It is vitally important to keep an instrument clean in order to maintain its playing characteristics. In putting an instrument into proper playing condition, I use the new, state of the art Ultrasonic Cleaning system. This ultrasonic machine is designed specifically for cleaning brass instruments. Unlike the old method of using harmful acids, harsh chemicals, and abrasive brushing, the ultrasonic process is safer for the horn, the user, and the environment. The process uses sound waves to loosen and rinse away all types of dirt and grime from every surface area of the instrument. Finish with a simple rinse and air/towel dry and it's done. Silver horns have the additional steps of polishing and applying a tarnish preventative. All springs, corks, and felts are inspected for wear, and replaced if needed, with original manufacturers parts. A Valve Port Alignment is recommended for optimal playability. Valves and slides are lubricated and adjusted if needed. The instrument is then play tested and hand wiped.
If your horn is not working correctly, or just seems "off", I can repair anything your horn needs . . . dent removal, soldering, valve work & alignments, refitting slides. All repairs are done in-house, and all plating is done at the industry's best plating shops.
Consultations are available (by appointment) to customize any trumpet or cornet to fit your needs. Braces, triggers, custom leadpipes, crooks, ergonomic refitting, and gap setting are just a few of the complete range of customizations I can do for your optimum playing experience. If you have a customization need - it can be done!
Valve Rebuilding/Valve Alignments
Charlie's Brass Works is extremely particular on the condition of the valves. When a valve is loose or has lost its compression, it is necessary to rebuild the valve. This is done by honing the piston and valve casing so it is straight up and down and perfectly round. In the case of Monel valves, the ports in the piston are plugged. On previously nickel or chrome plated valves, the ports are not plugged unless there is significant wear. The piston goes through a process of heavy copper plating, then is honed, then a heavy nickel plating, then honed once more to specification. (If ports were plugged, they are cleaned out before the next step.)
The next step of rebuilding is to hand lap the pistons to fit the casings. Then they are cleaned, a precision alignment (see below) is performed, and finally they are oiled. The last step is a thorough playing test.
Delivery time for a complete piston refit is 5-8 weeks
I consider it critical to have the valves aligned on any trumpet. Vertical and rotational alignments are performed. A series of measurements, visual inspections, and playing tests are involved in making the proper alignments. Charlie's Brass Works uses synthetic pads and plastic shims for the valves. In some cases, like Bach trumpets, original Bach top cap pads are used, simply because they are excellent pads for these horns. I keep a record of all alignments on file for future reference.
Delivery time for an alignment (with appointment) 2-3 days