US3030846A - Musical instrument valve mechanism - Google Patents

Musical instrument valve mechanism Download PDF

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US3030846A
US3030846A US1017A US101760A US3030846A US 3030846 A US3030846 A US 3030846A US 1017 A US1017 A US 1017A US 101760 A US101760 A US 101760A US 3030846 A US3030846 A US 3030846A
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piston
valve
casing
barrel sleeve
ports
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US1017A
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Leland B Greenleaf
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CG Conn Ltd
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Conn Ltd C G
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10DSTRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; WIND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACCORDIONS OR CONCERTINAS; PERCUSSION MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; AEOLIAN HARPS; SINGING-FLAME MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G10D9/00Details of, or accessories for, wind musical instruments
    • G10D9/04Valves; Valve controls

Description

APl'l 24, 1962 l.. B. GREENLEAF 3,030,846

' MUSICAL INSTRUMENT VALVE MECHANISM Filed Jan. '7, 1960 BY 4( W United States Patent O rvrice 3,636,846 MUSICAL lNSTRUMENT VALVE MECHANISM Leland B. Greenleaf, Elkhart, Ind., assignor to C. G. Conn, Ltd., Elkhart, ind., a corporation of Indiana Filed Jan. 7, 1960, Ser. No. 1,017 7 Claims. (Cl. 843SS) This invention relates generally to valves for musical instruments, and more particularly to an improved valve guide construction for cornets, trumpets, and like brasswind instruments.

In cornets, trumpets, and other brass-wind instruments, notes are produced by changing the effective length of the tubing forming the instrument. This is accomplished by actuating valves which are operative to connect one or more slides or crooks into the main tube. Such valves generally have a cylindrical casing, with the main tube and the crooks opening into ports in the same. A hollow piston operates in the casing and has ports therein which may be aligned with various casing ports by depressing the piston. The piston is normally biased by a. spring to a home position which is dened by a stop provided at the top of the casing.

lf clear notes are to result, it is essential that rotation of the piston be prevented so that the valve passages or ports therein are kept in proper alignment with the openings in the casing. lt is also important that frictional noises generated by the movement of the piston and spring mechanism be reduced to the lowest possible level. In addition to accurate and quiet operation, it is highly esirable to have a free-acting valve in which the Working parts are shielded from dirt and other foreign matter which may enter through the top of the valve casing. Because lime or other saliva deposits may enter through the casing ports, it is advantageous to have a self-cleaning action so that such material does not accumulate where it will cause sluggish action.

The present invention is an improvement of the top spring valve mechanism disclosed in copending application Serial No. 633,924, now US. Patent No. 2,929,292, which patent is owned by the assignee herein and is directed to some of the aforementioned problems.

It is an object of this invention to provide an improved guide construction for piston-type musical instrument valves which is simple and effective.

Another object of the invention is to provide a pistontype valve for a brass-wind instrument which operates with a free, quiet and accurate action, which is protected from direct or foreign matter and which has a self-cleaning action.

A feature of the invention is the provision of a brasswind instrument having a valve wherein a cup-like plastic member is clamped in a rattle-free mounting in the upper end of the valve casing to serve as a guide for axial movement of the piston and as a shield which seals off the working surfaces of the piston and casing from dirt entering the upper end of the casing.

Another feature of the invention is the provision of a cup-like plastic member keyed to the valve casing and having a guiding aperture in the bottom thereof which cooperates with a guide pin or key connected to the piston to accurately index the piston against angular rotation while providing smooth and quiet valve action.

Still another feature of the invention is the provision of a brass-wind instrument having a valve construction embodying the above-described cup-like member so that the valve casing may be counterbored near either end of the piston stroke to provide wiping shoulders therein which cooperate with the working surface of the piston to provide a self-cleaning action. An upper portion of the piston is reduced in diameter to provide a wiping shoulder 3,030,846 Patented Apr. 24, 19$2 on the piston which likewise cooperates with the upper working surface of the casing.

A further feature of the invention is the provision of a piston return mechanism in which a compression spring is supported and housed completely within the above described cup-like plastic member. The spring is coiled around the stem of the piston therein to actuate return of the piston, the spring being mounted and wound to provide substantially noise-free operation thereof.

The invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawing in which:

FIG. l is a perspective view of a cornet having valves incorporating the invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional elevational view taken on lines 2.-2 of FIG. l of one of the valves of the cornet shown in FlG. 1;

HG. 3 is an enlarged elevational View of the barrel sleeve member of the invention;

FiG. 4 is a top plan view of the barrel sleeve shown in FlG. 3, and showing the coupling sleeve in cross-section;

FG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary elevational view in section illustrating another embodiment of the invention in a valve assembly; and

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the barrel sleeve of FIG. 5 and showing the guide pin and the valve stem in cross section.

The invention provides an accurate piston-type slide valve construction for brass-wind instruments which provides free, accurately guided movement with a minimum of noise. A cup-like plastic barrel sleeve is provided in the upper end of the valve casing. The barrel sleeve is keyed to the valve casing so that the valve piston is indexed against angular movement by a keyed Valve stem or guide means being slidably received in a shaped closure portion of the barrel sleeve. The sleeve also prevents dirt from reaching the closely tted valve surface. A compression spring is wound around the valve stem and is supported in the barrel sleeve in a manner which substantially eliminates rictional and vibrational noise. A valve cap seats against a peripheral ilange on the upper edge of the barrel sleeve to prevent radial movement of the barrel sleeve and the ensuing clicking noise. When the valve is actuated, a self-cleaning action occurs due to the provision of a relief and shoulder on the piston and spaced wiping shoulders in the bore of the casing.

Referring in more detail to the accompanying drawing, there is shown in FIG. l a cornet 10 having three slide valves 11a, 11b and 11e connected together in the usual manner. Various crooks 12a, 12b and 120 open into the casings 13 of the valves 11, the crooks being coupled to the main tubing portions of the cornet when the various valves are actuated, as well known.

In FIG. 2 one of the valves 11 is shown in greater detail in a partially sectioned view to reveal the parts housed within casing 13. A piston 14 is mounted for vertical reciprocal movement Within casing 13 so that passages or ports 16 therein register with ports 17 of casing 13. A valve stem 18 is connected to the upper end of piston 14 and extends beyond the top of the casing 13 to carry a finger pad or key 19, which, when depressed, actuates the valve 11.

The piston 14 is guided in its reciprocal motion by its close sliding fit in casing 13 and also `by a barrel sleeve 21. As more clearly shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, barrel sleeve 21 is a hollow, elongated cuplike cylindrical member 'with an open upper end 'and an enclosed lower end. It is constructed of `a sound absorbent material, preferably a plastic such `as nylon which may be easily molded and which has a low coefficient of friction. The outer diameter of barrel sleeve 21 permits the sleeve to be easily slip fitted into the casing 13. The upper edge of barrel sleeve 21 is provided with a peripheral flange portion Z2 which rests on the upper edge of casing 13 when the barrel sleeve is completely inserted into the upper end of the casing.

To obtain an accurately indexed and non-rotational mounting of the barrel sleeve, a Ikeyway 2,3 is machined in the upper inner surface of casing 13 and a key portion 24, shaped to mate therewith, is `formed on the upper exterior surface of the barrel sleeve 21 adjacent iiange portion 2.2. The cup-like lower or closure portion of the barrel sleeve is shaped to slidably receive both the lower portion of stem 13 and the particular indexing member carried by piston 14. Thus, the bottom of the closure portion has acircular aperture 26 formed therein to slidably receive a coupling sleeve 2'7 of valve` stem 18 with a close clearance lit. The aperture 26 is shaped to provide an axially oiset keyway 28 (HG. 4) which mates with a key portion 29 formed longitudinally along the edge of coupling sleeve 2'7. It is apparent trom FIG. 4 that the cross sectional shape of sleeve 27 thus matches that of the shaped aperture 26. Since the barrel sleeve 21 Vis keyed against rotational movement with respect to the casing 13 and since the piston is keyed to the b-arrel sleeve by means of coupling sleeve 27, the piston 14 is effectively indexed against angular movement so that accurate registry of the ports 16 `and 17 is thereby achieved and maintained.

It is to be noted that coupling sleeve 27 of stem 1S is olf relatively large diameter with respect to the upper portion of stem 18 so as to yield greater stiffness in the stem construction as Well as to increase the amount by which the key portion 29 is offset from the axial center of sleeve 27. The latter feature lallows for less angular movement of the piston yfor any given allowance provided between the outer cross sectional dimensions of sleeve 27 and the vdimensions of keyway 28.

The barrel sleeve 21 la-lso serves as a housing and support for the spring return mechanism of the valve. The lower end or closure portion of barrel sleeve 21 is provided with an annular inside shoulder 31 (FlGS. 3 and 4) in which is seated the bottom turn of a helical compression spring 32. Spring 32 has -a relatively large diameter to length ratio so that it flexes without snakingj thus preventing contact with the sides of the barrel sleeve or the sides of metallic sleeve 27. Also, the spring convolutions are wound with a predetermined spacing so that adjacent convolutions do not touch when the valve is actuated, thereby further reducing the possibility of spring noise or sing occurring. The top turn of spring 32 is seated in a cup-shaped Washer 33, made of sound yabsorbent plastic such as nylon to do away with metal-to-metal contact in the spring supporting structure and thus reduce noise originating from this source. Washer 33 is mounted between sleeve Y27 and a valve stern shoulder adjacent a threaded portion of stem 18 received in the upper end of sleeve 2,7.

The top of casing 13 is enclosed by a threaded metallic Vtop cap 3 4 which, when screwed down, bears against ilfange portion 22 of barrel sleeve 21 to clamp the barrel sleeve securely in place. Flange portion 22 also serves as a washer for the cap 34. Any tendency of the barrel sleeve to rattle, which might otherwise occur due to its clearance t in the casing, is thereby substantially eliminated. The function of the spring 32 is readily apparent, being to bias the piston to the home position defined by the contact of a tapered cork stop member 36 against the undersurface of cap 34.

In addition to guiding and indexing the piston and reducing noise in the valve mechanism, the barrel sleeve also collects dirt or other 'foreign matter entering the top of the casing through the valve stem opening in cap 34. Thus, the working or bearing surfaces of piston 14 and casing 13 are protected and therefore are less subject to abrasive wear and sluggish action. However, as previously mentioned, saliva may still enter the valve through the casing ports, causing deposits of lime `and other material which tend to impede the reciprocal motion of the piston. To overcome this problem the upper and lower portions of valve casing 13 yare counterbored to a larger diameter than the central bearing portion which mates with piston 14. This produces an upper annluar shoulder 37 and a lower iannular shoulder 38 in the inner wall of the casing, the shoulders being spaced apart a distance somewhat less than the full stroke of the valve piston. Also, the upper end of piston 14 is reduced in diameter to provide ia shoulder 39 which is located somewhat above shoulder 37 when the piston is in the home position. These shoulders produce a wiping action on their respective adjacent working surfaces when the valve is actuated so that valve oil sludge and saliva depositsfare accumulated on the shoulders and lat the bottom of the casing. The lower end of barrel sleeve 21 terminates suztiiciently above the working surface of piston 14 to provide space `for the accumulation of such deposits between the periodic intervals when the valves are disassembled for cleaning.

In FIGS. 5 `and 6 there is shown another embodiment of the invention in a slide valve assembly which utilizes a modied form of the barrel sleeve. In this embodiment, those elements identical to the elements of the previously described embodiment are given like reference numerals and their description not repeated.

The barrel sleeve 21 is modified slightly to cooperate with a different form of piston guide structure and a diieren't type of spring. Thus, in place of the key portion 2.9 on coupling sleeve 27, a smaller diameter is provided on the lower portion of stern 18 and the upper end of piston 14 is provided with a cylindrical guide pin 4l. The bottom of barrel sleeve 2l is also modified to have an aperture 42 and a keyway 43 (FIG. 6) shaped to slidably receive the lower portion of stem 18 and the guide pin 41. Guide pin 41 is located as far as possible from the axial center of piston 14 to reduce the de grec of angular movement of piston 14 for any given allowance between the dimensions of keyway 43 and guide pin 4l. An annular shoulder 46 is provided in the bottom closure portion of barrel sleeve 2l to receive the bottom turn of compression spring 44, the upper turns 47 thereof being wound closely around the valve stem 18. The close proximity of spring turns 47 to the valve stem is operable to reduce vibration of the spring and the resulting spring sing A retaining `washer 48 is secured to valve stern 18 to act as an upper bearing surface for the coil spring as well as to support a stop member 49.

It will be evident that barrel sleeve 21' as thus modied continues to function in accordance with the invention, and other variations therefrom will undoubtedly occur to those skilled in the art without varying from the inventive concepts embodied in the above described structure. For example, the indexing member could be stamped or otherwise formed from an elongated flat piece bent at right angles so as to have a vertical portion serving as the guide pin and a horizontal portion adapted for mounting on the piston. This or other variations of the indexing member may be used to increase the axial oifset of the vertical yguiding portion thereof, as desired. Likewise, the configuration and shaping of the aperture in the closure portion of the sleeve may be readily modified to receive various forms of guide pins.

The foregoing embodiments provide an improved valve construction in which frictional and vibrational noises are either eliminated at their source or are conned within the sound absorbent chamber formed by the barrel sleeve. Moreover, the slide valve is accurately indexed without impeding the action of the mechanism, the free action the barrel sleeve readily lend themselves to rapid and economical molding processes, the invention does not materially add to the cost of manufacturing the musical instrument.

Iclaim:

1. A valve assembly for a brass-wind musical instrument including in combination, a valve casing having tubing ports in the side thereof and keyway means in the upper inner surface thereof, a barrel sleeve extending in xed position in the upper end of said valve casing, said barrel sleeve having key means on its outer circumference received in the keyway means of said valve casing to index said barrel sleeve, said barrel sleeve having a closure portion at its lower end with aperture means therein, a piston having ports therein and being reciprocally movable in said casing between home and actuated positions to align ports therein with said tubing ports of said valve casing, said piston having stem and index means connected to its upper end, with said stem and index means being slidably received with a clo'se iit through said aperture means of said barrel sleeve whereby said barrel sleeve guides reciprocal movement of said piston and maintains accurate registry of said piston and casing ports While shielding the working surfaces of said casing and piston from foreign matter.

2. A spring housing and piston guide for a valve assembly in a brass-wind musical instrument comprising an elongated plastic barrel sleeve having a configuration to slip tit into the upper end of a valve casing of the valve assembly, said barrel sleeve being open at its upper end and having a flange portion around the periphery thereof, said barrel sleeve having a key portion on its outer circumference adjacent said flange portion, said barrel sleeve having a closure portion at its lower end with an aperture therein having a configuration to slidably receive index means of -a piston of said valve assembly, and said closure portion having a surface to receive and support one end of a compression coil spring of said valve assembly.

3. A valve assembly for a brass-wind musical instrument including in combination, a valve casing having tubing ports in the side thereof and keyway means in the upper inner surface thereof, a barrel sleeve extending in fixed position in the upper end of said valve casing, said barrel sleeve having key means on its outer circumference received in the keyway means of said valve casing to index said barrel sleeve, said barrel sleeve having a shaped closure portion for shielding the working surfaces of said casing from foreign matter, a piston having ports therein and being reciprocally movable in said casing between home and actuated positions to align ports therein with said' tubing ports of said valve casing, said piston having stern means and axially offset index means connected to its upper end, with said stem means and said index means being slidably received in said shaped closure portion of said barrel sleeve whereby sad barrel sleeve guides reciprocal movement of said piston and maintains accurate registry of said piston and casing ports.

4. A piston-type musical instrument valve including in combination, a valve casing having a central portion with tubing ports provided therein, and upper and lower portions of increased inside diameter adjacent said central portion to form spaced internal wiping shoulders adjacent said central portion, said casing having an upper edge and extending therefrom a threaded outer surface and an inner surface with keyway means therein, a plastic barrel sleeve in the upper portion of said valve casing and having a peripheral flange portion at its upper end received on said upper edge of said casing, said barrel sleeve having key means on its outer circumference received in the keyway means of said valve casing, said barrel sleeve having a closure portion at its lower end with a shaped aperture and an annular inside shoulder therein, a threaded valve cap received on said threaded surface of said valve casing and clamping said ange portion against said casing in fixed position, a piston having ports therein positioned in said central portion of said casing and movable between an upper home position and a lower actuated position to selectively align said piston ports with said casing ports, said piston having an upper portion reduced in diameter to form a wiping shoulder at the upper end of the bearing surface of said piston, with movement of said piston carrying the ends of the bearing surface beyond said internal shoulders of said casing for wiping action, said piston having valve stern and index means extending from said upper A(portion thereof and being slidably received through said barrel sleeve aperture, said valve stem and index means Ihaving a configuration to mate with said shaped aperture to index said piston and thus maintain accurate registry of said piston and casing ports, a retaining Washer mounted on said valve stem and index means Within said barrel sleeve, and compression spring means supported between said annular shoulder of said closure portion and said washer to bias said piston to the upper home position.

5. A piston-type musical instrument valve including in combination, a valve casing having ports provided therein, and having an upper edge and an inner surface with keyway means therein extending therefrom, a plastic barrel sleeve in fixed position within said valve casing and having a peripheral iiange portion at its upper end received on said upper edge of said casing, said barrel sleeve having key means on its outer circumference received in the keyvvay means of said valve casing, said barrel sleeve having a closure portion at its lower end with a shaped aperture and an annular inside shoulder therein, a valve cap received on said valve casing and clamping said flange portion against said casing, a piston having ports therein positioned in said casing and movable between an upper home position and a lower actuated position to selectively align said piston ports with said casing ports, said piston having valve stern and index means extending from said upper portion thereof and being slidably received through said barrel sleeve aperture, said valve stem and index means having a configuration to mate with said shaped aperture to index said piston and thus maintain accurate registry of said piston and casing ports, a retaining washer mounted on said piston Within said barrel sleeve, and compression springs means supported between said annular shoulder of said closure portion and said washer to bias said piston to the upper home position.

6. A piston-type musical instrument valve including in combination, a valve casing having ports provided therein, and having an upper edge and an inner surface with keyway means therein extending therefrom, a plastic barrel sleeve extending within said valve casing and having a peripheral flange portion at its upper end received on said upper edge of said casing, said barrel sleeve having key means on its outer circumference received in the keyway means of said valve casing, said barrel sleeve having a closure portion at its lower end with a shaped aperture and an annular inside shoulder therein, a valve cap having an opening therein received on said valve casing and clamping said flange portion against said casing to hold said barrel sleeve in fixed position, a piston having ports therein positioned in said casing and movable between an upper home position and a lower actuated position to selectively align said piston ports with said casing ports, said piston having a valve stem extending from said upper portion thereof and being slidably received through said barrel sleeve aperture and said opening in said valve cap, a vertical guide pin extending from said upper portion of said piston and cooperating with said shaped aperture to index said piston and thus maintain accurate registry of said piston ports and said casing ports, a retaining washer mounted on said valve aoeaeae stern Within said barrel sleeve, and a coil spring supported between said annular shoulder of said closure portion and Said Washer to bias said piston to the upper home position, said spring having the coils thereof positioned closely about said valve stem.

7. A piston-type musical instrument valve including in combination, a valve casing having ports provided therein, and having an `upper edge and an inner surface with keyway means therein extending therefrom, a plastic barrel sleeve extending Within said valve casing and having a peripheral ange portion at its upper end re ceived on said upper edge of said casing, said barrel sleeve having key means on its outer circumference received in the keyway means of said valve casing, said barrel sleeve having a closure portion at its lower end with a shaped aperture and an annular inside shoulder therein, a valve cap having an opening therein received on said valve casing and clamping said liange portion against said casing to hold said barrel sleeve in xed position, a piston having ports therein positioned in said casing and movable between an upper hornepositionand a lower actuated position to seiectively align said piston ports with said casing ports, said piston Yhaving valve stem Y means extending from said upper portion thereof and being slidably received through said barrel sleeve aperture and said opening in said valve cap, said valve stern means including a coupling sleeve having a relative large diameter and a longitudinal key portion thereon, 'said coupling sleeve having a configuration to mate with said shaped aperture to index said piston and thus maintain accurate vregistry of said piston and casing ports, a retain# ing washer mounted on said piston within said barrel sleeve, and compression spring .means supported between said annular shoulder of said closure portion and said washer to bias said piston to the upper home position.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS George June 13, 19550 Greenleaf Mar. 22, -1960

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Cited By (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6008444A (en) * 1998-07-29 1999-12-28 United Musical Instruments U.S.A., Inc. Adjustable weight valve cap
US6717041B1 (en) 2003-04-08 2004-04-06 G. Leblanc Corporation Tuning adjustment retaining mechanism
US20050098020A1 (en) * 2003-11-12 2005-05-12 Benoit Glazer Brass-wind instrument valve and method
US20140130604A1 (en) * 2012-11-14 2014-05-15 Asustek Computer Inc. Key testing device
US20150317961A1 (en) * 2012-12-19 2015-11-05 Warwick Music Limited Fluid Flow Control Valves
US9396711B2 (en) * 2014-09-22 2016-07-19 David John Musical instrument valve system

Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2511255A (en) * 1948-02-26 1950-06-13 Vinton R Springer Lubricating means for musical instruments
US2929292A (en) * 1957-01-14 1960-03-22 Conn Ltd C G Top spring valve mechanism

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2511255A (en) * 1948-02-26 1950-06-13 Vinton R Springer Lubricating means for musical instruments
US2929292A (en) * 1957-01-14 1960-03-22 Conn Ltd C G Top spring valve mechanism

Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6008444A (en) * 1998-07-29 1999-12-28 United Musical Instruments U.S.A., Inc. Adjustable weight valve cap
US6717041B1 (en) 2003-04-08 2004-04-06 G. Leblanc Corporation Tuning adjustment retaining mechanism
US20050098020A1 (en) * 2003-11-12 2005-05-12 Benoit Glazer Brass-wind instrument valve and method
US7501566B2 (en) * 2003-11-12 2009-03-10 Benoit Glazer Brass-wind instrument valve and method
US20140130604A1 (en) * 2012-11-14 2014-05-15 Asustek Computer Inc. Key testing device
US9347856B2 (en) * 2012-11-14 2016-05-24 Asustek Computer Inc. Key testing device
US20150317961A1 (en) * 2012-12-19 2015-11-05 Warwick Music Limited Fluid Flow Control Valves
US9765901B2 (en) * 2012-12-19 2017-09-19 Warwick Music Limited Fluid flow control valves
US9396711B2 (en) * 2014-09-22 2016-07-19 David John Musical instrument valve system

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