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Penetrating oil for brass instruments

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Ambassadors proudly use a wide variety of Denis Wick Products in their daily performance teaching. View all Denis Wick Ambassadors. Originally published to banddirector. Servicing brass instrument slides can be rewarding.

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With only a few affordable supplies, some basic knowledge, and a little time you can greatly affect the playing condition of your brass inventory stretch your repair budget, and have fun getting your hands dirty at the same time! Stuck slides on brass instruments are usually the result of neglect: infrequent cleaning and lubrication and sometimes, improper lubricants. Also examine the slides and connected tubing for dents, as well as for loose braces and solder joints.

This could lead to further damage. Please refer these jobs to a professional repair shop. When examining a stuck slide, note if one side of the slide moves while the other seems stuck. This will more often be the case on slides with greater distance between them than on narrower slides. See for example a trumpet main tuning slide as opposed to a first valve slide. This special oil is made to creep into tight places and help break the cement-like bond of mineral deposits, and it provides lubrication to the tubes, which helps when pulling long slide tubes.

For the oil to work best, it is helpful to warm the tubing that is stuck together. This can be done with a commercial hot air gun or even a blow dryer. Concentrate the heat at the area of the tube that you want to draw the oil too. Put a couple drops of the oil at the joint of the inner and outer tubes. If you can, also apply a few drops from the inside through a valve port for example. The heated part will draw the oil to affected areas. You may need to repeat this if a slide does not easily come free on the first attempt.

Keep exterior surfaces clean by wiping excess oil off of the instrument. It is sometimes necessary to let the instrument sit for a time, allowing the penetrating oil time to do its work. The most basic and useful helper in pulling stuck slides is the loop strap. To use the strap, wind the strap through the crook and then through itself as shown in the photo.

This simple way of holding a slide will keep it from falling to the floor when it pops loose and it may.

penetrating oil for brass instruments

You may tug on the strap by hand, or hold the strap in a bench vice tugging on the instrumentor use it with the handle that is in the J.Every brass player but the most meticulous will occasionally have a stuck slide in his or her instrument.

If addressed right away, the player will be able to remove the slide with a piece of cloth wrapped around the crook for a better grip.

Stuck Slides – Do’s and Don’ts

All the old instruction books recommend a handkerchief, back when we used to carry them. Unfortunately, most players are not meticulous with their maintenance, and end up with a slide that they are not able to pull with this technique and will bring it to a repair shop for help. This is the first step: most slides, even small, well braced examples can be twisted slightly as you pull on them, which will start to loosen the minerals dried spit that are cementing it in place. At this point, I ask the customer, "Do you want to take this home and give it a good cleaning and lubricate everything, or do you want to leave it with me to do a thorough job, with new felts and corks?

If I have the time, I might take the instrument back to the shop while the customer waits and spend a few more minutes with more advanced techniques to remove the slide, but more often, I tell the customer that they need to leave it with me or bring it back when they can, so that I can guarantee success.

I make sure to quote a range of possible cost, since I have no way of knowing how badly stuck the slide is until I have successfully freed it. The next step is shown in the first photo on the right, using a piece of cotton wicking or other suitable cord that is fairly strong, but won't mar the finish.

Looping around the crook in this way will keep the slide from flying across the room, which would cause dents in the crook or tube ends. The ends of the cord or wick can be clamped in your vise, so that you can pull on the instrument with one hand while applying heat and taps with a small rawhide mallet with the other. Applying heat is the first thing that you should do, before any other measures. Surprisingly often, the slide is held in place with oil or grease that has been solidified by oxidation or other chemical reactions that I don't understand.

In extreme cases, the degree of heat needed to aid in this way is enough to melt solder, which is very annoying. Along with heat, apply some penetrating oil at the edges of the slide tubes. If the slide is thoroughly encrusted with minerals dried spitthe penetrating oil cannot lubricate the entire length of the tubes, but as they start to move, the oil will start to mix with the solids dried spit and aid in the movement.

Light blows of the mallet cause kind of a shock wave of movement, similar to the twisting that I mentioned previously. Care must be taken to avoid denting the tubes or adjacent crooks, knuckles and braces. The heat and blows must be applied at the same time that you are pulling on the slide to gain this advantage and this is all that is needed for success in most cases.

The meat of this article is in the more unusual cases that are not experienced on a weekly basis by the average brass mechanic, but might be seen several times a year.

How do I Loosen a Stuck Threaded Brass Fitting?

Specializing in antiques, I see these situations more often, but much more distressing are the failed attempts that I encounter almost as often. The next few photos show some tuning crooks that have been ruined by applying force with a blunt instrument to the inside radius. Once they are smashed and sometimes split open in this way they can never be satisfactorily repaired. Unfortunately, some of the musical instrument repair suppliers sell devices that should only be used when they are not needed.

Instead, they are taken out of the toolbox in the difficult cases, where they are sure to do this sort of irreversible damage. The third photo shows a tuning crook in a cornet that was made playable again, but it seems a sad compromise. The next photo shows a technique that involves applying pulling force with the tail stock of a lathe. I wish that I had discovered this earlier in my career and it works in many tough cases.

I can't stress enough that you need to be careful not to do damage to any parts of the instrument as you are applying force to remove the slides. In this photo the cord is wrapped around one of the diamond post braces on a Bach trumpet. These will hold up to this force in most cases, but they are not very strong, and if already compromised, will break away fairly easily. Also, if the solder joints where the tubes join the valve knuckle are deteriorated, the tube will pull loose at that point.Servicing brass instrument slides can be rewarding.

With only a few affordable supplies, some basic knowledge, and a little time you can greatly affect the playing condition of your brass inventory stretch your repair budget, and have fun getting your hands dirty at the same time! Stuck slides on brass instruments are usually the result of neglect: infrequent cleaning and lubrication and sometimes, improper lubricants. Also examine the slides and connected tubing for dents, as well as for loose braces and solder joints.

This could lead to further damage. Please refer these jobs to a professional repair shop. When examining a stuck slide, note if one side of the slide moves while the other seems stuck. This will more often be the case on slides with greater distance between them than on narrower slides. See for example a trumpet main tuning slide as opposed to a first valve slide. This special oil is made to creep into tight places and help break the cement-like bond of mineral deposits, and it provides lubrication to the tubes, which helps when pulling long slide tubes.

For the oil to work best, it is helpful to warm the tubing that is stuck together. This can be done with a commercial hot air gun or even a blow dryer. Concentrate the heat at the area of the tube that you want to draw the oil too. Put a couple drops of the oil at the joint of the inner and outer tubes.

penetrating oil for brass instruments

If you can, also apply a few drops from the inside through a valve port for example. The heated part will draw the oil to affected areas.

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You may need to repeat this if a slide does not easily come free on the first attempt. Keep exterior surfaces clean by wiping excess oil off of the instrument. It is sometimes necessary to let the instrument sit for a time, allowing the penetrating oil time to do its work. The most basic and useful helper in pulling stuck slides is the loop strap. To use the strap, wind the strap through the crook and then through itself as shown in the photo.

This simple way of holding a slide will keep it from falling to the floor when it pops loose and it may.

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You may tug on the strap by hand, or hold the strap in a bench vice tugging on the instrumentor use it with the handle that is in the J. Smith Slide Service Kit. In the aforementioned kit are a crook pin, and some crook plates.

These are made to fit the inside of various sized crooks to use as knock out tools.

penetrating oil for brass instruments

The pin is sized to remove very tight slide crooks such as the valve slides on trumpets larger crooks would be damaged by this tool. The crook pin.

The plates are used for larger slides, and the curvature fits against the crook with proper support.How to Polish a Brass Instrument. Brass is the basic metal used in the construction of the trumpet, trombone, French horn and tuba. Very often the instrument has a silver-hued metal plating to give it a brilliant shine and, frequently, a lacquer finish over that. Determine if the instrument has a lacquer finish sprayed over silver plating.

If it does, do not use a silver cleaner on it! Use silver cleaning paste or cream only if a silver-plated instrument has no lacquer finish! In this case, use very small amounts of the paste or cream on a small portion of the bell. Be cautious and note if the silver plating is so thin that it is wearing away and the darker metal beneath is being exposed. If so, stop! Perspiration or fluid from your hands can cause continuing discoloration on a horn.

Which Penetrating Oil is Best? Let's find out!

Many instrumentalists use a small, clean cloth to shield the horn where it touches the skin. A leather grip can be purchased to wrap around the valve casing of the trumpet or cornet to achieve this protection.

penetrating oil for brass instruments

Hagerty's non-abrasive silver polish is recommended by the repair department of Best Instrument Repair of Oakland, CA. Silver polish on lacquer will cause irreversible damage!

Keep the silver cleaning cream or paste from penetrating the interior portions of the valves and slides. This article was written by a professional writer, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information.

To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more, see our about us page: link below. By: Contributor Updated September 15, Share It.

Pulling Stuck Slides

Things You'll Need. Use a mild soap on a clean washrag to remove any accumulated residue. Remove the paste or cream with a damp rag and note the effect on the metal beneath. Continue using in larger areas only if you see a rich and even reflection in the metal. About the Author.While our employees are safe at home protecting themselves and their families from this pandemic, the owners of Ferree's are here, making tools and shipping orders.

We also will reverse our no back order policy during this month so that if we are out of stock on an item you will receive it as soon as it is back in stock. Read about changes to Ferree's Tools Inc. Plant hours are am - 3pm E. T Monday-Friday. We are closed most major holidays. SDS Sheets now available Online. My Account. Welcome to Ferree's Tools Inc! Login Create Account. Shopping Cart. A Family Owned Business Since April Promotion. We are open but with limited staff.

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Dent Rods.One of the most common problems with brass instruments is stuck tuning slides. This is a very simple repair that most people can do without causing any damage to the instrument but there are a few precautions.

There are two methods you can use to remove a stuck tuning slide. One is with penetrating oil, one is with a wick or both. You could also use leverage to get it unstuck but you run a much higher risk of damaging your trumpet with that approach.

There are a lot of levels of "stuckness" — if you will — of tuning slides. Some are really stuck, some aren't very stuck, and some are in between. There will be the occasional tuning slide is so completely stuck that you will not be able to get unstuck without risking destroying your equipment.

The first thing you need to find out is which side of the main tuning slide is stuck. That will be the side you will focus on to get the slide unstuck. Usually, it is the upper side of the tuning slide or both of them. Rarely is it only the lower side with the water key, without the upper side being stuck. Pull the main tuning slide a little bit to see which of the two sides has any give, however small.

The unstuck will be moving. You have to look carefully while you pull to see this. The next thing you need to do is take some penetrating oil and spray it into the stuck end, or ends, of the main tuning slide.

If you have a syringe and needle, you can try to direct the oil deeper into the pipe. But a syringe and needle is not strictly necessary for this exercise. Next, you take a little heat torch, you can use a cigarrete lighter, or a matchbox, or something that provides moderate heat like that, and apply it on the pipe you're working on.

Getting some heat on the pipe helps the penetrating oil travel into the pipe. Trumpets are made out of brass which is a very soft metal. So there is always going to be a little bit of give, and you're going to use that give to your advantage.

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Hold the trumpet at the valve casings with one hand and pull the main tuning slide with the other. Rock it back and forth. You will see it start to come out slowly, when it does. Once it starts to move, even just a tiny bit, you know you're on your way there and you're going to get it unstuck. By the time it's done your hand will be a little tired but that's how you get a slide unstuck.

Again, the process of getting a valve slide unstuck usually depends on the degree of "stuckness". Besides, using penetrating oil, let's look at some of the other options you can use to get your valve slides unstuck. The first thing you need to do is put the wick through the slide that is stuck and match up the ends of the wick. After taking the wick through the stuck slide attach the ends of the wick to a vice. Before you yank the trumpet, you need to be careful that you hold it the right way.

You want to hold onto the valve casing section of the trumpet with the wick pulling the slide straight in the direction it comes out whatever that direction is, depending on which valve is stuck. Make sure you have a pretty good grip on it, you don't want to drop your trumpet.

If you try to pull it at an angle you can bend or damage the slide or push them into the casing, and then you have a valve problem.We order a range of new instruments from leading suppliers We will help you choose and if needed can provide setups, repairs and general maintenance of your instrument. Don't forget we can arrange setup, maintenance and repairs too!

What's the difference between a Trumpet and a Cornet? The valves allowed for melodic playing throughout the register of the cornet. Trumpets were slower to adopt the new valve technology, so for the next years or more, composers often wrote separate parts for trumpet and cornet. The trumpet would play fanfare-like passages, while the cornet played more melodic passages. The modern trumpet has valves that allow it to play the same notes and fingerings as the cornet. Cornets and trumpets made in a given key usually the key of Bb play at the same pitch, and the technique for playing the instruments is nearly identical.

However, cornets and trumpets are not entirely interchangeable, as they differ in timbre. Also available, but usually seen only in the brass band, is an Eb soprano model, pitched a fourth above the standard Bb. Unlike the trumpet, which has a cylindrical bore up until the bell section, the tubing of the cornet has a mostly conical bore, starting very narrow at the mouthpiece and gradually widening towards the bell.

Cornets following the patent of E. Couturier can have a continuously conical bore. The conical bore of the cornet is primarily responsible for its characteristic warm, mellow tone, which can be distinguished from the more penetrating sound of the trumpet. The conical bore of the cornet also makes it more agile than the trumpet when playing fast passages, but correct pitching is often less assured.

The cornet is often preferred for young beginners as it is easier to hold, with its centre of gravity much closer to the player. The cornet mouthpiece has a shorter and narrower shank than that of a trumpet so it can fit the cornet's smaller mouthpiece receiver.

The cup size is often deeper than that of a trumpet mouthpiece. Get to know your Trumpet:. Get to know your Trombone:. Last few bottles.


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