How do I remove my valve caps?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by cubeaholic, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. cubeaholic

    cubeaholic New Friend

    Nov 18, 2010
    I have a 31 year old Bach Strad and I was considering buying a full trim kit for it, but my bottom valve caps are stuck and will not turn and I don't want to buy the trim kit until I can get them off. Does anyone know how I could get them off? I'd imagine they could get them off if I took it to Mr. E's or Music & Arts or somewhere, but I would prefer not to pay anything and just do it myself...
  2. mrbill00

    mrbill00 Pianissimo User

    Apr 20, 2009
    Middle of Georgia
    a 31 year old Bach Strad....hmmmmm...take it to the shop, it's too
    valuabe...those guys see this all the time and have proper tools.
  3. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    Rawhide hammer. A few short, sharp taps on both sides should do it.
    Sometimes turning it tighter slightly will be enough to crack the seal that has formed and you can slowly go from loosening to tightening it back and forth until it comes apart. When doing so, you know you are getting somewhere when you feel a little click when you twist it.
  4. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    put a couple drops of marvel mystery oil on the threads. That usually works pretty well for loosening things up. Let it set for a day and try cracking it loose once the oil has worked its way into the threads.
  5. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    I have a pair of "pliers" designed to pull spark plug wires:


    The rubber insulation is designed to keep you from getting zapped as you pull the wire while the engine is running. But they work wonderfully for getting a non-mangling grip on valve caps and haven't failed me yet.
  6. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    Try to drop some oil in the joint and see if you can let it seep in and loosen them. If not (and I do this VERY carefully), I take a soft rag and wrap the valve cap and a pair of channel lock pliers and see if I can loosen them. You DON'T WANT TO SQUEEZE ANY HARDER THAN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!! If they don't loosen pretty quickly, I'd take it to a repair guy...

  7. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Never use channel lock pliers on valve caps
  8. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    I agree. ANY metal pliers will damage the caps and potentially damage the valve casings.

    Those spark-plug pliers look very cool!
  9. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    To keep the caps from siezing in the first place, a drop of valve oil on the threads of each loosened cap every third time the valves are oiled works a treat. Then, that problem never occurs.

    I do use a pair of channel locks on valve caps after wrapping the cap with an old leather belt to keep from galling, crushing, or scarring the caps. don't think that I have ever damaged a cap or a casing.


    P.S.; I wonder what amount of grunge will be found in the well of those caps. I doubt that the casings have ever been cleaned. If the horn had been cleaned on a regular basis, those caps would still be free and lubricated.
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I think that you can see from the nature of the posts that there are many roads to success - all paved with the same tool: common sense. You can even use vice grips IF you use the leather belt AND the brain is turned on.

    It does make me wonder why Schilke trumpets have octagon caps though. Do those players not take such good care of the instruments so that they need a wrench compatible design?

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