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Valve alignment at home?


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herpderp
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Joined: 19 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:37 pm    Post subject: Valve alignment at home? Reply with quote

Hey all, long time reader first time poster.

Is it possible to do a valve alignment on my trumpet at home? I know I won't be able to get things perfect. What tools and materials would I have to go out and buy? My 6310z is a little bit off on the down stroke, and I have no idea about the upstroke. With the economy as it is, I would prefer to do some things at home in order to save some money, but if it isn't possible, I understand.
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jamesjhun
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have done this on my schilke
i simply cutt off part of the green felt on the valve cap and voila! instant valve alignment. Made a freer blow.
i dont suppose the same method would work on a yamaha tho.....
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bg
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll need a flashlight and a small dental mirror.

After that, get some rubber "felts" from your local repairman, they come in various thicknesses. (did I make that word up?)Get three or four of each thickness he/she has in stock.

For the UP position alignment:

1. Remove the third valve slide. Remove the 2nd and 3rd valves. Now, Shine the flashlight into the lower third valve tube. Looking in, you can line up the
"UP" position of the first valve hole with the port between the 1st and 2nd casings.

2. Insert the 2nd valve and repeat the procedure.

3. Remove the 2nd valve AND the 2nd valve slide. Insert the 3rd valve back into the horn. Now, insert the dental mirror into the empty 2nd valve casing.

Position the mirror so; looking through the second valve tube w/ your flashlight, you can see the third valve hole lining up with the port between
2 & 3 in the mirror.

4. If your "felts" aren't thin enough to get the exact alignment, you can make some very thin shims by cutting a felt shaped disc out of thin pieces of plastic . (i.e. a photo album cover)

I hope this makes sense to you. Good luck. A well aligned horn is a great aid to the joy of playing.

Brad Goode
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herpderp
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweet! Can I get these felts online, or am I going to have to go to a repair man? And if I have to go to a repairman, does anyone know a good repair place to go in Orange County? I would almost prefer to get the stuff online however.
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Maarten van Weverwijk
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition to Brad Goode's excellent post, here are some other ideas and tools that you could use:
http://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=88785&highlight=tools

MvW.
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goldenhornplayer
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To do this job right, you must have a full collection of washers and shims at your disposal and then, it's more a matter of being able to see properly. The scope that MvW suggested is great but you can get by with a small dental mirror. For light, and you must have a good light source to see properly, I suggest a small LED source. Look for one with a very small end so it doesn't block your view. I did quite a few horns successfully with this simple set up and only went to the fiber optic scope to make the job even easier. --Ken B.
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Bob Stevenson
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coming from a brass band background, I was taught how to do this as a small boy when instruments were repaired and adjusted on Saturday mornings in the band room. It was stressed that felts and washers needed to be the right thickness and we were shown the bandsmans method of feeling the valve ports down the third slide and between the valves using a wire probe while measuring and marking the stems with a pencil,...then felts and corks etc were stamped out with a hammer and set of wad-cutters on a wooden block.

That was close to 50 years ago now and I still make all of my own 'felts' although these days they are not felt but a linen backed polyvinyl and I'm more concerned with silent operation than working to a 'thou'........
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DivineWind
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OR...if your horn is too open for ya, you could do a PVMA [precision valve MISalignment..}....


Actually, just bookmarking the thread....
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lh
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Joined: 31 Mar 2005
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Location: London UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are two of my posts from the past on this subject. If your brain works this way, these instructions could be pretty helpful.

Dave

*******

2004 Post

Some don't agree with doing this and that's fine. Sure some will feel they need .001 to be happy. If you start with an instrument that is off by 1/32" you will love getting it to better than .01 for sure! Someone is sure to come out with a machine that will do .0001 someday, and there will be folks out there willing to pay for that kind of accuracy too, and suddenly .001 will be frowned on. If you are interested, here's the original post....

A valve alignment done correctly at home can significantly improve your horn's playability. One set of ports (the "thru" ports) must be aligned with the main "thru" tube (in the up position), and the other set (the "valve" ports) must be aligned with the valve slides (in the depressed position). You need to have a quality measuring tool (something at least as good as a narrow 1/64" increment metal rule and preferably closer to a precision instrument. Yet even with the simplest tools and careful work, one can get within a hundredth of an inch vertically. And while it isn't the thousandth of an inch that the best pros can do, it's virtually free, takes about an hour (the first time), is far better than doing nothing, and frankly, I don't think I'm enough of a player to notice a few 1/1000s difference. My goal is to prevent any significant inconsistencies, reduce valve cluster induced intonation problems, and achieve the best performance/price ratio that I can.

Then one needs to be very patient taking precise measurements. Remove all worn or additional shims before you begin.

First let's define these terms.....
For the purposes of this explanation, I'm choosing to call the tube going from mouthpiece to bell (without depressing any valves) the "thru" tube. The ports on each valve that line up with the thru tube will be called the "thru" ports. Likewise, the ports on the valve that line up with the valve slides will be called the "valve" ports. Finger buttons are what you put your fingers on, and valve caps are what you tighten to hold each valve in its casing.

Then we define the measurements for each valve.....
A= distance from bottom of the valve casing to the bottom of the valve itself in up position.
B= distance from bottom of the valve itself to top-centre of lower thru-port on the valve itself. Measure this with the valve removed (obviously).
C= distance from bottom of the valve casing to top-centre of the thru-tube inside casing, again with the valve removed.
D= distance from bottom of the valve casing to bottom of the valve itself in depressed position.
E= distance from bottom of the valve itself to top-centre of the lower valve-port on the valve itself. Measure this with the valve removed (obviously).
F= distance from bottom of the valve casing to top-centre of the lower valve-slide inside casing, again with the valve removed.

REPEAT FOR EACH VALVE, AND WRITE DOWN AND LABEL ALL MEASUREMENTS!!!

(1) Compare thru-ports with up-position. Measurements should equal A+B=C. If A+B>C, add shims under the valve cap. If A+B<C, remove shims from under valve cap.

(2) Compare valve ports with down-position. Measurements should equal D+E=F. If D+E>F, remove shims from under finger button. If D+E<F, add shims under finger button. Writing down your measurements with no shims used at all will give you a baseline that you can use again and again without having to go through this process.

A word about shims. Yes, felts do compress, but yes, they are quiet. I prefer using rubber washers for big adjustments and mylar notebook reinforcements for small adjustments. They last a long time and do not appreciably compress. If the valve noise is bothersome, you can use a very thin felt on top of everything else (thickness factored in, of course) and replace only the felts as they age or compress with new ones to regain alignment accuracy.

2006 Post

I do my own "AVA's" (Amateur Valve Alignments) and I've had very good luck with them. My non-compressible spacer materials consist mostly of a stack of mylar notebook reinforcements. I can only adjust the vertical alignment, but I can easily get beyond .01 of an inch with a metal rule calibrated to 1/64", and even better (at least more reliable) with a precision measuring instrument. Instructions have been posted on this site, and can be searched by topic. I have done several followup measurements, and discovered that the mylar spacers have not compressed at all during the past two years.

Is a professionally done PVA more accurate? Sure. Will it make a significant difference over what I do to my own instrument? I would hope so, but I'm not really sure. I noticed a tremendous difference when I did my "AVA", and I would imagine that the degree of improvement beyond that would be much smalller, and perhaps not noticeable. Mine took care of the significant abnormalities. I would like to get my horns done by a pro sometime to see if there is a noticeable difference from what I've already accomplished, but I am not willing to pay the price.

My Jaguar remains parked and I will continue to drive my little Vauxhall Astra until gasoline becomes affordable in the UK too. Doing quality home "AVA's" follows the same basic reasoning.
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Maarten van Weverwijk
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow!
Thanks for posting that, Dave!

MvW.
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crzytptman
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're in Orange county and Flip is a short drive down the coast - $125. Once he's inside your horn, good things happen. Plus, you get to chat with a master - good things happen to you. Money well spent.
Oh, and your horn will play better when it leaves!
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mikeman7
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

herpderp wrote:
Sweet! Can I get these felts online, or am I going to have to go to a repair man? And if I have to go to a repairman, does anyone know a good repair place to go in Orange County? I would almost prefer to get the stuff online however.


I used to go to Anaheim Band Instruments when i lived in So Cal. That was one of the best shops around then. I think they're still good.

Mm
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herpderp
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

crzytptman wrote:
You're in Orange county and Flip is a short drive down the coast - $125. Once he's inside your horn, good things happen. Plus, you get to chat with a master - good things happen to you. Money well spent.
Oh, and your horn will play better when it leaves!


I might have to go the Flip route! I'll shoot him an email and see how it goes from there. Thanks for the recommendation. I just assumed that everyone was priced as much as Reeves so I wanted to try my hand at doing it myself, but Flip has some great prices and it would be nice to hang out with someone like that!

Cool.
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Capt.Kirk
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great Info this is the stuff I love to learn more home do it your self trumpet repair and modification!!! This is the type of stuff I come here looking to find!


Thanks a million for the information!!!
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herpderp
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My trumpet is pretty bad out of alignment, I got the dental mirror to check things out further. My only problem now is finding a suitable material to use as a felt. I would need to buy a punch set and some kind of felt material? This seems rather expensive. Can someone guide me to the cheapest route possible? Any suggestions would be awesome. Also, thank you so much for all the great info!!!! Thanks!
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ejweiss
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:19 pm    Post subject: Mouthpiece Express Reply with quote

Mouthpiece Express now carries many of these parts for various horns. i bought a pro Yamaha set and was very pleased with the results.
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_Daff
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'd think (hope) this would be obvious, but all this is frivolous if a person doesn't depress the valves all the way while playing.

As to shimming materials, I use synthetic cork from Kraus Music Products in 1/64" increments. I don't have the all of the 'proper' punch tools, but am darned handy with an Exacto blade, so use metal washers and stuff as templates for cutting out the shims .......... and still have all nine of my fingers.
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bg
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

_Daff wrote:
You'd think (hope) this would be obvious, but all this is frivolous if a person doesn't depress the valves all the way while playing.


Actually, since we are discussing "Up" position alignment, the pertinent
issue is whether a person lets the valves come all the way back up.

Personally, I'm not that interested in "down" position alignment, as I never really get my valves all the way down.

Brad Goode
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_Daff
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brad, I think if you re-read this thread you'll see that it's not restricted to one direction.

Last edited by _Daff on Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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bg
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess so, but I still don't want to push my valves all the way down.
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