Brass Service Procedure

To remove oxides and accumulated deposits from a brass instrument to keep it playing at its best, a full service is recommended every year or two.

We thoroughly go through the instrument and perform work to keep it playing at its optimal performance. Our cleaning process is comprehensive, and these fifteen steps will provide some insight on how workshop completes the task.

  1. Instrument is disassembled
  • seized slides, valves, stems etc. are carefully loosened and removed
  • all hardware is removed – we don’t take shortcuts and put fully assembled valves into the cleaning tank etc.
  • any specific issues are noted
  1. Instrument is degreased – old oil, grease and grime is removed
  2. Instrument is submerged into our 400L ultrasonic cleaner with a propriety mild acid mixture developed by our workshop designed for musical instruments
  • Consideration is given to vintage instruments or instruments with red-rot – these instruments may not be put into an ultrasonic bath due to revealing metal fatigue
  1. Instrument is flushed with a neutralizing solution, then hand washed with detergent throughout and rinsed
  2. It is then air-compressed and placed into a drying cabinet
  • If the instrument has significant corrosion or is particularly dirty, the cleaning process may be repeated to fully clean the instrument. Apart from pitting/permanent wear, you should be able to look through your lead-pipe and it should shine.
  1. Slides are hand-cleaned and polished to remove imperfections and scuffs; we check and adjust the alignment of each slide as part of the service
  2. We also check the fit of each slide and expand the tube for a secure fit
  3. Staining on valves and/or casing are oil lapped for smooth action
  4. Minor, accessible dents are removed. This is also the stage that more comprehensive dent removal takes place as well as soldering, patch making, straightening, valve-repair etc.
  5. Replace parts such as water-key, springs, bumpers and any other necessary parts
  • We custom cut felts/corks and align the valves using an endoscope for proper alignment. Synthetic material that is less prone to compression, although louder, is available on request. For rotors we use a bumper that is quiet, but does not cause the rotor to ‘bounce’.
  1. Instrument is re-lubricated with high quality oils and greases – we only use the best
  2. Re-assemble instrument
  3. Instrument is ragged down with silver-polishing cloth or lacquer-polish
  • Basic polish is included in standard service charge. For full, comprehensive polish that is an extra charge

14. It is test played and adjusted/checked for optimum response

15. Mouthpiece is cleaned, polished and the shank is re-rounded with specifically designed tool and rounding ring to prevent flaring of the end of the shank

We will air-compress and perform basic, preventative maintenance on the case. A fully detailed repair sheet is supplied with each instrument providing detail on the work completed.

Our service work (full service) is guaranteed for 6 months on the workmanship completed. This is excellent assurance should anything be overlooked, and assists with selling the instrument as a guarantee and confidence for the instrument.

Parts are strictly an additional cost unless otherwise noted.