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Thread: GENERAL: What should be sent to a repair shop vs. DIY

  1. #1

    GENERAL: What should be sent to a repair shop vs. DIY

    I purchased a used Yamaha yep321 off Ebay that I finally received.

    The horn plays surprisingly well (more so on myself since I haven't played for in over a month). However, I have the following issues, and am wondering what should be sent to a repair shop, vs. what I can do on my own

    MAIN CONCERNS
    3rd and 4th valves won't open
    Can't oil the valves unless I drip them through from the bottom holes
    I read that wrapping the caps with a hand towel, and using pliers to loosen it can work



    LESSER CONCERNS
    2nd valve and 4th valve tuning slides won't budge

    turning the finger buttons also turns the stem that it connects to
    So for 3 of the valves, turning the finger button enough times removes the finger button AND the stem, like they're one unit.

    bottom caps of the valves won't open
    AFAIK, they're supposed to be able to. I've used trumpets and baritone horns that allowed for this



    I only have one repair shop in town, so another bridge I'll need to see if I want to cross is if it won't cost too much to ship it out for repairs.

  2. Dealing with stuck valves, slides and caps should be in the wheelhouse of any shop that sells brass instruments. Those are pretty typical problems with horns that have been sitting in storage for a while and aren't properly lubricated -- which is how student instruments are often treated. It should be very cheap or even free to fix some of these problems, since they'll take literal seconds for a trained tech to handle.

    The hand towel and pliers can work for getting the caps off. You might want to try some penetrating oil on the gap between the parts as well; another option is to get a small strap wrench from a hardware store. I've seen techs use a rawhide hammer to tap around the outside of the caps to loosen their grip on the threads, but I wouldn't recommend trying that yourself.

    The stem-button assembly should be easy to deal with with penetrating oil, too. Only issue will be getting a good grip on the two components and being able to twist them in opposite directions without marking up either.

    The slides are trickier since applying too much force to them can cause you to bend connections or even rip the horn apart. I've had luck with looping a soft cord (or even a necktie) around the slide and pulling firmly (but not quickly) on it, though this can distort the slide if only one side is frozen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,225
    Pliers can be too much force to use on brass caps - even with a rag. Brass is soft and can be damaged fairly easily. I would take it to a professional brass tech for service.

    I have a small strap wrench that I bought several years ago called the "Zyliss Strong Boy". It's designed to open jar lids in the kitchen, but works well for brass valve caps. For awhile it was'nt available. It should fit valve caps from trumpet to tuba. Here's a link:

    Zyliss Strong Boy


    Last edited by RickF; 07-10-2016 at 04:39 PM.
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,225
    I tried editing my post above and it showed up originally, but then the edit portion was gone. Very weird. Been getting a lot of 503 errors, not available too. Usually they go away if you wait just 30 seconds and try again.

    I see that the Zyliss Strong Boy is not available again.

    There's an older version - that I really like better - because it fits in tighter spaces better (like tops of valve casings). It has a stainless steel strap instead of the rubber strap so I wrapped black rubber tape over mine so it won't scratch the brass. This comes in handy during band camp with middle school students along with a mpc shank truing tool.

    Zyliss Strongboy Jar and Bottle Opener

    This one is only $4 plus shipping.
    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

  5. Wondering if anyone has done DIY valve venting ?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by graeme View Post
    Wondering if anyone has done DIY valve venting ?
    Graeme: Don't think I would try that myself. Number one, you have to put the vent in the correct place. Number two, you have to know how big a hole to make. Number three, you don't want metal bits inside the valve, there are ways to avoid this, usually done by people who REALLY know what they are doing. Number four, you have to drill the hole without screwing up the valve (in any kind of clamp, or skipping off the hole to put unintended gouges on other parts of the valve, etc.). Number five, you have to probably smooth out the hole entry point on the valve to make sure there are absolutely no burrs on the surface of the valve. Number six, I am sure there is a number six, but can't think of it right now, other than to say take this to someone who REALLY knows everything there is to know about venting valves on brass instruments and has done it successfully multiple times before, or be prepared to buy replacement valves if you screw up anywhere along the way.
    Last edited by John Morgan; 07-11-2016 at 09:41 AM.
    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)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ackmondual View Post
    I purchased a used Yamaha yep321 off Ebay that I finally received.

    The horn plays surprisingly well (more so on myself since I haven't played for in over a month). However, I have the following issues, and am wondering what should be sent to a repair shop, vs. what I can do on my own

    MAIN CONCERNS
    3rd and 4th valves won't open
    Can't oil the valves unless I drip them through from the bottom holes
    I read that wrapping the caps with a hand towel, and using pliers to loosen it can work



    LESSER CONCERNS
    2nd valve and 4th valve tuning slides won't budge

    turning the finger buttons also turns the stem that it connects to
    So for 3 of the valves, turning the finger button enough times removes the finger button AND the stem, like they're one unit.

    bottom caps of the valves won't open
    AFAIK, they're supposed to be able to. I've used trumpets and baritone horns that allowed for this



    I only have one repair shop in town, so another bridge I'll need to see if I want to cross is if it won't cost too much to ship it out for repairs.
    You will really want to be able to open all valve caps, tops and bottoms, and take off the finger buttons. You will need to clean the valve casing occasionally, and you can't do this without being able to get in there. You usually run something entirely through the valve casing, and you need the tops and bottoms off to do this. Same with slides, they all should work, and come out for greasing and when you clean the entire horn. Plus being able to move the slides is quite necessary if you want to play in tune!

    I would recommend taking the horn to a qualified technician to have all these things attended to. Once you get everything undone, keep all valves oiled and slides greased. ALWAYS. Until the end of time. Or you will get this same situation again.
    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)

  8. #8
    Now that ackmondual has posted questions about do it yourself vs. taking your horn to a repair shop, I have a question for anyone that may have encountered this.

    I have owned many horns in my life, I keep them oiled and greased, and use them frequently, so nothing has ever stuck or froze for me. However, I just purchased a 1956 Boosey & Hawkes Imperial euphonium in near pristine condition. Besides needing new felts and corks, it is absolutely excellent. All valves, top and bottom caps, and slides work, with the exception of the short slide on the 1st valve and the short slide on the 3rd valve (compensating). Those two are frozen in place and I suspect have not been moved since before man landed on the moon. I did not want to put too much pressure on the slides to remove them, fearing that I would pull something off the horn I did not intend to.

    Anyone have any ideas on what I might do to get these two short slides out. Of course, on the 3rd valve slide, there is a ring. But the little stubby 1st valve slide only has the little nubs to grip onto. I am wondering if some kind of solvent poured in through the valve casing into the slide might do something besides make a mess. Any ideas on this? Thanks.
    Last edited by John Morgan; 07-10-2016 at 06:16 PM.
    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)

  9. #9
    John,

    I'm not a qualified repair person, but here is what I would try.

    Penetrating oil might do the trick, but then you'd have to clean the whole horn out. So I would start with petroleum valve oil, placed several times a day on the outer joint for both slides, and from insides if you can get a good angle. You might tap lightly on the end of the slide with a small rubber mallet or the equivalent just to jostle things along the way. Then after a couple days of this, thread a thick shoestring through the slide bend of each and give it a few sharp tugs. Use your judgement about how hard. You might do this with the horn laying on its face, and with a towel placed around all the surrounding tubing to prevent dents if/when the slide pops out.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    John,

    I'm not a qualified repair person, but here is what I would try.

    Penetrating oil might do the trick, but then you'd have to clean the whole horn out. So I would start with petroleum valve oil, placed several times a day on the outer joint for both slides, and from insides if you can get a good angle. You might tap lightly on the end of the slide with a small rubber mallet or the equivalent just to jostle things along the way. Then after a couple days of this, thread a thick shoestring through the slide bend of each and give it a few sharp tugs. Use your judgement about how hard. You might do this with the horn laying on its face, and with a towel placed around all the surrounding tubing to prevent dents if/when the slide pops out.
    Well, lets see, in my Army training I jumped out of airplanes, flew helicopters in unusual attitudes, and did all manner of crazy, dangerous things, but this operation has me a little worried. I can see me giving the slide an Incredible Hulk tug and breaking off the entire slide from the valve, and in the process probably have the slide and other parts flying around my room and impaling on my Adams sitting on the other side. But that may be the only solution. I may try the oil inside and out for a few days and see if I can pull the 3rd slide by the ring. Any pulling right now just seems to flex the slide and I don't want to overdo it. I must admit (I hate telling on myself) that I rarely ever did much with either one of these slides. I may elect to just let them be as is and make believe that both slides are like the 2nd valve compensating slide which there isn't one, just the tubing, so it doesn't move.
    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)

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