13Audio Western electric 15 cast iron horn throats

Our friend Timothy from 13Audio shares some impressive insights of the slow crafting and making of the Western electric iron cast throats. "Brass, sheet steel etc.. have been used to reproduce the western electric 15 horn throats. Only thing? Not good enough for me! The originals were made from cast iron. Brass is easy to cast due its lower molten point, after all brass and bronze are frequently used by artists to reproduce sculptures. Europe has no lack of brass/bronze castings shops. Sheet steel, cut and weld and bingo….is the air column the same? No it is not! Will too the eye from the outside but the key thing is the air column not the external look, Cast iron? Nobody has done it…why? Cost! It’s harder to do! Temp etc….high investment…"

"The cast iron industry has been taken over by the ‘“less do for less world”. Cast iron in Europe? Maybe if you have high production numbers….but making exact replica western electric horns is far from “mass production” and given I only do this for fun and friends…well that means finding people ready to come onboard with my concept and views of the way things can be.

Time, patience and dedication are certainly the ingredients that are required?perhaps really…but I am very proud that I managed to reproduce these essential parts that meet slow production…real slow. Real slow but “real”. Nothing is a free lunch! I have had to bring craftsmen to understand what I am trying to achieve to make things happen. Beyond the material result I am happy to have built some very solid and real relationships with some truly talented craftsmen. Happy that I have united these talents locally within a 50km radius…. locavore!

Iron is identical to originals, sand used for casting same as originals (today’s sand is finer and bonding agents used increase production rates…), threads are US, etc….I mean why do half way?
The heavy investment in the casting tools for precise cast iron parts will dissuade any commercial endeavours! The short cut is brass or sheet Steel & welded…tempting when focus is on ones P&L….well I guess that’s okay but in my world okay is not the answer, it has to be correct, full stop!

Those that know me personally see how obsessive I can be, border line extreme is what springs to their minds I guess!

Anyway I am proud that the western electric 15a throats have been reproduced in 2019 some 90 years after they were cast and machined at the the Western  Electric plant circa 1928…I have used four sets of original western electric 15a throats  to obtain precise dimensions, analysis of iron used, etc….details on finished product extend to replica part numbers (I sourced and original Western Electric rubber stamp set for this purpose….), rubbers stamps and red ink, diameter of bolt holes, thread for brass insert, alignent pins (imperial dimension not metric…), etc…."

All fun…