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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Fixing up old horn in the General forums; Hi... not sure if this is the right place to post this, but here goes. I found an old trumpet ...
  1. #1
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    Jun 2013

    Question Fixing up old horn

    Hi... not sure if this is the right place to post this, but here goes. I found an old trumpet in a thrift store, and was hoping to try and make it playable again. I looked up the serial number, and I guess it's from the 1970's, and also looks like it hasn't been played since then. It should be noted that I know very little about trumpets, and am just thrill seeking with this project. I surveyed it, and toyed around, and found that the keys would not budge, and there is some evidence that it could have been in some sort of basement flood, and not dried immediately, but there doesn't seem to be much rust, and I what I see could potentially just be some chipping. After looking online, it seemed the thing to get the keys to budge (and disinfect it) was soaking in a vinegar/water solution, so I did. After a few hours, it was certainly cleaner, but the keys were just as stuck as before. I have tried removing them from the casing, but to no avail; these keys do not want to leave. I searched around the interwebs, and found this forum, and now am looking for potential help. Might anyone have some information on this subject?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Moderator Utimate User Vulgano Brother's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Parts Unknown

    Re: Fixing up old horn

    Welcome to TM, Chricket! If you aren't a trumpet player (which I suspect because you call the valves keys) your best bet is to fork out the money for a tech to loosen the frozen parts. Look over their shoulder and learn the technique. There is a certain amount of "feel" involved, and if you don't know how a well working trumpet feels, then you really can't fix it up properly.

    Have fun!
    VetPsychWars and tobylou8 like this.
    "A tool good enough to be so used and not too good"
    C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength

  3. #3
    Utimate User tobylou8's Avatar
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    Dec 2008

    Re: Fixing up old horn

    What brand of trumpet is it? Some horns are worth the effort and others belong on the wall at Cracker Barrel. Oh,
    entrancing1 likes this.
    Knowledge is freedom, and ignorance is slavery - Miles Davis

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    By the inch it's a cinch, by the yard, it's hard!

  4. #4
    Utimate User Dale Proctor's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Heart of Dixie

    Re: Fixing up old horn

    Turn it upside-down and squirt some penetrating oil into the holes in the bottom valve caps. Leave it upside down overnight to let the oil try to work its way down the valves. If they are still stuck after that, it's best to take it to a music store to see if the tech there can do anything with it. They can also tell you if it's worth spending the money on to get it playable.
    tobylou8 likes this.
    Olde Towne Brass

    Brass Band of Huntsville

    Trumpet: 1976 Bach Stradivarius ML 43, Curry 3C.
    Cornet: 1993 Bach Stradivarius L 184G, Curry 3BBC.

  5. #5
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    May 2009
    Spokane, WA USA

    Re: Fixing up old horn

    Penetrant, heat, and tapping are the main tools. But! The materials are lightweight and soft, and experience is what keeps you from applying too much heat or force and ruining something. Best if you consulted a professional, they'll tell you whether it's a cost-effective proposition. If they (as has happened to me) give it a thumbs down then you can take it home and go to town on it, knowing that you won't regret it no matter what happens. Be patient! I would use a hardwood stick (no sharp corners, maybe a dowel) about thumb-thick and perhaps about 8" long, held between finger and thumb, and start tapping on the valve to try to drive it in. Remove the button first. Tapping, not hammering! You want to get the valve caps off, top and bottom, tapping on them with the stick can get them loose. Use lots of penetrant, and time. Try a little each day. It will probably come loose, and you'll get a lot of satisfaction bringing it back from the dead. I trust you didn't pay much for this, I've gotten better trumpets than yours sounds like for $20 at the thrift store.

    If the valves are stuck due to being dropped, thus deforming the valve casings, it'll never loosen up. This was the case with my $20 Ambassador trumpet, and the $20 Getzen cornet. In the case of the Getzen $80 at the shop and it was good as new. I fixed the Ambassador myself, first by making it worse, then by renaming it "bugle".
    tobylou8, mgcoleman and tjcombo like this.

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