leaky valves

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by crowmadic, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    I know i'm opening myself up for some radical responses to this question. Like get rid of the horn, but I like this vintage C/Bb C.G.Conn horn and would like to give it another chance. Can anyone suggest an inexpensive way (less than $300.00) to remedy the leaky valves on this old girl?
  2. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    I would guess that a proper valve job by a reputable shop wouldn't run any more than that. I had a valve job done on a J.W. Pepper cornet about 18 months ago for about $250 with the plating/honing by Anderson's. Problem is, I still didn't like the horn, even with great valves.
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    How's this for radical: pour water through it and wiggle the valves. This sometimes helps old rotary trumpets that haven't been played for a while, and is dirt cheap!
  4. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    Do you know any details about the plating and honing? Are layers of plating put on the existing valves to make them wider or thicker?
  5. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    This trumpet has been thoroughly cleaned. How can "water and wiggling" correct leaking valves that I assume is caused by excessive wear?
  6. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    Exactly. The valves are plated with nickel until they are slightly oversize for the casings. They are then honed down to modern tolerances. It's a good idea to specify that you want the valve ports sealed, so the nickel plating doesn't deposit inside the valve ports and reduce the effective bore through the valves -- particularly if your Conn has the .438" bore.

    I had the valves on my 1923 Conn Victor cornet rebuilt about 10 years ago and am very pleased with the results.
  7. brian moon

    brian moon Forte User

    If you want to go really cheap to make sure that you still like the horn just use a thin amount of tuning slide grease on your valves. If they stick (they will) oil them until they don't. This should last a couple of days. I have seen it last for months.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2006
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Replating is the only way to get them back to decent condition. The problem with old horns is that the casings are not evenly worn because our fingers do not push the valves straight down. The valve pistons stay pretty "round". Many times the plating can't be thick enough to seal the valve as the casing is too thin and unevenly worn. Then it is not possible to get them really airtight without replacing the whole valve block (then it is not the same horn any more). A good shop can tell you this before they start......
  9. TrentAustin

    TrentAustin Fortissimo User

    Oct 28, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Jim Becker at Osmun suggests Hetman Classic and then a couple drops of Paxman Spindle and Bearing oil.

    It does the trick on my old Cornet with slightly leaky valves!

  10. brian moon

    brian moon Forte User

    Yes, that is a much better idea than a couple drops of STP in your valve oil; which I have seen as a remedy also.

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