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 Post subject: Restoration of a HMV 109
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:30 am 
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Victor III
Keep winding up
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:58 am
Posts: 503
Location: Anywhere the Wind blows
I decided to upload photos and descriptions from my current restoration work of my newly aqcuired HMV 109, to show some challenges one can meet. As some on the forum may remember, I was during the summer close to buy a different HMV109, with a reddish finish, and also with replaced plastic door knobs, at at a price of around 90 Euro, excluded shipping, but after advice from fellow forum members it was suggested I would wait for a different 109. And this was a good advice, of course. Three weeks ago, this 109 showed up, in my neighboorhood, and despite its flaws, I after three weeks made an offer, since the seller was unable to sell it, and I finally got it for 50 euro, and collected it last weekend. The only flaws I was aware of when purchasing it, was the broken hinge lid, and the broken veneer parts on the door, apart from that, the gramophone looked nice to me, and also the no 4 soundbox has no rust, no broken mica, and the rubber gasket also look good. In general the soundbox and complete machine, looked good to my eyes.
I am uploading a bunch of photos, showing the exterior and interior of the HMV 109, hopefully it also can be of use for someone else heading for a similar task in the future. Before starting this restoration, I had only serviced 4 gramophones during the last few weeks, 3 x HMV 101, with single spring barrells, and one Victrola VV-XI-A, with a double spring barrell.
When opening the HMV 109, I realized quickly that the HMV 32 motor inside the 109, have much in common with the motor found in the Victrola VV-XI-A. There is however one aspect of the motor, that I want to ask for help on:
When opening the double main spring barrell on the Victrola, the top spring was running clock wise, but on the HMV 32 motor, the top spring is running anti clockwise! This confuses me a lot at the time of writing. I would have expected the springs to be similar positioned as the springs on the Victrola, to allow the turntable to run in the correct clockwise direction? I will not open the Victrola again to compare the two motors side by side, but can someone answer this question for me?
I met another challenge when yesterday removing the double springs, when I realized the rivet belonging to the top spring was broken, or better, the plate holding the rivet, since the hook/rivet obviously had been replaced in the past, now was broken off. I quickly saw that the replaced rivet had been inserted in a way that put a big stress on it, and because of it probably had broken quickly after being installed. For installing it, a new hole also had been drilled through the spring barrell. The broken hook may very well have been the reason why the gramophone had not been in use for decades. The current owner, in his late 60’s said he had never used it, but inherited it from his grandparents, who had stored it since his childhood, but also he had never seen them use the gramophone. There was one disc on top of the gramophone, and the Columbia label was all yellow, while turning the disc over, it had the normal greel color. I guess the gramophone may have been stored for maybe 60-70 years, without being in use.
Inside the gramophone I found around 200 needles, scattered all over the place, and many in the corners around the doors, which also have caused the door to have some breakages. I have tried to fill the holes with Liberon wood filler, but it did not work well, being too soft, and also falling out. I have now ordered a different wood filler, that I hope will work.
I would have preferred to remove the doors completely before working on them, but after disassembling the gramophone completely, I am still not able to remove the doors, without tearing apart the wooden case, something that I don’t want to do, risking ruining the frame.
The lid hinge was from the start my biggest challenge as I saw it, believing I had to search for a new hinge, but the broken hinge part was luckily not lost, it fell on the floor when I turned the gramophone in my lap, and I will now form a thin layer of metal under approximately 50% of the metal hinge that is attached to the wooden box , and glue it under the current lid after gently carving out a few millimeters of wood from the submerged area on the lid meant for the hinge, to make it even.
The woodwork itself looks good on the gramophone, and the decal is lovely. The motor also looks good, but I have to repair the spring case. At first I was unsure how to do it, but after googling a bit, and also finding a youtube video showing how to make a new hook inside a clock spring barrell, I will try to make a new rivet/hook inside the barrell. At first I felt this maybe was a metal work where applying heat was necessary, but I now understand it is cold metal work, and that I after careful measurements, need to fasten the new metal screw by peening the screw on the outside of the barrell, a work that I have never tried out before, but will be interesting to try. I am learning by trying and failing, since I am absolutely not a craftsman, but the fact that I have been able to service and grease up some springs now, give me confidence. I will post photos of the barrell, if I am able to fasten a new rivet/hook. As one can see from the photos the spring used inside this barrell is not fastened by a tear drop hole in the spring, but instead by a hook. On the bottom of the barrel lies the broken plate that was uses as a hook for the upper spring, I yesterday evening drilled the screw out of the barrell, to remove this broken plate, actually the plate as it looks now had been used as an attachment point for the spring, without being curved like the hook for the upper spring, and it of course had put a too big stress on the point.

I guess this is it for now, I am attaching a lot of photos, showing the gramophone from both the inside and outside.
It wuill for sure also be interesting to read if someone can explain a bit more about the direction of the two springs, compared to the Victrola springs!


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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of a HMV 109
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:12 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:52 pm
Posts: 41
Location: Chicago
I have two 109s, which I acquired through the Talking Machine Forum as a pair, and I love them. They sound really good and look nice. One is the older style, like yours, with the first iteration of the automatic brake; the other is a slightly later style with the autobrake that also starts the turntable as well thanks to a ratchet spring mechanism.

I actually bought a second newer motorboard assembly to place in my older one so I would have two of them with the later autobrake, and discovered that they aren't interchangeable. HMV changed the cabinet dimensions very very slightly over time, and parts for newer 109s won't necessarily fit older ones, and vice versa. But at least I have a spare motor, and it came with a winding handle which I actually needed, as my pair only had one between them.

(I could conceivably retrofit the newer autobrake assembly to the motorboard of the older machine, but I don't like revising history. The only thing really that makes that brake attractive to me is that it also starts the turntable, which is helpful when playing 12 inch records on its 10 inch turntable, since the brake lever sits under the record and is not easy to reach...)


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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of a HMV 109
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:49 am 
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Victor III
Keep winding up
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:58 am
Posts: 503
Location: Anywhere the Wind blows
Shoshani: Thanks for your input, it is always interesting and valuable to hear from someone with a similar gramophone:)

I have spent the last days working on my HMV 109. I know this is not exactly brain surgery work, but I decided to upload it, since it possibly can be of inspiration for gramophone owners hesitating or being nervous about doing similar work on their HMV's, or related gramophones. Two months ago I had never opened a gramophone motor, and the idea of even removing the main spring made me lose my sleep. Two months later I have removed quite a few springs...
The first main issue when opening the motor of my HMV 109 was to install a new spring barrell hook belonging to the upper main spring, since this was totally absent. Looking around my garage room I was able to find an old window hinge in stainless steel. After much manual work, I was able to create and install a new hook with the help of manual tools, and elecric boring machine, an electric grinder and a metal vice. After googling I was happy to understand the hook could be fastened by peening, which also was a first timer for me, and it actually was not too difficult when finding a peening hammer. On youtube I found a video showing how to fasten a new spring hook inside a clock spring barrell, and this video was excellent for my work, since it showed every aspect of peening and install a new hook. It is all really about being patient and focused, in addition to being detail oriented, not stress and also not take shortcuts. I upload photos of the new hook, and the two springs installed before being greased.
The second issue was of a different kind. I wanted to repair the doors, but found it impossible to work on the corners of the doors without removing them. This proved to be difficult, I finally had to remove the upper front lid, that was an integrated part of the wooden box. Luckily the lid was not glued, but despite this, I did not like it when I had to use a plastic hammer (supported by a wooden pice) and started careful hammering at the box, close to its corners, to release the lid. I was during the process able to see and understand how the wood was connected, again it is a matter of patience and not being too rough. I upload a photo showing how it was connected ( I do not know the English word for this kind of connecting wood). After removing the lid and the doors, the next challenge was to find a good wood filler. I tested Liberon, who had a filler with a similar color, but it proved itself to be worthless for this job. It feels like rubber when it has hardened and fell off immediately when being touched or when I try to use sandpaper on it. Instead I again googled, and ordered online from Amazon a US made wood filler named "Durham's Wood Putty". It proved itself to be just as fantastic as the Amazon reviews told. I was able to fill in the corners, and an hour or two later use sandpaper to even out the layers. It is a dificult job to work on such small corners, particularly when having restricted access to manual tools, but I was able to repair the corners to a degree that I find satisfactory, even if they are not perfect. After adding dye/finish, I still feel it will look good, and the wood filler in itself is also strong and attached itself marvelously to the wood/veneer. As long as one don't use water on it, I feel it will last. The next job is to buy a good working dye/finish to add color the wood filler area.
The last challenge was to repair the broken curved metal hinge. I have worked on the metal, straightened it out, and also added a thin layer of metal under the broken hinge area, to create a strong hold before gluing together the broken hinge part.

Also, there was no clip on top of this spring barrel, during a previous service, it obviously had been lost/destroyed, and because of it, the barrell was simply closed by the worker having hammered a bit on the edge of a small area of the barrel to close it. When closing it, I had to use the same procedure. ( I have after putting it in the vice made it more circular that it looks on the uploaded photo) The lid in itself is often, as I have experienced it, the biggest challenge when opening a HMV spring barrell. When servicing my grey 101 two weeks ago it was extremely difficult to release the clip, and even worse to put it back after the service. I eventually cut off a few millimeters before reinstalling it, after sweating A LOT, trying to reposition it. On the other hand, I serviced my black 101 four weeks ago, but had no problem with the clip on that one, neither when removing and reinstalling it.

I will upload the last photos when the gramophone/woodwork is finished, and hopefully also the metal hinge is well repaired and installed.
I tested the spring barrell by winding the motor up to a maximum last evening, and it went smoothly. It is of course always a big excitement for a newbie like myself to test a spring, and in particular a double spring, after this kind of manual work.


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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of a HMV 109
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 2:49 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:08 pm
Posts: 2800
Location: Harrison Township, MI
I would have liked seeing a steel rivet used, instead of a copper one.


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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of a HMV 109
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:52 pm 
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Victor III
Keep winding up
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:58 am
Posts: 503
Location: Anywhere the Wind blows
Do you think the rivet will break? I could not find a steel rivet, and picked this rivet.
I was thinking about it when installing it, but was actually not sure if it was copper or not and decided to use it.
I guess time will tell if it will break or not, I doubt I will exchange it as it is now, but yes...I admit I should have chosen steel.
If it breaks, I know what metal to pick if I need to change the rivet, maybe I need to learn the hard way on this one.;)


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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of a HMV 109
PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 2:23 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:08 pm
Posts: 2800
Location: Harrison Township, MI
Hopefully it will work just fine.


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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of a HMV 109
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:21 pm 
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Victor III
Keep winding up
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:58 am
Posts: 503
Location: Anywhere the Wind blows
I need some guidance with the auto brake function. There must be a part missing. Can someone please tell/show me what this part looks like?


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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of a HMV 109
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:29 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:54 pm
Posts: 2979
In the Victor world, that's usually called a "semi-automatic brake". The whole "Y" top should be visible, that is not under the turntable. On a Victor there would be a metal pin coming down from the tonearm that would go into the top "Y" part of the brake. The way it works is you put the record on the turntable and put the needle in the start of the runout groove, then move the "Y" part so that the left side is touching the pin. Then you play the record. When the tonearm pin hits the "Y", it trips the brake. Of course this only works if you have a runout groove.

On this machine it looks like the small pin you circled may possibly be used for this instead of a pin that comes down from the tonearm.

Hope that helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of a HMV 109
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:09 pm 
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Victor III
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:51 pm
Posts: 832
Location: USA
Have a look at pages 8 and 9 of this Victrola manual:

https://www.nipperhead.com/old/vicxi.htm
Best regards ... AZ*


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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of a HMV 109
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:40 am 
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Victor III
Keep winding up
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:58 am
Posts: 503
Location: Anywhere the Wind blows
A big thank you to "52089" and "AZ*", that helped me understand how this function is working. A semi automatic brake is a good description on this brake, and I am happy to know no parts are missing.


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