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D key slow to come up

theamazingmeep21

New Member
Messages
2
Hi all, my alto has, for a while now, been slow to come back up after I press it. This has been going on since the marching season, so I blame this on damages sustained during that. Normally, I'm pretty good at fixing this kind of stuff on my own, but now I have no idea what is going on and don't know what to do. It only happens when I press the E key, so the one section of that post is isolated. It works fine on its own.

Everything looks normal from the outside, as far as I can tell. I've compared it to other horns that work fine, and I don't see anything. I have tried lubricating the inside of that one post and nothing happened. Springs are fine, and it is slower when I hold it up as I did in the video. When the keys are upside down, it is faster, but not normal still.

I think that's all, has anyone experienced this before or know a fix?
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,701
Looking at the video and noting the smooth, slow way in which the D key comes up makes me think that there's a probem with the lubrication.
It's a common problem on many Chinese horns - they seem to use a type of grease that dries out and becomes claggy.

You'd think that the solution would be to apply some oil - but the grease tends to prevent the oil from finding its way into the barrel.
The fix for this is to apply a solvent first. Cigarette lighter fluid (naptha) works a treat. Pop a drop at each end of the key barrel, work the key up and down until it frees up - then pop a drop of oil at each end of the barrel.

If that fails to work then you're probably dealing with a rusted rod/hinge screw or a bent key.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,404
I agree with @Stephen Howard completely. Another method that can be used to diagnose key movement issues is to unhook the spring on the D key and lift the key and let it fall by its own weight. A way to diagnose the "friction" in all the keys of the lower stack is to detach all of the springs and using the appropriate size screwdriver slowly unscrew the "hinge rod". If one or more keys try to lift when the rod is turned, it tells you there is unwanted friction which can either be a lubrication issue or a bent hinge tube (key barrel).
 
OP
T

theamazingmeep21

New Member
Messages
2
Looking at the video and noting the smooth, slow way in which the D key comes up makes me think that there's a probem with the lubrication.
It's a common problem on many Chinese horns - they seem to use a type of grease that dries out and becomes claggy.

You'd think that the solution would be to apply some oil - but the grease tends to prevent the oil from finding its way into the barrel.
The fix for this is to apply a solvent first. Cigarette lighter fluid (naptha) works a treat. Pop a drop at each end of the key barrel, work the key up and down until it frees up - then pop a drop of oil at each end of the barrel.

If that fails to work then you're probably dealing with a rusted rod/hinge screw or a bent key.
My ring finger is noticeably stronger after fingering D so many times, but it worked! Thank you so much!
 
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