Some stuck stuff on my trumpet...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by mchs3d, Nov 17, 2007.

  1. mchs3d

    mchs3d Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 30, 2005
    Provo, UT
    I was wondering if anyone could tell me how to safely remove the bottom valve caps on my horn. They're completely stuck, and the only way I can think of removing them is with a wrench, which I know is VERY dangerous for the horn. Also, the little slide at then end of my third valve slide is stuck. Any help is greatly appreciated!
  2. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    Take or send your trumpet to a repair technician. Before you proclaim that you can't afford to do so or that there's no technician within hundreds of miles, ask yourself if you can afford major repairs rather than minor ones, or if you can be without your trumpet while major repairs are performed rather than the safe loosening of stuck parts.
  3. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Put your horn in the freezer, valves removed, for an hour. Remove it and run hot tap water on the bottom caps for a minute. Wrap a cap with two layers of washcloth, and try slip joint pliers grabbing the cap with the washcloth in place. Be very gentle, and try to adjust the pliers so they grap evenly. Go for a small amount of rotation - not all at once. Hold the horn upside down between your thighs while doing this. You can add a spray of PB Powerful Blaster (auto parts store) to the inside after the hot water.
    You can but a scarf twisted up through the slide and pull on that. If the whole slide comes off soak it in PB which might free it.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    after oiling, I tap on the caps with a hard wood block - that generally loosens them up.
    If th slide has been stuck for a long while, the chance of freeing it up "self help" without damage is not too great. The scarf that Veery mentions is the most drastic thing that you should try yourself. Call your local repair shop and ask for a quote INCLUDING chemical cleaning. Believe me, you will not be sorry! If slides are stuck, there are often other things crawling around in your horn!!!!!!!!
  5. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    I'd try running some hot water over them and then trying to unscrew them with one of those thin rubber bottle/jar opening pads. That will usually work, and you don't risk any damage. Pliers are dangerous to use - to get enough grip, you will usually use enough force to ruin the cap, at the very least.
  6. zoundz

    zoundz Banned

    Jul 26, 2007
    I agree that the best approach is to take the horn to a repair person. Especially for the slide, which can easily rack up more repairs getting pulled out wrong. For the bottom caps, if you insist on DIY, I have two words

    Strap Wrench

    They are readily available at most hardware stores and they won't mar the caps. Also good for chrome plumbing fixtures and other pretty stuff.

    Just my $.02 - YMMV
  7. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    If your instrument is lacquered, don't go anywhere near hot water. I'm an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer by trade - used to working with soft metals, and I use a professional for all my maintenance - except monthly cleaning. If you must break it yourself then the strap wrench is as far as you should go. I don't care how many wraps of cloth go around the soft metal bits (and it all MUST be considered soft) multi grips will leave you feeling miserable that you ignored all the best advice - take it to a pro. The instrument is only soldered together - solder won't stand ANY twisting. Take note - you have the very real potential to end up with a dead horn.:-( :-( :-( :-o :-o
  8. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    In addition to the advice from all of the above, Using a pliers to loosen the caps usually results in scarring the casing. This is from the tool slipping off of the cap. Scarring the decorative knurled grip of the cap with the pliers is also quite common. In neither of these cases has the horn been structurally damaged, BUT, its resale value has been badly damaged. Do you wish to drop the value of your horn by as much as 75%? No one wants a scarred up horn that was obviously messed up by some ham fisted, untrained, fumble fingered 'wannabee' repairman. I certainly know that I don't.


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