Trumpet Making

All Matthew Parker Trumpets are hand made.

The main part of the natural trumpet, the bell, starts out as a flat sheet of metal cut into a shape providing the right amount of metal at each point along the bell.


This is then folded along it length and the area of the flare 'pegged out' by hammering on a wood block to stretch the metal of the flare opposite the seam. This allows the two edges to be brought together to form an overlapping seam the length of the bell. 



Tabs are formed at points on the seam to keep it together whilst it is being soldered together with a brass solder or spelter.

When soldered the seam is planished (hammered) to make it the same thickness as the original sheet.

Planishing the seam - full image (68K)


The bell is then 'stamped out' on a mandrel (a steel bell shape) to get it a good fit on the mandrel. This involves hammering and frequent softening (annealing) of the metal.

Removing creases during stamping out - full image (74K)


This picture shows the development of the bell shape during planishing and stamping out.

Bell shape development - full image (28K)


Finally the bell is spun on a lathe, and by using a wooden tool followed by metal tool, the bell is made to take the exact shape of the mandrel. Alternatively the bell would be burnished by hand to conform to the mandrel. This is a much more time consuming (and costly) method, used before the advent of lathes powerful enough for spinning.

Spinning - full image (47K)


After the bell has been cleaned and polished, a garland (a piece to double the thickness of the flair to strengthen it) is added.

Fitting the garland - full image (41K)


Finally a wire is soldered to the garland to provide additional support to the flair rim.


The tube for the rest of the trumpet was originally made from sheet metal in a similar manner to the bell. 


 The bending of tube for the bows and crooks is done by filling the tube with a soft metal such as lead, allowing bending of the tube without it collapsing. Bending is done by hand using a former of the required shape. The metal being melted out after the bend is formed.


For further information 
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0044 (0)1558 650606