Freeing stuck tuning slides

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by nestbeast, May 1, 2010.

  1. nestbeast

    nestbeast Pianissimo User

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    Jul 31, 2008
    Cultural black hole
    Is there any kind of tool that you can get to help free stuck tuning slides. My slides are in good shape but every once in a while I get one that is stuck. I am looking for a safe way to free it without having to go to a repair shop. The shops where I live are not good.
    Thank you.
     
  2. Firestas'1

    Firestas'1 Piano User

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    Dec 21, 2006
    New Jersey
    If it is not too stuck you can wrap a towel through the bend and gently pull while a helper holds the horn. Do not tug hard or you risk breaking the solder joints.

    Gentle heat sometimes also helps.
     
  3. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    Why are they sticking? Are the tubes too tight? Is there not enough lubricant/are they corroding?

    Fix the fault, not the symptom.

    Yes, there are tools available which should be used by those people with the particular sensitivity and training to do so. I have been known to use a claw hammer and string in removing stuck slides! Tthe hammer did not come in contact with any of the brass.

    If you are applying any force to the trumpet, be aware of what additional damage that force can cause. For instance, if you have a stuck second slide, be very careful to apply force only in the direction of the slide tubes, i.e. at an angle from the valve casing.

    If it is your main slide that is sticking, be VERY CAREFUL when applying any force. What brand and model trumpet is it?
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Modern lubricants for trumpets really don't dry out and cake anymore. That means if the slide is lubricated, it won't stick unless it is damaged. If the lubricant has been comprimized (by petroleum based valve oil for instance - it thins the grease then evaporates)then corrosion could take place.

    I had this happen when I was using Al Cass. If I didn't play my flugel or D-trumpet for 2 or 3 months, the slides got stuck (all my other horns were used often enough). After switching to synthetic, I have been stick free for over 20 years.

    If I can't remove it with a string or cloth wrapped around a slide, I go to a tech.
    I suggest using synthetic oil
     
  5. nestbeast

    nestbeast Pianissimo User

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    Cultural black hole
    Thanks. I tried it and got my first valve slide out - safely with no damage to the horn.
     
  6. trumpet4u

    trumpet4u New Friend

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    Feb 11, 2008
    Sharonville, Ohio
    As a young trumpet player, I always used a necktie for help. As a repairman I use a wooden drum stick with the head cutoff to fit in the crook of the valve slides and tap it with a rubber malet. For tuning slides I have molded my own tool out of Faststeel or other epoxy putty that fits into the tuning slide crook and that can be tapped with a rubber malet. Over night soaking in penetrating oil similar to WD40 is often a big help and eliminates the need to put stress on the trumpet parts.
     
  7. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    I kept no count of the slides I've pulled. While I like the idea of Faststeel, I do suggest one apply a grease to the outside before molding with same or other epoxy type. Tapping is good also. Still, I've yet to use such as I wrap same with nylon belts or ropes and repeatedly tug lightly, thus I'm not appying any force into the bow. Still, the worst case scenario is that red rot from lead pipe thru tuning slide and on into the valve calls for replacement, thus separation is in vain. Too, lots of solder joints have so deteriorated in those "finds" of "vintage" horns that have been long stored in hot attics or in storage units, that even minimal exertion and inner slide comes along. There are many options and best to let a tech do it.

    They made much better neckties then, didn't they?
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Necktie! What a brilliant idea. Then you have your hands free for other things! :evil:
     
  9. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

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    If you try the towel tug method, which is good and often works- be careful. If the slide suddenly loosens, be careful it doesn't scratch the bell when it comes out. I also often double pad the other areas with towels that might get hit with a suddenly freed tuning slide.
     
  10. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Clarksburg, WV
    Its easy to damage a trumpet. Take it to a repair person who can do it safely. Also a good repair person shouldn't charge you for such a small thing unless its dented or has major problems.
     

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