horn storage recommendations

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by veery715, Apr 1, 2007.

  1. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    With all the discussion of the care of trumpets, and since many on this site are obviously collectors (or obsessive/compulsive or manic), I think some recommendations for the care and storage of trumpets is in order. How can I ensure a horn will be in good shape if I only take it from its case once or twice a year? What will prevent red rot? What will KEEP the valves free, etc.....? (How do I pare down my collection?) - Not!
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I collect instruments and also have a couple that I only need twice a year. Generally, I agree with the manufacturer of one of my trumpets: the horn belongs in your hand making music or in the case.
    The horns that I seldom play are bathed after playing, left overnight to dry and then I blow synthetic valve oil through the whole horn to coat the inside bore. The instrument should be bone dry before doing this because oil floats on top of water..............
    Synthetic valve oil does not evaporate like petroleum and is therefore better for "storage" purposes.
    Paring down your collection is easy: you donate the ones you don't need to someone in need (like me!).
  3. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    Rowuk couldn't have said it better - I rotate my three favorite horns and I do exactly what Rowuk and the next time I pull out a horn it is ready to go. I also wipe it down to take all finger prints off, I rarely use silver polish on my horns - only when they get real bad. Dave
  4. Zaraskabat

    Zaraskabat Pianissimo User

    Jan 17, 2007
    I guess I fall under the catagory 'obsessive/compulsive/maniac' but I am also monetarily challenged so my collection is only half a dozen right now. They each get a turn in practice every day.

    So, how can I contribute to your question? Well all my babies have cases except one and all are silverplated except one is raw brass. The one without a case is silverplated and it tarnishes very quickly sitting out. So I have an old flannel pillowcase I place it in and that seems to slow the tarnishing down, akes it easy to get rid of fingerprints also.

    As for the other concerns, moisture is the enemy. I bought a can of silica gel at a craft store (used for drying flowers) and poured about a half cup each into small cloth drawstring bags and put one in each case. This stuff is cool, it changes color when it absorbs moisture and you dry it back out in the oven. My hope is it will prevent future musty smells when my cases get old.

    I do need a different slide grease if anyone has any recommendations. I have Selmer tuning slide and cork grease, reddish goo that tends to turn very sticky and black within weeks on slides that have been silverplated.

    Good topic by the way, thank you!
  5. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York

    Ken- Ultra Pure makes great slide grease, and they support our site, too.
  6. adonis74

    adonis74 Pianissimo User

    Feb 11, 2007
    Palm Springs, CA
    I just read somewhere that synthetic valve oil can be devastating in many cases. Seems it was on one of the forums, but perhaps elsewhere. Can't remember precisely the source. But, it's worth checking.:dontknow:
  7. AjnaII

    AjnaII Piano User

    Oct 27, 2007
    Thank all of you for the info.... I need to look at how I keep my older horns..

  8. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.

    As the regulars here will attest, I am not fearful of getting into a disagreement with just about anybody. In this case, it is with Rowuk, with whom I am almost always in agreement. In this case, I disagree with him. Clean, raw, DRY brass is NEVER subject to red rot!!! If he washes his seldom used horns and dries them completely, the use of synthetic valve oil throughout the horns system is simply redundant, extremely expensive, messy, and totally unneeded. Perhaps he has found a source in Germany for inexpensive synthetic valve oil. I surely can't find any here in The States that I can afford to just puor down the leadpipe and then blow it through the horn. I do use Hetmans synthetic valve oil almost exclusively on the valves of my instruments and have discovered ,( the hard way ), that using Al Cass Fast valve oil might be fine for a horn that is played on a regular and frequent basis, BUT, if left on the valves of a horn in storage for a month or more, It WILL sieze up those valves. A smart blow to the top of the finger buttons with the heel of the hand usually will free them up and they will feel like they have been freshly lubed. The bad thing about this is the potential damage to the valve stems and, or, the spring cages by striking such a harsh blow to the top of the buttons. My admonition is to NEVER use Al Cass Fast valve oil on any piston valve that is going into storage.

    Sorry,, Rowuk. I certainly hope that we can still be friends.

  9. misty.sj

    misty.sj Forte User

    Jan 27, 2008
    Brisbane, Australia
    I think that when rowuk talks about synthetic valve oil, he means NON-PETROLEUM valve oil (like Ultra Pure Oil). Petroleum-based valve oils apparently evaporate within 24 hours and do not provide good protection.

    I don't know what your budget is for oils, oldlou, but check out Ultra Pure. I did not find their prices to be high. They also make excellent slide grease, in standard and light grades.
  10. tatakata

    tatakata Mezzo Forte User

    May 29, 2007
    I would store the horn 100% dry. clean it and no need to oil it imho

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