Wind-up Gramophone, Academy

Excellent working condition? No!

Excellent condition? No!

Working condition? No!

Poor condition? Not even that!

Good basis for restoration project? Possibly?

 At least it wasn't Parcel Force. This Academy Gramophone was advertised as being in pieces so it was no surprise when I unpacked it.

It's basically all there. The needle needs replacing and the thing that converts the needle movement to sound may be repairable.. maybe not? The Porter Governor has only two of its three hemispheres and the speed control lever looks as if its been run over by a bus.

 I spent a Sunday on sorting out the woodwork

The governor is missing a spring and a weight and I'm making new parts from an old clock spring and a fishing weight

The pick-up needs a bit of work then the box can be descratched and polished. I always leave the original finish as an old radio or gramophone ought to look its age and have plenty of patina. Some people would strip off the original finish, french polish it then bash it with a bike chain to make it look genuine.

Note the volume control, which is now restored to operational state.

 The following Sunday....

A piece of mainspring from an old clock, cut to size and ground down to 1.5mm thickness after annealing, drilling then hardening and re-tempering plus the end off a lead fishing weight and the Porter Governor's working again.

I had to resolder the soundbox. It looks like somone repaired it before using a galvanised nail bent to shape for the piece that joins the needle holder to the mica plate in the soundbox diaphragm.

To see if it worked I filed a piece of wire to a point for a needle. Much to my suprise it worked and when I played an old 78 the speed setting sounded best when set to precisely 78!

All it needs now is a little cosmetic attention, hiding a few scratches and rubbing with some stain to make it look nice.

Now listen to its first test, admittedly using a sharpened piece of wire as a needle!definitely not hi-fi!

A VERY ROUGH Columbia Grafanola wind-up gramophone

waiting for restoration

the motor with its mechanical govenor looks OK as does its pick-up arm.

A new piece of leathercloth, some derusting and a little glue here and there and it'll be as good as new!

Probably dating from 1929 or 1930?

another gramophone return to the entrance