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Trumpet maintenance



 
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Geo7084
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Joined: 16 Dec 2020
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Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:56 pm    Post subject: Trumpet maintenance Reply with quote

I've maintained my horn well and have used the same shop for it and my saxes. I recently had it deep cleaned, new corks replaced, etc. I got it home and after playing it for a minute or two I noticed the horn smelled like gasoline! I've used Al Cass Fast oil for years with no problems and I've had the same shop deep clean my horn before, no problems. The odor subsided and a few days later I noticed when pulled my valves to oil them, they had a blackish grey residue. My horn is a vintage Olds with stainless or nickel valves, not sure as I've read they were made with stainless, and other articles that say nickel. Anyway. My valves have always looked clean and now I even have black residue on my tuning slide at times. The shop offered to clean the horn again, but why in the hell would I want to take it back to the same guys who messed up my horn?? Anyone ever had that happen?? Any advice?? Was it the valve oil they put on it??? I even had a bottle of Al Cass in my case when I took it in. I'm torqued off and will take it to another shop when I have a chance.
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HaveTrumpetWillTravel
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2021 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd give them the chance to make it right. At the least, they might be able to tell you what happened (mixed up two bottles, the sax guy did the cleaning wrong, etc.).

I had a trumpet I got that someone had used WD-40 on and it took a long time to get it totally clean. A couple of baths plus frequent oil changes helped. I'd wipe your valves and slides regularly and reapply oil/grease. It should be back to normal soon.
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Geo7084
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2021 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice. You're right. I should go back and at least see what they'll say and what they have to offer to remedy the situation. I've been wiping the vales and casing, but probably a good wash or two is in order. I am however curios to know what the heck they put on the valves. They are a reputable shop. Maybe they had an apprentice or a new guy do what they thought was a simple job. Anyway...appreciate it.
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wilder
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty sure its the valve oil they used. just have them clean it again and have them use your oil. jw
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Geo7084
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They offered to clean it to my satisfaction. I purposely left a bottle of my usual valve oil in the case, but I guess I shouldn't have assumed they would use that. I am just curious as to what they used, and why?? I'm not kidding you, it smelled like high octane leaded gasoline...Stunk up the entire room!
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HaveTrumpetWillTravel
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the repair pros might answer, but I know different oils (including gasoline) are sometimes used in cleaning. I could see different scenarios where they used a penetrating oil or other oil but then didn't clean thoroughly (or used the wrong rag, etc.). It is annoying. Scents seems like one of the hardest things to get out of a trumpet and they can really set in on a case. I was successful at getting the wd-40 smell out of my trumpet but the case still has an odor. Wishing you better luck...
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JWG
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2021 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Black residue on valves and collecting in bottom valve caps usually occurs due to metal dust and oil mixture (e.g., monel, brass, nickel, steel plus oil). That shop might have used a harsh chemical solvent and rougher-than-normal cloth to clean the valve pistons themselves and/or the cylinder walls of the casing, causing microscopic scratches on those surfaces.

Strong "gasoline" odors could come from a number of chemicals: Toulene and Acetone get commonly used as solvents to clean metals.

Smells that evaporate usually signal use of a petroleum solvent. If the smells persist (like WD-40), that often signals presence of plant or animal-derived substances that do not evaporate as quickly as petroleum-only products.

Check your valves, do they look "too pristine"? Perhaps the technician thought that your horn had oil residue build-up and used a solvent plus a rough cloth to dissolve and clean it.

Rather than using semi-synthetic, blended, or conventional lubrication products, I would suggest using full synthetic lubrication products (e.g., I use the "Ultra-Pure" family of products) to reduce residue build-up and nearly eliminate the need for chemical cleaning. I have played my horns for decades without any chemical cleaning.

Instead, I do the following: (1) I brush my teeth and rinse my mouth before playing (reduces bacteria and corrosive chemistry); (2) I use a lead pipe swab after playing (same reason); (3) I use a foam "spit ball" occasionally to push out debris from deep inside of horn; (4) when indicated by "spit ball" cleaning, flush the horn with warm water only, then re-spit-ball multiple times with spit-ball soaked in 2-3 drops of valve oil (to coat inner brass with oil to displace water from the flush); (5) when valves feel sluggish even after oiling, I wipe the outside of pistons and inside of cylinders with a soft oil cloth wetted with valve oil; (6) approximately annually, I completely disassemble valves to clean valve guides and guide slots with a soft old tooth brush (to remove black residue that makes it up into the guide area) and wash out black debris from inside of the valves (assuming your horn has modern hollow valve pistons); and (7), when tuning/valve slides feel sluggish, I use a jewelers polishing cloth (generally rougher than oil cloth) to remove old grease residue from the raw brass part of the slides then wash and re-grease.

I hope that you find my suggestions helpful.
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Flip Oakes Wild Thing Bb and C with 1.5 TCC, XT, C, & O mouthpieces
Bach 180SL72 with 1.5B 24/24 & M/K Drawing Bronze SR Tuning Slide and third valve slide
Bach 183S (undersprung valves & straight taper pipe) with 1.5 Flip Oakes XF
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Geo7084
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My valves were pristine. I've maintained the horn well, and like you, don't play it with food debris in my mouth, keep it clean. I give it a good cleaning often and deep clean about every year and a half. First time I've ever had that problem. The valves looked shiny when I turned the horn it for the Chem clean, and two days after I got the horn back, the valves looked looked grimy. I plan to let them remedy it, and if that doesn't work I'll take my business elsewhere. I've taken all my instruments there for the last 30 years, so I hope it's a one off and not a sign that they are going downhill. Thanks for the advice!!
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