• FAQ  • Search  • Memberlist  • Usergroups   • Register   • Profile  • Log in to check your private messages  • Log in 

Flip Oakes Wild Thing Copper Flugelhorn, water key question?


Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    trumpetherald.com Forum Index -> Cornet/Flügelhorn
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
jazzman159
New Member


Joined: 19 Nov 2009
Posts: 8
Location: Cininnati

PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2024 1:45 pm    Post subject: Flip Oakes Wild Thing Copper Flugelhorn, water key question? Reply with quote

Quick question: I had a question regarding emptying the water keys/aka "spit valves" on my flugelhorn. Seems straight forward...my Trumpet...it comes out easily by opening and blow. The Flugel, however, this does not work this way evidently even though the Flip Oakes design has 3 water keys that can be opened simultaneously with the left hand. I have to take out the MP and literally turn the horn so the bell points upwards and then the water empties out the lead pipe. I think I've seen somewhere that for a Flugel the spit valves need opened and the horn shaken to get it out. This doesn't seem to work either BTW. Just looking for some advice. Absolutely love the horn, valve pistons are perfect, sounds great, looks great, etc. Even though I've played trumpet for many years, the Flugel is a newer instrument for me.

Thanks in advance!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Halflip
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 09 Jan 2003
Posts: 1903
Location: WI

PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2024 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Send a PM to shofarguy and ask him. He has the same horn as you, and is something of a subject matter expert when it comes to Flip Oakes horns.
_________________
"He that plays the King shall be welcome . . . " (Hamlet Act II, Scene 2, Line 1416)

"He had no concept of the instrument. He was blowing into it." -- Virgil Starkwell's cello teacher in "Take the Money and Run"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JWG
Veteran Member


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 257

PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2024 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As you indicate, on a Flugelhorn, the main water key lies so far away from the mouthpiece and fitted to a part of the bell tail with 2x the cross-sectional area, that emptying the key (whether conventional, Amado, Saturn, or other) becomes challenging.

A flugelhorn's true conical bore from third valve onward means that your wind pressure loses its force every inch that it travels past third valve.

So, my suggestion: Always empty your flugelhorn after you place it on its instrument stand and either use a Hamilton trombone stand "pet sock" or make your own cotton "pet sock" for your flugelhorn stand so as to have a better seal between the flugelhorn bell and the stand.

In this way, you (1) prevent most of the air pressure you blow into the horn from escaping and (2) force most of the condensation through the water key (i.e., the place of least resistance in the system).

On any instrument with Amado valves, you must keep the instrument's interior basically pristine. So, brush your teeth before your playing session, do not drink any thing except water for hydration during your playing session, and use a lead pipe swab and a Herco Spit Ball or Blow Dry Spit Ball after your playing session.

Additionally, every time you oil your valves, put a drop of oil into your Amado valves to help dissolve debris and lubricate the Amado valve. This will keep your Amado valves working for years to come without disassembly.

One last trick with Amado valves: you can quickly clean them with a compressed air can. Just stick the red tube into the Amado valve water exit to blow out any debris that might have lodged between the moving parts of the valve.

My $0.02.
_________________
Flip Oakes Wild Thing Bb and C with 1.5 TCC, XT, C, C-O, O, & L mouthpieces
Bach 183S (undersprung valves & straight taper pipe) with 1.5 Flip Oakes XF
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Shifty
Veteran Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2013
Posts: 250
Location: Phoenix AZ

PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2024 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think JWG's observations are correct. I have an ACB flugel and find the main water key to be problematic as well. Shaking helps; rotating the horn (ala french horn) to get water out the bell is effective as well.

At home, I have a rubber ball (handball would work best but, lacking that, I'm using a fuzzy dog toy ball about the same size). Ball in bell, mouthpiece in mouth, one hand supporting the ball and one on the water key, then blow. Provides the needed resistance and makes sure the water key hole remains open as well.
_________________
Getzen Eterna 700, Eterna 800
Conn Connstellation 28A, Victor 80A, Connqueror (1903)
ACB Doubler Flugelhorn
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
1957Tim
Veteran Member


Joined: 30 Oct 2004
Posts: 192
Location: Hannibal Missouri

PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2024 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jazzman159,

I also play Flip’s Wild Thing Flugelhorn, so I totally understand your love for this fine instrument. Mine is in silverplate, but I did get to play the copper belled version once, which is ultimately why I purchased the one in silverplate when the opportunity presented itself. Both experiences were made possible by fellow TH member Shofarguy. As Halflip has already stated, Shofarguy is very knowledgeable with any Flip Oakes horn.

I experienced what you’ve described once with my flugelhorn. Flip sent me this two-minute video https://youtu.be/0dhb0akI28o?si=0Gvq3FjczuUGEki0 he made on maintaining the Amado waterkey. After watching the video, I removed and cleaned all three Amado waterkey components which had a good bit of gunk in them. After this I had no more problems. I empty the moisture as you said, by opening all 3 water keys simultaneously with the left hand. As JWG stated, keeping the interior of the horn clean is also key, so I brush and floss my teeth before playing. Let us know what you did once you get the problem corrected. Happy playing my friend.

-1957Tim
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
tptptp
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 25 Oct 2001
Posts: 1408
Location: Georgia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2024 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flip makes it look so easy! Not so if you only do this once in a blue moon.

The clip can fly away at 90 mph, never to be seen again. I've lost a few over the years. Might want to order some to have on hand. The key doesn't work very well without the clip!
Oh, and wear eye protection.
_________________
Craig Mitchell
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ML52K
Veteran Member


Joined: 06 Dec 2003
Posts: 148
Location: Adirondacks of NY

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2024 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Flip does make that look easy.

However, once a young farm boy and then an ongoing "jack of all trades," they make "snap ring" or "circlip" pliers that make that whole job so much easier! I have a set with interchangeable points for a variety of snap ring sizes. Amazon has a basic plier for $6.99.

The way they gum up I think its a cheap investment for a valuable horn.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tptptp
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 25 Oct 2001
Posts: 1408
Location: Georgia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2024 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ML52K wrote:
Yes Flip does make that look easy.

they make "snap ring" or "circlip" pliers that make that whole job so much easier! I have a set with interchangeable points for a variety of snap ring sizes. Amazon has a basic plier for $6.99.


I have a pair of those fancy pliers. They do make it easier, but I still do the job with my fingers inside a ziplock bag to protect my eyes and the drywall from the tiny flying saucer.
_________________
Craig Mitchell
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Shifty
Veteran Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2013
Posts: 250
Location: Phoenix AZ

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2024 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tptptp wrote:
ML52K wrote:
Yes Flip does make that look easy.

they make "snap ring" or "circlip" pliers that make that whole job so much easier! I have a set with interchangeable points for a variety of snap ring sizes. Amazon has a basic plier for $6.99.


I have a pair of those fancy pliers. They do make it easier, but I still do the job with my fingers inside a ziplock bag to protect my eyes and the drywall from the tiny flying saucer.

If you put a small hex screwdriver (or similar) into the hole in the disc and depress it a bit while using the pliers, you'll reduce the likelihood of flying parts to nearly zero.
_________________
Getzen Eterna 700, Eterna 800
Conn Connstellation 28A, Victor 80A, Connqueror (1903)
ACB Doubler Flugelhorn
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
etc-etc
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Posts: 6177

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2024 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tptptp wrote:
Flip makes it look so easy! Not so if you only do this once in a blue moon.

The clip can fly away at 90 mph, never to be seen again. I've lost a few over the years. Might want to order some to have on hand. The key doesn't work very well without the clip!
Oh, and wear eye protection.


The circlip WILL fly away and did so in Flip's video:


Link
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jazzman159
New Member


Joined: 19 Nov 2009
Posts: 8
Location: Cininnati

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2024 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great advice all! Awesome community. I'll try those tips, especially the ball or sock in the bell to help pressurize...never thought of that but that makes a lot of sense and make sure the valves aren't clogged. Yep, Flip makes the disassembly and assembly look simple. He's a great guy, hope he's doing well these days.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
shofarguy
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 18 Sep 2007
Posts: 7009
Location: AZ

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2024 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the same issue with my flugelhorn. I've had similar problems with every water key type on every horn that I've ever owned. It's just that, as everyone has said here, that darn key on the bell branch is a bugger! Here is what I do:

1) If the water key is plugged, it's time to clean the horn. Of the three Kanstul made flugels (1025 and WT x2) I've owned, none were finished in clear lacquer. The trumpet I currently own is. Care must be taken, if your horn has a clear finish, as spending too much time in too hot of water will fog the finish. Yes, I have first-hand knowledge of this.

2) Buy a French Horn brush snake and use that to reach all the way to the valve casings from the bell flare. I had to strip the vinyl jacket off of mine and trim the length of the bristles to get the brush to go through far enough to reach past the branch water key. Eventually, I found that a 16" long length of 3/4" PVC schedule 40 pipe was helpful to guide the snake cable and keep it from coiling up inside the bell. One can feel when the brush hits the water key. Brush back and forth through this area after soaking for awhile in soapy warm water.

3) What seems to happen is that the paraffin in some valve oils mixes with whatever moisture and particles are inside the tubing and forms a semi-hard plug over the drain hole. Warm soapy water will soften this enough for the brush to break it up. Then, flushing the horn will remove whatever is left inside.

4) Flip has a tool that reaches inside a water key drain hole and removes the burr left by the drill as the horn is being assembled. Still, there is often a slight ridge left around the inside of the drain. That attracts particles that form the plug. Yes, compressed air will blow the plug free, but there may still be sludge around the drain hole, so brush the horn first and use the blow tip as a final step before rinsing the horn. Most of the time, I don't use the compressed air, just soak, brush and rinse. I almost never need to disassemble the Amado key.
_________________
Brian A. Douglas

Flip Oakes Wild Thing Bb Trumpet in copper
Flip Oakes Wild Thing Flugelhorn in copper


There is one reason that I practice: to be ready at the downbeat when the final trumpet sounds.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jazzman159
New Member


Joined: 19 Nov 2009
Posts: 8
Location: Cininnati

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2024 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Shofarguy! Great advice. People said "you're the guy" when it comes to Flip Oakes horns so I appreciate your reply. Ordering the French Horn brush as we speak and will try that out, get some compressed air just in case.

I, too, have a Flip Oakes WT trumpet, silver plated, I bought used 10 years ago or so and Flip was very kind in sending me the valve alignment details....he's just a great guy and was sad to see the Kanstul/Wild Thing come to a production end.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Denny Schreffler
Veteran Member


Joined: 14 Apr 2005
Posts: 390
Location: Tucson

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2024 3:52 pm    Post subject: Water key, type Reply with quote

tptptp wrote:
Flip makes it look so easy! Not so if you only do this once in a blue moon.

The clip can fly away at 90 mph, never to be seen again. I've lost a few over the years. Might want to order some to have on hand. The key doesn't work very well without the clip!
Oh, and wear eye protection.


Flgls have their own water accumulation and drainage issues, but in response to the maintenance of Amado keys (including the need to strike them with a hammer and the need for certain tools to maintain them), Amado keys - original or knock-off - will stick/fail/throw parts while cleaning.

Have Amado keys replaced with Pollard water keys.
https://www.prestovalves.com/pollard-water-key

You could take a Pollard apart and clean it, on stage if necessary, with a dime and within a minute or two.

I replaced a leaking Amado (and its 3rd valve mate) with Pollards, and the horn played/sounded better — they are much heavier than Amados.

They drain faster and more completely than levers or Amados

https://www.prestovalves.com/pollard-water-key

—Denny
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Brassnose
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 07 Mar 2016
Posts: 2047
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2024 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok folks, I have followed this thread with growing amazement. I play a simple, second hand, off the shelf Kühnl & Hoyer „Couesnon style“ flugel with bottom sprung valves. I have NEVER had any issues getting water out of the horn. Open the lever, gently blow into the horn, done. Same with my previous Yamaha horn, never any issues getting water out.

Am I missing something in the discussion so far? It cannot really be difficult to get water out of a flugel, can it? Or is there something special about the Wild Thing construction that I fail to see? Or is this an issue of the Amados going dirty inside (I don’t have Amado horns)?

Interested to learn more.
_________________
2019 Martin Schmidt eXcellence
1992 Bach 43GH/43
1989 Kühnl & Hoyer Model 15 flugel
1980/2023 Custom Blessing Scholastic C 😎
1977 Conn 6B
1951 Buescher 400 Lightweight
AR Resonance, Frate, Klier
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
shofarguy
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 18 Sep 2007
Posts: 7009
Location: AZ

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2024 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brassnose wrote:
Ok folks, I have followed this thread with growing amazement. I play a simple, second hand, off the shelf Kühnl & Hoyer „Couesnon style“ flugel with bottom sprung valves. I have NEVER had any issues getting water out of the horn. Open the lever, gently blow into the horn, done. Same with my previous Yamaha horn, never any issues getting water out.

Am I missing something in the discussion so far? It cannot really be difficult to get water out of a flugel, can it? Or is there something special about the Wild Thing construction that I fail to see? Or is this an issue of the Amados going dirty inside (I don’t have Amado horns)?

Interested to learn more.


Amado water keys have a smaller diameter port than a lever type water key. They do not have the nipple associated with the lever type key. The piston surface is very close to the tubing. So, if there is paraffin or some other element in the valve oil used that can solidify on the inner surface of the horn because of evaporation, a plug can form over the port hole.

Flip Oakes developed his own proprietary valve oil to use on his horns and to offer his customers a quality, non-synthetic oil for their use. This oil has paraffin and can produce such a plug, if the horn is left too long between cleanings.

There are other brands of valve oil which will do the same thing. Before I met Flip and acquired my Wild Thing horns, I once had it happen to my vintage Benge, which had a lever-type water key.
_________________
Brian A. Douglas

Flip Oakes Wild Thing Bb Trumpet in copper
Flip Oakes Wild Thing Flugelhorn in copper


There is one reason that I practice: to be ready at the downbeat when the final trumpet sounds.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Man Of Constant Sorrow
Veteran Member


Joined: 25 Jun 2023
Posts: 462

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2024 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From my experience (using a borrowed boroscope), I discovered (not surprisingly) a "burr" (?) is present inside the brass tubing at the point ("port") where the tubing is drilled. Regardless, if an Amado, or standard water-key is implemented.

To eliminate this burr (which seems to be where debris, wax, dirty valve-oil, etc. accumulates), it is advisable to hone the tubing from the inside.
Understandably, this is another step in the process of assembling a horn, and labor = extra $$. I doubt many manufacturers do this task.

Your thoughts ??
_________________
Sub-Optimal Hillbilly Jazz
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dale Proctor
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Posts: 9343
Location: Heart of Dixie

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2024 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1957Tim wrote:
Hi Jazzman159,

I also play Flip’s Wild Thing Flugelhorn, so I totally understand your love for this fine instrument. Mine is in silverplate, but I did get to play the copper belled version once, which is ultimately why I purchased the one in silverplate when the opportunity presented itself. Both experiences were made possible by fellow TH member Shofarguy. As Halflip has already stated, Shofarguy is very knowledgeable with any Flip Oakes horn…

-1957Tim


I remember that flugelhorn…

_________________
"Brass bands are all very well in their place - outdoors and several miles away ." - Sir Thomas Beecham
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Man Of Constant Sorrow
Veteran Member


Joined: 25 Jun 2023
Posts: 462

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2024 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahhh ! A parking garage !
Who'da thunk a parking garage could make such a (? add own word ) practice space ?


_________________
Sub-Optimal Hillbilly Jazz
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dale Proctor
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Posts: 9343
Location: Heart of Dixie

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2024 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man Of Constant Sorrow wrote:
Ahhh ! A parking garage !
Who'da thunk a parking garage could make such a (? add own word ) practice space ?


1957Tim was in town for a wedding, and we met up in the parking garage under the hotel where he was staying. He had a trunk load of horns, and I brought a trunk load of mine, and we talked and played each others horns for a while. Great acoustics, and that flugelhorn of his was terrific!
_________________
"Brass bands are all very well in their place - outdoors and several miles away ." - Sir Thomas Beecham
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    trumpetherald.com Forum Index -> Cornet/Flügelhorn All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group