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Thread: 4th valve sticking

  1. #1
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    Feb 2021
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    4th valve sticking

    Even when I clean the 4th valve on my Adam E3, I still get sticking one in a while if I hold the valve on long tones and release. It can get stuck halfway up.

    I wonder if I ordered Mead heavy springs, would it help. Any suggestions.

  2. #2
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    While I assume a stronger spring could help mitigate the issue...it won't fix whatever the root cause is.

    I assume others here may have an idea of what is causing the issue.
    Euphoniums
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  3. #3
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    Dave thought body chemistry. hopefully not bad breath!

  4. #4
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    Just don't play those long notes that require the valve to be down a while.

    Seriously though, clean, clean, and clean. Both the valve itself and inside the valve chamber. And keep the valve well oiled. Hopefully in the fullness of time the valve will grow out of it and behave properly. Having valves work perfectly all the time is something I really wish I could achieve, but alas, sometimes they just don't work as you would hope.
    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
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    Kingdom of the Sun (KOS) Concert Band, Ocala, FL (Euphonium)
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  5. #5
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    Yes, I do take the valve out, clean the valve, clean the tube where the valve goes in and oil well. I just have to keep doing it and like you said, hope it works out over time. The horn is new (probably less than 3 months) and I think I may want to get it professionally cleaned before I use it for a XMAS concert in December. One good cleaning may help. I don't do the cleaning myself because I fear being careless and denting the horn. That happens when you are a klutz! I can play the Besson for a few days.

  6. #6
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    Sometimes there's a tiny burr on the valve guide or something in the groove where the valve guide moves up and down. I've had a fuzzy edge on a plastic guide that I smoothed off carefully with a nail file. For the groove maybe try using a wooden or plastic toothpick and run it up and down in the groove then oil again.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (recently sold)
    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.
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  7. #7
    The 4th valve can be tricky on a 3+1 horn, partly because everything from 1, 2, & 3 runs down to 4.

    Mead springs are a good idea, with or without this issue. The extra strength helps keep the piston from bouncing on the upstroke, and it may also help with the 4th valve issue.

    "Clean is good" is true in most things, and is required for proper valve action. It is good to clean out the valve casings and wipe down the piston. I use a micro fiber cloth to swab out the casing and wipe the piston (different cloths). Now and then I use a toothbrush in the slot in the casing. You need to take off the bottom caps and springs to swab, and while they are off, wipe out the inside of the bottom caps. Now your pistons are clean...temporarily.

    If there is any gunk in the horn, it will find the pistons and cause trouble, so a full horn flush may be necessary. 3 months is about as long as I can go between flushes, but that varies greatly with body chemistry and maintenance habits. A flush can get rid of any leftover manufacturing grit and whatever your body contributes. One quick test of the latter is to run a swab or cloth through the bottom two ports in pistons 1, 2, and 3. If you get any slime from there, it is time to flush the horn (because the same slime will be in the other passages in the horn.

    Sometimes grease will find its way into the valves. It's usually from human error, from slide grease being on your hands or a cloth you are using on the valves. I use Dawn dish soap when I rinse my horn, but that is not a convenient process for day to day processes. If I suspect grease on a valve, I use some of this degreaser on the piston and put it in the horn for a day (using the degreaser as lubricant). Then the next day I wipe if off and re-oil. It can help. This is what I use, because it is made for cleaning petroleum off the valves, so I know it is safe for brass instruments:
    https://www.amazon.com/Alisyn-AL-239.../dp/B0002E3KPG
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by RickF View Post
    Sometimes there's a tiny burr on the valve guide or something in the groove where the valve guide moves up and down. I've had a fuzzy edge on a plastic guide that I smoothed off carefully with a nail file. For the groove maybe try using a wooden or plastic toothpick and run it up and down in the groove then oil again.
    Yes! I should have mentioned it myself. There can be various reasons for this, although it is mostly rare and I've never experienced it on my horn (but I did help rescue someone right before a recital when their valve mysteriously began to stick!). If someone is used to metal valve guides, like all older horns used, they can be careless when inserting the piston. If you let the guide bounce off the casing and/or slide it around the top of the casing looking for the slot, it can "mushroom" the bottom of the plastic and cause interesting problems.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
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    i accidentally unsubscribed from this thread, but you comment describes me. I do rotate the valve trying to find the slot. Never thought about there being any consequences. I will have to l check them out. Thanks for the suggestions.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Valley City, North Dakota, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by rgorscak View Post
    i accidentally unsubscribed from this thread, but you comment describes me. I do rotate the valve trying to find the slot. Never thought about there being any consequences. I will have to l check them out. Thanks for the suggestions.
    Oops. I do that too!!!
    Euphoniums
    John Packer 374LT
    John Packer 274L
    S.E.Shires Q41s

    Larry Herzog Jr.
    Twitter: iMav
    Facebook: iMav
    Email: me@imav.org
    Founder of geekhack.org

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