Cleaning leadpipes

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AndrewMeronek
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Cleaning leadpipes

Post by AndrewMeronek » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:53 pm

Does anyone have anything special they like to do with cleaning leadpipes? I'm wondering because I've recently gotten into a more-cleaning-than-usual kind of spree, and the leadpipes I have, which are brass, seem to retain odors more than other parts of the trombone - I'm assuming due to porosity and proximity to the most corrosive part of what goes into the horn.
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Burgerbob
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Re: Cleaning leadpipes

Post by Burgerbob » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:03 pm

I just snake them out with a normal slide snake and soap. If the area right after the receiver is still gross, I'll get a mouthpiece brush.
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ghmerrill
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Re: Cleaning leadpipes

Post by ghmerrill » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:05 pm

I'm assuming that you're referring to removable leadpipes (and not ones that are soldered in?).

I've never noticed any particular odor problems with mine, though I've only used a couple (one yellow brass and the other rose brass). When I pull it, I just clean with Dove detergent and water, and then with alcohol. Then prior to reinserting, I rub on a very thin coating of Dow Corning High Vaccum Grease (silicone grease). This substantially inhibits any corrosion of the leadpipe.
Gary Merrill
Wessex EEb Bass tuba
Mack Brass Compensating Euph
Amati Oval Euph
1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba
Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)
PaulT
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Re: Cleaning leadpipes

Post by PaulT » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:44 pm

If you have a removable pipe, is it recommended that you remove it when you snake the horn and that you clean the pipe separately? Or is this a "some do, some don't" with no consensus proposition?

Is a light lubrication recommended or is this a "some do, some don't" procedure with no consensus?
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BGuttman
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Re: Cleaning leadpipes

Post by BGuttman » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:51 pm

You don't have to remove the leadpipe during snaking, but it's probably a good idea in case you catch the end of the leadpipe on the brush.

Putting a thin moisture barrier on the outside (part that sits directly facing the inner tube) is an insurance against corrosion. Any good moisture barrier will do. I like the heavier LPS (LPS3) spray, but tuning slide grease woks as well as silicone grease (stopcock or the kind used to seal electrical connections in automotive uses). Don't slather it on; just a thin barrier is plenty.
Bruce Guttman
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ghmerrill
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Re: Cleaning leadpipes

Post by ghmerrill » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:57 pm

From my perspective, if you're going to clean the inner part of the inner slide tubes, you may as well remove the lead pipe and clean that inside and out as well. Why not? And why not put lubrication on it when you insert it? It kind of seems to resolve to the question of "Should I clean it or not?". The answer to that is "Yes."
Gary Merrill
Wessex EEb Bass tuba
Mack Brass Compensating Euph
Amati Oval Euph
1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba
Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)
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greenbean
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Re: Cleaning leadpipes

Post by greenbean » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:35 pm

ghmerrill wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:57 pm
From my perspective, if you're going to clean the inner part of the inner slide tubes, you may as well remove the lead pipe and clean that inside and out as well. Why not? And why not put lubrication on it when you insert it? It kind of seems to resolve to the question of "Should I clean it or not?". The answer to that is "Yes."
This is my thinking, too. If you are going to clean your horn... why NOT clean (and lube) the leadpipe? It is an important part of the horn. (And it is where all that free beer and food ends up... )
AndrewMeronek
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Re: Cleaning leadpipes

Post by AndrewMeronek » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:22 am

PaulT wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:44 pm
If you have a removable pipe, is it recommended that you remove it when you snake the horn and that you clean the pipe separately? Or is this a "some do, some don't" with no consensus proposition?

Is a light lubrication recommended or is this a "some do, some don't" procedure with no consensus?
I've always thought that if I don't remove the leadpipe to clean it, debris can build up at the lip where the leadpipe ends.

I'm in the camp of 'some don't' when it comes to lubricating the leadpipe, but that's only because I've never heard of that before. I may try it.
BGuttman wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:51 pm
Putting a thin moisture barrier on the outside (part that sits directly facing the inner tube) is an insurance against corrosion. Any good moisture barrier will do. I like the heavier LPS (LPS3) spray, but tuning slide grease woks as well as silicone grease (stopcock or the kind used to seal electrical connections in automotive uses). Don't slather it on; just a thin barrier is plenty.
Any issues with the lubricant moving down into the main tube beyond the leadpipe?
“All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”

- Thelonious Monk
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ghmerrill
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Re: Cleaning leadpipes

Post by ghmerrill » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:15 am

AndrewMeronek wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:22 am
Any issues with the lubricant moving down into the main tube beyond the leadpipe?
Yes. Which is why you don't slop it on. I wouldn't use something thin and runny like valve oil (since it won't cling to the surface well), but if you do, then you have the same effect (to at least some degree) as you do in oiling your rotary valve(s).

If you use something like tuning slide grease or industrial silicone grease, then you don't want to slather on a "coating" of it. I just put a tiny bit of my silicone grease on it, rub it up, down, and around all over the lead pipe, wipe of any residue with my hand, and put the pipe in. You're not trying to fill any space with the lubricant, and in fact you're not really trying to lubricate it (like a slide). You're just putting on a protectant so that the lead pipe (and section of the inner slide it's in) doesn't corrode. If you're using silicone, then only a VERY thin film is necessary to last a VERY long time -- certainly much longer than you'll want to go between cleanings.

If I didn't have my Dow silicone grease (which I use for tuning slides), I'd probably just use a drop of Superslick Plus (which I use for my hand slide) on the lead pipe, rub it all over the surface, and stick the pipe in the slide.
Gary Merrill
Wessex EEb Bass tuba
Mack Brass Compensating Euph
Amati Oval Euph
1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba
Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)
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Re: Cleaning leadpipes

Post by AndrewMeronek » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:47 am

My concern is further down the road: after the lube is applied ever so lightly, the act of subsequently cleaning the slide tube after taking the leadpipe out again could rub any lube (that didn't go with the removed leadpipe) past where the leadpipe sits.
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BGuttman
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Re: Cleaning leadpipes

Post by BGuttman » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:07 am

AndrewMeronek wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:47 am
My concern is further down the road: after the lube is applied ever so lightly, the act of subsequently cleaning the slide tube after taking the leadpipe out again could rub any lube (that didn't go with the removed leadpipe) past where the leadpipe sits.
Remember that it's on the inside of the inner slide so it will have to travel a good long way before it hits any moving surface. I really wouldn't get too paranoid about it.

And using Superslick slide cream or the Yama"snot" will put something in that is compatible with what's on the slide anyway.
Bruce Guttman
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Kbiggs
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Re: Cleaning leadpipes

Post by Kbiggs » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:59 pm

I’ve always used tuning slide grease for my removable leadpipes. Valve oil or slide cream or Yamasnot is too thin—it won’t “stick” to the leadpipe or the inner slide tube, and it will evaporate. You want something that will stay in place to prevent corrosion, keep it lubed for the times you do pull it, and keep moisture out as much as possible. Dont forget to put a dab on the threads, too.

To clean a leadpipe, if the snake doesn’t clean out the crud, buy a long, straight brush about the same diameter as the brush on the snake, maybe a wee bit larger. You can find them in almost any hardware store. (I bought mine in a set from Harbour Freight, FWIW.) If that doesn’t remove the crud, it’s time to visit your tech for a chem clean, a sonic clean, or maybe a new leadpipe!
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ghmerrill
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Re: Cleaning leadpipes

Post by ghmerrill » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:39 am

Kbiggs wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:59 pm
I’ve always used tuning slide grease for my removable leadpipes. Valve oil or slide cream or Yamasnot is too thin—it won’t “stick” to the leadpipe or the inner slide tube, and it will evaporate. You want something that will stay in place to prevent corrosion, keep it lubed for the times you do pull it, and keep moisture out as much as possible.
Exactly. And I'm just not seeing the worry about stuff "migrating" down the tube. If you put the right stuff on, and use only a minimal amount, there just isn't a problem. Wringing of hands about this isn't necessary.
Dont forget to put a dab on the threads, too.
We don't need no steenking threads!! :lol:
To clean a leadpipe, if the snake doesn’t clean out the crud, buy a long, straight brush about the same diameter as the brush on the snake, maybe a wee bit larger. You can find them in almost any hardware store. (I bought mine in a set from Harbour Freight, FWIW.) If that doesn’t remove the crud, it’s time to visit your tech for a chem clean, a sonic clean, or maybe a new leadpipe!
A gun cleaning rod (or segment of one) with the proper diameter non-metallic brush works well -- if you really need a brush. I also use a wooden flute cleaning rod with a patch since in general I don't feel the need to use a brush, and a brush just doesn't clean as thoroughly as a fairly tight-fitting cloth patch. If you take the pipe out for cleaning (why not?), then you can really do a very thorough cleaning in just a couple of minutes -- or soaking it for a period if you're so inclined (but why?). The real point is that you ought to be cleaning it sufficiently frequently that you don't end up with anything in it that requires serious brushing (or abrasives, or whatever) to remove. If this is happening (but I wonder why/how), then I guess I'd go to wiping it out after every use with my flute cleaning rod and patch -- kind of like I used to do with the flute when I was playing flute. :shock:
Gary Merrill
Wessex EEb Bass tuba
Mack Brass Compensating Euph
Amati Oval Euph
1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba
Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)
Doubler
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Re: Cleaning leadpipes

Post by Doubler » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:14 pm

Good dental hygiene will forestall and can even prevent pizza from growing inside your horn. I hate having to snake any horn, so I always floss and brush my teeth prior to playing. Once a week (or every seventh time, if I don't play a particular horn every day) I blow a Herco Spitball or two through the horn to take care of any residue. I don't remember the last time I had to swab out a horn, and I check them weekly with a flashlight. The insides always look great! Plus, as a bonus, your dental expenses will always be at a minimum if you adopt this habit. More $$$ for horns, accessories, lessons, music, etc.
Current instruments:
Olds Studio trombone, 3 trumpets, 1 flugelhorn, 1 cornet, 1 shofar, 1 keyboard

Previous trombones:
Selmer Bundy, Marceau
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