Terrible Sticky Valves

Discussion in 'Horns' started by MrV, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. MrV

    MrV New Friend

    Jan 27, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    I bought a Kanstul Herald Trumpet. Trumpet plays well...
    ...ohh but the valves please the valves.

    I use Al Cass oil and it works for a while then the CURSE RETURNS!!!!

    I've called Charles three time about the problems and he suggested to use a different oil but is no use. it only works for a while and the curse returns.

    I really want to return the trumpet 'cause I can't really rely on it while performing. But as it turns out! I can't so I'm stuck with it :(
    If they could at least offer new valves or fix the problem it would be fine. But everytime I call and tell him about the problem, he saids to use a different oil.
    Should I use Motor Oil?
    I'm serious I want this problem solved!! :x

    I've never EVER had problems with valves in my entire life. Can someone help me out here?

    I have five other trumpets that DO NOT have this problem. It ONLY HAPPENS with the Kanstul Herald trumpet.

    BTW: This is my first Kanstul
  2. Mikey

    Mikey Forte User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Ask to have the valves completely degreased, then use a thinner oil. It sounds like the tolerances on those valves are very tight. If that does not work, have them very lightly lapped.

  3. bugler16

    bugler16 Pianissimo User

    Dec 14, 2003
    Take the valves out and dip them in laquer thinner. Only dip the "monel" part into laquer thinner (up to the top of the ports). After about 3-5 secs in the laquer thinner pull them out and let them air dry then oil them with a good oil "I have always prefered Al Cass over anything else". If there is any "crud" on the valves either from manufacturing or from blowing soda and things through the horn this should get rid of it. It is a quick solution and a lot easier and cheaper than trying to get new valves or have them lapped. It may not solve the problem but it works 98% of the time for "gimp" valves.
  4. MrV

    MrV New Friend

    Jan 27, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Jack, any suggestions?
  5. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA

    How old is the horn?

    Is the problem universal or mainly isolated to one valve?


    Tom Turner
  6. MrV

    MrV New Friend

    Jan 27, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Tom Turner

    bought it right before Christmas. I had to wait for Kanstul to make it. Is that new. And the problem happens with ALL THREE valves. :(

    I bought the herald trumpet specifically for weddings, I was schedule to play on 3 weddings with the herald, since I can not rely on it I ended up loosing two of the three weddings after explaining my situation to the clients. They wanted the herald trumpet because of the royal look etc.

    ohh the valves!!!!! :evil:
  7. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 27, 2003
    Clean it thoroughly with Simple Green (not just the valves, but the whole horn), oil with Hetman #1 light weight. If that doesn't fix it then as Kanstul who you can take it to at their expense to have the valves lapped.

  8. Horn of Praise

    Horn of Praise Pianissimo User

    Nov 1, 2003
    United States
    Hi MrV,

    My Eclipse also has very close tolerance valves...it didn't like Al Cass either. But "Blue Juice" works just fine. I even had great success with standard Getzen oil. It just didn't like Al Cass.

    If you don't have access to thinner, rubbing alcohol will work also.

    All the best.
  9. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    And to add to the above, I've never had a horn that liked Al Cass. This includes a Jupiter flugel, a Kanstul-made Besson, a Bach 180ML37, a Yamaha YCR2330, nor a Getzen Eterna cornet. (I can't say about the Schilke because I never even tried Cass with it... went straight to Viper Oil for the breakin and then switched to Binak Pro).

    Al Cass just seemed to be constantly "gumming up" the valves with a yellowish varnish like coating. Even though the Besson was an "Intermediate" grade horn, the valves were (and still are) great in it now that we've "changed the oil". I even put in super light springs and it worked fine.

    Echoing the others... give the valves a real good cleaning (Simple Green), maybe wipe them down with acetone (wear rubber gloves and don't breath too much of it), then reoil with something different...I'd recommend a synthetic oil rather than the petroleum based ones. Then clean and reoil every day or two for a while.
  10. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA

    Being new (and undamaged), plus involving all three valves, rules out several factors.

    I've have very good results with Kanstul valves, including new ones, so I think the following will solve your problems. BTW, I'm going to write this very detailed to help others besides yourself who may not know why these steps are sooooo needed. That's for your patience!


    1. It is impossible to totally clean all the buffing compounds and extremely tiny contaminants out of the horn before selling. New horns need to be snaked out much more often during the first 90 days . . . not because they GOT dirty . . . but because the saliva is slowly breaking the contaminants free inside the horn and those contaminants are working their way into the valve casing area and gumming up the valves.

    2. Additionally, as all the brand new valves break in with their valve casings, and the way each player pushes down the valves, more metal is “smoothed†by that friction and becomes new contaminants too.

    Simply pulling out valves and oiling them doesn’t remove the black residue that’s causing the valves to gum up. Plus, valves break in better and last longer if you use the following regimen?

    OK . . . here goes . . .

    1. Get some lint-free cheesecloth to wipe down any build up and contaminants each time before re-oiling. This is important on tight fitting valves for a little debris can really mess things up. Keep the unused portions of cheesecloth in a sealed zip-lock bag in your case between oilings.

    2. Get some Blue Juice oil to help speed up the time to "clean" the contaminants from your horn during break-in. Blue Juice has special detergents in it that will not just oil the valves but also serve to “wash†free the contaminants better so the crud will come off on the cheesecloth.

    Simply re-oiling the new valves is not going to lessen your problem . . . for a while. Let's "speed up" the break in period and make the horn totally reliable starting TONIGHT!

    1. VALVES--Remove the valves and stand them up in an old coffee cup that’s filled will warm, soapy water high enough to cover the valves below the valve spring areas (never the felts!) and allow the soapy water to degrease the valves while you attack the horn.

    2. SLIDES--Before soaking the slides, wipe down the male-inserted parts that slide into the horn . . . As well as the male areas on the horn that the slides fit onto to remove as much lanolin or slide grease as possible. [Slide grease both lubricates the horn AND traps microscopic contaminants including metal, so you want to get as much of that crud out of the horn so it doesn’t eventually float into the valve casing area]

    Let ’em soak about 15 minutes, then snake out each area well. After snaking the horn, brush the valve casings with a nylon valve casing brush, then rinse in clean water, followed by swabbing out the valve casings extremely well with a piece of clean, soft 100% cotton. This will further remove any oily build up, especially in the critical area just below the valve in its up position.

    4. Now attack the valves! Remove them from the degreasing soapy water, CLEAN OUT THE VALVES INTERNAL HOLES with your valve brush (lots of crud comes down the leadpipe and can collect in the valve . . . ready to break free and lock up a valve at any time). Rinse everything with clean water and then use the cheesecloth, which will remove remaining oil and bits of contaminants! Place the valves on a VERY CLEAN surface.

    Before putting the valves into the horn evenly run a sparing amount of valve oil down and around the valve casings. Then oil the valves, place 'em in the horn and gently rotate them 5 or 10 degrees from their normal alignment spot (again to make sure all contaminants break free). Push the valve up and down a couple of times, then REMOVE and clean the valve again with the cheesecloth. Lightly re-oil the valves and return the valves for good.

    BOTTOM LINE . . .
    The goal is to flush all that factory buffing rouge and metal-to-metal crud from the entire horn as soon as possible so the valves don’t’ get broken in with abrasives causing valve metal scoring.

    Expect the cheesecloth to be super black each time you wipe down the valves when you OIL THE VALVES EVERY TIME YOU TAKE IT OUT TO PLAY FOR THE FIRST THREE MONTHS!

    Once the cheesecloth doesn’t show black, congratulations, your super clean horn is also properly broken in and your valves will be incredible and reliable for years to come!

    Hope this helps,


    PS: After the break in period and the cheesecloth is not black each time, you can switch to your favorite “brew†for your valves!

    Good luck and let us know if this cures your problem. I’ll bet it does!!!

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