kit to start measuring the facings of the different mouthpieces that I have in my possession, specially the ones that I like the most.

    This, to more or less have an idea of the effects of the the facing length vs tip opening & identify what suits me the best. While I recognize that this might end up being an exercise in futility, I think that knowing your personal preference regarding tip opening, facing length, chamber size, baffle size is important.
    Opinions?

  2. Remove Advertisements
    SaxOnTheWeb.net
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Member Saxland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Southern Canada
    Posts
    2,074
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Facing Length

    It is not just the facing length but shape of the curve as well that is a factor. I think it is easier to find a mouthpiece you like, and have someone who knows, adjust the facing by describing how you would like it to play. I asked Sebastian Knox to reface a used modern Otto Link STM to play as well as he sees fit. He returned an incredible mouthpiece that sings. A mouthpiece expert can look at a well playing mouthpiece and copy the facing curve on a similar mouthpiece.

    I think unless you undertake years of study and apprenticeship making mouthpieces, you will never have the full picture. Many mouthpiece experts can make what you need, more quickly than you can figure it out. Like in a month or less. This is the cheapest option instead of doing your own R&D. I buy and try new mouthpieces every year just to see. Just getting to know a new mouthpiece takes time as well. Next year it will be Navaro I think. This year is 10mfan and Klum. 😊
    Last edited by Saxland; 05-03-2017 at 05:56 AM. Reason: Grammar, added a few ideas
    http://www.smallsjazzclub.com
    CANADA'S National Jazz Radio Station is www.Jazz.FM

  4. #3
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Forum Contributor 2013
    Sigmund451's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    10,300
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Facing Length

    Just be aware that facing all of the variables and more that you mention work together in concert. Isolating one variable does not tell very much of a story.
    Phil-Tone Custom Woodwinds
    Custom Mouthpiece Design

    www.Phil-Tone.com


  5. Remove Advertisements
    SaxOnTheWeb.net
    Advertisements
     

  6. #4
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Forum Contributor 2014
    Mark Fleming's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    2,176
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Facing Length

    Here is something that you might find interesting. Get a set of feeler gauges and a metric mechanic's ruler from Ebay. The ruler is about $5 and the feeler gauge is about the same.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/140996945204...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/32-Blade-IMP...UAAOSwdGFY0hmV

    Get a bunch of alto or tenor pieces, depending on what you play, and copy the facing of a piece that you like on to the cheapo pieces. Here is an example of 10 mouthpieces for $40 (I've done a little better, but this is pretty cheap).

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-Black-...QAAOSwwNVTthkL

    Sandpaper, a piece of glass, and an ExActo knife and you are in business. A complete facing kit, including blanks, for $50.

    The first goal is to not make them play worse. These tend to be pretty good. I would guess that out of 10, you'll have a couple that you improve to your liking and a couple that are ruined. This will answer your question as to what facing length and tip opening you prefer on this style of mouthpiece. Your chosen facing might not be universal, meaning that if you put the same facing on a large chamber piece, or a high baffle piece, you might not like it as much. I've repeated the same facing on quite a few pieces and, although it generally improved the piece for me, they didn't all thrill me.

    Mark

  7. #5
    Forum Contributor 2016-17
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    233
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Facing Length

    Thanks for your replies. Perhaps the purpose of engaging in this endeavor is just mere curiosity as I have always been the type of person that likes knowing how things work. I just have a bunch of mouthpieces some of which I like and some not & would like to try to identify what are the different variables that I prefer besides tip opening.

    While I understand that facing curve, baffle and chamber size would be a bit beyond my comprehension, I think that just measuring the facing length could be within reach.
    I know that at the end this might prove unfruitful but as I said before I am just kind of feeding my curiosity and wondering if somebody else has thought of this.

  8. #6
    Forum Contributor 2016-17
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    233
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Facing Length

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Fleming View Post
    Here is something that you might find interesting. Get a set of feeler gauges and a metric mechanic's ruler from Ebay. The ruler is about $5 and the feeler gauge is about the same.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/140996945204...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/32-Blade-IMP...UAAOSwdGFY0hmV

    Get a bunch of alto or tenor pieces, depending on what you play, and copy the facing of a piece that you like on to the cheapo pieces. Here is an example of 10 mouthpieces for $40 (I've done a little better, but this is pretty cheap).

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-Black-...QAAOSwwNVTthkL

    Sandpaper, a piece of glass, and an ExActo knife and you are in business. A complete facing kit, including blanks, for $50.

    The first goal is to not make them play worse. These tend to be pretty good. I would guess that out of 10, you'll have a couple that you improve to your liking and a couple that are ruined. This will answer your question as to what facing length and tip opening you prefer on this style of mouthpiece. Your chosen facing might not be universal, meaning that if you put the same facing on a large chamber piece, or a high baffle piece, you might not like it as much. I've repeated the same facing on quite a few pieces and, although it generally improved the piece for me, they didn't all thrill me.

    Mark
    Thanks for the advise. Those mouthpieces look cool to play around.

  9. #7
    Forum Contributor 2016
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Nefertiti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Northern Vermont
    Posts
    10,894
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Facing Length

    I find that trying to get the exact facing numbers can be really tricky. So tricky for me that I get really frustrated. What I found helpful is taking pieces that Brian Powell worked on and that I had his facing measurements for and then trying to see if I could get the same measurements. At least then I would know if I was doing it right.

  10. #8
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Forum Contributor 2014
    Mark Fleming's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    2,176
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Facing Length


  11. #9
    Forum Contributor 2017 mijderf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Northeast OH
    Posts
    595
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Facing Length

    Quote Originally Posted by Fltenor View Post
    Perhaps the purpose of engaging in this endeavor is just mere curiosity as I have always been the type of person that likes knowing how things work.
    I know how you feel, I generally try to figure out things like this. But be careful, once you start you may find that knowing a little about something can be more frustrating than knowing very little. Then before you know it, you're in full research mode, and suddenly your practice time starts suffering. I am finally at the point where I recognize that I do not need to understand everything about something in order to enjoy it.

  12. #10
    Mouthpiece Refacer Extraordinaire and Forum Contributor 2007-2010 EZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    3,383
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Facing Length

    It is very helpful if the client happens to know what facing length and tip opening they prefer - above and beyond what chamber/baffle design seems to suit them. The more information I have before making that first cut, the more likely it is they will be satisfied with my work.

    There is of a knack to obtaining repeatable measurements - especially if the mouthpiece has table issues. Sometimes mouthpieces are in a condition where you actually have to start working on it to find a decent starting point.

    I say go for it!
    Please visit EZmpc.com and follow me on Facebook!
    Opinions are like embouchures. - EZ
    "The rumors of my forever abandoning mouthpiece refacing are greatly exaggerated." - EZ

  13. #11
    Forum Contributor 2016
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Nefertiti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Northern Vermont
    Posts
    10,894
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Facing Length

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Fleming View Post
    I think he just wants to measure the facings, not work on them. That way if he really likes a mouthpiece he can see how it relates to the facing and then make better choices in the future.........

  14. #12
    Forum Contributor 2016-17
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    233
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Facing Length

    Quote Originally Posted by Nefertiti View Post
    I think he just wants to measure the facings, not work on them. That way if he really likes a mouthpiece he can see how it relates to the facing and then make better choices in the future.........
    This indeed is my primary intention. Kind of getting to know my tendencies. I believe, like EZ stated, that in the future this could indeed be useful. To make an analogy, like knowing your shoe size. Specially in this day and age where there are so many mouthpieces and refacing options online which we can not try before buying.

    With that said I really appreciate Mark making me aware of the Stuff Sax's blog. Who knows where will this endeavor take me. Refacers don't worry though, the last time I tried to make "minor" adjustments to my saxophone it ended up in the shop. At the time, my repair tech advised me to "put my screwdriver away" for the good of the horn, LOL. Right now I am just waiting for measuring kit to arrive.

    Thanks for your responses.

  15. #13
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Mouthpiece Guru MojoBari's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Vineland, NJ
    Posts
    8,188
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Facing Length

    I think there are 4 main areas that determine a mouthpiece's blowing resistance. In order of significance: tip opening, facing length, the curve design between these to points (and how well it is constructed), and the baffle shape near the tip. Reed choice and embouchure are also important but are not a mouthpiece feature.

    So you should consider getting a tip gauge first. Next, some feeler gauges and a glass gauge to measure lengths.

    One problem with just measuring the facing length is that it will sometimes measure very long due to a convex table or a worn spot at the beginning of the facing. An old facing will get scuffed at the facing length over time and read much longer than it did when it was first made. But even some new facings have a low spot where they first break away from the table. When I plot the entire facing curve and fit a curve through it, it becomes obvious that the facing length reading is off compared to the rest of the facing curve shape.


  16. #14
    Forum Contributor 2016
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Nefertiti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Northern Vermont
    Posts
    10,894
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Facing Length

    Quote Originally Posted by MojoBari View Post
    I think there are 4 main areas that determine a mouthpiece's blowing resistance. In order of significance: tip opening, facing length, the curve design between these to points (and how well it is constructed), and the baffle shape near the tip. Reed choice and embouchure are also important but are not a mouthpiece feature.

    So you should consider getting a tip gauge first. Next, some feeler gauges and a glass gauge to measure lengths.

    One problem with just measuring the facing length is that it will sometimes measure very long due to a convex table or a worn spot at the beginning of the facing. An old facing will get scuffed at the facing length over time and read much longer than it did when it was first made. But even some new facings have a low spot where they first break away from the table. When I plot the entire facing curve and fit a curve through it, it becomes obvious that the facing length reading is off compared to the rest of the facing curve shape.

    I wish they made a glass gauge that had an edge on it that you could just push the tip of the mouthpiece against. The most frustrating thing for me is trying to get the tip at 0 and then hold it steady. My hand would get tired and then the mouthpiece would slide on the glass and I would have to start all over. If there was an edge at 0 you could just hold the mouthpiece against the edge. No?

  17. #15
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    20,126
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Facing Length

    Rubber band around the whole deal may hold the mouthpiece where you want it.

  18. #16
    Grumpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    692
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Facing Length

    Quote Originally Posted by Nefertiti View Post
    I wish they made a glass gauge that had an edge on it that you could just push the tip of the mouthpiece against. The most frustrating thing for me is trying to get the tip at 0 and then hold it steady. My hand would get tired and then the mouthpiece would slide on the glass and I would have to start all over. If there was an edge at 0 you could just hold the mouthpiece against the edge. No?
    If I remember correctly, Mojo had that type of gauge for sale some years ago. Now you can only find the ones without the 0 at the end. What you are looking for seems also more logical and more easy to work with.
    The metal rulers that Mark posted with an eBay-link are zero at the very end and with the markings at both sides they do the trick. Having your mpc lined up straight might be less visible with the metal rulers though.
    De gustebus non est disputandum

    YTS62 Purple Logo - Sakshama Shorty.........thinking about getting a soprano.....



  19. #17

  20. #18
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Mouthpiece Guru MojoBari's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Vineland, NJ
    Posts
    8,188
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Facing Length

    Quote Originally Posted by Nefertiti View Post
    I wish they made a glass gauge that had an edge on it that you could just push the tip of the mouthpiece against. The most frustrating thing for me is trying to get the tip at 0 and then hold it steady. My hand would get tired and then the mouthpiece would slide on the glass and I would have to start all over. If there was an edge at 0 you could just hold the mouthpiece against the edge. No?
    You are talking about some type of "stop", like a curb at the end of the gauge? This would not allow you to insert the feeler gauges near the tip. I have always used zero setback gauges. You can use a thick feeler set against the tip like a removable stop to see if the tip is at zero. I just use my eye. You need a good eye anyhow to read the curve IMO. I read to the nearest .1 on the glass gauge but this is overkill. You can do good work if you can read it to the nearest .25 or so.

    A lot of refacers like a glass gauge where the zero is at the edge of the glass. Babbitt used to sell both types. You can make one by sanding down a setback gauge on a belt sander. The zero edge gauge allows you to zero the tip of the mouthpiece to the edge by holding both against something like a work table edge. But then you need to do this at 90 degrees from the surface. I never felt there need to do it this way. You end up using whichever method you first get used to ai think.

  21. #19
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Forum Contributor 2014
    Mark Fleming's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    2,176
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Facing Length

    Quote Originally Posted by Nefertiti View Post
    I wish they made a glass gauge that had an edge on it that you could just push the tip of the mouthpiece against. The most frustrating thing for me is trying to get the tip at 0 and then hold it steady. My hand would get tired and then the mouthpiece would slide on the glass and I would have to start all over. If there was an edge at 0 you could just hold the mouthpiece against the edge. No?
    There is such a gauge, but it isn't glass. The post above refers to a mechanic's ruler that is end indexed. Here is another blog that shows how to use it.

    http://stuffsax.blogspot.com/2013/11...o-examine.html

    The mechanic's gauge isn't glass, so you can't drop it and break it. It costs 1/10th of a glass gauge. It is more accurate (.5mm metric instead of wide, laser etched 1mm lines). It is end indexed for more consistent measuring. I find it to be easier to hold than a glass ruler.

    So what is the downside of this superior and less expensive metal ruler? You can't see through it. Why is it important to be able to see through a mouthpiece ruler? Tradition. Actually, it is only tradition since Eric Brand started marketing glass rulers in the 1940's. I doubt that glass mouthpiece rulers were in general use before then. Spend $5 and try a metal ruler. You might like it.

    Mark

  22. #20
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Mouthpiece Guru MojoBari's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Vineland, NJ
    Posts
    8,188
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Facing Length

    Well it is more than tradition. It is clear so you can center it up on the mouthpiece. You can sometimes see if there is a speck of something on the rail that is messing with your reading. It also has the same scale lines that go across to the left and right sides. The lines are thinner (on the good ones) than you find on metal rules. It is less flexible than a metal rule. They typically cost $20 + s/h.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts