How to losen up a valve...?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by SamJolly, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. SamJolly

    SamJolly New Friend

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    Apr 21, 2011
    Hi,

    I have a slightly stiff valve 1. It may be due to some roughening of the metalwork. Anyway I currently use lots of cleaning valve oil and work it which seems to free it up although when I return for a fresh session I have to rework it a little. It does work fine however, just a little noisy and has been known to be slightly sticky/stiff. I would just like it to be springier and quieter like the other valves.

    Thoughts appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Sam
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011
  2. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

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    try a total cleaning of your trumpet then use Isopropyl Alcohol to swab out your valve casings and also to wipe down your valves. wipe casings and valves with a lint free cloth then oil. It really seems to help in a lot of cases. Good Luck.
     
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Wow, some one other than me recommending isopropyl alcohol. It's so great to see another gifted trumpeter on TM. AND it will clean out those pesky molds and tuberculosis family of bacteria.
     
  4. SamJolly

    SamJolly New Friend

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    Apr 21, 2011
    Thanks.

    When you say total clean, are you talking about water through the pipework or what? I have seen so much talk on this from do not clean to what ever. I was brought up on running water through the bell etc. So please take me back to basics here and in what order. Isopropyl sounds good too. Never used it.

    Cheers,

    Sam
     
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Using isopropyl alcohol IS totally clean.
     
  6. SamJolly

    SamJolly New Friend

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    Apr 21, 2011
    @gmonady, thanks for this and apologises for my ignorance, but how would you go about cleaning the trumpet in Isopropyl.? Do you pour some through the pipework, Are you just talking about the valves and wiping them down? Please advise.

    Thanks,

    Sam
     
  7. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

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    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    There are numerous threads here about cleaning and sticky valves in case you want some bedtime reading. But, to refresh the basics, the steps are:

    (1) Fill a plastic tub (a metal tub can scratch the lacquer) with warm (not hot) water - add a squirt of mild dish soap (Ivory or Palmolive or something).
    (2) Disassemble the trumpet and put the valve pistons in a small plastic container with the same water/soap - make sure the felts and corks remain out of the water (the water for the valve can be hot - actually, the hotter the better).
    (3) Thoroughly scrub out the insides of the trumpet with your snake brush (which we all have - right?) including the insides of the tuning slides and the bottom valve caps (likely very dirty).
    (4) Spend extra time on the insides of the valve casings with a valve brush. This is the area that will affect the valve action.
    (5) Also, be especially thorough in the leadpipe - that is where the most crud collects and can lead to red rot in the distant future. While you are there, hold the trumpet up so a bright light reflects off of the back of the bell and up through the leadpipe. See if there are signs of roughness or corrosion inside rather than a smooth, shiny surface.
    (6) Now go to the valve pistons. Use the valve brush to clean the ports in the pistons. Using a coarse cloth, scrub the surface of the pistons. The key to this step and step (4) is to remove any varnish or other residue that collects on the valves from the old valve oil and saliva.
    (7) Rinse everything thoroughly and re-assemble the trumpet. Grease the slides but do not oil the valves.
    (8) Pour about 4 oz of 91% concentration isopropyl alcohol into the bell. Put your finger over the receiver opening and swish the alcohol around inside while working the valves (this takes a bit of contortion to make sure it covers the inside without running out the bell). Some will drip out of the valves so hold it over the sink while doing this. Hopefully, this will coat the pistons and casings with alcohol.
    (9) Pour the remaining alcohol out of the bell and onto a rag and then remove the pistons again. Use the rag to scrub the pistons. The alcohol will remove some of the residue that the soap did not. Put some additional alcohol on the corner of the rag and use a plastic spoon handle or other thin item to push the rag through the casings and pull it back and forth to scrub the casings. (The rag hould be a fairly thin material so it can be pushed through the casing.) When you are done, if you hold the casing up to a bright light and sight through it, you should see a bright, shiny inside surface on the casings.
    (10) Insert the pistons into the casings without oiling. (be sure they are properly oriented). Gently move them up and down a few times to see if you detect any resistance or 'dragging' on the pistons. If so, it may indicate a mechanical issue (out-of-round, etc).
    (11) Use Ultra-pure synthetic oil to lubricate the valves. This will help to reduce future build-up of residue in the pistons.

    If this does not cure the stickiness, go to 'plan b' - take it to a technician. Or, find some other threads here that discuss additional possible steps - there are many.

    Good luck.
     
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Comebackkid in the post above beat me to the punch. His method is about as good as it gets.
     
  9. SamJolly

    SamJolly New Friend

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    Apr 21, 2011
    @ComeBackKid..... A big thank you for your very comprehensive reply and thanks to @gmonady and Dave M. Now for some cleaning.

    Sam
     

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