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Trumpet Discussion Discuss intermittent valve drag in the General forums; Can anyone name all the things that cause INTERMITTENT valve drag? ................crow...
  1. #1
    Mezzo Piano User
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    intermittent valve drag

    Can anyone name all the things that cause INTERMITTENT valve drag? ................crow

  2. #2
    Piano User
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    chino valley arizona usa

    Re: intermittent valve drag

    Not using Break-Free CLP? Bubble gum in valves?
    Conn Pan Am made in 1950 silver + Bach 7C
    King American Standard cornet made in 1940 + Olds 3C
    Striving for a Touchy Tone, rather than obnoquious

  3. #3
    lmf is offline
    Forte User
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Indiana USA

    Re: intermittent valve drag


    When I don't play using the tips of my fingers, I get intermittent valve drag.

    Best wishes,


  4. #4
    New Friend Jimba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Re: intermittent valve drag

    I just got a new set of brush's from Dillon music, they are the H.W. Brass-Saver set, they have a fine set of brisles. well, right after I lubed and assembled the horn, my valves were hanging up. I have never had a problem with the valves before. so after a couple days of this, I took it back apart, and re-cleaned using my old brush's, re-lubed, assembled, and no problems at all. so I think what was going on is the new brush's were shedding some very fine bristles. not getting them rinsed out, they would get in the valve casing, and cause them to hang up a bit.

  5. #5
    Pianissimo User
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Re: intermittent valve drag

    I can't name everything, but here are a couple that have affected me. One already mentioned, push the valves straight down. A slight sideways movement may cause a drag.

    I had a little trouble a while back with my third valve. A food particle or something got in there and kind of glazed onto the side of the cylinder. I tried scraping it off with a wood toothpick. No go. Finally I used a knife and carefully scraped it (not recommended). I actually scraped it with out the knife blade contacting the metal surface of the cylinder. It worked.

    Also the plastic or delrin valve guide (that locks the valve in place and keeps it from rotating) can also bind a little. Oiling this has been an occasional fix for me as well.

    After 4 weeks of everyday playing my valves still feel pretty good. But when I wash the horn as usual every month, I am always surprised how much better my valves work and feel.

    And I have read rowuks comment and it is true. Make sure the cylinders are bone dry before oiling and reassembling.

  6. #6
    Fortissimo User MFfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Kalamazoo, Michigan

    Re: intermittent valve drag

    I agree with all the comments made so far, except for the bubble gum I tried to play somonelse's old Selmer K mod last year, for nostalgia's sake, and the valves tended to hang up. The owner said his own stroke over the years had grooved in and others not stroking the same way would cause the difference in piston action. I guess if your pistons are a bit loose that could account for some hang ups. When I got my old Holton Collegiate, the first piston hung up towards the top of the upstroke quite often.
    I consulted with OLDLOU and he noticed that there was some damage to the bottom edge of the piston, like someone had dropped it at some time. Said to file the edges there, only, with fine sandpaper. I used 2000 auto type , and after a couple of sessions doing that, have had no hang ups at all. As has been mentioned, cleanliness of the casing interior is important as microscopic stuff can do more harm out of proportion to their size.

    Alignment and shaft/felts issues can also do that as I found out when replacing my 8-10 pistons with 2-20's of different button shaft lengths, etc., finally pretty well solved.
    Dave Rafferty
    Spartan for Life
    ???? Barrington trumpet
    1968 Besson 2-20 trumpet
    1960's B & H Embassy trumpet
    1967 Conn Connquest cornet
    ???? Devillier (stencil) Trumpet German?
    ???? Besson 609
    1957 Besson 8-10 Trumpet
    Portage Senior Center Dance Band
    Kalamazoo Checkers Swing Band

  7. #7
    Mezzo Piano User
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Re: intermittent valve drag

    Thanks to all the adult minds that answered this thread so far. I keep my horns cleaned regularly, and have followed many of the previous suggestions for this problem. I'm the guy that thought I had it solved with and alchohol bath for the valves.....not so. I was wondering if the springs have anything to do with it? I like to find appropriate springs that give me the fastest/lightest feel, maybe too light? I can't imagine getting the casings and valves any cleaner than I already do, but I'm going to check it all again. If there are any more "mature" comments about this problem please let them flow. ..................thanks, crow

  8. #8
    Forte User
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Re: intermittent valve drag

    my wife is a dog lover [we have 5 dogs] and every once in a while I will have a valve lock up tight, when I take the valve out there is usually a dog hair there. I agree with the wear pattern thought, over the years I have bought many pro level used horns and would experience the occasional hang up and it was due to the way I pushed the valve down. I tend to push at a slight angle towards my left and when I would push staight down the problem would disapear. Dave
    formerly known as old geezer Dave
    Chicago Benge 33XX
    Blessing 1580 [ Powell modified ]
    Getzen 800s ml Cornet P02819
    Yam. 231 Fl. 15383
    King Master Cornet 295628
    assorted other horns

  9. #9
    Mezzo Piano User
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Re: intermittent valve drag

    Can you tell me more about "8-10 and 2-20 pistons"? Can someone actually change pistons to get shorter button strokes? If so, where do you find them? All my horns are "vintage" horns, can I find those kind of pistons for them? And do you think new pads can really change the up and down stroke? ...............crow

  10. #10
    Piano User bilboinsa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    San Antonio, TX

    Re: intermittent valve drag


    Check your pistons for unusual wear marks. That might give you a clue.

    I have a Kanstul 1525 that I bought new. My first valve would very occasionally come back slowly. I looked at the piston and saw unusual wear only on the bell side of the valve. Mudge at kanstul advised me to feel the casing as best I could from the bottom, and see if there was any roughness to the valve openings. He felt that the most abrasive material I should use, if I found something, was a chamois. I did not know that chamois could do anything except dry off a 1973 Olds Cutlass. But I digress...

    I did not find anything to account for the wear pattern, and I am sending my flug to Kanstul for their "exam and advise".
    Doug Walsdorf
    Schilke B2
    Kanstul 1525
    1927 Conn 22B New York Symphony
    "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort."

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