Really pleased with a cleaning

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by simonstl, May 22, 2012.

  1. simonstl

    simonstl Pianissimo User

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    Nov 25, 2008
    Dryden/Ithaca, NY
    My instruments are mostly used and cheap, and I'd gotten used to cursing them fairly frequently for valves sticking, slides moving only grudgingly, and so on. I'd also thought about cleaning them, but figured the cleaning I'd already done on the valves and slides meant that a cleaning wouldn't make a big difference in those areas.

    A week or so ago I got a very used slide trombone. It'll be fine for my own entertainment, if not a professional instrument - but the slide was very very slow. A friend who plays trombone thought the slide would benefit from a cleaning, so that finally triggered my cleaning all my used instruments - a trumpet, valve trombone (with valves that would restick within half an hour of lubrication) and the slide trombone. It made for quite a shiny pile of parts:

    [​IMG]

    (bigger image at http://simonstl.com/pics/disassembledBrassB.jpg)

    Apart from the fun of disassembling and reassembling and watching clouds of dirt emerge from the brass after snaking it, I'm very very pleased to report that the valves on both the trumpet and the valve trombone are much much much smoother, and haven't stuck since the cleaning. They'll get there eventually, I'm sure - there are horizontal scratches on the trombone valves just waiting to catch on to something - but for now, wow! I never thought these instruments would play like this.

    The Yamaha Brass Soap I used was a pretty cheap ingredient for this kind of improvement. (I suspect it was more the fact of cleaning than the specific soap.)

    The slide trombone moves better, though it's still a fairly slow slide. Since I don't plan to do anything wild with it, it'll be fine for me, I expect.

    If you haven't cleaned in a while, definitely give it a shot!
     

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    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  2. bach37

    bach37 Pianissimo User

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    Dec 1, 2011
    Who would of thought? Cleaning an instrument to make it function better. Wow I think you need to write a book on that one.ROFL
     
  3. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

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    I'd be scared to take all of my horns apart at the same time. How do you know which parts go with which horn? :D

    Mike
     
  4. simonstl

    simonstl Pianissimo User

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    Nov 25, 2008
    Dryden/Ithaca, NY
    Yeah, I figured the cleaning would help. I just didn't expect it to help that much, especially given the issues in the trombone valves. I joke that cleaning the windows is the cheapest and easiest way to upgrade a house, but didn't expect the instruments to feel like new instruments.

    Mixing the horns was fun, but I don't think I'd have done it with a set of trumpets. All of these were different enough that there wasn't a major risk of mixing parts. Between colors and sizes, it was pretty safe - and it was also good to get it all done at once. Taking over the bathtub and keeping the kids away long enough for it to soak right is a challenge. ;)
     
  5. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    Shhhhhhhh - don't tell him about lubrication ......... just yet.
     
  6. simonstl

    simonstl Pianissimo User

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    Nov 25, 2008
    Dryden/Ithaca, NY
    I've been using valve oil since I was in 4th grade, and had trumpets cleaned before. I just haven't seen results like this. I'm not sure if it's the longer soak, the nature of what was causing the sticking, or what - but it's a much more substantial improvement.

    (And yes, of course I oiled and greased the instruments as I put them back together. )
     
  7. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    Just kidding Simon :D
     
  8. simonstl

    simonstl Pianissimo User

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    Nov 25, 2008
    Dryden/Ithaca, NY
    Thanks. I'm just wondering why this thread attracted so much snark, and re-considering my return to this site. Didn't seem like that bizarre a post.
     
  9. patkins

    patkins Forte User

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    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    Cleaning horns was required reading before I got to play mine way back in High School. I clean them better than my tech does.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  10. Pat S

    Pat S Piano User

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    Jan 28, 2012
    San Antonio
    I'm happy to share in the joy... Warm puppies, clean horns, and a mug of hot chocolate! Bring it on (just don't play the nice clean horn after swigging the chocolate).
     

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