I'm having some trouble with my valves...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Strad37, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. Strad37

    Strad37 New Friend

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    Nov 4, 2007
    Terra Bella
    Hey everybody, I was hoping that someone might be able to help me out with this one. I own a Stradivarius 180ML37, serial # 482793. I have been experiencing some difficulty with sticky valves lately. I took it in to a specilist repair shop to check for dents in the valve casing, etc. because I had purchased this horn used. They didn't find anything wrong but said that they would clean it out the best the could for me. That helped it along for about two weeks before it all started sticking again. The valves will stick completely stuck and will begin to stick a couple days after I completely clean and oil them. I don't know what to do! Is there anything that you guys think could be wrong? Is there a special technique to cleaning your valves? Please, if you have any ideas do send me your ideas. Thank you.
     
  2. et_mike

    et_mike Mezzo Forte User

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    What kind of oil do you use?
     
  3. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    Toronto
    Check your valve pistons for wear patterns. There might be wear on only one side of the piston. This will tell you if you are hooking (pulling the valve towards your hand,) or pushing (pushing the valve away from your hand.) This will lead to the valves sticking because they aren't being pushed straight down. It is a pretty common problem. I am a hooker with my third valve.

    If you look down the valve casing on the inside while holding it near a light source, you can see dents in the casing because they appear as shiny spots.
     
  4. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

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    Dubai, UAE
    In my experience 9 times out of 10 sticky valves are caused by dirt or something foreign in the casing. The other times it's something mechanical or a chemical reaction between you, your valve oil and your horn.

    First thing is give the whole trumpet an immersion bath and clean it out entirely with a snake. Rinse very thoroughly inside and out and wipe off the excess water. Don't put it back together until it's dry inside and out. Make sure you're using a good quality valve oil (Al Cass, Binak, Zaja etc etc) and use slide oil on 1st and 3rd slides...not tuning slide grease. For a while oil your valves every day just to make sure that whatever was causing the problem is flushed away.

    Even though you had your trumpet cleaned by the repair shop it may be that dirt that was dislodged is still making it's way out of the tubing and into the valve casing.

    Regards,


    Trevor


    PS. After doing all this practice everyday. It does wonders for valves.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2007
  5. Strad37

    Strad37 New Friend

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    Nov 4, 2007
    Terra Bella
    Right now I'm using Al Cass oil. I hadn't thought about checking the pistons for wear patterns. I think that that might be part of the problem. I will take everyone's advice and see what works out. Thanks a million guys!!!
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    try switching to a synthetic oil.
    The fact that a professional cleaning gave you 2 weeks of peace shows that the horn is probably mechanically sound.

    Petroleum based oils lubricate about 15-17 hours, then the "lubricating agent" has evaporated. The reason the valves keep moving is that the inside of the horn is still "moist". Water is NOT a good lubricant AND even prevents the oil from bonding to the metal when reapplied.

    My recommendation: Clean and dry the valves and casing. Wait until both are "bone dry" (important because oil floats on top of water preventing optimal "lubrication") and then lightly apply a synthetic oil to the entire surface (you can spread it around with your finger). Synthetic oils to not evaporate like petroleum based ones, so you should be able to go much longer between oiling.
    I do not endorse any brand of valve oil, but my Monette trumpet came with Ultra-Pure, who also support TM. It just plain works - I have had no need to research other brands! Up to a week without needing to reoil!
     
  7. Sterling

    Sterling Mezzo Forte User

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    I like Hetman Light Piston oil for a synthetic valve oil. The regular and classic oils are a little thick for my horns. Also, check to see if the casings are out of round due to the second valve tube having undue pressure put upon it in the case, ie. books on top of the trumpet, too many horns and stuff in your gig bag, etc. This happens to my middle school student's beginner trumpets quite frequently.
     
  8. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

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    Oct 3, 2006
    camelbrass, What do you mean by "slide oil"? I use Ultra Pure light slide grease on the 3rd valve slide, and UP's regular grease on the other slides. Can you give me the name of a "slide oil"?
     
  9. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

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    Dubai, UAE
    Hetman make an actual slide oil. I actually use cork grease.

    All I meant was don't use heavy grease (like tuning slide grease) on slides. I know it's obvious but on the internet you just never know.

    Regards,


    Trevor
     
  10. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

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    In my collection I 'was' using Al. Cass Fast valve oil. I was having problems with valves completely locking up in the open position. A good solid bang with the heel of my hand would free them and then, they would be almost good again. After a good imersion bath and lubrication with Hetmans oil I now have valves that are fine right out of the case after several weeks of storage. My valves are all much 'FAST'er too.
     

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