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 Post subject: Re: Busy Bee-Columbia Q, Highly Polished Nickel/Bronze Barre
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:59 pm 
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Victor Monarch
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Understood. Makes sense. Jerry


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 Post subject: Re: Busy Bee-Columbia Q, Highly Polished Nickel/Bronze Barre
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:06 am 
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Victor II
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I respect the opinions here and they are probably correct, but there are some things that still puzzle me.

In respect to the bed plate, it appears to be untouched in person and I think that I could polish a Q to a nice bright finish, (please see reflections in the close-up, and the machine is actually dirty), but any Nickel would be gone before I ever got it to shine like this one. I don't know if the works were plated later or when it was manufactured, but it has a better plating than any Q or Busy Bee that I have seen and the "bronze" spring barrel is still a mystery to me. The spring barrel appears to be polished and lacquered. The barrel could be gold plating for all I know, but the base metal is nonferrous and I suspect that the barrel is Bronze. It seems like way too much work to polish and plate all of the parts and to produce a new spring barrel including the gear for a machine that has a fairly low price tag, especially 30 years ago. The plating does show age and based on the condition of the base plate, it seems to be about right.

The pictures are of the uncleaned, as purchased machine and the plating is definitely nicely done and still a little grimy. The serial number is near the end of the Q production too. I am wondering if there are any Q or Busy Bee owners out there with over the top machines that might share some images. The spring barrel has me more curious than the plating. If someone was going to the bother of having the rest of the machine plated, I would expect that they would have polished and plated the barrel too.


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 Post subject: Re: Busy Bee-Columbia Q, Highly Polished Nickel/Bronze Barre
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:04 am 
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Victor II
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What a spectacular machine. Like you I'm puzzled by the spring barrel. Looking around the bull gear there are no signs of any nickled remains anywhere. It's difficult to polish it all away. If it were mine, and yes, if you ever decide to sell it I would be very interested, I would completely confuse everyone and throw on a set of highly nickled governor weights ala highly polished Eagle. That would get the peanut gallery stirring! Just for grins I would also install an original 10" nickle horn. I have a late Q, serial number over one million and it came with a nickled horn. This one appears to be 900,000ish. Very late in the run. I find Qs and Eagles fun to collect. Thanks for posting this. Joe


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 Post subject: Re: Busy Bee-Columbia Q, Highly Polished Nickel/Bronze Barre
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:17 am 
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Victor V
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Those are some strange governor weights for a Q (or in this case a Q variation), yes? Or did the O'Neil machine come with cylindrical weights as opposed to spherical?

-Fran
Francis; "i" for him, "e" for her
"Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while" - the unappreciative supervisor.


Last edited by fran604g on Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Busy Bee-Columbia Q, Highly Polished Nickel/Bronze Barre
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:32 pm 
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Victor II
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Crank_it_up wrote:
What a spectacular machine. Like you I'm puzzled by the spring barrel. Looking around the bull gear there are no signs of any nickled remains anywhere. It's difficult to polish it all away. If it were mine, and yes, if you ever decide to sell it I would be very interested, I would completely confuse everyone and throw on a set of highly nickled governor weights ala highly polished Eagle. That would get the peanut gallery stirring! Just for grins I would also install an original 10" nickle horn. I have a late Q, serial number over one million and it came with a nickled horn. This one appears to be 900,000ish. Very late in the run. I find Qs and Eagles fun to collect. Thanks for posting this. Joe


Aren't the spring barrels and bull gear generally Nickel plated steel on a Q? Reproducing a spring barrel is no big deal, but the integral bull gear changes that. And thank you, I like it too.


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 Post subject: Re: Busy Bee-Columbia Q, Highly Polished Nickel/Bronze Barre
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:08 pm 
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Victor Monarch
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Django wrote:

Aren't the spring barrels and bull gear generally Nickel plated steel on a Q?

Spring barrels on the Q are usually nickel plated steel, but the company briefly experimented with aluminum too.

George P.


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 Post subject: Re: Busy Bee-Columbia Q, Highly Polished Nickel/Bronze Barre
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:50 pm 
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Victor II
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I have finally found a Q with a gold colored spring barrel, actually two. As with mine, at least one is late in the run and this one is past the 1,000,000. My spring barrel is non ferrous. I cannot say what this one is. The banners on these lids are interesting too, (mine never had a lid or base and it is a Busy Bee anyway). The Qs shown have simpler pin stripes than mine and at least one appears to be pretty much undisturbed. I don't know if the Nickel would shine up with a little polishing on the dull one, (a normal Q will not). The other has a shiny golden spring barrel and bright polished Nickel finish. Both machines shown here, (not the same machine), have the later Banner decal, so they probably both have high serial numbers.

The machine in the top photo makes me think that mine is a bit special, and was not over-restored. Love that little horn.


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 Post subject: Re: Busy Bee-Columbia Q, Highly Polished Nickel/Bronze Barre
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:01 pm 
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Victor IV
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That little horn looks like one of the oddball fantasy horns made in the 1960s by Karl Frick in California. They were often called "Frick's Follies" back in the day. I had one years ago that had a much shorter paneled section, so I suppose it's possible the one pictures might have been concocted by someone else. In any event, it's not authentic.


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 Post subject: Re: Busy Bee-Columbia Q, Highly Polished Nickel/Bronze Barre
PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:12 am 
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Victor II
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TinfoilPhono wrote:
That little horn looks like one of the oddball fantasy horns made in the 1960s by Karl Frick in California. They were often called "Frick's Follies" back in the day. I had one years ago that had a much shorter paneled section, so I suppose it's possible the one pictures might have been concocted by someone else. In any event, it's not authentic.


The horn aside, here are 3 very late Columbia Q machines, (in my case a Busy Bee). All three have gold colored spring barrels and at least two are highly polished Nickel, (the third is unknown because it looks a little more rough and the photos are not very clear). They may just happen to be three machines that received some modification during creative restorations, but it is still quite a coincidence that all three have the golden spring barrel, at least two are highly polished Nickel and all three are from very late in the production run. Patterns do not constitute a law but they are the basis of theory. I concede that the weights on mine are probably improper replacements and that there may be nothing noteworthy here. I have not found any other Qs with these traits.

Please share any photos of your odd, late run Q, or an earlier one with these traits.

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Busy Bee-Columbia Q, Highly Polished Nickel/Bronze Barre
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:55 am 
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Victor II
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I brought my (3) Q's down from their perch and here are my findings. Note I know very little about metals but I have a powerful magnet about half the size of a pencil eraser that I'm using. Serial number on my earliest is 337xxx and the magnet sticks to the barrel but jumps to the side frame with more power than the barrel so they are not the same metals. Is it possible the barrel is a low grade of stainless? Or maybe an alloy? It shows no signs of a brass/bronze coloring anywhere. Next is serial number 606xxx and the magnet won't have anything to do with this barrel and it appears to be aluminum. Lastly is serial 1,000,xxx and it tests just like the early one. there is some strength to the magnet but if I set the magnet on top of the barrel, it somewhat sticks but wants to jump to the side frame. Again, this barrel shows no signs of a yellow color coming through on the gears and looks nickle plated.
My observations on the latest one is that I think it has a higher quality nickle finish than the early ones and I think if I disassembled it and hit it with some polish I could make it very nice. The governor support arm would take very little to make it shine like a new, well, a new nickel. But in all 3 of my cases none are coming apart, they are all untouched originals having only mildly retouched lids. The lid on the latest one has the small decal like yours on the front and decal on the back has the 1906 Milan Expo decal, along with 1900 Paris and 1904 St Louis.
Joe


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