I am surprised that no one has mentioned that an oil film seperates the valve piston from the casing, thus, allowing free, frictionless and wear resistant movement.
The comment about internal combustion engines running for extended periods at high speeds and temperatures is of little consequence here, as the oil in an internal combustion engine is operating at high hydraulic pressure and constant flow. If that pressure fails due to a drastic leakage or mechanical failure of the pump, or radically low oil level in the sump, the engine will very soon fail because the pressurised oil barrier has broken down and the internal engine parts are allowed to come into physical contact with other moving parts. A trumpet operates on a residual oil film basis. This makes the work of the chosen oil ever more important, as water contamination and solvent evaporization delete the volume and film strength of the chosen oil. If a trumpets valves are allowed to starve for adequate amounts of oil at any time, the metallic moving parts come into intimate contact which will always cause wear to a greater or lesser degree, depending upon the alloy used in the manufacture of the valve engine. If your valves have ever become sluggish due to insufficient oil you have caused un needed wear in your valve cluster.
CLEAN AND OIL YOUR VALVES REGULARLY AND OFTEN!!!!!
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When I was young and irresponsible, I used to take my Bach into the bathroom, remove the valves one at a time and run them under cold water. Then I'd put them back in. I rarely used valve oil.
Today, I remove the valves, wipe them clean with a microfiber cloth, swab the valve bores clean, oil the valves liberally, spin them once or twice in the bore, then gently tighten them up. I do this at least every other time I play.
It's interesting, though, that the valves in my Bach are smooth and quick, with lots of "pop" - even after having been lubricated for several years primarily with tap water.
I have a 1-year-old Taylor flugelhorn with Bauerfiend valves. The valves are still breaking in!
If you don't wipe off don't you find a build up on the valves and casing?
I like what tedh1951 said. If it's true then the black could be an indicator that the metal wear on the valves is showing in the "blackness". This has made me want to shoot a drop of oil everytime I play, or sooner than I usually do. Maybe every two times that I play. I do car oil changes religeously every 3K miles need it or not. Why not my precious horns?! This thread may have paid off big time for me, and I hope others.
About every third day on average, I usually remove the pistons and the bottom caps. insert a cleaning rod with the cheesecloth wrapped around it (especially at the tip) and run it through each valve casing, then wipe down the valves thoroughly, oil them up, and reinsert. I find this gets rid of all the old oil and residue build up and any water moisture and doesn't bog the valve down with old oil. If I just lift the valve out 3/4, put in some oil drops, and put it back down, I find the valves (at least on my Yamaha that has tight valve clearance) tend to stick. The few extra minutes it takes to remove them and wipe down are well worth the peace of mind they won't stick at the wrong time.
Yamaha YTR6335HS - Bb
Yamaha YTR6345HS - C
Thanks for the cheescloth tip. Here's another question for everyone. Are you cleaning valves and casing thoroughly with a wipe only and not a wash, and does it make a difference to the performance of the valves?
Tough Crowd out there - since I am a newer contributor, I apologize for any breach of etiquette. I do not intend to start a frayed thread on types of oil, but it seems to me that oiling habits are somewhat related to the type (oil versus synthetic) that you are using. I enjoyed the metaphor to the comustion engine - and frequency of "oil changes" aboslutely depends on the type of lubricant that is used and the precision and quality of the engine. After reading all of these posts, I get the sense that the answer is pretty much the stock answer for many of the threads - do what works for you. I will continue to lube up profusely.
Before I had the Monette I used an old tee shirt on my Bach valves every time I oiled. They alwayse looked new and never stuck. It was a white cotton shirt and no lint ever got stuck. Who knows if I made them leak though. I can't see how. I just stopped wiping because Monette told me not to and the trumpet cost so much, why not do what he recommends.
I'm going to look for the instructions and read them again. I'm sure it said to use a lot of oil and wash frequently
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