My Lizzie came fitted with a large 5" horn bulb. I never could seem to get a good sound out of the horn, sound improved by moving the reed from the base of the horn to just below the bulb, but still not "great". A friend just gifted me with the correct size NonPariel bulb, and what a difference ! Good sound, and if my technique is "off", I can "over-blow" the Reed with too much force of air. Best of all, the smaller bulb just looks "right" !
Reading the lore years ago, I was given to understand there's an optimal technique for squeezing the bulb - thoughts ? experiences ? I'd also like to know where the reed was placed originally.
If you need a bulb or horn reed try Bone Dry Musical Instrument Co. They have many grades of bulbs, from "Premium Select" down to "Battered & Flawed". I have a "Nearly Perfect" on my 14 driver. Good prices and good service. I am not affiliated, found them on Google.
Sorry, didn't answer the question. My reed is on the horn end. My friend rebuilds pipe organs, and he thinks the sound would be stronger if the reed was on the bulb end. I have seen an article where someone built a nice bulb end reed setup using original parts. Apparently they are quite rare.
I was able to put together a working unit with what I had (and Bone Dry). Having a good reed and soft fresh bulb made all the difference in the sound!
Thanks for the response, Jay. I was a little perplexed by the homepage at "Bone Dry", but found the bulb horn stuff by using their search feature. Good link !
Initially I was disappointed by my bulb horn, and reasoned that the response would be better if the bulb didn't have to compress the column of air in the flex tube before the reed would respond . . . moving the reed to the bulb base helped, but didn't make a lot of difference. This small bulb works much better !
Most bulb horns I've seen have the reed right behind the horn. Wouldn't the pitch of the horn be higher, the closer the reed gets to the bulb?
Don't know why, but my reed was exactly in the middle of the tube, and that's where I kept it when I re-plumbed it with new tubing.
Pardon the interruption of this thread but....
I have other, newer, antique cars and frequent forums associated with them.
But, one of the many things I find delightful about Model T's is that the forum associated with them has a thread discussing brass horns, reeds, rubber bulbs and reed position. An old bulb horn on a car is utterly gentle and wonderful. It is a completely sublime thing, it's only purpose being to create smiles.
And, this is coming from a person who owns a black car (24 Touring)...where a brass horn like this would be out of place.
You may now resume your regularly scheduled thread :-)
The horns used on the T from late '12 on all had the reed at the bulb. The bulb sleeve threads over the reed holder, the other end of which threads into the tubing end that is an integral part of the mounting bracket.
Go to the hardware store and purchase the hose that is used for icemakers (clear w/nylon braid). insert the hose into the brass braided hose. It is hidden from sight. This concentrates the air burst from the bulb to the reed. Works like charm.
RV, thank you for that. Probably a dumb question - which way does the reed point ? Toward the horn or toward the bulb ? I'm not sure I have all of the necessary plumbing parts !!
Brad, I'm assuming your tube insert helps when the Reed is at the horn ? Probably everyone knows this, but the flex tube can "come undone" and probably leak when twisted against itself. Conversely, it can be tightened up by twisting until the whole length is snug, and it becomes quite stiff.
The reed "points" away from the horn and is covered by the bulb sleeve.
Thank you much R.V. ! At least that part is correct !
Rich: Your horn tube mounting bracket is not original. If it works, and it's doesn't bother you that it's not correct so be it. Also, I believe it is mounted a little low on the dummy door. Been there, done that!
Larry, I know the bracket isn't original, 'cause I made it - sometime back Royce posted a picture of a bracket he believed to be correct. I copied it, interpolating the measurements from his photos. I agree it's mounted low, but I'm loth to punch another set of holes in the inside panel.
Here's a better look at the bracket I made. I'd like to know what the correct bracket looks like !
Another fair question about bulb horns occurs to me . . . maybe I still don't have my horn working up to par, but it seems to me that the volume of sound it makes would hardly make for a warning above the noise level of a normal Model T rolling down the road . . . ? Thoughts ?
Rich: I've had a number of authentic flex tubes and brackets over the years. The bracket is silver soldered to the end of the tube. I'll try to post a photo if I can remember! I believe RV is making an exact copy.
Thanks Larry !