The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: Re: Polymer cylinder manufacturing
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:29 pm 
Victor III
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Richards Laboratories producing high quality cylinder blanks
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:28 pm
Posts: 732
Thanks Chuck for all the awesome information. Your website has so much info...its gonna take me a while to get it all in this thick skull! I have a lot to learn...I appreciate you taking the time to give me advice. I still have to learn what some of these words mean :)

If you don't mind, I may bring your mold designs to a machine shop in town and see if that's something they can make; or maybe I can make something close to just get started. Maybe im wrong, but I feel getting the wax right would be more important right now than getting a good mold. Im really excited about trying something new. I hope I can learn something from all this and get my son involved in one way or another.[/quote]


Sure, go right ahead and duplicate my mold. That is exactly why I posted
the drawings of it. It works. I just cast blank number 397 yesterday in it.
Then, earlier today, I cut it off to length (4.53 inches), then reamed it
to fit the Edison phonograph mandrel aligned so that the left end of the blank
lines up exactly with the left end of the phonograph mandrel, then shaved it
to a first good diameter of 2.185 inches.

I then went about testing it by making three recordings using 3 different recorders.

One of the recorders I used for one of those tests is my recently purchased
Edison Automatic recorder serial number 145730, which I got from Mr. "Flashpan Blue"
right here on the forum this summer.

The short answer to your question about what to learn first as far as making
blanks: You must learn it all at once! You must learn how to make the wax.
You must learn how to cast it. You must learn how to cut off, ream, and shave the
blanks so you use them to do recording and playback tests.

Which part is most important? They all have to be nearly perfect in order to
obtain satisfactory results. I started back in 1978 with my first model 7 Dictaphone
Shaving Machine and a bunch of Dictaphone blanks. I used those blanks to learn
shaving, recording, and how to repair and rebuild recorders.

It was not until summer, 2009, that my mold was finally finished, and I made my
first brown wax batch. By year 2009, I already had 31 years experience recording,
shaving, rebuilding recorders.

So, when I started making my own brown wax from scratch, I only had to learn
how to make the wax, how to cast it, and how to process out the rough castings
turning them into blanks that can be tested.

Learning to make wax and also learning how to cast it all at the same time
is not something a person can do, unless they are prepared to take endless
amounts of data about everything they do.

Only by analyzing the data, can the proper adjustments be made to make the
whole process work. Only if you are prepared to spend many years of your life
devoted to this, can you can do it. It is not "easy" nor "fun".

The end result of success is very rewarding. It is a serious business.
It is also seriously dangerous! Remember that when 530 degree F. liquid wax
splashes up and burns you. Don't flinch when it does that, either, or you're liable
to loose the whole batch. Don't be too surprised, either, the first time your wax
batch catches on fire! Just calmly reach over, grab the lid and put it on the pot to
extinguish the fire, and then continue cooking. Wax that has been on fire sometimes
makes some of the nicest blanks! :)

Are you still really sure you want to do this?
"Sustained success depends on searching
for, and gaining, fundamental understanding"

-Bell System Credo

 Post subject: Re: Polymer cylinder manufacturing
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:38 am 
Victor IV
User avatar
A new blank with authentic formula and spiral core!
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:50 am
Posts: 1402
Location: 615 1/2 South Main Street Princeton IL 61356.
I want to add this, if you are making a spiral core mold, the whole mold is best made entirely of steel or entirely of aluminum, and not a combination of metals. If you are making a smooth bore mold, I suggest the core be aluminum and obviously the combination of aluminum base, steel rod, steel tubing and aluminum core, works for chuck. You will also need to make a paper washer for under the core, to prevent the wax from leaking out, also for smooth bore molds, a sheet of aluminum foil over the core, burnished with graphite will help the release on a smooth bore mold. My spiral mold works well, and is entirely made of mid grade steel. This is primer on making the phonograph wax. Shows pouring and casting a blank

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