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Stuck Slide Help

Postby BBruce107 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:11 pm

Hi there, I have been working with a tuba that has the fifth valve tuning slide that is stuck all the way in and I am just looking for some advice regarding getting the slide to come out. The slide itself is fairly small and hard to get a good grip on. I would like to try and get the slide out myself before taking the horn into the shop without causing any potential damage to the slide. Thank you in advance!
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Re: Stuck Slide Help

Postby bcollins » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:05 am

I am a brass repair tech and what we often do for a stuck slide is use a spray solvent that we apply to any bare slide showing if it is pulled at all, or just in the crack where the slide and the tube meet. We then use a torch and heat the tube with the stuck slide to draw the solvent down into the stuck slide. We can use a special pair of pliers and rawhide hammer and carefully tap the slide out, or use a strap secured in a vice to pull it. All of this to say that if it is so stuck you can’t pull it lose, I would just take it into the shop. You don’t want to accidentally flatten your slide crook. They may just do it on the spot for free.
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Re: Stuck Slide Help

Postby Ken Herrick » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:39 am

My advice - and I am a retired, qualified repairer - is if you don't know what to do - do NOTHING!!! Take it to somebody who does know what they are doing. Applying excess force can easily lead to a damaged valve casing which could get very costly to repair.
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Re: Stuck Slide Help

Postby hup_d_dup » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:54 am

Brass is soft and easily bent. Letting a repairperson handle it is a good idea.

That said, I have had a good result by repeated cycles of hot and cold water, followed by a moderate pull (I only did this once; maybe I got lucky).

So this is my theory. The cold water makes the bond material brittle. The hot water expands the outer tube faster than the inner tube, which creates micro fractures in the bond material. Repeated cycles break up the bond material.

This isn't going to work if the slides are stuck because of a bend or dent.

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Re: Stuck Slide Help

Postby roweenie » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:53 pm

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Re: Stuck Slide Help

Postby paulver » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:46 pm

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Re: Stuck Slide Help

Postby bloke » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:53 pm

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Re: Stuck Slide Help

Postby Art Hovey » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:46 pm

Heating usually softens dried-out slide grease. Just hot enough to hurt when you touch it but not enough to raise blisters or burn lacquer.
While it's hot, yank on it with a piece of clothesline but not hard enough to do damage.
If that does not get it moving then take it to a good repair person.
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