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Vintage Trumpets / Cornets Discuss Vintage Horns with Stuck Slides in the Equipment forums; I recently started a small collection of cornets (mostly). My two oldest are an A. Hileron from the 1890's and ...
  1. #1
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    Dec 2011

    Vintage Horns with Stuck Slides

    I recently started a small collection of cornets (mostly). My two oldest are an A. Hileron from the 1890's and a Lyon & Healy (Own Make) from about 1903. Both have stuck slides. Should I try to get these loosened or should I leave well enough alone? I play each one a little - maybe twice a month. I worry that if I try to get the slides moving, I might end up with a damaged horn. I welcome your input.

    Full horn list:
    Conn Peck Horn (Pan American, 1927?)
    DEG Flugelhorn (Signature, late 1960's?)
    A. Hileron Cornet (late 1890's)
    King Cleveland Cornet (602, late 1970's)
    King Silver Flair Trumpet (Pre UMI, 1971)
    Lyon & Healy Cornet (1903)
    Martin Imperial Cornet (Official Music Man Model, 1962)
    Martin Committee Cornet (Deluxe, 1960)
    Mirage Pocket Trumpet (1980's?)
    Olds Mellophone (marching French Horn, 1978)
    Olds Ambassador Trumpet (1956)
    Olds Ambassador Cornet (LA, 1949)
    Olds Ambassador Cornet (Fullerton, 1956)
    Olds Ambassador Cornet (Fullerton, 1967)
    Olds Special Cornet (LA, 1948)
    Selmer Melody Maker Cornet (1957?)

  2. #2
    Forte User Chuck Cox's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    Cary NC

    Re: Vintage Horns with Stuck Slides

    I would spray with PB Blaster or any rust remover and allow to soak for hours to days really. Test to see if the slides are free at all. If not, reapply the rust remover on the outside point and straight into the tubing ( leadpipe or thru valve casings with valves removed ). Don't force anything. Use about 10 lbs of pressure to pull the slides. It's a pain and requires patience, but it's worth it to have a fully functional horn. You can always take it to a shop and leave it for a week or so for them to do it.
    Chuck Cox
    1949 Martin Committee Deluxe
    Schilke 13a4a ( 80% )
    Bach 7C ( 15% )
    Bach 5V ( 5% )

  3. #3
    Utimate User Dale Proctor's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Heart of Dixie

    Re: Vintage Horns with Stuck Slides

    Yeah, don't force anything. After soaking the joint with something (Kroil is really good, too), you can loop a strong cloth through the slide and give it a sharp, short jerk or two. Don't jerk too hard, or you'll either pull the slide apart, or sling it across the room if it comes free. If this doesn't work and it is really stuck, take it to a shop.
    Olde Towne Brass

    Brass Band of Huntsville

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

  4. #4
    Pianissimo User
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    Apr 2010
    Edwardsville, IL

    Re: Vintage Horns with Stuck Slides

    I have found that dirt and grime on the inside of the slide can make them stick. Be sure and brush out the inside of the tubing, if you can, before you pull. You have to be really careful on old horns when you pull. You can break the braces if you pull too hard.

  5. #5
    Forte User Silversorcerer's Avatar
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    Jun 2010

    Re: Vintage Horns with Stuck Slides

    If you haven't cleaned the horns clean them in hot soapy water and let them soak. Rinse them with hot water as well. If the horns are lacquered do not use water that is boiling. I have had several stuck slides loosen up after a hot bath like this. Also play the horns. Sometimes stuck things loosen up after being vibrated. Given the age of these, you don't want to break anything. If they are still stuck, just play with them stuck or take them to a professional repair person. Getting the slides unstuck is relatively inexpensive compared to solder work.

  6. #6
    Pianissimo User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Weyburn, Sk., Canada

    Re: Vintage Horns with Stuck Slides

    My favorite cheap trick is just to run hot tap water over the outside of the slide for about 30 seconds and it seems to break em loose every time.

  7. #7
    Piano User hhsTrumpet's Avatar
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    Dec 2011

    Re: Vintage Horns with Stuck Slides

    You can try heating it up a little with a warm wet towel. That would slightly make the outer part of the slide expand, and it might be easier to pull out.
    If it doesn't work, go to a repair shop.

  8. #8
    Utimate User tobylou8's Avatar
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    Dec 2008

    Re: Vintage Horns with Stuck Slides

    I did all of the above to no avail on a newer horn. Be prepared to spend about $30 or less each for removal. Horns that old , I would take to a tech. Cheaper than a repair>
    Knowledge is freedom, and ignorance is slavery - Miles Davis

    The difference between a beginner and pro mouthpiece is practice - tobylou8

    Nobody has learned how to play the trumpet. It's endless. - Maynard Ferguson

    Don't be afraid to try something different. The Ark was built by an amateur and the Titanic was built by a group of experienced engineers.

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

  9. #9
    Utimate User coolerdave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    San Pedro

    Re: Vintage Horns with Stuck Slides

    PB Blaster is the best...but the fumes from it are really bad...
    You spray it ...if you can inside that helps (but you won't be able to play it until you clean out the horn)
    Use a rawhide mallet ( if you try anything made of metal it will ruin your horn) and light LIGHTLY tap
    heat it carefully with a heat gun .. and I mean carefully or you will burn the lacquer and melt the solder joints. A heat gun can literally desolder your horn.
    tap again
    I have used thick rope to tug at it but you have to be careful and hold the pipe so their isn't any stress put on the braces.
    Shops have a piece that is molded to the shape of the pipe. They put it in the middle and tap on it to knock the slide out. If it isn't mild to the shape of the side you will put a nice dent in the slide.
    This can take a few weeks if the slides are really stuck .. Yamahas hold the record in my house 10 days for the slides to free up. Doing all this everyday.
    Honestly it's only $30 to free up a few slides. So my suggestion is to take it to the shop.
    If you can sound Taps please take a few minutes and check out this site.
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  10. #10
    Mezzo Piano User entrancing1's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Buffalo, NY

    Re: Vintage Horns with Stuck Slides

    Take it to a tech. the Lyon and Healy is a really nice horn. Scroll down on this web page Completed Projects to find an example of a restored "own make" they say it was quite a player when completed, My husband has one that plays so nice we are having it fully restored including the gold plating where it has worn.
    Sturmbill, tobylou8 and retro23 like this.
    French Horns:Yamaha 668 ND, King Eroica and 1159(wall hanger)
    Kanstul 920 Picc
    Olds Super Recording trumpet and Cornet
    Olds Super Trumpet and Cornet
    Olds Recording Trumpet and Cornet
    Olds Flugelhorn
    Buescher 400 Trumpet and Cornet ,Model 9, 10-22 '26 Buescher Flugel
    King Liberty Trumpet, Master Model Cornet
    Conn 40A, 40B, 80A
    Ambassador C trumpet conversion

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