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Thread: Sticky valves caused by beer drinking

  1. Sticky valves caused by beer drinking

    I have been experiencing sticky valves on my Conn 25i euphonium. With my previous euphonium an Olds Studio 4 valve that I owned for 3 years I did not experience this problem at all. With the Olds I used Hetman #3. With the Conn 25i I switched to Dennis Wick w/ptfe, but I'm not that impressed with it. I will admit I like to play my horns after a few beers. I will sip a beer and then take a sip of water while playing. Lately with the Conn 25i has had sticky valves, so I washed them out. Then the sticky valves came back. It occurred to me that if you spill beer on the garage floor and don't wipe it up right away, the next day it's sticky. So I'm wondering is it the change in oil or perhaps sipping beer while playing that is causing my sticky valves.

  2. #2
    The Wick oil with PTFE was not at all compatible with my body chemistry (or my horn, but probably with me).

    I think you would be much happier with a standard petroleum-based oil. For that I strongly recommend Blue Juice.

    In my opinion you are causing sugars to get into the horn, and petroleum oil has a much better chance to dissolve them. (The same would be true for a Pepsi during playing, so it's not just a beer thing.) Even so, you will need to clean the horn more often than would otherwise be necessary. And it may be tough to get the horn fully washed out. If you wash the valves, sugar can still migrate from other tubes.

    Next time you clean it, use some Ivory hand soap (the bar, not liquid) and lather it up well. Get as much lather as you can on the surface of each piston and re-insert them. That will work as a lubricant for a while. If you have sugar (or any other contaminant) inside the horn, the soap may keep the valves working longer. If so, that rules out a bent valve or casing or some other mechanical problem (for the most part).

    Also, BE SURE to clean out the bottom of the piston and bottom of the casing, including the bottom cap.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  3. Thanks for your response Dave. I have read a lot about Blue Juice and its odor so I don't think I'll go in that direction. I have also read about Hetman green stuff in the valves which I have experienced. I am curious about Yamaha's valve oil. I got a Yamaha trombone slide oil from a gift my wife Charlotte bought for me and it worked a lot better than them Slide-O-Mix that came with my Olds Recording trombone. Have you had any reports on Yamaha oils?

    By the way that was a very nice Olds Recording valve trombone you highlighted sometime back. Mine has been restored and it very nice. I wish I could get the valve section for it. I have been on a hunt for an Olds Marching Trombone for awhile.

    I was glad to hear about your experience with the Wick w/ptfe.

    Thanks again for your input.

    Nelson

  4. #4
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    I don't think the fact that the Wick oil is synthetic has anything to do with this. I use ONLY synthetic oils (mostly Yamaha and some Alisyn) and have for years. But the Wick synthetic oil I don't like. It seems too thick and sluggish. After trying it, I relegated its use to my tools where it seems to work very well. If your valves have close tolerances, you might want to try Yamaha LVO (Light Valve Oil).

    By the way, the Yamaha "slide oil" (which I also use) isn't slide oil in the classic sense. It's totally misnamed. People generally refer to it as "slide lubricant" now. Great stuff. I use it together with a spray of VERY dilute Hetman Hydro-Slide -- which is the ONLY Hetman product I use.
    Last edited by ghmerrill; 11-13-2015 at 05:57 PM.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,259
    I agree on giving Blue Juice a try. It's petroleum based and has a better chance in dealing with sugar contaniments. I've been using BJ for awhile now. I don't notice any smell at all now.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed)
    El Cumbanchero (Rafael Hernández) cell phone video

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Location
    Central North Carolina
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    2,038
    Quote Originally Posted by RickF View Post
    I don't notice any smell at all now.
    That's almost too good a line to pass up -- but I will.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,259
    Quote Originally Posted by ghmerrill View Post
    That's almost too good a line to pass up -- but I will.
    Yeah, I didn't phrase that just right.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed)
    El Cumbanchero (Rafael Hernández) cell phone video

  8. So I have decided to get some Blue Juice and also some Yamaha VVO Vintage synthetic oil for older horns and larger valve euphorium/tubas that comes with Yamaha lower brass horns. Should be interesting. I have also ordered the HW Products Baritone UBSBA and Trombone UBSTB.

    Thanks for all the input. For a contrast and a bit of humor, I asked the same question on Tubenet. You should view the responses there. I read to my wife Charlotte the responses here and then went to Tubenet and she too was belly laughing. Have a good day.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,259
    I visit TubeNet too sometimes, but there is almost always a number of the replies that are not too serious.

    I like to think that this forum is more helpful... most of the time anyway.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed)
    El Cumbanchero (Rafael Hernández) cell phone video

  10. #10
    I like the yamaha synthetic valve oil. Use the regular weight or the vintage weight, the light weight is only good for trumpets. I would also suggest drinking a glass of water and/or brushing teeth before playing your instruments.
    --
    Barry

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