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Thread: Tiny hole in piston - what to do about it?

  1. #1

    Tiny hole in piston - what to do about it?

    Hi,
    I was cleaning a Sterling Virtuoso from a friend of mine when I discovered a hole in the third piston.
    I have no clue how it got there or how I can fix it. Can it be fixed in the first place or is this piston beyond repair?
    Vito
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_20160704_164650.jpg   IMG_20160704_164643.jpg   IMG_20160704_164622.jpg   IMG_20160704_164658.jpg  

  2. #2
    Well, THAT's odd! I've never seen it before. There may have been a flaw in the brass at that point. The hole is in the caucade (the inner passage), which is just brass. I would think a repair shop could maybe solder over the hole and smooth out the surface afterward.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  3. #3
    Really strange. Must have some very aggressive bugs in that horn's case!! I wonder if that was someone's attempt to "vent" the valve!!?? But not exactly the right place for the hole. I would think you could plug that with something. What do dentists put in your cavities (kidding I think)? The outside of the valve looks fine.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    ... The hole is in the caucade (the inner passage), which is just brass...
    Dave have you invented a word? I want to use it because it sounds really cool, but I see no definition for it in the dictionary. ("caucade")
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  5. #5
    I learned the word from Sterling, actually, while I was still a clinician for them! I've checked it since then and I think it's real. But it's in the scientific/industrial category of words that are often not covered by standard dictionaries.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  6. #6
    My guess is that someone brushed the piston in a wrong way or didn't use a proper tool. Anyway, I'll plug it for now with a piece of cork.

  7. #7
    Careful on the solution. Cork could deteriorate quickly in this use (under air pressure with valve oil soaking it), and you may end up with pieces inside the valve.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  8. #8
    okay, thanks for the heads up Dave.

  9. #9
    My thoughts exactly. Cork not good. Not only pieces inside the valve, but inside the valve casing as well. Not good. Take it to a music repairman, and Dave's idea about soldering over it is probably a good one. I suppose with the little hole that when the valves are depressed and the air follows the pathway with the hole, some air is getting siphoned off into the twilight zone (inside the valve). I wonder if that hole could even cause a whistling effect? Surely best to get the hole plugged, but not with cork.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  10. Do not use cork. This should be repaired by a technican. It can be repaired with solder and smoothed as Dave said. The issue is that water will get inside the valve and potentially cause more corrosion. The valves are supposed to breath through the holes at the top and bottom of the piston, but these are not high moisture traffic area like the caucades which tend to collect moisture from the curves and turbulence of air flow through them. I clean the caucades on my valves weekly, and can confirm the amount of moisture that collects there. 4th valve in particular.
    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HGS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

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