Text Size

Care of your instrument

With the right care your Original Engelbert Schmid Horn can last a lifetime. Even a life span of 100 years or more is possible. The most important rule, besides the right care of your horn, is to only have your horn overhauled by an instrument maker who knows what is important and has the right tools.

I offer a free adjustment of the valves after 3 to 4 months. For the further care of your instrument follow these points:

  1. Oil the bearings on the outside every four weeks, using half a drop medium light oil on the top and bottom bearings and on the linkage and lever bearings. Take care not to oil the silicons or they will expand, eventually even jump out. If you oil the bearings too seldom, water and with it lime deposit will come into the bearings,-a very bad gliding material-,the valve has to stick. This is the reason for about 90% of the valve problems. In this case you need to have the lime deposit removed by rotating the valve and cleaning it with a cloth, not with acid. If you oil the valve bearings too much, the oil will work its way into the valves and gum them up. If this happens, you have two choices:
    1. Either taking the valves apart and cleaning rotors and casings with a cloth, or dropping a thin oil down through the valve sides into the valve, trying not to wash slide grease with it. This will have to be repeated often. That´s the easier method because you don´t have to develop a feeling for the dosis of bearing oil.
    2. For players with alkaline saliva, oiling the valves on the inside can help prevent excessive lime deposits.
  2. Clean the mouthpipe approximately every six months with a brush. The rest of the instrument normally doesn't need to be cleaned.
    • Grease the slides before the old grease has dried out. Take care not to get grease inside the slides and push the slides several times in. Completely when greasing, in order to remove the lime deposit.
  3. Change the strings once a year whether or not it seems necessary.
  4. If the valves get too loud and oiling doesn't help, go to an instrument maker as soon as possible. Most important by any work on the valves is that the bearing on the linkage side is reseated along its whole lenght. To do this the repairman needs a special reseating tool. The normal reseating sleeve is not enough, because it doesn't reseat the whole lenght of the bearing. Any up and down play has to be eliminated by turning down the outside edges of the bearing cap on the screw cap side. Heavy lime deposits are removed by rotating the rotor in the casing without the bearing on the cap side, using oil as a cleaning agent. Wipe the rotor and casing clean with a cloth. The remaining deposits and the dark oxidation should not be removed. Cleaning the rotors in an acid bath is wrong. The sealing surfaces should never be lapped, or even worse, polished.
    • Mistreated rotors on Original Engelbert Schmid Horns can be replaced.
  5. In some cases, despite the most careful degreasing and drying before the lacquering process, black spots can develop under the lacquer, mainly around the bell rim.
    The reason for this is that remains of the solvents used in cleaning are trapped under the lacquer and are prevented from evaporating. Gas wants to come out and finds tiny capilliaries through the soldering. Piercing the lacquer with a needle where a black spot begins will keep it from getting any larger. This phenomen is not completely controlable by us, so we in general cannot guaratee for lacquering. 

Before any work is done on your horn have your repairman read point 4.

Engelbert Schmid


Recommended slide-positions for Bb and F-sides, changeable to B natural/F# and A/E.

F/Bb: Main tuning slide according to need (approx.10 mm).

F-tuning slide to the first mark plus individual tuning (approx. 5 mm).

1. Bb-slide 10 mm
2. Bb-slide 5 mm
3. Bb-slide 10 mm
1. F-slide 14 mm
2. F-slide not pulled out
3. F-slide not pulled out


F#/B natural: Main tuning slide without intermediate piece according to need (i.e. 10 mm). 

F#-slide according to need (i.e. 5 mm). Push in all valve-slides.

E/A: Intermediate piece and main tuning slide each to the mark plus the individual tuning (i.e. 10mm). 

E-slide till 2. mark plus individual tuning (i.e. 5 mm).

1. Bb-slide 20 mm
2. Bb-slide 10 mm
3. Bb-slide 25 mm
1. F-slide 28 mm
2. F-slide 7 mm
3. F-slide 21 mm