Stuck slide with Ultrasonic cleaning

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BrassBandMajor, Dec 20, 2015.

  1. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    If it is beyond a tug and it is frozen, then I always take 2 things away as a learning curve.

    1. My maintenance routine is not cutting it - I need to lift my game. Look at what I have used on the slides, and review that performance as well.
    2. The cost to get it fixed by my Tech is the cost of my laziness.

    Why would I risk damage to one of my horns? The Tech has the skills, he is worth the visit.
    Chemical Clean/ Ultrasonic/ Hammer? I don't care, he will make that decision - it is not my stress to worry about it, just invest in how to avoid it.
  2. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

    Jan 26, 2009
    Northern California
    I must be doing it wrong. I always remove all slides before doing an ultrasonic cleaning. As far as the safety of the instrument goes, I use a moderate sized unit (same basic rig as Mark Curry once posted about, except I opted for a couple of additional features). It will hold some cornets completely submerged, others and trumpets go in one end down, then the other, and slides and other parts go in the bottom of the basket. Very small parts go in a small glass jar filled with the cleaning solution, and the jar goes into the tank. My unit is neither a miniaturized junker ("jewelry cleaner", except the one of those I have hardly cleans squat) nor an industrial-sized tank (like the one Flip Oakes uses). Mine heats up in a matter of minutes, not hours. And the temperature and vibration are both controllable. The fluid fills the horn, pretty much, so it does do a decent job of cleaning the interior of slides. I clean as well as possible by conventional methods first, including the occasional vinegar soak when needed, and hold the ultrasonic use down to a minimum. For a new-to-me old horn, it's effective, and seems to be nearly as good and a lot less toxic than a chem cleaning - depending on the horn, my cleaning solution may not be anything more than warm water and a bit of Dawn, although I keep a couple of gallons of stronger stuff on hand. Once a horn has been ultrasonically cleaned, I've never found it necessary to repeat the process - just regular cleaning seems to be adequate. But as far as loosening slides with an ultrasonic cleaner? I'd give that a weak "maybe", but I'm not interested in trying it.

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