Stuck Bottom Valve Caps

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

  1. SeniorSax

    SeniorSax New Friend

    Feb 11, 2009
    Sorry guys, but the old WD-40/lubricant is not working. I used a pen light to look into the valve tubes and there was a build up of corrossion/gunk on the bottom valve caps. The WD-40 did break up the corrossion inside the tube but failed to loosen the caps. I used enough WD so that I had to wipe off the excess from the horn. I also let it set for 30 minutes....three times. I can't get a good hand grip, even with help from the rubber jar openers, the threads are too fine and the caps to too small. What I need is some leverage to twist off the caps, and that calls for some gripping tools. The only thing I have in the house is automotive and plumbing grips which may be overkill when it comes to a musical instrument. I guess I'll take it to the shop this evening and let the pros handle it.

    Still plays great without the maintenance, no dents, valves work fine, it only needed polishing. I don't know how long the trumpet may have been in "storage". I purchased the horn through E-Bay, and the description said it belonged to an old pro in the Pheonix area that passed away. The seller sold the horn for the widow, so I only assume a pro took care of the instrument.
  2. vntgbrslvr

    vntgbrslvr Piano User

    Oct 10, 2008
    Waukesha, Wisconsin
    Hi DS......

    Repair isn't for the faint of heart ;)

    It's why I never work on anything I can't afford to replace.......
  3. SeniorSax

    SeniorSax New Friend

    Feb 11, 2009
    What a simple tap with a rubber mallet can do!

    All is fixed, though a bit dirty. I need to clean the threads to make sure the caps don't get stuck again. If you haven't cleaned your horn in while, please do so, it can save you some grief.......:thumbsup:

    Ruben S.
  4. daniel starz

    daniel starz Piano User

    Jan 11, 2009
    wasilla alaska
    my last three horns came that way , after i got them i could see they had been stored a while .
    maybe i will try the mallet tap next time , :play:
  5. vntgbrslvr

    vntgbrslvr Piano User

    Oct 10, 2008
    Waukesha, Wisconsin
    It is amazing how well it works...Never had it fail for me yet.

    Glad you got it to work for you Sr. Sax.
  6. borge705

    borge705 Pianissimo User

    Dec 20, 2008
    This is interesting.... possibly the same reason that shift wrenches should be used with the adjustable inner side "pushing" and the outer side "pulling". Your thumb operates like the adjustable part the wrench, while your second finger "drags" from the outside. Does this make sense? ;-) Just how I picture it.
  7. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

    Jan 26, 2009
    Northern California
    For the next time, there are a couple of penetrating lubricants that may work better than WD-40, etc. - Kroil (try an auto parts shop) and SuperSlick (I've only found it by mail order). Ferree's sells one called Corrosion Cracker they tout highly; I haven't tried it yet. There used to be a plier with a sort of C-shaped jaw and a leather lining, especially for things like valve caps, but I haven't run across one lately.
  8. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    I think you have it.

    Although from an maintenance engineer's perspective I have to ask why you have adjustable "spanners" in your toolkit - if you don't have the right tool for the job damage is likely to occur - and it may lead to blood-letting. As an apprentice, I was not allowed to bring a "shifter" into the hangar - certainly nowhere near airplanes.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2010
  9. dwp63

    dwp63 Pianissimo User

    Jan 7, 2009
    I think the secret to getting my caps loose was the few light taps with the deadblow hammer. I am a furniture maker and have several sizes by weight of these hammers. I use them when gluing-up boards to even the joints while clamping. They do not mar the surface of the wood when hitting it. They have a rubber head filled with small pellets.
  10. harryharris

    harryharris New Friend

    Dec 4, 2008
    south wales uk
    hi i repair lots of brass instruments you dont need any lub to free them if you tap the cap gently all the way around with a small hide hammer it will loosen the corrosion then you will be able to unscrew with your fingers, when replacing use a little vaseline on the threads, job done.

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