Stuck Bottom Valve Caps

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by SeniorSax, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. daniel starz

    daniel starz Piano User

    Jan 11, 2009
    wasilla alaska
    ok my two sense , all my older getzens had stuck bottom and top valve caps and a couple stuck slides , the grease had dried from being put away and not played , which is good considering their age.
    my remedy ,hair dryer set on med. heat warm up the slide pull gently, valve caps heat warm up and use vicegrips GENTLY carefully placed over rubber , twist left gently . NOTE: use the slightest amount of pressure when setting the adjustment on the grips ,go slowly, if they slip try to reset , before you tighten the grip, i use the medium size grips .
    ok word of caution on the tone balanced the middle bottom cap was very hard to remove , thus i knew i had a problem , but i got it off , what i found was a very hard caked oil and grease in the valves and threads .
    But the middle bottom cap does not go on all the way , time to stop and chase the threads at The Horn Doctor .
    THIS is not much different than the method John would use to free them , so never watch them work on your horn , if they do have a problem they can fix it , if you have a problem they will fix it , so it comes down to how brave you are ,
    and how fat your wallet is .
    besides i like to try myself , i am a working craftsman with many years of experience building and repairing things . JUST GO VERY VERY SLOW . Never try this at home unless you are capable of understanding every thing i have tried to explain,, or you can be very sorry!!
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  2. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    You can do the following VERY GENTLY:

    take a piece of soft cloth (old underwear, wash cloth, etc.) and put it on the valve caps. Take a pair of channel lock pliers and GENTLY remove the caps.
    Don't grip the pliers hard enough to bend anything, just enough to 'crack' the stuck caps.

    If you're going to lubricate the caps with vaseline be VERY careful not to use an excess amount. You don't want vaseline getting into your valve/cylinders or you'll end up with gunked up valves....

    Oh, and the right hand turning direction is special to the Getzen??? I've had Benge, Yamaha, and Bach horns and they've always been threaded just like the top caps.....

  3. GoodMusic@PA

    [email protected] Piano User

    Aug 7, 2008
    They do come off, but if you are afraid that you might cause damage to your trumpet, then take it to the shop. It's not going to cost a fortune to get those to unscrew. And other than the other methods mentioned here, don't do anything else, because if you bust a valve case than your valve is....:-(
  4. daniel starz

    daniel starz Piano User

    Jan 11, 2009
    wasilla alaska
    bigtiny , all my sons horns are : righty tighty ,, lefty loosey ( as watching a clock face, clock runs right, "tighty")
    facing the horn "right side of horn as being played"
    make any sense ?
    channel locks are a good idea , not have to worry about squeezing the caps to hard ,
    go slowly is the best advice .
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  5. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    If you want to unscrew something, turn it counterclockwise. Generally the only time you will encounter reversed threading is on a mechanical device which rotates such that the rotation will cause the standard threads to unscrew due to torque.

    A common example of this is a shaft you use in a hand drill which holds a grinding wheel or flexible abrasive. The nut which secures the working material is reversed (as are the shaft threads) so that when you apply the tool to a project the force against the rotating tool won't cause the nut to loosen.

    Also on outboard motor propellers, and other rotating objects like fans, which are working against water or air, you will find reverse threaded fasteners.

    Stuck bottom caps? Best way to develop a good relationship with your local shop is to take this sort of task to them. More often than not it will be a freebie as a good will gesture to secure your return business.

    If you are out in the bush then you will find a way to DIY. Who cares about a few plier marks, when it's play or die?
  6. lovevixen555

    lovevixen555 Banned

    Nov 5, 2008
    First try running running them under hot water or heating with a blow dryer until they are hot tot he touch the nickle and the bras expand at different rates. Take a rubber gripper like old ladies use to open pickle jars and give it a try. Next step if that does not work is to let it cool and try again. Then the next step is to keep the rubber gripper in place or pad with a towel and grip the caps with plier but only through the padding you do not want to mar the finish so if you are ham fisted do not try this. usualy this will do the job. I use parralle closeing pliers that I have installed rubber shoes on to do stuff like this since it prevents me from maring things but few Joe's have rubber shoed/jawed pliers or parralle clamping pliers. If you have PB Blaster or BreakFree those are usualy great to try first PB Blaster will normaly work in about 15 minutes and has good capilary action just make sure you shake the can well. BreakFree is not as good as PB Blaster but if you have it give it a try. You would do that before even attempting the hot water trick. Usualy they get gumed up from valve oil and dirt. I ealways remove my caps when I clean my trumpets once a month and I oil the threads. Since I clean them once a month they never get gumed up. Also do not tighten the caps down like your Mac the diesel Mechanic a lot of people grossly over tighten their caps they just need to be snug not wrenched on......Oh if your Getzen is one of the older desings with the hex like head a socket or wrench will fit on them as well makeing it almost an idiot proof means to remove them with out risking any maring.
  7. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    If you want to do this yourself, and you are brave enough to have a go, I would suggest (from an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer's perspective - one who is used to playing with soft materials like aluminium {and Brass}) that you zip on down to your local Sears outlet and buy a small "Strap Wrench" - the packaging will show you how to use it - as with everyone else's comment, go very easy. Strap wrenches will not leave ANY teeth marks, unlike most pliers. If you have a reasonable bank balance then a set of Canon plug pliers, as used in the aircraft industry, will also work well - these things are multi-grips (slip jaw pliers) with a rubber lined jaw - again no teeth to marks on your Getzen (DON'T MARK THE GETZEN). Remember, act in haste repent at leisure. (Goanna Oil, Tea Tree Oil, WD-40, CRC, Kerosene will all work as penetrants (I'm a bit wary of WD-40 BTW, some say it causes hydrogen embrittlement, others say it is just canned fish-oil). Good Luck - take care, let's hope you learn good things through success rather than other stuff through hamfistedness - take care.
  8. vntgbrslvr

    vntgbrslvr Piano User

    Oct 10, 2008
    Waukesha, Wisconsin
    The fix the shops use is several raps around the parimeter of the cap with a very small light weight rawhyde mallet then spin it off by hand...Using channel locks can crush the bottom of the valve body if you squeeze too tightly...or at a minimum mar the fine knurling on the caps.

    There are other options, but this one usually works very well even on 100 year old instruments.

    If my description isn't crystal clear....take it in and have it's a 5 min fix if that....I don't want someone upset because they just dented their horn with a rawhyde mallet ;)
  9. daniel starz

    daniel starz Piano User

    Jan 11, 2009
    wasilla alaska
    {Oh if your Getzen is one of the older desings with the hex like head a socket or wrench will fit on them as well makeing it almost an idiot proof means to remove them with out risking any maring.}

    I tried the socket method on my sons GETZEN Cornet ,to say the least he was very interested in what I was doing ,it is amazing how Daniel can get so defensive about his horns , gotta love him for that .
    It does not work very well , the 13/16 is a bit big for the cap, and a 21mm is a bit bigger yet , the socket walls are too thick to really get in the space to achieve a good bite .
    SO my conclusion is,, do not attempt this at home , you maybe very sorry.

    I do not think i will ever hit my son's horns with any form of hammer, I want to sleep at night.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  10. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Yes BT, you are correct .... ALL my trumpets and Tenor Horns have right hand threads too - just like my two Getzens - nothing strange here. Turn them CCW to undo them and CW to do them up - just like the top caps, and the threads on the valve buttons.

    Just a hint - you may find it easier to undo right hand threads with your left hand. Yes, strange but true. This is something "normal" people can do well, try it.

    Many maintenance engineers are ambidexterous - for example I can use a hammer, saw, screwdriver, and toothbrush (that's the hard one) equally well with both hands - it's a LEARNED thing and like trumpeting it takes lots of practice.

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