The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: Re: Just Purchased Edison Opera Phonograph
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:04 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:08 pm
Posts: 2178
Location: Harrison Township, MI
As to the price, I bought an Opera about a year ago that is in about the same condition as yours. However, mine had the horn, but not the reproducer, so kind of an even swap there I guess. Also had all 4 columns. Anyway, I paid just about the same as you did and I figured I did fairly o.k., so I figure you did too. I would suggest careful cleaning and not a full restoration, but that's my preference and perhaps not yours. They are wonderful machines. Congratulations!


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 Post subject: Re: Just Purchased Edison Opera Phonograph
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:16 pm 
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Victor O
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:22 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Millsboro, Delaware, USA
Thanks Jerry, I'll get in touch with him.


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 Post subject: Re: Just Purchased Edison Opera Phonograph
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:58 pm 
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Victor O
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:22 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Millsboro, Delaware, USA
Well, after my first day of having my Opera, I tore it apart. I found that the case which I thought would need refinishing is actually in pretty good shape. Apparently the wood has some nasty, sticky black substance all over it. It comes off with a bit of work. As far as the stuck reproducer, I have tried oil, and also heat but it still won't move. Really tight. I will keep working on it but I don't want to damage it. I found a guy who told me he thinks he has some of the original corners. I sent him a picture of what I need. If I can get an original I'll go for it. If not, I have two people who can make reproductions. Things are moving along pretty good. I have noticed that the bed plate has several areas that are in pretty bad shape (rust, pitting) but I don't want to strip it and redo it. I'm not sure what to do about trying to patch the bad spots, or whether it can actually be done that way. I have attached a picture of the case before and after I cleaned part of it. Also a picture of the remaining corners. I do not want to do a full restoration. I don't want it to look like a new machine. I want a good working machine that looks "pretty good" but not new. I love the history these machines have. Thank all of you guys for all the comments and suggestions. It's all working fine so far. :)


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Opera15.JPG
Opera15.JPG [ 153.14 KiB | Viewed 260 times ]
Opera14.JPG
Opera14.JPG [ 148.24 KiB | Viewed 260 times ]
Opera13.JPG
Opera13.JPG [ 143.86 KiB | Viewed 260 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Just Purchased Edison Opera Phonograph
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:11 pm 
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Victor VI
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:00 pm
Posts: 3630
Location: Western, WA State
Wow, you did really good. Oak Operas are pretty scarce. I'm sure you'll have this fine machine back to it's former glory. Keep us posted with the restoration.
Harvey Kravitz


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 Post subject: Re: Just Purchased Edison Opera Phonograph
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:41 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:30 pm
Posts: 856
7309 -
I couldn't quite tell in your photo if the bedplate was black. If it is, it is obviously easier patching in replacement paint for damaged areas. Here is a link to a restoration I did that had some rust damage to the bedplate, but retained the good bits:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=27696&p=164809#p164809

Good luck with the restoration and post plenty of photos!

Martin


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 Post subject: Re: Just Purchased Edison Opera Phonograph
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:15 am 
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Victor VI
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I'm Feeling Cranky
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:22 pm
Posts: 3091
Location: Livonia, NY
I'll echo the same as others here and say, "Congratulations"!

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


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 Post subject: Re: Just Purchased Edison Opera Phonograph
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:56 am 
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Victor O
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:22 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Millsboro, Delaware, USA
No, my bedplate is not black. It is the brown of the Opera phonograph. That is the problem. I guess I could have the entire thing done but I would prefer to keep the original pinstriping and most of the brown paint but the rusty spots where it is damaged really do need to be repaired. If the spots can be fixed I would like to know how to do it. If not, I'll have to find someone who can do the entire top for me with the pinstriping included. That would be a shame. Still working on trying to get the reproducer loose but not having any luck yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Just Purchased Edison Opera Phonograph
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:07 pm 
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Victor Monarch Special
User avatar
Who is John Galt?
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:08 pm
Posts: 5883
Location: New York's Finger Lakes
Well, we all know what opinions are like...and everybody has one. But my own opinion is that with paint and striping as good as yours, I'd much rather preserve them rather than re-do. There are a passel of re-done Operas out there.

One approach that involves no real risk would be to choose a spot where the paint is gone and light rust has set in. Make it an unobtrusive spot if possible; maybe under the governor cover. Put a bit of WD-40 on the spot, and GENTLY work the spot with a SMALL piece of 0000 steel wool worked into a point, or a Q-Tip. Avoid the surrounding paint as much as possible. Take your time; spend 10-15 minutes (if necessary) CAREFULLY removing the light rust with the tip of the steel wool, applying light pressure with a fingertip.

With a little luck, you should end up with a spot of slightly darkened bare metal, surrounded by healthy paint. Personally, I'd be much happier with that than a re-done upper works. It's honest age.

If the cleaned-up spots bother you, find an artist who can mix the same shade of brown, and touch up the spots. (I've used commercial "matching" services such as found in paint stores with various degrees of success.)

Good luck with whatever you decide to do - -

George P.


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 Post subject: Re: Just Purchased Edison Opera Phonograph
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:27 pm 
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Victor IV
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:22 pm
Posts: 1193
phonogfp wrote:
with paint and striping as good as yours, I'd much rather preserve


I agree. The bed plate on this Opera, at least from what I see in the front view, looks pretty good. In the close up picture of the ID plate I see some flaking which is incredibly common for the original brownish paint on Edison Operas. The bed plate paint on almost all Amberola V's is very prone to the flaking problem as well. It's yours to do as you wish but if I owned it I'd carefully clean and polish it up and enjoy it. As George mentioned, it's honest age (and usage wear).

Doug


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 Post subject: Re: Just Purchased Edison Opera Phonograph
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:09 pm 
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Victor O
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:22 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Millsboro, Delaware, USA
Thanks George and Doug for your thoughts on the bedplate. I will keep it and polish it as best as I can. Preservation seems the way to go. I just found out I'm missing the auto stop mechanism. Boy, it keeps adding up. I've got to figure out how to get that darn reproducer loose. It is really stuck in there.


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