• The online Bulletins and Mart and Highlights are currently unavailable due to a failure of a network piece of equipment. We are working to replace it and have the Online publications available as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Gramophone repair.

Altashot

Registered User
Oct 12, 2017
350
104
43
45
Country
I didn’t know where to post this, so here it is.

I was recently asked if I would repair a gramophone. I know some of you do, but I’ve never even seen the mechanism of one. I’ve repaired other things not clock related before, typewriter, music boxes, telescope movements, wind up toys…
A gramophone would certainly be on the larger side of things I’ve fixed I think.
I imagine it’s probably something I CAN do, but do I want to get involved? I heard the springs are quite large and very messy. Is this a can of worms I should just stay away from?

Thoughts?

Thank you.

M.
 

bruce linde

ADMIN / MODERATOR
NAWCC Member
Donor
Nov 13, 2011
9,234
1,513
113
oakland, ca.
clockhappy.com
Country
Region
sounds like you could probably do it… and share photos so we could also see what a gramophone movement looks like

also:


looks like the ‘gramophone guru’ might have some tips for you
 

Swanicyouth

Registered User
Nov 10, 2019
181
31
28
49
Country
I own a few & have done a few. A lot easier than a clock, I will tell you that. There is a lot less things that can go wrong. The question is, you don't really know what's wrong with it. But, once the motor board is out everything is accessible & they are pretty easy yo

I would say the most common thing is a broken spring. The symptom of that is you try to wind it & get no tension. They break, but sometimes the pin on the arbor or the catch on the barrel(s) break. They can have anywhere from 1 to 4 springs, 1 or 2 or most common.

Often times the original grease turns to complete sludge. Back then they often used a mix of petrolatum & graphite. They can be so sludged they won't run. You can clean the springs inside the barrels with a real solvent, although of course it's recommended to remove them. It can be very messy, but I'm used to working on cars & it's not the size mess they can cause.

The brake commonly needs servicing & could be "stuck on"; missing a spring. That will make it not run. Motor components could be broken, governor could be damaged, or splines could be stripped, etc. Similar to a clock, the motors have ratchets, pawls, springs, plates, etc.

You basically put it together like it looks. There is no timing this or that, or special tools needed for assembly.

Some wear parts are available as reproductions, but if the thing is jacked it's probably easier to sort a new motor & use it for parts than to find individual specific parts. Like clocks, Victor was always updating & tweaking the motors - so while all similar, they may have some small differences that makes parts incompatible.

I wouldn't say it's a can of worms. I'm not sure what model it is, but if it's a floor model (Victrola) you can easily remove the whole motor board to work on it & leave the cabinet where it is.
 

shutterbug

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Oct 19, 2005
47,521
2,204
113
North Carolina
Country
Region
I think those use springs like seat belts. When the power is let down, they are tightly wound and unwind as you turn the crank. I'm not positive about that, but think that's right.
 

bangster

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Jan 1, 2005
20,013
541
113
utah
Country
Region
Not right on the ones that I've seen (Edison and Victor): Winding tightens the spring.
For what it's worth, Victor's recommended spring lube was a mixture of Vaseline and graphite.
Or maybe that was Edison.
 
  • Like
Reactions: shutterbug

Altashot

Registered User
Oct 12, 2017
350
104
43
45
Country
I’ve looked at some videos, looks pretty easy really.
I let my potential customer know I’d give it a try.
No answer yet. I’ve spoken to that guy before regarding a clock of his, he never got back to me. I think he’s kind of a “tire kicker”.
We’ll see…

M.
 

Swanicyouth

Registered User
Nov 10, 2019
181
31
28
49
Country
Some random pics of my VV XI I found on my phone. It’s a 1913 model if I recall directly & dual spring barrel. When I got it the major failure was the tab on one of the spring arbors broke, so spring would not gain tension. Exact same scenario as if a clock spring was wound & could grab the center arbor because the hole is broken or the tab is sheared.


F6AFB075-451C-450F-8B95-E1B9A22213DF.jpeg AE85E929-687F-4EAB-B256-7616E94AD303.jpeg E42E8DC8-C4A0-4C5F-850E-D091DE583BCF.jpeg EBF0BEFE-3F8E-4F48-8097-498BC63780C4.jpeg 835577C0-FBE1-41A9-AD8E-6CF72DEDECB4.jpeg C360F359-FB50-4B50-AD5C-C30CC99EFF53.jpeg
 
  • Like
Reactions: shutterbug

Similar threads

Forum statistics

Threads
168,763
Messages
1,472,455
Members
48,568
Latest member
S1987m
Encyclopedia Pages
1,060
Total wiki contributions
2,955
Last update
-