Care and maintainance

Care and maintainance March 14 2011, 10 Comments


here’s a space for all to share their thoughts and experiences: first up is Jeff!

Hi Chris.

I’m glad sales are going so well, even if you are permanently running to catch up!!!……Nice problem to have. My pBone’s doing sterling service, and always attracts a crowd. When I bought the horn, you asked me to provide feedback about lubrication in the real world, and I’m fairly confident that I’ve now got it pretty much cracked, the main constraint being that the lubricant must not attack materials or adhesives. My initial experiments with silicone oil were quite effective, but it is difficult to obtain in non – industrial quantities. I have, however, found something on the open market which is much better and seems to have a small silicone content. Holton Slide Oil – the stuff in the round/flat bottle – (Holton Valve oil is too thin). It is readily available from most brass suppliers, and seems to do the job very well. The technique, though, is to use it as a cleaner rather than a lubricant, as follows:

The main problem with this slide, is numerous high spots when it is new. These slowly wear away producing a lot of debris in the process, making the slide rough and noisy. My technique is to put a good coat of the Holton oil on each stocking and then “work” the slide for a few seconds, maybe play something, The slide will go very stiff and gooey….. This is what you want…It’s lifting the debris out of both surfaces. Wipe off the inner slide tubes with some kitchen roll or similar and it will come off black. Carry on wiping until it comes off clean. Reassemble and play. When it goes stiff again, just wipe off the inner slide tubes until clean. You should be able to do this 5 or 6 times before re – oiling. The residual lubricant “feeds” the running surfaces and provides sufficient lubrication until debris builds up, then just wipe it away without re – oiling. when wiping alone stops working then re-oil and start again. In time, the high spots wear away and material loss reduces to minimal proportions. I now repeat the lubricate and clean process about once a fortnight. Apart from washing through every few months, there seems to be no need to swab the outer slide as the lubricant lifts the debris from both surfaces.
Hope this all makes sense.