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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Valve Oiling in the General forums; So, i've been applying my valve oil through the three holes on the bottom of the valve case for years.. ...
  1. #1
    Piano User
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    Jun 2010

    Valve Oiling

    So, i've been applying my valve oil through the three holes on the bottom of the valve case for years..
    No damage whatsoever (that I know of), why does everyone prefer unscrewing the casing or whatever its called and applying the oil that way? Just curious!

  2. #2
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    Aug 2009
    Jackson NC

    Re: Valve Oiling

    99.9% of us unscrew the valve top caps and raise the valve partially to oil as also allows us inspection of the valve condition as will thwart more expensive repair later. Too, from time to time we thoroughly clean our valves and the valve casing. Hopefully, if you haven't opened your valves for some time, in your climate you can without severe damage to your instrument. If you can't open them with your fingers ... have a technician do it. Now I'm curious. Who taught you to oil your valves the way you do?
    I'd guess your trousers or skirt (since I can't ascertain your gender) is stained with oil.

  3. #3
    Utimate User tedh1951's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    The Wide Brown Land

    Re: Valve Oiling

    Quote Originally Posted by AKtrumpet View Post
    So, i've been applying my valve oil through the three holes on the bottom of the valve case for years..
    No damage whatsoever (that I know of), why does everyone prefer unscrewing the casing or whatever its called and applying the oil that way? Just curious!
    Well, from an engineering perspective, I would expect the metallic 'fines' (fine metal swarf) to wash to the bottom of the valve set - gravity and a well lubricated valves would both play a part. These 'fines' will settle in the lower caps - just about where you introduce your new oil, and I would expect also provide the very real opportunity to wash gunge back onto your valves. You make no reference to how often you wash your instrument so it's difficult to assess how much metal lies in the bottom of your trumpet - but there will be 'some'. Between washes I wipe the valves before they are re-oiled and then wipe out the inside of the bottom caps.
    Last edited by tedh1951; 06-11-2010 at 12:29 AM.

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  4. #4
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    Re: Valve Oiling

    On another point relative to this discussion; I have had to free up many upper and lower valve caps for customers who have been remiss about proper valve lubrication and on most of the trumpets and cornets that I have 'acquired' over the years as well. Unless the valve caps, both upper and lower, are periodically removed while cleaning and oiling the valves those caps will become almost welded to the casings. The threads on the casings absolutely need a small drop of oil to keep them free. I have encountered far too many horns that have had ham fisted plier usage, resulting in scarred up valve casings. All of the mentions from above also apply.

    Last edited by oldlou; 06-10-2010 at 08:37 AM.
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  5. #5
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Re: Valve Oiling

    Oiling the valve has two functions, remove the grunge and protect the valve by keeping the metal parts from directly touching each other. Contaminents can only be removed by CLEANING. Being lucky for years is only that. The only way to protect the valve is to make sure it is completely covered with oil.

    When you remove the valve, you also get a picture about how much wear they have. Normally lapped valved are slightly dull in appearance. As they wear, they get shiny. More shiny, more wear. That wear pattern also tells you if you are pushing the valve down straight or not.
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  6. #6
    Forte User larry tscharner's Avatar
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    Re: Valve Oiling

    Also.. I always oil my valves till at least one drop falls off of the bottom that helps wash away fines that are on the valve piston. Oiling up from the bottom as you described surely cant be effective for the whole valve. Please take the extra time to do it right, your instrument deserves the care that will reward you with extended life and joy. Best wishes.
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  7. #7
    Fortissimo User SteveRicks's Avatar
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    Re: Valve Oiling

    There are lots of techniques and finding an agreement on the right one is like getting everyone to agree on the "best" horn. I've had pros tell me to pull the first and second slide and oil through there. Others say remove the valve. Some say partially remove the valve. Some say twist putting it back in, others say don't. Some say remove, wipe, and oil. However, TedH1951 comment about washing metal particles back over the valve by oiling from the bottom does make a lot of sense.

    As long as you are getting oil to cover the valve surface -and not reintroducing metal particles, I would imagine you are oiling just fine.
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