intermittent valve drag

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by crowmadic, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. brad361

    brad361 Pianissimo User

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    Valve drag IS a drag, so to speak. :cool:
    One reason that I generally do not buy used horns is that I've been told because everyone's finger angle on the downstroke is different, a horn can have it's valves seated in from the original player, which can be problematic for the next owner.
    I also find that vibrato (done with the right hand, a'la violin style), which is what I use, can especially aggravate sticky valves. Keeping the horn clean, as others have mentioned certainly helps. I've also been told that too MUCH oil on the valves can be counter-productive. I've found that heavier springs sometimes helps also. Some things I've seen posted (steel wool, toothpaste, etc.) are not solutions I would try, I'd prefer to have a qualified repair guy possibly try lapping them in to correct the problem. Another trumpet "Achille's heel" can be the second valve slide. As it is short, and not braced, sometimes pressure or a blow to that slide can slightly distort the casing enough to cause problems. I once had a horn knocked off a horn stand, and it landed right on the second slide. It was so bad that the horn was never correct again, even after extensive repair attempts. Damn guitar player! ( The villain who did the deed!)
     
  2. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

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    Oct 3, 2006
    Thanks for all the good leads. Keep them coming. ..........crow
     
  3. MFfan

    MFfan Fortissimo User

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    Hi Crow, it is a long story. I got the Besson about a year ago. The pistons showed a lot of wear. I put an ad in TH for some possible replacements. Horn builder Charmaine Slatten kindly wrote me. She was using Besson 2-20's and Stratfords for parts to make here D Horns and others and volunteered to check and see if she had anything that would work for me in her stock. She had no 8-10, but a friend did and verified that 2-20's were virually the same and worked. Eventually she sent me 3 complete units in exchange for my old ones and postage. I think the 2-20 is virtually the same horn as mine. Anyway it was a complicated process for a novice like me. The second and 3rd pistons and valve tops were the same heighth, but the ist was a different , shorter stroke top shaft. They were from different instruments. I bought new springs from thebandroom. Late last year her shop in Cal. had a bad fire and hundreds of horns were lost, so was my supply. We did find the Stratfords had completly different piston design and wouldn't work.

    She sent me very detailed instructions on how to align the valves myself and I bought a couple sets of felts locally and experimented with valve stem heights, felts thickness and finally got the problem child ist piston action aligned so it doesn't catch . The guides are iffy and I would like to find new ones of some sort. Also I used olive oil onthe first valve recently and other types. Invaluable advice on the forums which really helped a lot. The horn is not perfect, but has great tone and can be played in public and I have learned alot about the mechanics, also from stripping the old lacquer and enjoying polishing the raw brass.:-)
     
  4. et_mike

    et_mike Mezzo Forte User

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    Olive Oil? That is interesting, I don't think I have ever heard that one. Why olive oil? I would think it would break down really fast as soon as some saliva got mixed with it. :dontknow:
     
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    On lightweight horns, (especially the 2nd valve on Schilkes) the slides can get slightly bent and cause the valve to drag.
     
  6. MFfan

    MFfan Fortissimo User

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    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    You may be correct. Have just had it in a few days. Someone posted on a valve oil thread or something about sticky valves, don't recall here or TH that they had some success. Hasn't hurt anything. You would think to would be gummier, etc. I have also used penetrating oil on that ist piston.. The trio I put in are not the fastest in the world, but ok for what I play. I can always fiddle around some more, if necessary. There are many possiblities. I have recently learned from an ebay horn ad that that 2-20 has valves of short stroke, like the ist valve one I have. That horn is on ebay now, I think. Gives me something to work on that I don't need for everyday useage.:-)
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I have seen horns as tough as Bachs bind when they are laid down on a chair second valve slide facing down.

    The reasons for binding are mechanical problems or foreign objects. If the wear is substantial the valve can also bind because the viscosity of the oil can't "stretch" across the gap between valve and casing. An oil with a higher viscosity is the only answer.
     
  8. Jurandr

    Jurandr Pianissimo User

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    Feb 23, 2008
    Illinois
    The only suggestions I might add is to make sure your pushing straight down, don't let your fingertips hang over the edge of the button. Your hand should be making a C shape. If you have a valve brush, clean out the valve casing, because sometimes a little bit of sticky stuff makes it in there. Loose teeth plaque(brush your teeth!), gum, food, ect can give it a greased feel, rather than an oiled feel.

    edit: You may be able to take your horn to an instrument repair shop and have your springs replaced/re-tensioned. My 3rd valve used to be a huge problem and that was fixed when my springs were replaced.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
  9. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

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    Oct 3, 2006
    I'll do it all. thanks guys......... crow
     
  10. Decentplayer

    Decentplayer Mezzo Forte User

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    USA
    I always try to push it straight down also. I'm sure dirt, lint or excess spit wouldn't help the situation either. Good luck, I hate stuck valves.
     

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