Hard Valves

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by TheBaker, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. TheBaker

    TheBaker New Friend

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    Mar 28, 2007
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    I've borrowed a cornet off of a friend for a short solo in one of the orchestra's I play in (don't worry - apart from the short solo it's all on the Trumpet!)

    Anyway, he hasn't used it for several years and the valves are "hard". They're oiled and move freely, but you have to push them down with quite a lot of force - which makes it very difficult to play.

    Does anyone know of a way that I can loosen up the valves so that they don't require as much force to push them down?
     
  2. Tom Mac

    Tom Mac Pianissimo User

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    Mar 11, 2007
    Nashville Tennessee
    Exchange the springs for lighter ones?

    T. Mac
     
  3. TheBaker

    TheBaker New Friend

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    Is there a way to lighten the current ones? I'd rather not go out and buy a new set of springs just for this one concert. They weren't originally this heavy, so is there a way to get them back to their original state?
     
  4. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

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    Jun 11, 2006
    There is a film of something on the valves. The brass bores probably have some corrosion products interfering with the sliding parts.

    Wipe down the valves with denatured alcohol.
    Get some lint free cheeze cloth and soak it in denatured alcohol and swab out the valve bores. Make sure don't leave any lint or fuzz in or on the valves. Lubricate your valves with your favorite valve oil.

    The air passageways in the valves may have corrosion products inside. Clean them with denatured alcohol. (Use ethanol or methanol. Pure vodka or Everclear.)

    Let me know how this works. I have to do this to my Yamaha/Shilke pic when I haven't played it for awhile.

    EDIT: Good spring metal does not work harden. Spring material has to be nearly a perfectly elastic material. The endurance limit is never exceeded in a well engineered spring. I would think cornet valve springs are well engineered and have a high life expectancy. I have never had one break. I have had two garage door springs break so they are a case where low cost drives the design. Also the springs in my refridgerator that support the compressor broke. Again, economics of design and product cost.

    Play that cornet all you want with vigor and pride.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2007
  5. Tom Mac

    Tom Mac Pianissimo User

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    Mar 11, 2007
    Nashville Tennessee
    I agree w/ Stchasking, if they were not always as strong as they seem now it's probably not the springs. I've never heard of a spring geting stronger. You might check w/ a metalurgist LOL.

    T. Mac
     
  6. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    Don't apologize for playing a cornet.:cool:

    Unless it's a crummy one.....
     
  7. TheBaker

    TheBaker New Friend

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    Mar 28, 2007
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    Thanks, I'll give that a go when I get a chance (I'm away next week, so probably not until after then)

    It's an entry level one, so it is pretty crummy.
     
  8. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    Apology accepted.:D
     
  9. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

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    Ithaca NY
    Re: Hard Valves & Springs

    Springs aren't springs....... Comparing garage door springs, refridgerator springs, etc, with cornet valve springs, doesn't help. Think of the DUTY CYCLE. This term refers to how often the spring is stretched or compressed. And then think of tension at rest. The garage door spring has a few times a day duty cycle, but it is under very high tension when at rest. Failure is likely due to the high tension. But usually they last 10 to 15 years before giving out. Springs in your fridge compressor operate hundreds or thousands of times a day, but are not under much tension. However the high duty cycle combined with heat from the compressor may bring about premature failure and yes, cost is probably a factor.
    The springs in the cornet are probably as good in a beginner horn as in a pro horn and are unlikely to be much of a factor in the cost of building a horn, unless it is a real cheapo. Lots of use, or none, they won't change much over time. The corrosive quality of saliva and condensation will eventually affect them if not cleaned often.
    I agree that cleaning is the answer.
     
  10. Brian H. Smout

    Brian H. Smout Piano User

    Re: Hard Valves & Springs

    Hi,

    If you check out Flip Oakes' site he discusses a technique for softening valve springs.

    Brian
     

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