Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How to oil rotary valves of french horn, rotary trumpet, trombone triggers

Rev. Oct 2017

Oiling the rotary valves, also called rotors, of the horn, french horn, rotary trumpet, trombone triggers, tubas or other brass instrument is simple, but you will need three kinds of oils and a tuning slide grease.

Ultra-Pure Oils offers a complete lube kit for rotary valves, pictured below (click on any photo to enlarge).

This lube kit has all the oils and grease you will need to keep your instrument lubricated. Even if your valves feel good, you should oil them once a week.

Let's start with oiling the bearings. There is a top and bottom shaft that rotates in a hole as you move the valve lever. This rotating shaft is called the bearing or spindle.

Remove the valve caps and use the Light Bearing Oil to oil one end of this bearing.While you have the valve caps off, oil the threads with the Linkage, Lever & Key Oil.

Next, oil the other end of the bearing. It is oiled in the small gap in the valve mechanism. Again,  use the Light Bearing Oil. A drop in each gap is all you need.

After the bearings are oiled, pull your tuning slides out a few inches without pressing the valve levers. This creates a little suction and pulls some oil into the bearing surfaces.

Next, oil the linkages and levers.  Put a drop of the Ultra-Pure Linkage, Lever & Key Oil on each side of the lever key and also the springs.

Oil any moving linkages, ball joints, rockers, or other moving parts. Afterward, wipe off any excess oils.

Now you will oil the surface of the rotary valve (the rotor). Remove one of the tuning slides and hold the horn so the slide tubes are pointing upward. Put 3-5 drops of Ultra-Pure Professional Valve Oil down each slide tube and move the valve lever a few times to spread the oil. Ultra-Pure Professional Valve Oil is the lightest of these three oils. There is very little space between the rotor and its casing, so you need to use a very light oil.

Finally, grease each tuning slide. The valve oil tends to remove your tuning slide lube or slide grease over time, so put a fresh coating on each week. Just get a dab of lube on your fingers and rub it into the slide. After reinserting the slide, wipe off any excess grease with a tissue or paper towel.

That's it! By oiling your instrument weekly, you will be protecting the valves, rotors, and mechanical parts from wear and will be able to enjoy your horn for years to come.

Ultra-Pure Oils makes fine lubricants and accessories for musicians. Shop Ultra-Pure for trumpet valve oil, trombone slide oil or lube, tuning slide lube, slide grease, rotary valve oil, key oil, trumpet or trombone care kits, cork grease, microfiber polishing cloths and more!

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