Brass Instruments: Lubrication Advice

6th December 2023

Join Sunniva from the Dawkes Workshop as she walks through our suggested lubrication and maintenance tips for piston and rotary brass instruments. These recommendations are based on thousands of brass instrument repairs and access to a wide variety of lubricant solutions. The accompanying video demonstrates how to apply each lubricant and discusses why we recommend it.


UniGloves Select Black Latex Gloves – Box of 100

30th January 2023

UniGloves Select Black latex gloves have been a workshop staple for many years here at Dawkes. Now we’re happy to say we stock them so you can buy them easily from us for your workshop. 


Tool Spotlight: Third Hand Soldering Jigs

26th April 2022

When doing soldering jobs, there are many ways to hold your work pieces. Some repairers prefer to use individual spring loaded clips and a vice; some jobs may call for binding wire to be used. Usually the shape of the piece will inform the best way to position the joint, but one of the most flexible solutions is a third hand clamp or two. In this blog we introduce and demonstrate two new soldering jigs

soldering jigs

Trumpet Repairs: Bell Recovery

1st March 2022

This poor Trumpet was one of the more extreme dent repair challenges we’ve taken on. After being accidentally run over with a car(!), this Trumpet seemed to be almost beyond repair. However, we ‘never say never’ in our brass workshop and this is the story of a minor miracle…


NEW! Wera Screwdrivers for Repair Techs

9th August 2021

In the large arsenal of useful tools that technicians have, none are quite as important as the humble Screwdriver. When approaching almost any repair on Brass or Woodwind Instruments, repairers will use a multitude of various shapes, sizes, and lengths of Screwdrivers which is why it’s important that these valuable tools are of a good enough quality that they can be used time and time again with a constant and reliable result. 

Dawkes Music is pleased to now stock a Screwdriver brand which has been a favourite of some of our repairers for a while now: Wera Screwdrivers. In this short blog we take a quick look at what we stock and why…


From the Workshop: Slide Leg Spacers for Trombone

4th June 2021

The key when working on Trombone slides is ALIGNMENT – this is especially important when adjusting the position of, or replacing an inner slide tube. There are so many factors to consider to achieve a perfectly smooth running slide. Minor discrepancies can cause fundamental issues which will keep you going round in circles looking for the fault.

Thankfully, there are a number of tools which help to eliminate the guesswork. One that I swear by is the G35 set of inner slide leg spacers from Ferrees. These small wedges of brass are a simple but brilliant method of aligning the slide tube centrally in the cork barrel. 


From the Workshop: Favourite Tools (Sunniva)

5th May 2021

In this series of blogs we catch up with some of our Repair Technicians and ask them for 3 of their favourite tools, either traditional models or perhaps something they have modified for their own use! First up is Sunniva…


From the Bench: Scraping Tools

4th March 2021

Our ‘From the Bench’ series is brought to you by the workshop team at Dawkes. In each blog they explain why they find certain tools useful and how they commonly use them as technicians. This time, Abi talks to us about scrapers for Wind & Brass instruments…


Bench Review: UltiMax Pivot & Roller Lubricant

27th January 2021

In this latest ‘Bench Review’ from Abi in our Workshop Team we check out the Ultimax Pivot and Roller Lubricant from MusicMedic…


Silver Polishing Options

28th April 2020

As Repair Technicians, or indeed as players, it’s important that we can maintain and refresh the silver plating on our instruments. Unsightly tarnish can slowly develop and become very stubborn to remove. In this blog & video we check out the best options for cleaning and polishing Silver Plate…


REPAIR CAM: Axial Flow Valve Disassembly – Bass Trombone

17th April 2019

Join Abi in our workshop as she takes apart an Axial Flow valve system on a Bass Trombone. These Axial Flow valves are different to the standard rotor valve system. Abi discusses some of these differences, and also the modularity of this particular model.


Meet the Team – Jocelyn (Repair Dept)

16th August 2018

About Jocelyn:

Hi, I’m Jocelyn, one of the Repair Technicians at Dawkes. I work on both woodwind and brass instruments.


Brass Players – Valve Oil Guide

2nd August 2018

For brass players, especially new ones, one of the most-asked questions regarding accessories is about valve oils and lubrications. It has been a couple of years since the new CLP (Classification Labelling and Packaging) rules were brought in which affected all the regulations around bottling and caused some supply issues with certain brands. So, it is high time we rounded up all of the valve oil that is currently available, examine the top sellers and look forward to a returning old favourite…


Remarkable Repairs

23rd March 2018

Here at Dawkes, we are lucky to say that our business thrives on the strength of not only our friendly sales team but also our technically qualified repairers in our onsite workshop. We employ more qualified brass and woodwind repairers than any business in the UK, and are proud of our legacy built by Jack Dawkes back in the 1960’s from a shed in his back garden.


Trumpet Re-Lacquering in the Dawkes Music Workshop

22nd December 2015

This Bach Stradivarius Trumpet has had a new leadpipe fitted as the red rot on the underside rendered it un-preppable for relacquer.


If metal is too rotten, it will not be able to withstand the invasive filing, sanding and pressure of the re-surfacing work. During the preparation of the surface, all dents and scratches have to be removed and the metal is filed and polished to a mirror finish. This is the most important stage as any remaining imperfections will show up tenfold under new lacquer.


Restoration in the Dawkes Music Workshop

27th November 2015

Sunniva, one of our dedicated workshop repairers, was so happy with one of her latest restoration jobs she shared it on her personal blog. She did such a great job on this J. Higham cornet we thought the internet deserved to see this beauty.


National Association of Musical Instrument Repairers Hold AGM at Dawkes

9th November 2015

The National Association of Musical Instrument Repairers (NAMIR) held their Annual General Meeting at Dawkes Music on Sunday 1st November. Some of our repairers and spare parts experts attended and let us know what happened.


Trumpet DIY Repair Tips – Broken Waterkey spring

19th February 2014

Problem: Waterkey spring has broken!

This minor problem is easily repairable, all that is required is the correct parts, possibly a tool and some patience. It may not seem like a minor problem at the time, as the instrument will no longer be airtight and it will squeak and be wildly uncontrollable. Firstly identify the broken spring, and there can often be more than one. The water key will be flapping and have no tension to it.


Trumpet DIY Repair Tips – Stuck Mouthpiece

29th January 2014


This is a problem for pretty much all brass players at one time or another. It can be caused by a dirty mouthpiece shank, or dirt in the mouthpiece receiver. It can also be caused by the mouthpiece taking a knock and getting shunted a little too far into the receiver. Depending on how stuck the mouthpiece has become, this is a repair you can attempt at home, but can often require a repair technician.


Ultra Pure Valve Oil

20th July 2012



Endorsed by some really big names; Wynton Marsalis, Alison Balsom, Arturo Sandoval our very own Matt Sanders to name but a few! ULTRA Pure oil is a new type of synthetic oil. It is non-toxic and odourless making it the perfect choice for younger players, there is also no trace of the nasty “taste” some oils leave inside the instrument.


Brass Instrument Repairs – The Weird and Wonderful!

28th April 2010

Here at Dawkes we get a broad range of brass instruments coming to our workshops for repair and improvement. Two instruments have been in recently that caught our eye and are certainly worthy of wider mention. Firstly we had a request by a football mad Trombonist: He wanted his Bach 36 Strad Trombone relacquered in the colours of his beloved West Ham Utd (good job they stayed up – ed), so always keen for a challenge we worked with the relacquering team to match the colours faithfully. (more…)