Valve venting...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ShaneChalke, May 7, 2014.

  1. ShaneChalke

    ShaneChalke Pianissimo User

    Dec 11, 2008
    Banner Elk, NC
    So, I've been playing a Marcinkiewicz Rembrandt for jazz gigs for the last 2 years or so. I bought the horn new, and the 3rd valve has always dragged a slight bit. Not enough to send the horn back, but just enough to be annoying at times. I thought the valves would loosen up over time, and they have a wee bit, but the 3rd valve still bothers me. However, I was reading another thread about sticky valves, and someone mentioned that one of the valve vents could be clogged. I've been playing the horn for 46 years, and didn't even know valves had vents! So cleaning my horn tonight I blow into the bottom of each valve. To my surprise, the venting of valves 1 and 2 is quite open, but there is a lot more resistance in the venting of valve 3. Could this be my issue? If so, what do I do about this?
  2. musicalmason

    musicalmason Forte User

    Dec 14, 2003
    Could be. Time for a tech.
  3. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    This is when a little knowledge, and the internet, can be dangerous. Valves are hollow because that is how it is most practical to make them. "Venting" is the process of drilling a hole into the side of the valve at the point which is adjacent to the entry to the valve slide when the valve is in the up position. "Venting" allows the movement of the slide without creating a vacuum.

    Whilst blocking the hole in the bottom cap with your thumb, work the valve up and down. The action of the valve will not change. If it does, you need to claim a new valve from the maker.

    Valve problems are caused by Dirt, Damage, or Distortion. Have someone skilled in the art check your instrument thoroughly, but please do not confuse them with your guesstimated theories.

    Here is an extract from one of my blogs concerning this:
    My adult student was reading about Paris in 1830, and about how cholera arrived there. He called one of his daughters, a teaching surgeon at a highly regarded medical school, and asked her if she had ever seen a case of cholera. She said not, but that there had been a very interesting situation just recently -

    A colleague arrived at work one day with a large red rash on her arm. She consulted one of the hospital’s experts who suspected a tick bite (Lyme disease) and treated it with appropriate antibiotics. Several days later, with the the rash persisting, she was given another antibiotic. Still no change.

    My student’s daughter found out about this, looked at the rash, and declared, “I shall phone my sister, who is a farmer – she will tell you how to get rid of the rash”. The surgeon followed the protocol set out by the farmer. That is how the rash from poison ivy was treated and the symptoms relieved
  4. Bugle Bandito

    Bugle Bandito Pianissimo User

    Apr 1, 2014
    Las Cruces, NM
    !) Try to soak it in warm water mixed with a little detergent for a while and blow it out with low pressure air, maybe canned air for blowing off computers and such. Hope something sludgy comes out and that it's not something defective in the metal workings of the valve. Don't use highly compressed air. The valves are really durable but at the same time delicate. The membranes between the passages are like the thickness of a soda can. Might need to treat it a couple of times.
    2) Try a can of brake cleaner. Stick the little nozzle in the bottom of the valve and fire away. Watch your eyes, stuff burns, just ask me, lol. Brake cleaner is designed to be easy on rubber and adhesives that bond brake pads so there's nothing in that metal valve that you're gonna hurt. Most of them dry to a whitish film, (poison?) so you'll want to wash it all out real good, Should be easy with all the goo blasted out, right?
    Now, Shane, forgive me for hijacking your thread. Help! I have a similar problem. I need a 1st valve for my ML1 Blessing. I got it with a valve stuck. Some idiot drove a screwdriiver up from the bottom all the way thru the second tube. Well I got'er out and actually layered silver solder in 4 holes and patched it. Miraculously, I didn't fill the thru vent with solder. Well, I polished and lapped the valve, put it back in, and it worked great. In spite of the extra 1/2 pound of solder, it's just as fast as the other 2. Horn survived without a problem and sounds good. Long story short, I can't sleep nights untill I get another valve. So, If anyone has one cheap, please let me know so I can get some rest, lol.
    Now you can have your thread back Shane, hope I helped your problem. Ed
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Most of the time I am surprised by ht e lack of knowledge on how to oil the valves. Once we have carefully cleaned the valve and casings, we need to wait until the valve is BONE DRY. If we oil when damp, the oil floats on top of the moisture - almost like no oil at all!

    Once the horn is properly oiled and back together, push all of the valves from the top with your index finger - as straight down as possible. If there is no serious resistance left, hold the trumpet like when you play and try again - use the tips of your finger on the right hand. If there is "more" resistance, then you need a good teacher to check your grip. Our fingers do not move straight up and down and the tighter the valves, the more chance that due to pushing at a "severe angle" with your ring finger will result in "resistance". If you are playing with your knuckles instead of the tips, that can also cause this. It is geometry.

    Because the bottom valve caps have a hole, there is no performance increase with "venting".
  6. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Air does pass through the inside of the piston body when the valve is depressed. It may be somewhat "venting" the area above the piston, where the spring is (on most trumpets). I know this is happening, because I've had trumpets that made a whistling noise when a valve was depressed quickly. It was cured by either cleaning out the interior of the valve body, or in one case, slightly enlarging the hole in the bottom of the piston.
  7. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Dale, you make a point. Sometimes, I almost swear an instrument has been immersed in muck (and that's a nice way to put it) for a long period with what is vacuumed and flushed from inside a valve.
  8. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    Compressed air is fine. I have my compressor in my shop set to about 80psi. I have cleaned over 10,000 instruments in the last 5 years and have never had a compressed air related issue.
  9. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    That's fine, but you are one who is skilled in the art. A person unused to such air pressure can get themselves into all sorts of pickles. I also have compressed air, but recently have bought a high volume warm air blower for drying instruments after cleaning. I have had enormous waves in my wash tank! And hand towels and such flying everywhere!
  10. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Nothing incorrect in this statement. In fact, I routinely work with systems up to, and sometimes exceeding, 10,000 psi.

    However, (donning my process safety hat) the untrained must always be warned that the human body may be compromised surprisingly easily by pressures as low as 5 psi. I have the literature. It is not to be viewed by persons of weak constitution.

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