How to oil rotary valves of french horn, rotary trumpet, trombone triggers
Updated: May 24, 2019
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 for most instruments.
The Ultra-Pure Complete Rotary 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.
Pro tip: 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 all mechanical linkages, ball joints, hinges, etc., with the Linkage, Lever & Key Oil.
Use Ultra-Pure Professional Valve Oil or Ultra-Light Valve Oil to oil the rotors down the slide tubes for each valve. Press the valve levers several times to work in the fresh oil.
Finally, grease the tuning slides with Ultra-Pure Regular Tuning Slide Lube.
Pro tip: Even if your horn feels fine, you should oil every week to prevent wear and corrosion.