What I will do. What I won't do. What I try to do.
Diefes Brass Repair strives to provide the best service available at an affordable price. It is my goal to not only get your instrument working but to keep it working whilst also keeping costs reasonable.
A service is more than washing out an instrument and applying oil and grease. A proper service includes:
- full disassembly
- Why? Because an instrument gets dirty everywhere. Rotary valves in particular need a proper cleaning and need to be taken apart to get into the spaces that cause the most problems.
- washing, scrubbing, brushing of all tubing, valves and instrument bodies
- Why? To remove greases and oils so the chemical cleaning is effective. This also removes large and loose debris.
- an acid based chemical bath (if necessary)
- Why? To removes lime-scale build-up. Lime scale is the powdery white or green crud that build up in your instrument. *-1
- an ultrasonic bath:
- Why? To remove any remaining debris and get into those nooks and crannies a brush can't reach. *-2
- refitting of replaceable parts as needed - valve washers (felts), waterkey seals, slide bumpers, valve guides, valve bumpers, springs, etc.
- Why? These parts take a beating, that's what they are there for. Worn parts can make your instrument noisy, work poorly and cause problems. Parts are fitted and checked on every instrument to make sure they fit properly so your instrument works the best it can. Valve felts are visually inspected on EVERY instrument to make sure it has the best fit possible. DBR stocks thousands of parts for dozens of brands.
- removal of easily accessible dents
- What's an easily accessible dent? An easily accessible dent is on that can be reached with a fixed tool like a rod with a ball on the end of it. Dents around corners or alongside braces need extra time, special tools and often disassembly to remove fully.
- Correction of slide and body alignment
- What? Tubes get bent, instruments get squished. An instrument that is lined up up as best it can be will have less internal stresses. An instrument that is aligned will have slides that move smoothly and valves that run freely.
- reassemble and lubricate
- What gets lubed? Everything. From your waterkey hinge to your valve lever. If it's a joint that moves it will get lubricated.
What I don't do?
- overclean your instrument
- To remove lime-scale from an instrument requires an acid based cleaner. An acid based cleaner not only removed the lime-scale, which is already degrading the metal of the instrument, but will remove surrounding metal that is not covered in lime scale. Valves are fitted to the .001 inch clearance. This can be quickly and easily degraded with overcleaning, making your instrument leaky, less efficient and shorten its lifespan. I will always err on the side of under-cleaing your instrument of lime scale. Small deposits of lime-scale may remain after your cleaning but is a small price to pay for the opposite.
- Ultrasonic clean certain instruments
- Some instrument brands, Bach and B&S (including Hoyer horns) and some vintage horn in particular, have lacquer or plating that hold up poorly to ultrasonic cleaning. Older and even certain new instruments have thin or fragile tubing that the ultrasonic can damage. I don't want to return your instrument with any damage so these instruments will typically not go through the ultrasonic process without specific permission from the owner.
- Buff your valves or slides
- I will never buff your valve and if you ever hear of a repairman that does, DO NOT LET THEM TOUCH YOUR INSTRUMENT! There are proper ways to fit and repair a valve - that process NEVER includes the buffing of a rotor or a piston. I see instruments pretty much weekly that have had their valves buffed. This is a lazy way to make a sticky valve work and quite literally destroys an instrument.
- A tuning slide tube does not need to be shiny. Buffing is a polishing process that takes metal off quickly. Take away enough metal and your slides move too easily, can fall out and cause leaks. In my shop, quick moving slides, like 1st and 3rd trumpet slides, get a very light hand polish with ultrafine polishing paper only if it is necessary after the cleaning process. An instrument that has been well looked after and lubricated by the owner will not need any polishing whatsoever.