Any tips: valve maintenance / cleaning ... ?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Jerry, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    So, do tell, Mesmerist - how did it go?
  2. David Evans

    David Evans Active Member

    My my, you're up early Jack, I suppose in the absence of any posts we must assume the worst with Mesmerist and her big black spider, -or her MD read her post and the inevitable happened, banned from band. Shame.
    Mesmerist likes this.
  3. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    I spent quite a few years before I retired working shifts, and my sleep patterns have never really recovered from that - so sometimes I'm fast asleep in the early afternoon, and wide awake at 3am!

    Maybe I was a badger in a previous incarnation?

    No, I'm sure that if Mesmerist can bend small children to her will [​IMG] big black spiders and power-crazed MDs will be 'all in a day's work' . . .

    With best regards,

  4. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    I too am wondering how Mesmerist got on or not, but with it being the school hol's perhaps she's got rather a lot on her hands at the moment - that or the experiment didn't go as well as hoped.

    A couple of more general comments on instrument maintenance.

    I've found that the Brass Saver brushes work well and have been pleased with the (instrument) improvements that they help provide. I've only had cause to use the pull through cleaners but they do do a valve casing brush as well; various sizes of brass save products are available and I'm not associated with any company. HW Brass Saver - Trumpet (Set of 2 Brushes) .

    Valves sometimes seem to just stick and free themselves for no apparent reason. If such is the case then the 'problem' might well be the key and/or keyway. Deposits of muck and 'calcium' sometimes settle in the keyway and cause the passing key to drag and sometimes stick. The key itself might have issues too or, if new, be very slightly too tall for the keyway. I gently and carefully use metallic items to wear down and cut through the deposits, I do not use abrasive paper as I suspect that there's a danger of abrasive particles from it somehow remaining in the valve. The above are not recommendations, they're just what's worked for me.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  5. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Aaah, yes - I'd forgotten that!

    Fingers crossed . . .

    Hm; I'd never thought about that one - but I can see it as a distinct possibility.

    Very much so, 2T; if you open up one of those rolls of abrasive tape and give it a shake over a clean surface, you'll see little black specks galore - and every one of them is rock hard, with very sharp edges! What makes the risk of serious damage worse is that, depending on the relative hardness of the valve and the valve bore, tiny particles of the abrasive might bed themselves into the bore rather than the valve. If that were to happen, you'd be really snookered, as buying a replacement valve would not solve the problem - the particles would just grind away at the new valve, and wreck that, too.

    It's a well-established fact that, in petrol and diesel engines, the cylinder bores wear out before the pistons - even though pistons are quite soft aluminium alloys, and cylinders are usually very hard cast iron. Any particles of grit or burnt carbon which get into the cylinder dig into the soft aluminium, not the hard cast iron - and then you have a piston with tiny little teeth whizzing up and down in the cylinder, thousands of times a minute! :eek: So it's not the aluminium itself which wears out the cylinder - it's all those little particles dug into the surface. One of the biggest single factors in car engines doing 150 - 200,000 miles without a rebore these days is the vastly better air filters fitted to them, as compared to cars of 50 years ago.

    Another point which is not common knowledge (I only found out by accident); I won't use washing up liquid on my horn, as it contains salt. Basic detergent is very thin, runny stuff, so the manufacturers add salt. The salt thickens the detergent up, and reduces the surface tension of the water (helping the water to penetrate dirt and grease), and of course the manufacturers are happy to use salt - because it's cheap!!

    The downside is that it's quite difficult to rinse every last trace of salt off after washing with detergent - that's why pub landlords don't wash their beer pipes out with ordinary detergent, but with special salt-free cleaners (else the beer loses its head). Equally, if you wash out a brass instrument with detergent leaving a trace of salt behind, what happens when you blast a lungful of steamy air through it, and the water condenses inside? You've got something close to sea-water in contact with your brass . . . :(

    Thank you for the tip on Brass Saver, 2T - definitely worth checking that one out. :)

    With best regards,

  6. GER

    GER Active Member

    I bought the product after seeing this post, used it day before yesterday, really pleased with it, the polish really brings the instrument (cornet) up and the 'soak' leaves the instrument fresh and gets rid of the 'brassy' smell.
    In respect of valve cleaning, if they're bad why not use a polishing pad on electric drill, use the softest pad and the finest polishing block and it brings them back up like new, you need to keep wiping them down whilst polishing and give them a good clean in the sink afterwards, but done this several times and never had a problem
  7. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    Ah sorry folks it's been a while! The cleaner is good although the head of the brush fell off on the first use I managed to stick it back on. Enough gunk came out to be satisfying and it's easier to play although I confess to not having played for a bit due to holidays and the band taking time out.
    Made me laugh, while we were away the Band moved rehearsal rooms and are now in a different Area. I found them though...
  8. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    . . . they can run . . . but they can't hide . . . :cool:
    Mesmerist likes this.
  9. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

  10. B sharp brass

    B sharp brass New Member

    Hi Mesmerist, sorry about the brush, it's the first issue with them. We only use Helin Brushes from Germany as they are the best on the market. If you PM me you address i am happy to send you a new one. thanks b sharp brass
  11. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    Thank you that's really kind of you. I've sent you a PM.

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