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Piston Maker

Finish brasswind instrument pistons and assemble piston parts.

What does a Piston Maker do?

Finishes brasswind instrument pistons and assembles piston parts, using handtools: Inserts crooks through precut holes in piston blank and cuts them to length, using sheet metal snippers or table saw. Places piston blank over mandrel or die and pushes steel balls or works ball-ended handtool through crooks to expand crooks to limits of holes into which they are inserted. Presses in piston bottom and head, using small hand press. Solders bottom plate onto piston, and removes excess solder, using scraping tool. Rough trims crooks, after soldering, using table saw. Operates turning lathe to face and bevel piston ends, and to shape and smooth external surface of piston. Operates drill press to tap threads into piston. Solders crooks to piston blank, using silver solder and gas torch. Grinds piston to final size, using special piston grinder and gauge. Inspects finished pistons for defects, such as holes and dents.