Slide severely stuck...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Repair and Modification' started by Chrishawk4, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. Chrishawk4

    Chrishawk4 New Friend

    Nov 4, 2008
    Detroit, Michigan
    I was just curious how to remove a seemingly non-movable slide. I haven't used my student trumpet in a while because I always play my Stradivarius, and I would like to go back and play that trumpet also. Thanks in advance.

    Last edited: Nov 4, 2008
  2. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    Get a shoelace, as wide a shoelace as you can buy. On the slide in question, find the seam between the outer surface of the horn and the inner surface of the slide and sprinkle some valve oil on it. Use plenty and try to get the valve oil down in the joint. Let it sit for a while. Wrap the shoelace multiple times around the crook of the slide. If it's a wide slide (like the tuning slide), distribute each winding of the lace evenly around the slide.

    Now try to pull evenly on the shoelace, in a gentle constant motion (don't jerk it, and don't pull so hard that you bend the slide).

    If the slide comes out you're done. IF it doesn't move, apply more valve oil, wait and try again. If you can't move it after 2-3 tries, take the horn to a pro. If the slide moves a little, then add more oil, tilt the horn to get the oil to run up under the tubing, wait a few minutes, and try to work it out a little more....

  3. tutin_trumpeta

    tutin_trumpeta Pianissimo User

    Apr 10, 2008
    Hertfordshire, UK

    It's good advice, it works for me... altho i usually soak mine in the bath for a little while first.

  4. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    ahh, the advantages of being a "big fellow"... j/k
  5. Chrishawk4

    Chrishawk4 New Friend

    Nov 4, 2008
    Detroit, Michigan
    Thank you I will try that.

  6. Toobz

    Toobz Mezzo Piano User

    Feb 5, 2007
    I use PB Blaster on stuck slides. It's a penetrating oil that can be purchased at most auto parts and hardware stores. Just be careful of getting the PB Blaster on the laquer, as I'm not sure if it will do any damage. I know others on here have used Blaster too, in fact, this is where I picked up the tip. Stuff is pretty smelly too, but it can be cleaned afterwards.

    I used bigtiny's advice before and tried the shoe string method with good results. Better than mangleing it with tools.
  7. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    PB Blaster is a winner. Spray it inside (through the valve or leadpipe) and out, wipe off the over spray immediately. Let sit a while. Then:

    If it is the tuning slide you can try a towel, folded several times until it will fit in the U of the slide. Run it through halfway and put the two ends of the towel into a vise, a car door, anything that will grab it tight. Then pull on the horn, holding it with both hands, one on the lead pipe and one on the parallel tube that's behind the other end of the slide (goes to 3rd valve). This way you can pull pretty hard without the risk of bending anything. It helps to put the horn in the freezer for a while and then run those two tubes I just referred to under the hot water faucet, then install the towel and clamp it, Jethro. The hot water will expand the tubes while the stuck ones inside will still be shrunk by the cold.

    Small slides use the shoelace, but clamp it and pull on the horn, holding it near where the slide meets the instrument.

    If you persist, with slow steady pulling, and fail, then a technician is your answer.
  8. Bonasa

    Bonasa Pianissimo User

    Feb 9, 2008
    Western New York
    If you use any penetrating oil like PB Blaster, Liquid Wrench, or WD-40, I'd use it as sparingly as possible and plan to give your horn a very thorough bath afterwards to remove any trace of the stuff. Remember, these are solvents, not lubricants, and you don't want any remnants of them working their way into your valves. An eye-dropper is good for applying a drop or two at a time to the seams where the frozen slide meets the rest of the piping. The trick with using any penetrating oil or solvent is to allow enough time for the stuff to work; let it sit for a while to work its magic. Remember, the solvent needs to penetrate its way through a whole lot of desiccated slide lubricant and perhaps some brass oxidation on the ferrules, so you might want to reapply a few drops every 20 minutes or so. Let it sit overnight if you can spare the time. Then try the aforementioned towel or showlace wrap-and-pull. If it doesn't work, I wouldn't pursue it any further. You're better off paying your tech $15 or $20 to free the slide than paying him that plus an additional $50 or $75 to realign the bent tubing and resolder the broken braces that will result from your efforts. Techs have the proper jigs and supporting vices to hold the horn properly while exerting the needed muscle to break the slide free; they also have far more experience at applying their muscle in ways that won't damage your instrument. Their specialized tools and know-how are well worth paying for, IMHO.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2008
  9. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    Just take it to the shop. You can try all this other stuff and really screw up a horn. Spend the few dollars and get it done right.
  10. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    As a former tech I have freed a bunch of slides for people who forgot that preventive maintainance helps greatly in keeping your horn away from guys like me. When the slides are all free it is imperitive that they be cleaned until shiny bright. Periodic and frequent applications of slide lube, my favorite being Bag Balm, and watching for any sign of a reocurrance of corrosion will keep your hand out of your wallet at the musical instrument shop.

    As an aside, do you have any idea what the techs think and usually discuss out of the customers presence about what their opinions of 'musicians' that allow a horn to self destruct with corroded slides?


Share This Page