Cant get Valves back into horn.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Repair and Modification' started by stever, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    Sorry to hear about the trumpet woes, but I think xjb may be right. You can do better than the repair money for this one by grabbing something better off ebay. Some of these guys in here are EXPERTS at ebay, and if you ask, they'll help you find the right one. Really, you can do much better than a selmer bundy for $100. Especially for cornets, which there seem to be a LOT of on ebay. Luck!

  2. lmf

    lmf Forte User

    May 16, 2007
    Indiana USA
    As the Bundy has sentimental value to you...what price can you place on sentiment? It appears that you are attempting to work on the horn yourself, but it is causing more harm that good. Why not set the horn aside until you can afford to have it repaired by a qualified repair person? It seems that you want to keep it for it sentimental value, so why not set it aside until you can afford to fix it? However, you need to know from a qualified repair person how much it will cost to fix it, so you can plan repairs.

    Best wishes,

  3. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    What is this lap method you are talking about?

    The reason a shop won't give out rough estimates is because in order to accurately price a repair, the technician has to inspect the horn. If we don't inspect before we estimate, we often get burned by things that the customer wouldn't notice.

    I personally have never had to fix a piston that has been expanded from the bottom. I have a rough of how I 'might' fix it, but it would only be doable with precision tools that I may of may not have at the shop.
  4. stever

    stever New Friend

    Sep 7, 2010
    First, thanks again for all the responces, even the humourous sarcastic ones :)
    I showed it to my sons teacher today who siad what many of you said, that the casing was prbably bent .... and said that it would prob ably be around $160. to straiten that, since he had had that done in the past
    When I got home, it occured to me to try putting the number 2 into the number 3 to see if it would fit and... it did.
    Ok so unless I am mistaken, that means that its the valves not the valve caseing... as may of you conjuectured.
    Therefore, the questions this old noob has are,
    Is it cheaper to fix the damage to the bottom of the valves? and what would that cost.. that question goes to Brekelefuw or anyone else that has an idea
    Aternatly, is it possible to replace the valve I ( I guess its called a piston based on what im reading from you all)
    or are valves specific and indevidual to every indevidual horn?

    Oh and btw, if you read my other post, I did pick up that olds ambasador today and, while it has some signs of age and repairs, it is working and my son has started to practice with it.. and after over 30 years without a horn, I have found that my lip is gone :-(
    Be that as it may, I would still love to get my old selmer to work again, if its doable.

    added: lap method = useing toothpaste to clean the valves with. I read about it on this forum last night and also saw a page on another website that talked about it.
    You put toothpaste on the valve and move it up and down in the horn to remove gunk. It seemd to work ok for the number 1 and 2 but the number 3 was more problematic.
    Im guessing that the act of moving the number 1 in and out of the caseing was enough to undo any flair that was done to it, but that the number 3 was more severe.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
  5. vntgbrslvr

    vntgbrslvr Piano User

    Oct 10, 2008
    Waukesha, Wisconsin
    Valves are not a do it yourself project unless you want to ruin the horn. If you really want to have any chance of fixing/saving the instrument...Take the time to get it in to a tech for a real evaluation and estimate. Just because you take it in...doesn't mean that you have to have it fixed.

    I fix old horns as a hobby.....It is possible that you have already done enough damage to make the horn un-salvagable. The more you mess with it....the more the chance is that you will do more damage..."Real techs" have hundreds if not thousands of hours of training on how to see problems and fix them in the most efficient way. There are so many ways you can do more damage just by not knowing what you are doing...even something as simple as swapping valves in a horn that is bent could cause damage to the unbent valve......

    Take the time and have it looked at. You'll be money ahead and closer to a working horn than if you keep playing with it yourself.

    If the tech says it will take $160 to fix it, and you don't have any money...go for it and learn something for yourself on a horn that's not worth fixing....It's how most of us closet repair hobbyists get our start.

    In the mean time, keep your eye on craigs list for a $50 cornet/trumpet in halfway decent shape...They're out there more often than you might expect, and a large percentage of them will be far better than the horn you are messing with.
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Valves are specific to each horn and the wear pattern is on the valve and its casing. I see no chance of "expanding the valve" at the bottom. You would see a nick at the bottom where it was damaged.

    Clean and dry then paint the valve black with magic marker. Insert it a couple of times as far as it will go, then look where the magic marker is rubbed or scraped off. Come back to us with that info.

    One last possibility, do all valve pistons and their markings look similar? Is it possible that 2 valves do not even belong on this horn?
  7. stever

    stever New Friend

    Sep 7, 2010
    I wrote a longer responce but it got lost.
    Im out of town for the weekend so i wont be able to try anything till monday.
    Im kinda annoyed that post got lost I explained a buncha stuff.
    Ill try typing it again, but ill post this for now, in case i get cut off again
    Thanks for the idea I think i see where yer going with it.
  8. stever

    stever New Friend

    Sep 7, 2010
    The horn was not in my hands for decades but remained in my family during that time and, from what I understand, no work was done and the valves remain the same as original,
    Each are numberd with the approprate valve number and they all look generally the same.
    Posting this so i dont get bumped and will add more info in the next post.
  9. stever

    stever New Friend

    Sep 7, 2010
    Finally, more specifics about each valve.
    The number 2 works except for when it reaches the bottom lof the shaft.
    I can see, in the number 2 shaft, either some scratching or gunk exactly where the piston stops.
    The number 2 piston will fit freely into any of the shafts.

    The number 3 - the bottom of the piston catches at the top of the shaft, where it needs to fit into. It can not get past this point. added I tried the number 3 in the other shafts and it will not fit in them either.

    The number 1 catches at the same point as the number 3 but can get past that point and move freely within the shaft until it reaches the very bottom, where it does stick.

    added: I havent got bumped again so far :)
    Just wana say thanks for helping.
    Obviosly your idea is intended to look for places that the piston is catching; as i said earlier i wont have access till monday so im curious... once you identify the bad spots, what next? :)

    and once again to everyone...
    I knew going into this venture that the horn wasnt worth much and that it may never be fixable, and that too much prefessional work could never be justified for a horn of this relativly low quality, still I wanted to try. \
    That is the attitude- do the best you can to try and make it work, and if it fails, nothing has been lost.
    alterantly i could take it to a professional, spend 500 dollars having it fixed, and when i was finished, have a horn with a max retail value of one hundred dollars,,, the math is simple; keep the ideas commng :)
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I don't know what you mean by being "bumped". I am the moderator (only) in this forum and agreement/disagreement does not warrant punitive anything. Bad manners gets a PM from me first.

    In any case, once we determine where the problem is, then we can look at solutions. Valves are generally monel or nickel, both are corrosion free. Valve sleeves in the casing can be brass and can corrode which would prevent the valve from "easily" being reinserted. We need to determine if the valve or casing is damaged. You gave us an indication by successfully putting the second valve in the 1st and 3rd casing. I don't think that you have a casing problem.

    If the bottom of the valve piston 1+3 are damaged, then that needs to be repaired. The magic marker will give you an indication without tools where the problem is. A good set of calipers could also show where the problem is.

    Due to the "math" that you talk about, your only option is pay more for the sentimental value and get it done right, or take some really fine sandpaper (>1000 grit) moistened with lighter fluid and remove material where the problem is. At the end of the procedure, you are no worse off than now and if the valves then move smoothly, you at least have a beater to mess around with. Being careful and letting the magic marker be your guide, you keep the damage down to only where a problem was.

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