horn maintenance

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Blind Bruce, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. Blind Bruce

    Blind Bruce Pianissimo User

    Apr 17, 2009
    Winnipeg Canada
    The horn I regulary play is cleaned on a regular basis using normal procedures.
    What should I do with the horns I only play once a year? I oil the valves with Ultra Pure and lube the slides as well. They're in the case on a shelf in a dry basement. Right now I remove the valve pistons, clean them with solvent and relube to play.
    Anything else I should worry about?
  2. guyclark

    guyclark Piano User

    Feb 28, 2008
    Los Gatos, CA
    Hi, Bruce!

    I don't have many horns that are that infrequently played, but if the horn is dry inside, and the valves well oiled (it wouldn't hurt to use a heavier oil, like 3-in-one on them for storage purposes) and the slides all greased (for storage, I'd probably want to use a petroleum based grease, like white molybdenum grease) there shouldn't be any cause for corrosion in a "dry" basement. Almost an oxymoron in the Chicago suburbs where I lived for fifty years!

    Silver plated horns might deserve being sealed inside a good quality plastic bag to prevent sulfur dioxide from coal burning and other pollutants from tarnishing it. I think that there are little bags (sachets?) of chemicals that are intended to be placed in boxes of your fine family silverware to prevent tarnishing that could also be used for this purpose.

    Does any of this help?

    Guy Clark
  3. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    You can buy Ultra Pure in a spray bottle. Using it you can spray inside the slides, the leadpipe, the valve cylinders, and the bell, and then roll the horn around so the inside is coated. You can use UP on the slides too, or a good slide grease. Wipe the exterior down with a silcone impregnated cloth. Place the instrument in a clean tall kitchen garbage bag and put it in the case. Take the valve pistons out and spray them too, then roll them up in a baggie so they are seperated and put them also in the case.

    The UP will not injure the interior of the horn - rather it will keep air from the metal. When you take the horn out to play, just put in the valves with maybe another drop of UP. Wipe the outside off, and play.

    For longer term storage, store a clean dry horn with a bag of silica gel sealed in with it. Either grease the slides well, or remove them and keep them dry. Clean and dry valves too, and put them in a seperate bag with another pouch of silca gel. Silica gel comes packed with all sorts of new goods and can be stored for use later in a sealed plastic bag. The packets can be re-dried in a 250F oven for two hours. These packets will also discourage tarnish.

    I prefer the short-term option, assembling and playing horns a couple of times year.

    Last edited: Jan 29, 2010

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