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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by alant, Sep 7, 2011.
How much oil should you use on a valve and how often?
I use a lot of oil, to the point it drips off the valves. I also frequently (once or twice a week) wipe my valves down. I don't use a dropper bottle, rather I transfer my oil into a a small hand pump sprayer and give the valves a good spritzing daily. There probably won't be many (if any) who use more oil or oil more frequently--many will probably say being so free with the oil isn't necessary; and I'll agree it probably isn't. But I don't have problems with my valves, and never have once I adopted this regimen. I also wipe my valves down once or twice a week. Keeps everything clean and running properly.
I normally oil my valves twice a week and wipe them down clean and re-oil every other week. I would recommend you pour a teaspoon of oil into your horn with the mouthpiece inserted once in a while to prevent corrossion internally. Make sure you blowing thoroughly through your horn and wipe off any excess dripping.
How much,and how often really depends upon how much and how often the horn is played, along with what valve oil you have chosen to use. In my case, I play a top grade pro trumpet about 2 hours per day, using Hetmans synthetic valve oil about once per week works well for me. I formerly used Al Cass Fast valve oil which required a reoiling about every 1/2 hour of play. Needless to say that I am thrilled with the synthetic stuff. The valves are now faster and lighter as well.
I learned the hard way that a person should oil his valves every time the horn is played because oil is cheap and a valve rebuild is nearly $500. My grandfather's trumpet went from tight valves to unplayable in a few short years because I believed people who said you don't need to oil every day.
I use Hetman Light on my rebuilt valves and oil every day I play. I use about 3 to 5 drops on each valve, just enough to replace what's run out or evaporated since the last time.
Some will accuse me of "trying to sell oil" but that's just foolish as a $4 bottle lasts a year even oiling every day I play.
I encourage you to make your own choice but when you do remember what happened to me!
I'm not sure how much you should oil valves, but here's what I do. I use 3-6 drops per valve about every other day on my main horn, which I play about 90 minutes a day. On the horns I only play a few times a month (or less), I oil the valves every time I play them. And FWIW, I use Hetmans #1 and #3, depending on the horn.
One drop of Ultra Pure per valve at each playing session, more often if on a long gig regardless of being my Eclipse or Ambassador. The cheapest valve oil I can find here in Aus is $7, Ultra Pure $12, Hetmans $15, still cheaper than a valve rebuild.
On my old student horn I would oil about once a week, sometimes once a fortnight, and always before a gig, using La Tromba. Since becoming a Strad owner I oiled that every time I played it (i.e. daily) using Ultra Pure.
Here is where it gets puzzling; since getting the Destino III I started out oiling it every time I played, but after a while noticed that the valves weren't as fast as they became if I played for about an hour after oiling. Maybe because the compression is so much better on this horn than any other I own the oil isn't lost, and indeed affects travel. Now the ideal interval seems to be every third session, and I use less oil. I oil well before a gig now (few hours minimum) and thoroughly warm up on it before playing the gig.
I now use La Tromba T2 on all horns, though my boy is using what's left of the Ultra Pure on my (his) cornet. Perhaps the Ultra Pure would be fine too but I just haven't gone back to it.
On valves with tight clearances, you actually can oil too much.
I use Alysin on both flugel and trumpet, and rarely add oil other than when I clean the valves. Before I switched from Al Cass I was constantly adding oil. On the other hand my alto horn will only work with regular oil. Do what works for you and your horn.