How does a music shop free a stuck tuning slide?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Repair and Modification' started by coolerdave, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    5,242
    1,791
    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    I can seem to find out how a music repair shop loosens a seriously stuck tuning slide. Is their a special tool they use? Do they desolder the parts and then grab the pipe from the inside or something.
     
  2. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    1,380
    764
    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    There's the wiggle method, and the lightly tap the tubing method. You can clean the tubing, you can let it soak in various things to loosen it up (if they use WD40 they have to clean it really well), there are pliers, there are also special pullers that fits into the crook and you can attach a slide hammer, there's also the rawhide strap method, they can unsolder a brace and try the wiggle method again, you can disassemble the slide and remove it piece by piece (or replace the parts that you garbage getting it out), and probably a few more ways I didn't think of.
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,616
    7,965
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    It depends why it is stuck. Mechanical deformation needs a different process than corrosion. I have seen special tools that fit in the bow and get hammered on, I have seen long shoelaces wrapped around the slides, I have see torches used to heat up the sticking side, I have seen the devastation of DIY attempts to free slides in the form of second slide ripped off the valve casing, big creases in tuning slides, broken brace solder joints, I have seen dents in the bell from tuning slides that were removed by force.

    Most shops remove stuck slides by giving the instrument to the technician with the knowledge and experience to do a good job, or one in apprenticeship thereof.

    Sorry for the obvious, but except for the easy stuff like soak overnight in WD40 or other fluids and gentle tugs, I leave everything else to the experts.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  4. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    16,420
    7,547
    Dec 22, 2008
    Virginia
    I have a King Cleveland Superior trumpet that had a stuck tuning slide. I didn't want to spend the $30 if I didn't have to. I tried everything I could think of besides anything involving soldering (even found someone with a slide hammer, no go). 6 months later it was still stuck! Finally took it to the shop and left it. 20 minutes after I left, got a call, "Your horn is ready to be picked up"! I think it's like that Calgon commercial, "Ancient Chinese secret".

    ‪1970s Calgon "Ancient Chinese Secret" Commercial‬‏ - YouTube
     
  5. mrsemman

    mrsemman Piano User

    333
    77
    Apr 8, 2010
    Massachusetts
    There really is no one "secret" trick to removing a stuck slide, but rather a series of techniques. If one doesn't work, then they move to another. Depending upon which slide you are referring. For the tuning slide, I have tried a couple of shots of PB Blaster, both down the lead pipe and on the slide towards the lead pipe and third valve casing. PB Blaster is a deep penetrating oil. Let sit overnight. If that does not work, take it to a tech, which in any case is the safest bet. The use of tapping, hammers, straps, etc. takes practice and experience not to dent or warp the tubing.
     
  6. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Age:
    68
    3,017
    3,590
    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    The tech will decide which method(s) to use based on their assessment of the actual situation. You may care to check the thread:
    http://www.TrumpetMaster.com/vb/f131/sticking-slides-62076.html

    The cost of a tech freeing a stuck slide will be a small fraction of the cost involved in repairing issues from failed attempts such as Rowuk describes.
     
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    6,794
    3,560
    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    A good friend of mine was a brass tech, and they did all kinds of different things, although the most common techniques involved using a combination of penetrating oil, heat, light taps with a mallet to free up any grime or corrosion causing the problem, but like everyone else said, it's combination of techniques best left to the pros. The good thing about them is if they happened to damage the horn in any way in the process of doing a repair, they had the tools and the knowledge to fix it.
     
  8. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    5,242
    1,791
    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    Thanks to ALL for your help....
     
  9. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    5,242
    1,791
    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    so I should soak it in Calgon????
    seriously .. I have found my project horn ... you know the one you have to sacrifice to the horn repair gods on the journey to repair darma .... well I have the tuning slide from hell.... tried everything but the desolder technique .. I have my torch ready .... that horn has one night to spend with PB Balster to think this over and then I'm taking off the gloves.
    so while it was soaking I decided to cleanup a 1949 Collegiate I just picked up ... wouldn't you know two stuck slides.. now the Yamaha has company .... if it was my Bach (which it wouldn't be because I grease it) it would be in the shop..yesterday..
    so if you see a Yamaha 2320 or vintage Holton Collegiate on a red wooden stand on eBay you know where it came from ... seriously the Holton will hit the shop after tomorrow if the Blaster doesn't do it's job... but that Yamaha's A%$ is mine.
     
  10. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Age:
    68
    3,017
    3,590
    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Slow down - I have had horns which needed to soak for over a week, with daily heating.
     

Share This Page