If you're leery about replacing the mainspring, there are several suppliers who can do that for you for a reasonable charge. Reiss covers the procedure, though; and it is not too difficult if you have a little patience.
Post by lucius1958 on Oct 23, 2017 23:29:22 GMT -5
OK. In "checking over", have you cleaned and lubricated the mainspring, motor, and top works? Any hardened grease or gummed up oil, and any other residue on a number of parts, can rob the machine of power.
If you take the belt off, and spin the mandrel by hand, does it spin freely for several seconds? Adjusting the end bearings will sometimes improve performance. Are the belt and pulleys clean and free of oil, and is the belt tension set up right? If the belt is too loose, or if there's any oil on it, it may slip when a load is put on the motor. A thin layer of rubber cement on the inside of the belt sometimes helps.
The straight edge, carriage shaft, and feed screw should be clean, free of any rust, and lightly lubricated (powdered graphite is good for feed screws). Is the half nut adjusted properly? Too much pressure on the feed screw will cause it to bog down in play: you can carefully bend the half nut bar back slightly to relieve that.
If, after all this, the motor still slows and stops, you may have a weakened mainspring, which should be replaced.
The devil, as they say, is in the details: check everything carefully, and you'll eventually find the source of the trouble.
BTW: do you have a copy of Eric Reiss's The Compleat Talking Machine? If not, it's an excellent resource for any collector and restorer.
Last Edit: Oct 23, 2017 23:34:09 GMT -5 by lucius1958
Post by lucius1958 on Sept 25, 2017 1:55:12 GMT -5
Unfortunately, the link is not working for me: it redirects me to the Vimeo home page. Perhaps some still photos would help to illustrate your issue?
If the mandrel will not turn, you most likely have a swollen pot metal bearing (The later model Edisons, which had no end gate, needed this bearing). You will have to remove that first. Remove all the screws that hold the pulley (and feed screw, etc.,if you have a Home or Triumph) to the mandrel shaft, and CAREFULLY twist and pull the mandrel out.
Now to remove the old bearing. Take out the set screw, douse the bearing liberally with penetrating oil, and let it sit for a while. Then take a wooden dowel, or soft brass rod, and GENTLY start tapping the old bearing out (you don't want to break the stanchion in which it sits). If the bearing doesn't budge after long and repeated effort, you will simply have to break it out. Insert a fine hacksaw blade, and cut the bearing into pieces which can be removed. (I believe some restorers have dripped muriatic acid on the bearing to dissolve or weaken the metal).
When you've finally got the bearing out, clean any scars or burrs from its hole, and insert a bronze replacement (available from suppliers such as APSCo, Great Lakes Antique Phonograph, or Ron Sitko). If the new bearing is still a little tight, use some rubbing compound on a smaller dowel to ease the fit.
Now for the governor. If the springs are so splayed out as to prevent you from closing the case, that's pretty extreme, and certainly explains the noise. Could someone have tried to replace the springs with untempered strips of metal or something? Your best course is to remove the governor and replace the springs and weights completely. Again, the sources mentioned above will be of great help.
If you need other tips on restoration, I suggest you get a copy of "The Compleat Talking Machine" by Eric Reiss. It is an indispensable resource for the collector and restorer.
I hope this post has been of some help. Send us some photos!
Post by lucius1958 on Sept 23, 2017 2:07:19 GMT -5
Hi: welcome to the board!
First off, you should probably disassemble, clean, and re-lubricate the machine, if it hasn't recently been restored.
Now, speed variations may have a number of causes.
If the cylinder itself is out of round, or is not quite true on the mandrel, you are going to get flutter. (You can see whether this is so, while watching the machine in action).
Any slight irregularity in the mandrel bearing may affect playback: if it were any worse, the mandrel would not turn at all.
Belt tension is important.
Finally, there is the governor. If it is clean and properly lubricated, and you still have flutter, check these points:
- Is there too much play in the bearings? End play can be adjusted by tweaking the bearings: but side play would indicate those bearings are worn, and need to be replaced.
- Are the weights all properly adjusted? Under a strobe, or fluorescent light, you should see a nice, concentric circle as it runs: alternatively, you can (carefully) hold a colored pencil or marker close to the weights as they spin. If one of the weights gets marked more than the others, check to see whether it is firmly attached to the spring: if it's loose, tighten it up. One good way to even up the weights is to (slightly) loosen the screws that hold one end of the springs to the shaft. Let the motor run for a few seconds, until the weights reach an equilibrium; then stop the motor and tighten the screws back down.
One other possibility is that the governor disc may have become slightly warped. It is possible for a good technician to get it back to true.
I hope at least some of this post may be of assistance to you.
Also, check whether the stylus is worn or chipped (VERY important!). Use a high power magnifier to look for flat spots or chips: the point should be smoothly rounded. Otherwise, you are going to ruin records pretty quickly!
The best case scenario is that the mainspring has somehow become unhooked from the barrel at its outer end. In that case, if you can rehook that end to its stud, it will perform pretty much as intended.
Next case: the spring might be broken at the outer end: either at the hole itself, or beyond it. You might get away with clipping the damaged end off, distempering a few more inches of spring, shaping the end, and drilling (or punching) a new hole. This may work, but will result in a loss of power to the motor.
Your best bet is to send the mainspring and barrel off to a good restorer, and have them put in a new mainspring.
The standard response about value is "whatever a buyer is willing to pay".
These are rather a small niche market among collectors, having no content of musical or personality interest. Someone interested in the history of speech therapy might want them; but they are not generally sought after.
Aside from that, condition is also a factor. Are they mint condition, or do they have issues such as mold, scratches, cracks, etc.?
Your best bet would be to put them up on eBay at a modest initial price, and wait to see whether you get any bids.
Last Edit: Aug 24, 2017 0:47:20 GMT -5 by lucius1958