How do I remove my valve caps?

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

  1. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    There is something wrong here. Does anybody agree?

    The OP wants to spend $100 or so making his trumpet look nicer, but will not pay for someone to remove the bottom cap. This is not to mention that a stuck bottom cap is usually only a symptom of something else that is going on; like corrosion.

    What will he do when his lead pipe corrodes out?

    I am so intrigued by this that I will write a blog post.
  2. dsr0057

    dsr0057 Pianissimo User

    Dec 20, 2009
    Denton, TX
    Hit it with a hammer.

    I'm being serious. Take a raw hide mallet and lightly tap the caps in the direction that you want them to spin. Between that and light heat you should be able to remove them by hand. And honestly that is just what anybody at Mr. E's or Music and Arts is going to do, (I work for Brook Mays in Dallas).

    You would be surprised how many problems are fixable by hitting something with a raw hide mallet.

  3. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    I am also being serious. Yes, that may fix the symptom, but what about the problem which has manifested itself as a stuck cap? (my credentials can be checked in my websites below)
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I think that those are supposed to be facets, sort of a jeweled look. ;-)

    I was going to suggest a combination of what has been listed above - penetrating oil let to sit a day or so, and a couple of LIGHT taps with a rawhide or nylon mallet or hammer to break the threads loose.
  5. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    I think ROWUK was joking. But they are hexagonal, not octagons. (Which means you can use a box-end wrench)
  6. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    Not if you wrap the valve caps and are careful! I've done this many times with no problem.....

  7. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    Like everything else on Schilkes, the caps are a very tight fit. They are number stamped on the inside and individually lapped in to their place on the valve cluster using the same lapping compound used on the slides and valves. There is a special tool (3" in diameter, knurled, with a built in hex socket for the valve caps) which makes this easy to do.
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    I've a very small version of the strap wrench (large versions designed to remove automotive oil filters, medium size for plumbing). Sure, I'd apply Liquid Wrench or any other penetrating oil to the cap edge (between that and the valve casing itself) and let it set. I've had no problem removing stuck caps, (mine and many others). With success, clean well and apply small amount of liquid pure lanolin to the threads vis they won't stick again. Finger tight is adequate. Music & Arts sends all work to their shop in Rockville MD and such may induce excessive delay.
  9. dsr0057

    dsr0057 Pianissimo User

    Dec 20, 2009
    Denton, TX
    This is an interesting idea which I can sympathize with: as a repair technician do we spend our time fixing the disease or merely the symptoms.

    I unfortunately have to say the former, in an industry where you are motivated by turning out more horns faster quality might become an after thought.

    As for the OP's disease (problem) my best guess without seeing the horn is lack of cleaning, 30 years of warm air being blown down dark tubes can lead to some quasi-sentient gunk being built up. IF the horn was properly cleaned on a regular basis my second guess would be cross threading. It can happen to a lot of horns if you aren't careful. My last idea would be corrosion, I have not really seen this happen much, but I am still very early in my career. It is a possibility with the age of the horn combined with gunk leading to a deterioration of the metal.

    Best bet is to take it somewhere to look at it, if they suggest a clean go for it. If not just get them to un-stick the caps and move on with your life. :)
  10. jbkirby

    jbkirby Forte User

    Sep 10, 2009
    Dothan, Alabama
    Super idea!!

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