Twist your Valves?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by gasp1974, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. gasp1974

    gasp1974 Piano User

    Jan 27, 2009
    Oslo, Norway
    I`ve always twisted the valves when oiling in, when I a few weeks back borrowed a Schilke X3, I was told not to do that and that according to Schilke`s orders.
    Is this a bad thing to do on any trumpets or what do you do?
    Many years ago I was told to twist the valves in order to oil it better, this was my younger years in the schoolband, is it BS or what?:shock:
  2. Bach219

    Bach219 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 25, 2008
    I think it's plain BS. What's the worse that can happen, your valves might not go in right?! Well that's what valve guides are for. Plus, you need the oil to reach the entire valve.

    Just my 2 cents!:-)
  3. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    Because of the minor amount of clearance between the piston and the casing the oil will coat the entire surface of the valve uniformly when the piston is plunged up and down after the oil is applied. The reason that Renold Schilke advises against rotating the valves after lubrication is the the inherant wear pattern either is, or will be in straight lines longitudinally from top to bottom. To then force these "race tracks' to cross one another is to make rotational wear lines and form burrs on the edges of those longitudinal wear marks. All of this is detrimental to fine control of the valves and reduces their service life. I agree with Mr. Schilke.

  4. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Something called capillary action sucks the oil into where it isn't. On your horn in school band way back when, it probably didn't matter, because tolerances were not as fine. Schilkes have very tight fitting pistons, and his advice is based on that.
  5. siarr

    siarr Pianissimo User

    May 18, 2007
    Hollywood, FL, USA
    I agree with Oldlou. Valves were made to move up and down, not to rotate within the cylinder. Your valves will work better and last longer if you don't twist them. Also, I highly recommend a synthetic valve oil, such as Ultra-pure. I've been using it on all my horns for about 2 months now, and I'm amazed at the difference.

    Good luck,
  6. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    I was told the same by Rene Spada...There should be something right, after all.
  7. Bombardino Fresno

    Bombardino Fresno New Friend

    Apr 8, 2009
    Fresno CA
    On engines, which also have pistons that go straight up and down the bores, wear lines also develop linearly. A standard practice, on rebuild, is to hone the surface of the cylinder sleeve with a rotating hone that scrapes the surface to remove the wear lines. The preferred method is to pull the rotating hone in and out of the sleeve to create overlapping scratches, called crosshatching. The purpose of the crosshatching is to hold a layer of oil next to the piston and rings during break-in so that the inevitable wear will be even. You may have noticed the similarity of the honing to the idea of twisting the valve body in when lubricating. A possible benefit is to actually crosshatch some of the small vertical scratches, and promote better sealing. Since all wear between ports contributes to air leakage, this could be a significant plus. My brass experience comes from the Euphonium, and I've played plenty of worn out horns. I'd like to see some actual testing with observations.
  8. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    The directions from Monette also say not to twist the valve. I can't imagine what it could do but, I don't twist them because, why take a chance.
  9. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Yep, I've twisted the quote a bit but, I was rather under the impression that the cross-hatching was intended to cause the rings on the piston to bed-in for better sealing - that is, wear a bit. Now the piston doesn't actually come anywhere near the cylinder walls, only the rings do that. Be careful of comparisons - oranges need to be compared with oranges - in this case we seem to be comparing valencias with navels, similar but different.

    As to my trumpets, I ENSURE that the valves and valve casings are clean, then I lubricate and assemble. Because everything is clean, scratches should NOT occur because no "abrasive" exists. I will continue to quietly and gently rotate my valves to spread the oil around the casing - but it is by choice with full knowledge that some of you think that this will cause nasty wear patterns (I don't think such wear is likely however when a layer of oil exists between the surfaces and there is no metal to metal contact - just a thought). :dontknow:
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I disagree with Schilke, Spada and Monette (and anyone else who says not to twist). The valves are made out of a fairly durable metal that does not disintegrate when pushing the valve up and down. So if I for instance, can push my properly oiled valves up and down 2000 times without major wear, what significance does one or 2 rotations have?

    The caveat is that only properly oiled valves are protected. The valve HAS to come out of the casing, be cleaned, the casing also needs to be cleaned and dried and then oil applied to the metal. Once the protective coat of oil is on the valves, it makes no difference.

    I believe the recommendation not to twist is based on the experience that brass players are lazy and do not usually CLEAN the valves. They just oil on top of the grunge. Twisting dirty valves could possibly score them horizontally - still only an issue on very tight valves. If those manufacturers were really concerned about that type of wear, they would use different materials - like Getzen does. Then the problem is non-existant even when lazy!

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