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Picking up trumpet again


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  • Picking up trumpet again

    I realize this isn't the most active forum, but I wonder what anyone might be able to tell me about fixing up dented old trumpets in need of oil. I seem to remember a band director telling my you could actually soak a trumpet in valve oil, but that seems like it would really expensive.

    Also, it's kind of ugly because I wasn't very good to it when I was in band. What would I be looking at in terms of cost to beat out some dents and replate a portion of it?
    An ongoing process of art, music, and writing: www.NeatandKeen.com

  • #2
    These are all questions for your local band instrument repair shop. What make of trumpet is it? If it's a very inexpensive student model, the cost of repair could be too great for it's worth. If you really want to make a trumpet playing comeback, an inexpensive "name brand" used horn on eBay might be the right choice, ex. Yamaha.

    Dent removal, in many cases, it not a big deal repair. I've had dents removed for under $50. Re-plating or re-laquering should be reserved for higher value horns.


    • #3
      As long as the dents are not affecting the play ability of the horn you usually don't even need to worry about them. As far as soaking the thing: pull everything apart give it a warm bath (luke warm water) with a mild detergent and a soft cloth. Let it dry and then oil and lube everything as you put it back together. If the springs and felts are in decent condition then you should be good to go. If the springs and/or felts need to be replaced you should be able to pick them up from your local repair shop for very little $
      Sing to Him, sing praise to Him;
      tell of all His wonderful acts.


      • #4
        As stated, a soap water bath is what you want. I've seen three separate trumpet factories and in each case the cleaning was done with soap water.

        If you have some cleaning supplies still lying around, pull them out. When I clean my horns, I grab a trumpet snake and a cleaning rod. Once you have some water in the horn, a lot of that built-up gunk will fall right out with a cleaning snake. I use the rod with a tissue to dry it out and get anything the snake may have missed.

        For the valves, I dip just the bottom part in the water. I don't think it'll hurt anything, but I dislike getting the felts wet. Then I use the snake or a mouthpiece brush and clean out the ports a bit.

        For stuck slides, rather than pulling and yanking wrap a piece of leather around the slide, and clamp the leather into a vise. Give it a few sharp yanks and the slide should move a bit. Drop some oil on the exposed parts and see if you can't get it to work down into the tubes.

        It seems to me that most dents and dings are cosmetic rather than functional, except maybe to the real gods of trumpet. Unless you have some seriously large ones, I wouldn't be too concerned about them.

        If cleaning the horn is something you'd rather not do, $50-75 will cover a simple cleaning in many stores. Replating would run the price WAY up, but I wouldn't worry too much about it. If the spot is around the valves, you could buy a simple valve guard from Herco or the like and just hide it.
        Play more bass.