How do I remove my valve caps?

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

  1. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    I would suggest taking it to a tech - I know that a few LIGHT taps can become harder and harder taps when desired result doesn't come to fruitation. A simple fix can turn into something more expensive rather quickly. To nice of horn to learn repair on.
  2. melza

    melza Pianissimo User

    Mar 12, 2010
    In Aus we have a oil spray called WD40, not sure if its available overseas, but I find its the solution to most problems. It will at least allow you to get the caps off to find out the problem underneath.
  3. SteveB

    SteveB Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 15, 2008
    Prescott Valley, AZ
    If you absolutely insist on doing a DIY, remember that it's a counterclockwise rotation to remove them. (More than I'd like to admit, I've ended up tightening a stuck item by turning it the wrong way. :oops:)

    However, a competent horn tech doing the job would actually be my first choice on something as valuable as a Bach Strad. Like trumpetsplus said, why spend $100 on a trim kit if you're not willing to spend another $25 to get those bottom caps removed professionally?? :roll:
  4. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    WD40 is a product available throughout the U.S.A. also, but it does not have great penetrating qualities. The W D in it's name stands for water displacement, thus it deters rusting.

    I'll second once the caps are off to analyse the problem, but too, now at guessing I'll go for "gunk" caused by lack of regular cleaning.
  5. phittle

    phittle Pianissimo User

    May 9, 2008
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    I had a brass tech show me the following...first he sprayed penetrating oil (PB Blaster) on the caps and gave them several raps with a rawhide hammer. He set it aside for a few minutes...then came back and lightly heated the cap in question with a lighter...then a couple more raps with the leather hammer on multiple places around the circumference of the cap. On one of the caps he had to repeat the process...but he also said...."never use a metal to metal tool" to remove stuck caps.
  6. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    I like the design of my Conn bottom caps ..... No grip at all on those, so it's IMPOSSIBLE to finger tighten them too much. They always come off easily, if not, there's a slot to fit a coin in there, on the bottom. Smart design, IMO.

  7. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Ditto! My Conn 40B caps are simple to remove and difficult to over tighten. The slots will accept a quarter. I just have to be careful if they are a little tight.
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Apparenty, on the Olds Ambassador I recently acquired someone prior had tried a "metal tool" as I can see the knurl marks of such.

    However, I've now got the valves open. I first easily removed the valve keys from the stem whereas they have felt pads on the underside (as prevents clicking when played). It also gave me "work space". I have 3 rawhide mallets in various sizes, 1 resin, and 2 neoprene, and 3 wooden. I first tapped around each of the two caps as were stuck with my medium sized rawhide mallet, then sprayed with "B'laster PB" (R)". I then let it sit for more than 10 minutes and then heated them with a heat gun ... not direct flame. A few more taps while still hot and my small web strap wrench opened them readily. When cool, I applied applied lanolin, just as I have on the threads and slides of all my other instruments. Thanks for your response.
  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Turtlejimmy & TobyLou8, Yes, I too like the bottom caps on the Conns and wish they had likewise on the top caps. I've a set of blade spanners and a precision adjustable one, the latter as can be set up with either blades or pins in varying thicknesses. These were originally used to reset camera lenses with their retainer rings. I've another odd one that has blades on one end and pins on the other as was designed for use on bicycle pedal sprockets to allow access to the bearings inside. While a quarter will work most of the time, the stubborn bottom cap requires the same treatment I used to open the top caps of the Ambassador (previously posted) except I'd use spanners instead of my web strap wrench. Interesting, Brits also call wrenches "spanners".
  10. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    One of those round rubber "jar openers" will work if they're not stuck too terribly bad. Like others said, some penetrating oil applied an hour or two before you attack the caps will help, too. I've been guilty of using a small plier (not a lot of clamping force) over a piece of leather before, but you're getting into dangerous territory once you go there. I have a good tech nearby, so I don't push the "home fix" too far.

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