Valve guides

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Di, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. Di

    Di Active Member

    Does anyone have any tips on stopping valve guides from rattling?

    I've had a new set last year, and another new set fitted a couple of weeks ago. All was fine for about one rehearsal and then the rattling is back again. I've been told I'll never get rid of the noise completely "as it's metal against metal" and there are no plastic ones available for a 20 year old baritone. Does anyone have any tips on how to cut down some of the noise? I'm feeling very self-conscious of the racket I'm making (watchit! :rolleyes:) when I'm rattling, (literally) my way through the lovely runs at G in VoD. :frown: The only tip I've been given so far is to place valve oil directly into the grove and see if that helps. Will try this one out in a little while. The chap who put the second lot on reckoned that he could coat them with araldite. Anyone ever heard of this being done successfully?
  2. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Are you sure it is the guides that are rattling? Have you tried replacing all of the felts?
  3. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    I doubt putting valve oil on the guides would have any long-term effect. It might work for five minutes maximum, but valve oil is simply too thin to work as that sort of lubricant. Vaseline or slide grease, maybe, but then I'd be worried about it seeping down into the working part of the valve, and you'd go from clunky valves to totally jammed up valves.

    I'm not an instrument repairer, but putting my engineers hat on for a moment, there is no reason that I can see that would stop someone making stepped keys, sorry slipped into engineer speak, stepped guides - ie one piece made with two different thicknesess - one to suit the valve, one to suit the guide (like a fat T shape in cross section). I'm not sure if any repairers exist to do this, but its common engineering practice for refurbishment. The only problem is they would need to be made bespoke - ie to fit each individual valve. This means using someone skilled enough to do it, and bespoke = cost. So maybe I've answered my own question there, perhaps no-one offers it because its too expensive.

    No sure about the araldite suggestion either - have you smelt that stuff? I'd rather not be inhaling that every time I went for a ff dynamic. :tongue:
  4. Di

    Di Active Member

    Sure. When you hold the top of the valve and turn, there's movement and clanking.

    My thoughts exactly. Thin valve oil is no protection against two bits of metal and anything thicker ... well thats gonna cause other problems.

    Got to admit I was surprised, but this was suggested by the service department of a large reputal instrument retailer. :wink:
  5. Mister 4x4

    Mister 4x4 Member

    If one has the skills, one could possibly affix some teflon (white plumbing tape) over the key with a drop of superglue. Add a layer or two and that should dampen the noise as the tape is paper thin. The teflon properties should glide just fine with the valve oil as well.
  6. persins

    persins Member

    My valves on the Maestro rattle too! It's somewhat annoying! I haven't quite narrowed down the cause yet but I'm beginning to suspect the felts rather than the guides.
  7. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    I guess the easy way to find out is to try and turn the valve when it's screwed into the casing. Any turning "slop" will be the side play in your valve guide.
  8. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    I too have had my 30 year old euph's valve guides replaced twice in the last couple of years.

    I gather that both the tab on the valve (the bit that can be replaced) and the guide (the slot) wear. The trouble is that the guide wears unevenly - it'll stay narrow at the top and bottom (where the tab doesn't usually go) but broadens in the middle. Thus you have to replace the tab such that it'll still go through the narrow bit at the top - which leaves it not filling the slot further down.

    I presume the only real fix would be to machine another slot and fit a second tab to the valves....

    Any engineers think of a way of making a "sprung" tab - probably ought to be possible? That would expand to fit the slot...

  9. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    hmmm hi, do you mean PTFE tape (poloy-tetra flora-ehelene) (sp) its what we use over here as plumbing tape?
  10. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    PTFE = Teflon. Teflon is a brand name (r) DuPont.
  11. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    aha you learn something everyday!!!
    cheers dude!:clap:
  12. hornplayer

    hornplayer New Member

    The guide that you are talking about is called a Taquet Guide i dont know where you had them fitted but it does sound like they were not fitted properly as a repairer myself i know there should not be any sideways movement , By putting ptfe tape or anything like it on the valve would only be a short term remedy the tape would quickly wear and you would be straight back where you started. I suggest you find another repairer in your area, you can go onto the national association of musical instrument repairers website which is there is a list of repairers around the country or you can e mail me i am based in Gloucestershire
  13. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Used to have the same problem on an old Besson New Standard Tuba when I was in junior band. I think it's possible to have to metal guides replaced with plastic ones but I don't know how difficult/expensive that is. One of the lads had it done on his (own) BB but he was a university lecturer and not short of a bob or three, so it may have been a pricey job.

    It is rather annoying to have your own li'l percussion section going on in the fast bits though innit? Hope you can get it fixed soon.

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