Help! Valve Problems!!!

Discussion in 'Horns' started by davidk, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. davidk

    davidk New Friend

    Jan 6, 2005
    Silver Spring, Maryland
    I recently purchased a used Calicchio 1s. The valves were sluggish, but I thought it just needed to be cleaned. After cleaning it out and oiling the valves, they still move slowly sometimes- not quite sticking, yet slowly returning up, sometimes causing notes to have an unintended half-valve effect. I took it to a repair man. He cleaned it up, put on new felts, new springs, and polished them (didn't lap them), but it didn't help. I took it back to the store, and they tinkered, but no noticeable difference. No one can find any damage to them, and they occaisionally stick when other players try the horn. Any suggestions?


    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    If there is any pressure from the 3rd valve slide (it has been slightly bent) it will put pressure on the valve cluster, causing problems like this.

    You can use a little pressure on the slide while working the valves -- if it helps is just a matter of slightly bending the third valve slide. My friend who is a brass repair tech does this first to see if it makes a difference.

    A little more drastic is the Lava soap "mini-lapping" trick. Cover the valves with Lava soap. Work the valves up and down and around some. Rinse thoroughly. This gets every spec of dirt out and will remove a tine amount of brass. It works fairly often, and is not nearly as hard on the compression as a lapping machine.

  3. felix c

    felix c Pianissimo User

    Dec 5, 2003
    Puerto Rico
    This lava soap its a great trick. How much water did you apply to the valves.
  4. Robert Rowe

    Robert Rowe Mezzo Piano User

    Dec 24, 2004
    Good advice from "Doc Jim".
    My wife is a NAPBIRT "techie", and she agrees with the assumption that there is probably some "stress" that has transferred to the valve-cluster because of some slight "torquing" (nice 50-cent word!) that may have occured in the slide-areas. The "Lava-soap" trick is OK as an alternative, after exhausting the re-alignment possibilities. Old-formula "Brasso" mixed with some valve oil is another combination that can do the "mini-lap" job. Remember, though, lapping removes metal, and should only be considered as a last resort.

    Robert Rowe

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