How Much? and How Often?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by stumac, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    The current thread on favorite valve oils has prompted me to write some thoughts. When I joined the Brass Band in 1948 no one used oil on their valves, saliva was the lubricant, we were told not to use oil. I think now that at the time the only light oil available was Singer Sewing Machine oil, much too heavy for valves.

    I see the reasons for oiling valves thus, to provide a lubricating barrier between piston and casing to allow fast movement without wear, to wash detrius to the bottom of the casing, to provide a diversion during a rehearsal when we have a passage we do not want to play.

    How Much? The volume of the space between piston and casing depending on fit and wear by measurement and calculation is around 1/60 milli liter or less, one drop is approximately 1/30 ml. or twice as much as is needed.

    How Often? I apply 1 drop per valve every time I take a horn out of the case to play, at a long gig I endeavor to oil at least once during a break.
    Oil is cheap, to oil only when the valves slow down is false economy, a valve rebuild is expensive.

    Comments invited.

    Regards, Stuart.
  2. mush-mouth

    mush-mouth Pianissimo User

    Aug 3, 2009
    Hmmm, seems like I need to start oiling my trumpet's valves more frequently since I only seem to oil them once a month or so whether they need it or not. :whistle:
  3. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Ohhh Dear...
    And I suppose your car never gets checked under the bonnet between regular services... or likley it runs until it stops.

    I fully agree with Stuart - that's my minimum oiling maintenance.
  4. CornetBoy

    CornetBoy Pianissimo User

    Sep 21, 2012
    I havent oiled my trumpet in a while now! Oh dear!
  5. tjcombo

    tjcombo Forte User

    Nov 12, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    I grew up with the regime of a "bit of spit" on the valves Stuart. Now I often use a different horn or two each day and have gotten into the habit of putting two or three drops on each valve before playing. I use Al Cass and have heard the criticism that you need to use it more often than other oils. That may make more suited to my use pattern

  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    So Peter, do you oil your car every day too. The have valves too, don't they?
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    You should oil you valves when it's time to oil your valves. That will depend on the brand of oil being used, the frequency of use and the player. I agree it IS too late to oil when the valves get sluggish. So here is a rule I use. Wait until you valve gets sluggish for the first time, then the next time, oil it a few days before this period. For me, I need to oil twice a week.
  8. Forte User

    Jan 27, 2008
    Brisbane, Australia
    What do you use, Gary? Does it matter vintage vs new?

    I'm going to wash the bach this week and try Al Cass at the previous owner's recommendation. I just don't think it runs its best on the other two I have tried (Ultrapure and Hetman's Classic). I asked at the shop about Berp BioOil and the guy was scandalized. He said it is just canola oil and would be like using salad dressing. Not sure what to think. A few people here seem to love it and the Canadian Brass were endorsing it.

    As to how often, I do once a week unless something is wrong. I play about half an hour per day and two hours on Tuesdays. I tend to be a one-horn gal so the ambassador and the cornet are currently dormant. I will clean and oil them well this week and probably put them n their cases for a bit.

    That brings up an interesting point. How often do you clean and lube a horn you aren't playing?
  9. CornetBoy

    CornetBoy Pianissimo User

    Sep 21, 2012
    I only oil them when they go stiff.
  10. sounds7

    sounds7 Forte User

    Sep 4, 2004
    New Orleans
    I oil them in moderation every time I pull it out to play. About 1 or 2 drops. Oil does not damage your valves, it protects them from wear.

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