Need help with stuck parts in my friend's trumpet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by hanrhee, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. hanrhee

    hanrhee New Friend

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    Aug 14, 2008
    I'm helping this kid in the neighborhood who was never taught how to clean her trumpet - tells me about her school music teacher. She in grade 7 and bought her trumpet about a year and a half ago. I asked her when was the last time she put slide grease or valve oil on the tuning slide. She told me with a resounding "Never".

    Anyway, the tuning slide feels like it's fused to the trumpet. Also the valve caps are all stuck, and so do the third valve and third valve slide. I used some WD40 on all stuck parts and they still refused budge. I tried using mallet to soften the crude buildup which didn't work either. Since I heard that WD 40 is useful for softening rust and cruddy metals, I told her to spray on the parts regularly until the parts are ready to come off as they should. I don't know if this is going to work but I hope it does.

    This is not so expensive trumpet, so giving it to a specialist for repair would cost about 1/2 of the trumpet. Anybody has some advice, I'm all ears. Thanks for your time and looking forward to hearing from all of you.
     
  2. trumpetup

    trumpetup Piano User

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    Jan 12, 2009
    Godley, Texas
    Hello Hanrhee and welcome to TrumpetMaster. There have been threads on this subject in the past. You can use the search at the upper portion of the page. The WD40 helps. Some people use a rag or cord wrapped around the slide crook. Give the cord a little slack then jerk hard. Sometime heating the outer tubing with a hair drier does the trick. Most times if you take it to a repair shop they will pull a slide with proper tools and charge very little or nothing. Good Luck!
     
  3. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

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    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Welll...This is a bit of a sticky wicket. If is really true that the cost of taking it to a tech is half of the price of the trumpet and she is determined to not spend the money they you have to decide if you are going to lose a friend over this if something goes wrong. Because there is a very high chance that something will go wrong. Here are some of the things to look for:
    (1) I have never had WD40 work for loosening slides. You might try some mouse milk or silicon lubricant. The next thing to try is the "freezer" treatment where you put the trumpet in the freezer for 15 minutes or so and then pour boiling water - or use a heat gun - to heat the outer tube in the hopes that it will expand enough to loosen the slide (have everything ready to go so the heat can be applied within about 30 seconds of removing the trumpet from the freezer to maximize the effect of the heat). I don't know how hard you hit it with the mallet but on those inexpensive trumpets, the use of a mallet can crush the pipes or break the joint on the tuning slide so great care must be used. Some have tried wrapping a dishtowel or a belt several wraps around the crook of the tuning slide (if that is the one that is stuck) and having someone hold the horn at the valves while you pull on the towel/belt to see if it will pull loose. Techs have a special fixture which fits the curvature of the tube and a slide hammer which will create an impact but the fixture spreads the force over the entire crook to minimize any concentration of force that might cause damage.
    (2) While the use of pliers on a valve cap is generally discouraged, if you are VERY handy with tools and have a good feel for application of force, you can wrap a cloth around the cap and the GENTLY apply the pliers so the jaws do not penetrate the cloth to mar the brass. I have found that this generally works with no bad effects.

    Then, if these actions don't work, she will just have to leave things as they are or spend the money for a tech or buy a new trumpet.

    Good luck.
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Only soaking the horn in WD40 overnight has ever helped (if the laquer is iffy, it goes too!). I cut a piece of wood to fit in the stuck slide bow and with a round file make a mate for the tubing. Then I can apply more "force" with minimal risk of damage. Takes about 20 minutes to build and works almost always.

    A piece of bicycle innertube will prevent pliers from damaging the valve caps. What works in a pinch is covering the pliers with GAFFA tape.

    The best medicine is teaching the kids after 2 or 3 months of lessons how to clean the horn and checking once a month.
     
  5. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

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    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    I just repaired a trumpet for a young woman who is a fellow college student with my son. Her room-mate's younger brother had a Holton trumpet with a stuck tuning slide (the others were stuck, too) where he had tried to pull the slide and it had broken apart at the solder joint on one end, so that part of the tube was stuck in the lead-pipe receiver. Ferree's Tools markets a terrific penetrating oil which actually works on brass parts, and after applying that and resoldering the free part of the tuning slide to form a handle on the stuck part and twisting gently back and forth (I've been a professional repairman for over 30 years) it came free really easily and combined with making everything work as it ought to, the charge was $40 (it took only 45 minutes).

    He had previously brought it into a music store's repair shop near him, and was told it would be a $300 repair (they were going to replace the lead-pipe and the tuning slide).

    That makes me so mad -- when a repair shop figures they can take advantage of a situation to overcharge for a repair because they know the customer has no clue as to the proper and cheaper repair.

    rowuk is right (again!) in that every private teacher and every band director should be spending time with their students to go over proper maintenance procedures.

    On my website (David Bailey Music Studio) I have maintenance procedures which can be downloaded and printed and handed out (no charge) so there's no excuse for teachers not letting their students know how to properly maintain their instruments.
     
  6. Trumpetman67

    Trumpetman67 Piano User

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    Apr 11, 2009
    USA
    Did anybody forget about Marvels Mystery oil?!?!?!?!?!? I'm telling you, it REALLY WORKS. Although it is a long process, it comes out with no damage to the trumpet what so ever! Just wash it out when you're done! Plus the bottle is cheap and easy to use.
    Any more questions? Feel free to ask!
     
  7. rbdeli

    rbdeli Mezzo Piano User

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    May 8, 2009
    CO
    Oh sure. We've heard that story before.
    my 'friend's' trumpet. ;-)
     
  8. rbdeli

    rbdeli Mezzo Piano User

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    May 8, 2009
    CO
    ahh hah.. You're the one who told me about this. I have a 50 year old Conn Student trumpet with mouthpiece and slides stuck. I'm going to put the Mystery oil to the test. I'm just wondering, how much of it do I need? I would guess it would require a couple of bottles to soak the entire horn where the mouthpiece and slide is jammed.




     
  9. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

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    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    I'm not sure that you need to immerse the entire horn - it just needs to go up to the level that covers the slide pipes that are stuck. In fact, before you go to that level, try pouring a bit down the leadpipe and then rotating the horn so that the inside becomes soaked. Also, put some on the outside at the stuck joint and let it soak for several hours. But, I doubt that a stuck mouthpiece will come out this way unless it is barely stuck. Most times it requires a mouthpiece puller to do it. Some music stores have a policy of removing stuck mouthpieces for free or very low cost. It is sort of a marketing program to help bring traffic into the store. You might check and see what a store near you will do.
     
  10. Trumpetman67

    Trumpetman67 Piano User

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    Apr 11, 2009
    USA
    Actually, you have to fill the trumpet with it. Put q-tips in a plastic bag and cover the bottom valve caps so it wont leak out. Let it sit for about three or more days, then let it drain... Then tap where its stuck, then pull hard, but don't gerk! This takes two people to do. Hope this helps!
     

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