Sticky Valve Solution

Discussion in 'Horns' started by Flair King, Mar 26, 2005.

  1. Flair King

    Flair King New Friend

    6
    0
    Mar 26, 2005
    Whittier, CA
    I am a comeback player who had sold my horn to friends for their son. When I decided to come back, I bought my horn back. Unfortunately, the 2nd valve slide had been pushed into the valve casing, causing the valve to hang up. The only to repair it was to lap it. I had to take the horn back to the repairman twice because the valve worked fine when the horn was cold, but as soon as it warmed up, the metal seemed to expand and the valve would hang up. However, the problem was never completely solved, and I was apprehensive to lap the valve any more. My trumpet teacher use to build horns for callechio (sp?) years ago, and he said when they had a stuborn sticky valve problem they would soak the valve in a liquid Ivory dish soap solution and let them air dry before putting them in the horn. Well, I tried it, and it worked like a charm!!! :D The valve works like new and hasn't hung up or been sluggish once.
     
  2. Bourbon City

    Bourbon City Pianissimo User

    242
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    Jun 8, 2004
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Interesting. I am assuming you are soaking the pistons in the soap solution. I have used Dawn in a like manner. I highly recommend you remove all felts from your pistons before you soak. I also remove all slides and soak the entire dissambled instrument in the soapy solution. After soaking for an hour, I run a snake through the all the parts a few times and rinse. I use a soft lent free cloth to pat the pistons dry after they are also rinced well with tap water. Treat all moving parts on your instrument with care. Oil well and Lube lightly.

    Soaking will let the soapy solution work and lift the crud off the parts. There should be nothing bur organic stuff inside the horn that needs to be cleaned out.

    Use warm water not hot wqter. Never hot water. :D

    I have done this for many years with no ill affects.

    How often you should do this depends on how much you play. If four hours a day every day, I'd clean every six months.
     
  3. Hiwiller

    Hiwiller New Friend

    33
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    Dec 29, 2004
    near Cleveland, OH, USA
    I assume you rinse before you air dry??? :?: :shock:
     
  4. Flair King

    Flair King New Friend

    6
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    Mar 26, 2005
    Whittier, CA
    Hiwiller:

    I did not rinse the pistons, as I was directed. I let them air dry with the soap solution on them. It has been nearly 2 weeks since I did this and the valves are still working great.
     
  5. Hiwiller

    Hiwiller New Friend

    33
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    Dec 29, 2004
    near Cleveland, OH, USA
    Wow. I'll have to file that one away for future sticky situations...

    I assume it probably leaves some soap residue that mixes with the oil and acts kinda like the new designer oils with detergent properties.
     
  6. mike ansberry

    mike ansberry Forte User

    1,281
    388
    Dec 30, 2003
    Clarksville, Tennessee, U
    I think it is interesting that you say the only solution was to lap the valve. I have been a brass instrument repairman for close to 30 years. The majority of valve problems caused by a pushed in 2nd valve slide can be solved by carefully prying the slide out. You have to know what you are doing, and have a feel for the job. What happens is that the casing is distorted when the slide is pushed in. Pushing it back out (with the valves in their casings, of course) will usually straighten the casing and free the valve.

    Mike
     
  7. trumpetgirl612

    trumpetgirl612 Pianissimo User

    249
    0
    Mar 30, 2005
    practice room 5
    i clean my entire horn with dawn and i do the same for my slides everytime i clean it
    speaking of which i had planned on doing that this weekend lol
     
  8. Flair King

    Flair King New Friend

    6
    0
    Mar 26, 2005
    Whittier, CA
    Mike:

    I took my horn to a very reputable music and repair store in Southern California, owned by a trumpet player who look at the horn first and actually discovered that the valve slide had been pushed into the casing. He, I and his brass guy looked at the horn and discussed it. Believe me, lapping was the last alternative. We first tried putting reverse pressure on the slide, but that didn't work. Then, they tried to expand the casing from the inside and that didn't work either. So, as much as I disliked the idea, we were left with lapping.
     

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