Oil the valve springs?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by dangeorges, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. dangeorges

    dangeorges Pianissimo User

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    Hello,
    I'm a trumpet player and teacher -

    The other day, one of my students was oiling her valves - she's in 5th grade - and she oiled the springs - not the valve.

    I asked her where she learned that (it certainly wasn't from me), and she said her first teacher (a local HS student) told her to oil that way.

    Is this actually something people do and learn? I've seen people occasionally do this, but I don't see how it would help anything.

    Should I start oiling the valve springs as well as the valve?

    Any ideas?
     
  2. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    I have heard on occasion about putting a drop of oil on the valve guides which may have some benefit. However, I would say the valve surface itself should be oiled too (and certainly more frequently).

    --bumblebee
     
  3. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    If the springs contact the cases, some oil (or even better, slide grease) on them will quieten the noise. Otherwise, there's no reason to oil the springs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  4. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

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    Gravity would always pull the oil downwards anyway.

    Me? One a year or so I like to run warm water over the valves and lightly rub some 600grit paper up & down the length of each. Slowly rotating the valves.

    Been doing this for 10+ years and no air leaks or sticky valves yet. With this technique I can lubricate less often. Can really save my butt because when running late oiling the valves can be a major delay. A nuisance if ya ask me.
     
  5. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

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    I will put a drop of oil in the springs about once a month. Just for noise. It will stop the spring noise, other then that no. There is no reason to oil the springs.


    When I fist started out I would oil the spring housing too, now I know its a waste of oil.
     
  6. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    Springs should not make any noise which can be addressed with oil. If they do, it means that they are rubbing on something. If they are rubbing on something, it means that they are collapsing to the side because either they have been stretched in an ill advised attempt to fix sticking valves and are no longer straight with square end; or the guide or piston stem is off-square.

    They only noise a spring is entitled to make is a sproing (or is it boing?).
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    please take this with a grain of salt. No decently cared for valve EVER needs sandpaper. Noisy springs should be replaced not oiled!
     
  8. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

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    Local, nothing against you at all, but when I read this I thought the same as Robin. If anything, I thought that it would take very very very little amounts off the valve leading to loss of compression. Where did you come up with this?
     
  9. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

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    Local is well known to spear sacred cows. Serving them up on the platter to a host of shocked Hindu dinner guests.

    The whole idea here is to QUESTION what we've come to regard as "conventional wisdom". Actually first IDENTIFY and recognize conventional wisdom, then QUESTION IT.

    What took me quite a few years to comprehend is just how screwed up the great majority of advice found in trumpet teaching practices is. Stuff that we're taught from the very beginning that we hold dear to our thoughts and never question. One example of that is the silly idea to

    "Always keep your throat open"

    Which in reality is something you would never do. You can't close your throat while playing the trumpet or any brass instrument without instantaneously realizing you were doing it and making A correction. And yet this useless piece of advice is CENTRAL TO THE TEACHING PROCESS OF JUST ABOUT EVERY INSTRUCTOR I'VE EVER HEARD OF OR KNOWN.

    Now that said it probably can't hurt anyone to try and consciously "keep his throat open". instead its just an irrelevant idea. The problem however is this:

    If instructors or writers of brass embouchure/air support theory do not realize that the concept of "keeping the throat open" is a useless piece of advice then ALL THEIR IDEAS MUST BE HELD SUSPECT!!!


    In other words what OTHER ideas do they have that are irrational/unhelpful? Because as i said if they offer irrational ideas that fail the test of physics? Then we must question EVERYTHING they offer. Why should trumpet teachers be exempt from the scientific process?

    Rowuk and Solar at times consider me a slayer of their sacred cows and thus will probably dismiss everything and anything i say out of hand immediately. Just because I say them and without regard for or even examining the CONTENT of my words. I don't blame them and hold no ill feelings. They are victims themselves of conventional 'wisdom". It was how they were brought up. Instead i merely regard their ideas as less reasoned. It doesn't mean they can't help people but it might be more helpful if they upgraded their opinions and became at least more open to my thoughts.

    But to answer your question:

    Very slightly rubbing down your valves with #600 grit paper under water acts like a valve POLISHER. No more or less intrusive than using a pencil eraser on the high spots. Why can this NOT hurt your valves?

    First of all the air that enters the trumpet after leaving the lips (even on the loudest of tones) is only very slightly compressed above the ambient barometric pressure. I haven't found a way yet to gauge exactly what the pressure is but from my experience in gas pipe plumbing I would bet that it is well under the 1/2 a pound per sq inch or LESS (<0.5 PSI). Your flex line leaving the valve to your gas range is < 0.5 PSI. Chickensh-t pressure in other words. You can stop it easily with your thumb unlike the water from the faucet which runs at 60 PSI average.


    (Another handy piece of advice if every you have a gas leak in your home. the pressure from any gas valve within a home being so low the baby can stop it from flowing. Nice to know in case of fire emergency no doubt!)


    Follow so Far? OK so such low air pressure exerts extremely little pressure against a valve in its casing. And with an open hole always available to flow the air will either travel through the slide to which a depressed valve is connected or flow straight through to the next valve if left open.

    Also: your trumpet, or any valved brass instrument ALREADY WILL LEAK AIR IF PUSHED MUCH ABOVE A FEW PSI. You prove this to yourself every time you pull or push a valve slide without depressing the related valve. Just pull out your third valve slide without pressing down the third valve. You will hear the hiss of the air being rarefied (sucked IN through the slide or valve) followed by the pop of it opening. The reverse is also true: push the slide back in and hear the "hiss'" of the air being compressed.

    So your trumpet already "leaks" at anything close to the pressure required to fill a basketball. But when playing the horn you will NEVER come anywhere near close to achieving a leak that could cause a sour tone. Nor even change the pitch or otherwise cause a problem in sound production. in fact if you did get a substantial leak from a valve (either a worn valve or not) it wouldn't happen except at such a loud volume that would cause hearing loss.

    And if the tone was that freaking loud? Who would hear the hiss of the leak? Same as all air compressors in construction leak. So long as it drives the nails who cares? Only difference is the volume. You will hear the air leak when the air compressor line is charged. Won't when you blow the trumpet. Nor will it affect tone, pitch etc.

    The whole key to my ideas is that I try always to exercise CRITICAL THINKING while others generally do not. But let them bring it on. As I'm sure they will. Like I said Rowuk and Solar must by habit ALWAYS question anything i say. Just because new truths are threatening to their way of thinking/teaching. Is the way the human animal works. We don't like ideas that dispute our well ingrained worldview. You yourself could come up with the same idea once in a while and not necessarily earn the wrath of trumpet teachers. Because you haven't worn their nerves as ragged as i have theirs.

    But what would you rather have? A possibly ugly truth or a comfortable delusion?

    I'll take the ugly truth.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  10. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    According to Bauerfeind, a good fit for a trumpet piston valve is half a thousandth of an inch (0.0005" or 0.0125mm) clearance. A valve/casing with a clearance of one and a half thousandths (0.0015" or 0.04mm) is difficult to play. Trumpets brought into my shop with playing difficulties from leakage measure this much wear. A trip to Andersons can solve such issues.

    Abrasives remove metal.
     

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