dodgy valves!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by horn-girlie, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. horn-girlie

    horn-girlie Member

    hey all! i've been teaching a little girl cornet for a few months now, but she seems to be having problems with her 1st valve. Its a JP cornet (never played one myself, but its a basic beginners one) which she was given by her youth band, and the 1st valve sticks regularly. Its not just slow to come back up, she has to stop playing and lift the valve back up. It is not the way she holds the cornet, as she presses the vavles straight down, and we have tried washing the cornet, and obviously using valve oil, but its not helping.

    Other than this, the cornet seems fine, she's making a nice sound, and has got a good range, so this is holding her back a bit. any ideas anyone? is it just a bad cornet design or can i do something about it for her?!
  2. GingerMaestro

    GingerMaestro Active Member

    Have you tried removing the valve and the end cap and check for any manufacturing burs of metal or solder have a look at the valve piston are there any shiney patches if so there could be something rubbing on it or the valve needs relapping into the valve case

    Also try cleaning the oil off the valve and the valve case and runn it dry I have know some instruments to work better with no oil as silly as it may sound
  3. SuperMosh

    SuperMosh New Member

    Wet and Dry

    Had similar trouble myself with my bass valves. I used 'wet and dry', a very, very, very fine metal sanding paper to rub mine down, then cleaned it through, oiled it in Blue Juice (other valve oils are available) and there you go.

    Would suggest extreme caution with rubbing your valves with any abrasive paper though - could be costly to repair
  4. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Toothpaste is quite a useful 'lapping in' product. ;)
  5. Bungle

    Bungle Member

    I'm not expert, but possibly the previous player was pressing the valve down at an angle and not straight down. This may need an instrument repairer to fix. Another lapping product to use is autosol chrome cleaner. A friend used it to polish up his sausaphone valves with good results.
  6. horn-girlie

    horn-girlie Member

    Thanks guys! have tried completely dry valves, but that doesnt seem to help. Its not like a regular sticky valve - 9 times out of 10 its fine. but once or twice per piece it gets completely stuck! will try having a closer look at the valve next time i see her though ...
  7. Try replacing the springs aswell. They may have become soft and un-springy.
  8. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Don't take any chances on DIY ... you could end up knackering it completely! Find an instrument technician and get the job done under guarantee!
  9. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Perfect advice

    I wish this was a new problem with the JP instruments - I have got a number of students who have been through these instruments and have had valve issues (and with the mini-horns the solder joints just give way - they aren't strong enough to cope with the impact of depressing a valve!). They have been sent to Will Spencer and he has done some great work in getting them back up and running.


    Ask an expert
  10. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    We have recently had a fair bit of work done on some of our Sovereign cornet valves - Owen Wedgewood (Smooth and Sophisticated) has done the work and it's first class.

    "Wet and dry" no - surely that's much to abrasive for valves.

    There's another thread here with lots of recommendations for repairers

    Good luck.
  11. Brass instrument valves are very precise and easily damaged. They have to move at high speed and maintain an air-tight metal to metal seal with very light lubrication.

    Any form of abrasive will cerainly remove material and make the valve move freely, but having recently spent a lot of time ressurecting the valves where someone had used wet and dry I couldn't recommend it.

    I've used Autosol on my old Royal Enfield chaincases - brings them up lovely but again it's pretty aggressive stuff.

    There are always short cuts to doing anything, but I use very fine lapping compound and a lot of patience!
  12. horn-girlie

    horn-girlie Member

    Righto, have just looked again at the cornet, and there doesnt seem to be any visible difference between the valve and the other two (only the first one sticks.) I dont think its anything to do with the way the cornet's being played though, because the girl who's cornet it is had had the cornet from new, and she pushes the valves straight down (so not at an angle) Anyhoo ... thanks for all the advice, and might pop into a repairers with it, or even see if her band can give her another cornet!
  13. Eupher6

    Eupher6 Member

    Sometimes felt material from the underside of the valve button gets caught in the valve stem opening through the cap. If the felt gets caught, the valve doesn't come up, especially for valve slammers like me.
  14. Get an explanation from the repairer and tell us what it was :)