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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Stuck Valve Cap in the General forums; I have taken on the responsibility of cleaning and preparing our schools horns for the upcoming marching band season. My ...
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    Question Stuck Valve Cap

    I have taken on the responsibility of cleaning and preparing our schools horns for the upcoming marching band season. My question is: What do I use to lossen up stuck valve caps and slides? I know to take a towel and loop it through a slide to gently remove those, but what is the best way to loosen valve caps? Can I use a penetrating oil like WD-40 or would a pair of pliers be better. I don't want to cause any damage to the horns, but I know some of them haven't seen the light of day for a few years.

    Thanks for your responces.
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    Mezzo Piano User Bach219's Avatar
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    Re: Stuck Valve Cap

    I don't think the WD-40 would hurt it, so I would try that first. But if it still is stuck, then I would try wrapping the pliers in a towel so it doesn't ruin it any further.
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    Re: Stuck Valve Cap

    While most will tell you never use the pliers, I've done it many times. As long as you don't squeeze too hard you won't damage the horn. Just be very careful.
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    Re: Stuck Valve Cap

    Use of a light rawhyde mallet is the way to properly loosen valve caps (this is how techs do it). A few light wraps on the edge of the cap where the knurling is.... toward the center of the valve on 2 or three sides usually does the trick....they should spin off by hand after doing so.

    If you're doing this for the first time practice on a beater or a student grade horn like your talking about. I'd hate to have you slip and dent anything. Covering areas not intended on being tapped by the mallet with a cloth would go a long way toward confidence until you master this technique.

    hard rubber or non marring plastic might do the same type of job....but I've only used a small rawhyde mallet since that's how I was taught to do it. The head on the mallet I use is about the size of a standard spool of thread.
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    Re: Stuck Valve Cap

    Use the wooden handle of a hammer or a drum stick if you have one.
    I trick I learned for bottom caps is to stick the drumstick down the valve casing so you push the bottom cap down instead of into the valve casing. Just don't do it too hard.

    When you pull stuck slides make sure you double loop the shoe lace so when the s lide comes popping out it doesn't end up on the floor.

    Get a tub of lanolin from the pharmacy and grease up the slides and the valve cap threads so they don't stick anymore.
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