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Thread: Dismantling euph trigger mechanism

  1. Dismantling euph trigger mechanism

    There have been a few mentions on the forum of removing/dismantling trigger mechanisms on the euphonium. Not being blessed with mechanical skills, I need to feel more secure in doing so before actually doing it. From what I've read, it's fairly simple but I'd like a review of the steps. A few questions:
    1. Is it just the attachment to the tuning slide that I detach? I want to be able to clean the slide and inside the legs.
    2. Is removing the tuning slide all I need to do in order to give my horn a cleaning bath (of course including all other slides and valves)?
    3. If someday I want to revert to a non triggered tuning slide, do I remove the entire mechanism or just dismantle the linkage? I do have a spare standard tuning slide for my horn if I choose go that route. I'd love to find a video of the trigger mechanism being dismantled, cleaned, lubed and reattached, but it doesn't seem one exists. Anyone interested in making one? Thanks for any help you can give.

  2. #2
    It's been about 9 years since I cleaned/oiled/whatever a trigger, so I'll only add a couple thoughts.

    First, it's important to note that a triggered slide is too loose to work without the trigger. You've got that knocked already by having a spare slide.

    There is usually a single fitting that attaches the mechanism to the slide. If you release that you are probably ready to clean the horn.

    On my old Sterling I generally disassembled only as much as necessary to free the slide for cleaning or thorough re-lubing. BUT, I did lube the pivot points with a heavy oil. The Sterling had a barrel adjusting mechanism, so I would lube the threads on it as well.

    I never had the nerve to try to remove the trigger lever. There is a strong spring beneath it and around it. Typical water keys have the same thing on a smaller scale, and even for those you are wise to have a special tool to help in replacing them.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
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  3. Quote Originally Posted by Roger View Post
    1. Is it just the attachment to the tuning slide that I detach? I want to be able to clean the slide and inside the legs.
    Generally yes. On a German Besson, this involves removing the belly plate and unsnapping the trigger push rod from the tuning slide. Very quickly done. On most other brands including earlier British Bessons, you need to remove anything obstructing access to slide removal, and then unscrew the trigger pushrod from the tuning slide. On later Sterlings (mine included) the trigger pushrod has a thumb screw which can be loosened, allowing one end of the pushrod to be detached from the other. This allows you to remove the tuning slide from the horn with part of the pushrod still attached. My horn also has a slide stop screw whose thumb nuts need to be removed (like a trumpet third valve slide).

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger View Post
    2. Is removing the tuning slide all I need to do in order to give my horn a cleaning bath (of course including all other slides and valves)?
    Yes! Generally I leave the trigger mechanism attached to the carcass of the horn when I give it a bath. Removing the trigger arm, pivot mechanism, and springs is not for the faint of heart.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger View Post
    3. If someday I want to revert to a non triggered tuning slide, do I remove the entire mechanism or just dismantle the linkage? I do have a spare standard tuning slide for my horn if I choose go that route. I'd love to find a video of the trigger mechanism being dismantled, cleaned, lubed and reattached, but it doesn't seem one exists. Anyone interested in making one? Thanks for any help you can give.
    Dismantle the linkage and make sure your spare tuning slide fits snugly enough not to slip and slide while playing. If you want to remove the trigger itself, have a technician do it. I do not recommend removing the trigger mechanism (including the paddle, pivot screw, spring, and any other hard to reach parts.) The spring is under a lot of tension to insure your slide will return to the "sharp" position, and putting all of the mechanism back together can be fraught with opportunities to scratch the finish, break the pivot screw(s), or otherwise do nasty things. I prefer to clean the horn, dry it completely, air dry the pivot area if necessary, and then lube the pivot with oil (I use Hetman #6 ocassionally diluted with valve oil) rather than trying to use grease on the pivot. Most of the rest of the joints will be "Heim" joints, a type o ball joint that can be oiled externally.
    Last edited by daruby; 07-14-2020 at 06:40 PM.
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by daruby View Post
    Removing the trigger arm, pivot mechanism, and springs is not for the faint of heart.
    Amen. On the first Adams I got, I received an instrument in which the adjustable stop had fallen out in transport (and bounced around in the case and put a bunch of tiny dents in the instrument, ugh!) I could not get my fingers under the trigger to reinstall it, so I thought it'd be easy to just disassemble the trigger mechanism, reinstall the adjustable stop, and then reinstall the trigger. Easier said than done!! I couldn't do it. Finally, I emailed Adams to ask for advice. They said it required a special tool and a new spring every time you disassembled it (because they cut off the extra "tail" on the spring after installing! To their credit, they actually mailed me (free of charge) a tool and a few spare springs. My local tech actually was patient and coordinated enough to put it back together without the tool or the spare springs, but I have no idea how he made it work.
    --
    Barry

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