How to Remove Dents from Brass Instruments

Brass equipments have the tendency to acquire small dents over the course of time. These dents or changes in the shape of instruments’ body can affect the pitch, stability, tone and physical properties of the instrument. A large number of musicians seek help and advice of certified experts to remove dents from their equipment. However, an equal number of people decide to take courses on how to repair damaged brass instrument or learn the basic methods of repairing. Most dents can be removed at home using standard repair materials and tools. If you are unable to fix the problem at home then it is recommended to take your brass instrument to an expert.

Things Required:

– Tapered dent rolling tool for your individual instrument (these are widely available for trumpet, trombone, and French horn)

– Dent burnisher

– Expandable valve casing mandrel

– Flexible dent rods

– Valve grease and oil


  • 1

    First of all, consider disassembling the equipment and clean it thoroughly to remove any dirt articles. Take your time when cleaning the instrument as studies have shown that large dust particles can also damage the brass instruments.

  • 2

    Do not forget to oil the expandable valve box and consider inserting it into the dented valve. Use the palms of your hands to apply consistent pressure to push the dent out of the valve.

  • 3

    Apply oil on the fixed dent rod thoroughly. Take out the dented tube by clamping the vise to the table or your work desk. Use a dent ball at the end of the rod slowly and carefully to make sure the metal does not lose its shape. If you are unable to remove small dents in that area, consider moving the burnished slowly and quickly cover those areas. This can be done by following what you would do with a shoe brush over the face of the shoe.

  • 4

    Put in the dent rolling tool in the area heavily affected by the dents. Apply steady pressure to even out the dents. Do not push the metal too hard or you will break some parts of the instrument. Dents in long pieces of equipment can also be removed very easily. Inset the oiled dent ball slowly into the tube and consider applying pressure on the dented areas. Again, make sure you do not push the metal too strongly so it stays is in its original dimensions.

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