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Mechanical restoration of Edison Fireside Model B complete What next?


LyneisFilm
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LyneisFilm

 

 

 On July 11 after finishing a repair on my 1972 Dual Turntable, I opened up some boxes with the pieces of an Edison Cylinder machine. Years ago my father-in-law had left it with us, say I was the only family member that might get it running. Today, it is mechanically restored and sound remarkable for something purchased in 1915 for $29.95. I had never seen on of these close up and it took a while to recognize the good, the bad and the ugly of this "gift." The spring motor only had a one inch fragment of the spring. The governor was gone with one weight from some other type of governor in the box. The on off brake lever was gone along with a chassis spring. There was some rust on some parts, black goop coating most parts and a questionable reproducer. To make an initial assessment, I installed a 12 V DC motor which runs at about 200 rpm and bought a rubber belt. Purist would have been horrified no doubt. I tested it on three of the thirteen ambersol cylinders that arrived with the Fireside Phonograph and the audio was barely intelligible. It frequently had an echo occurring about 360 ms after the initial sound, which is consistent with sampling one groove twice. So the reproducer traveled to New York and Wyatt Markus found the diamond B needle in good condition but the pivot providing lateral movement of the needle was frozen. He fixed that and rebuilt the diaphragm of the reproducer and now that works great. Then I sent the motor spring housing to George Vollema in Michigan along with an order for a governor, on off brake, a knurled know, isolation spring etc. It arrived about a week ago and those parts all worked well. We have a full size Edison Standard flower horn and I built a horn crane for it. The Fireside has a slot for a small crane, but I added some extensions the the front to keep it from tipping forward under the weight of the large bell. 

 

Here is a recording showing how it looks and sounds now.  https://vimeo.com/601451998

 

So it is mechanically restored.  Should I do some cosmetic work or leave it as is?

Edison Phonograph Assembled-3091.jpg

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Nice work!  Cosmetically I would not do anything with it except for perhaps a gentle cleaning.

 

It looks like you have the brackets underneath in which you've inserted your "extensions".  There are two feet that go in those.  The one on the right looks somewhat similar to what you have in there.  The one on the left includes a mounting hole for a larger crane which would have been used with the larger horn.  Those original setups are hard to find but you could certainly find a repro crane and eventually an original right foot, (I don't think there are any repros out there) to bring the setup more closely to the way it looked originally.

 

With a little patience and extra cost, you could also find original crane and stabilizing foot but it also displays quite nicely as it is now.

 

Congratulations!

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LyneisFilm
12 hours ago, Valecnik said:

Nice work!  Cosmetically I would not do anything with it except for perhaps a gentle cleaning.

 

It looks like you have the brackets underneath in which you've inserted your "extensions".  There are two feet that go in those.  The one on the right looks somewhat similar to what you have in there.  The one on the left includes a mounting hole for a larger crane which would have been used with the larger horn.  Those original setups are hard to find but you could certainly find a repro crane and eventually an original right foot, (I don't think there are any repros out there) to bring the setup more closely to the way it looked originally.

 

With a little patience and extra cost, you could also find original crane and stabilizing foot but it also displays quite nicely as it is now.

 

Congratulations!

Thanks for the comments.  Your analysis of the added feet are correct.  I just discovered yesterday that on the top of the wooden frame directly above the left foot, there is a notch in the wood where the stabilizing bracket was attached for the larger crane.  So that explains how this small frame could support the large horn.  I have been messing with this device for more than two months and still learning new things about it.  My primary goal was to see how good it could be acoustically and I think it is now as good as it can get.  It is so humongous that it will never live in our living room.  However, perhaps I will build or buy a smaller horn.  I am guessing the larger crane horns are bigger in diameter than the 1/4 inch diameter steel rod.  In the current configuration my horn crane defects about 2 inches under the approximate 3 lb weight of the horn.  I am sure a 3/8 inch rod would be much better.

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12 hours ago, LyneisFilm said:

Thanks for the comments.  Your analysis of the added feet are correct.  I just discovered yesterday that on the top of the wooden frame directly above the left foot, there is a notch in the wood where the stabilizing bracket was attached for the larger crane.  So that explains how this small frame could support the large horn.  I have been messing with this device for more than two months and still learning new things about it.  My primary goal was to see how good it could be acoustically and I think it is now as good as it can get.  It is so humongous that it will never live in our living room.  However, perhaps I will build or buy a smaller horn.  I am guessing the larger crane horns are bigger in diameter than the 1/4 inch diameter steel rod.  In the current configuration my horn crane defects about 2 inches under the approximate 3 lb weight of the horn.  I am sure a 3/8 inch rod would be much better.

If Livingroom space is an issue, sure you can get a smaller horn.  Being "spacially challenged" myself, I can relate.  If you do that though, I would also suggest keeping the horn you have with it.  It most likely came wit that horn back in the day.  At the link below you can find pictures of the same setup.  Only the second foot is missing but the bracket is there.  

 

https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/edison-fireside-model-phonograph-blue-1914399405

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