The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: How often should a machine be "exercised"?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:49 pm 
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Victor I
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:20 pm
Posts: 164
Location: Boyertown, PA
So it seems my two Columbia BI Sterlings are going to be sold after all (which is quite a bittersweet thing for me). The buyer is quite wealthy and famous, and he knows nothing about phonographs. They will be sitting on a shelf in his "room of eclectic things" ... mainly as display pieces. Possibly only ever to be cranked up if someone comes over and says "Hey, what are those?"

I've never thought about how often to run a machine, since I've only ever had a handful of machines, and run them all almost daily. Can I give him a recommendation as to how often to run them?
“The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shaded lights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured cosiness.”

P. G. Wodehouse


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 Post subject: Re: How often should a machine be "exercised"?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:27 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:08 pm
Posts: 2280
Location: Harrison Township, MI
These machines are all about 100+ years old right now. I'm fairly sure that most have had decades of "rest", yet they still exist and still function, (though most have restored to some degree). I don't think they'll suffer much from sitting still a few more years. In fact, it may be good for them! No wear & tear, so to speak.


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 Post subject: Re: How often should a machine be "exercised"?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:18 pm 
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Victor III
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:51 pm
Posts: 630
Location: USA
The only thing I might add is that since these are lubricated, mechanical devices, if they are not played for an extended period, they may need to be oiled and run once in a while. I've had machines sit for years, and some of them turn slowly at less than 78 rpm at first. Once they've been lubricated and run, they are usually fine.

If the wealthy & famous buyer doesn't lubricate and run the Stirlings once in a while, they may not perform very well when someone shows up and pops the question.
Best regards ... AZ*


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 Post subject: Re: How often should a machine be "exercised"?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:36 pm 
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Victor V
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:01 pm
Posts: 2259
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
I would think it important to leave the springs in fully unwound state to avoid having them take a "set."


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 Post subject: Re: How often should a machine be "exercised"?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2019 5:02 pm 
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Victor IV
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
Posts: 1330
Location: South Carolina
I like to play them fairly often...it helps to keep them running perfectly.


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