Good Cleaning Methods

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Phil Kersh, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The valves should NEVER be polished. The hand lapping leaves microgrooves that help keep the oil on the valve instead of in the bottom valve cap. Don't do it. Acetone will remove any sludge on the valve without "damage". The casing too - but only if the horn is not laquered in which case the casing will come clean but the laquer will be damaged.
  2. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

    Jan 26, 2009
    Northern California
    Let me try again, hopefully more clearly this time. I don't disagree with Rowuk's statements at all, just making a point about the white pad.

    Anywhere you would feel safe in using a fine grade of bronze wool, or 0000 steel wool, a white (only white) Scotch pad is a decent substitute. To its advantage, it won't contaminate parts with oil like most hardware store steel wool will. Used strictly by hand, it might be appropriate for cleaning crud out of the bottom valve caps, or visible deposits in tubing which are resistant to your standard snakes. It might even make a decent swab. I've used it on wood, metal, and plastics with no ill effect, as long as it's done just by hand.

    But as one who's already made the mistakes, although not on a horn, there are good reasons not to combine a Scotch pad with power. Obviously, brass isn't the toughest stuff around, so the problems Rowuk mentions are very real. Less obvious, unless you've screwed up too, are that 1) hey, that stuff melts and reforms into a hard plastic mess, and 2) if it hangs on any little imperfections, it even disintegrates. Believe me, either event is no fun to clean, and you don't want either anywhere near your horn.
  3. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    We in the aircraft industry know and use white Scothbrite a lot and we use it, among other things, for polishing corrosion out of aluminium, putting the surface shine back on stainless steel and washing greasy hands with heavy industrial soap - it is an abrasive of sorts, albeit a "relatively" mild one. I believe it was developed to clean ceramic heatshields on space craft and is recommended for scrubbing Corningware cookware - it is an abrasive. Scotchbrite would be, for me, a very last resort.

    If the instrument is NOT lacquered, then General Purpose Lacquer thinners works a treat for cleaning valves and valve casing ('orrible smell but - it even cleans petrol stains from carburettors without ANY scrubbing) . I have had very good success on an old B&H Tenor Horn by having my Tech dress up the peeling plating (yep - certainly happens with older instruments) and then using a synthetic oil which tends not to evaporate - in my case Ultra Pure. I'm astounded how much better my valves move now that I have changed from a well known high quality petroleum based oil to the synthetic fluid - even on my Getzens.

    Now - over to you
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2009
  4. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

    Jan 26, 2009
    Northern California
    I may well stand corrected, although 3M makes so many white pads these days I can't be sure what I'm getting without looking up the number. When I started using them, the white pads were supposedly made without added abrasive; the pad itself did tend to be mildly abrasive, but no grit was added. The other colors had varying sizes of grit imbedded. Looking at 3M's site today, I'm not sure what white pad is what, but they do mention at least some of them as having gentle abrasive.
    Speaking of heat shields, happy 40th anniversary to all the rest of the folks who helped make the first lunar landing possible. In a previous incarnation, I spent most of the 1960's at NASA; among the things I worked on was data reduction programming for the arc jet (arc heater) project, a 100 megawatt monstrosity in which ablative models of heat shields were tested. Wild and crazy days, but I wouldn't have missed it for anything.
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Uhh, if this is your Monette you are talking about, call Dave. I'd only look into lapping if his suggestion was to "retire" the trumpet. I've seen problems on the second (most often) and first valves of Schilkes due to the player's hand-pressure, but never on the third, and like Rowuk's "closest to the mouth" theory. I think it might be more of a chemical than physical problem, unless you do something really weird whilst depressing the third valve. You might want to try some solvents, and really de-grease the instrument--some players swear by lacquer thinner for the valves.

    Good luck!
  6. ourcelay

    ourcelay New Friend

    Sep 27, 2010
    Buenos Aires
    Hi, I think the oil that you choice have to be the correct one fo your saliva ph. I had the same problem and I change bach oil for holton and it soved the problem.

Share This Page