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Restoration project


Mainspring
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Mainspring

I don't like to use the word restoration when referring to phonographs because the need to fully restore a machine is unusual but I was recently contacted by a friend who works in a pawn shop because he had an "Edison Cylinder Player" that someone brought in and he wanted to know if I was interested. The pictures he sent did not begin to describe how bad the condition was so I offered him a $100 for it with the intention of turning it into spare parts and he was happy with that. The rust and "funk of 40,000 years" (A Thriller reference just in time for Halloween) had taken its toll. Of the pictures posted it is evident which is before and after. The bed plate was the most interesting because after 48 hours in stripper and considerable time spent with an 8" wire wheel, it became obvious the these bed castings were not the best castings ever made but I imagine they were inexpensive. A tip for anyone wanting to know if their Standard has the original Edison patent plate is that when the metal patent tag comes off, the serial number is stamped into the bed plate itself. If they match, it hasn't been fiddled. Anyway, lots of work later it was up and running. I offer this as an example of what is possible with a seemingly hopeless example of a phonograph. I am sure the more seasoned collectors out there know this already but as Jack Burton always says at a time like this, "What the Heck."

 

Yes, I could nit pick a few things on this. It is surprising how thin the nickel plating is on the patent plate so yes, I lost the nickel when I restored it but to me it was an acceptable loss. I am still fine tuning after re-assembly but so far, so good. I like the fine tuning part anyway.

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Edited by Mainspring
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Wow, what a transformation! Very well done! How did you fix that large hole on the lid where the handle attaches? I can't make it out at all on the photos.

 

Thanks for sharing.

Andreas

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Mainspring
14 minutes ago, alang said:

Wow, what a transformation! Very well done! How did you fix that large hole on the lid where the handle attaches? I can't make it out at all on the photos.

 

Thanks for sharing.

Andreas

Andreas,

The lid is easier than one might think. It was a matter of removing the front and back trim then removing the veneer all the way around (except the sides). Then applying new veneer, try and color match it and re-attach the molding. I even chipped a spot or two on the edge of the veneer to make it look a little used. Once that was done I backfilled the hole from inside with good epoxy. Once it dries you can overpaint it to closely match the inside grungey color. Drill two holes, clean the handle hardware and re-insert. Honestly, I would not pick up the whole unit by the handle though but lifting the lid itself is fine.

Edited by Mainspring
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