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 Post subject: The Ugly Duckling, Polyphon hornless tabletop
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:42 am 
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Victor III
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Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:58 am
Posts: 545
Location: Anywhere the Wind blows
Two days ago, I was (again) up too late, and found an ad, with this "ugly duckling". A woman wanted to sell it to a collector, or someone who could take care of it, for 10 euro. A total of 120 km drive, was within distance, and I sent her an sms at 07:15 yesterday morning, and one hour later she responded back, positively. The gramophone was not sold. Five hours later I collected it.
Status: It has no soundbox, a part of the governor spring is missing ( one spring and one weight), and the springs (two in total) is probably not working, at least the spindle is not turning when I wind it up, and resistance is next to nothing. I however loved the wooden box, and in particular the beautiful top lid. I am not an expert on wood, but could it be mahogany? I will during the winter, start work on the wooden box, and when possible, also try to get some help with the motor.
I would love any input on this gramophone. I have not been able to find out the name of the model, as we can see it is a Polyphon, and to me, it looks extremely well made. I would in particular love to get some input on what to do with the wooden case. Stripping....dye? I am looking at UK made Liberon products, since they can be shipped also in continental Europe. Any other suggestions is very welcome, since I really would love to put this wooden case back to its former beauty. Links or product names that can be of assistance in this winter work (when I have finished my current restoration projects) are very welcome.


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Last edited by nostalgia on Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: The Ugly Duckling, Parlophon hornless tabletop
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:40 am 
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Victor IV
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Buyer of broken things
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 1320
Location: North Shields, UK
It looks more like a stained light wood, birch possibly?


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 Post subject: Re: The Ugly Duckling, Parlophon hornless tabletop
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:50 am 
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Victor VI
An analogue relic trapped in a digital world.
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Posts: 3237
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
The German collectors forum www.grammophon-platten.de might be able to identify the model.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ugly Duckling, Parlophon hornless tabletop
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:01 am 
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Victor III
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Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:58 am
Posts: 545
Location: Anywhere the Wind blows
Thank you, epigramopone, checking with the German forum is a good idea.
But apart from it, please tell if you (forum members)would strip the woooden box or not, or just polish it?
Opinions are very welcome, even if probably forum members will disagree.
I showed the gramophone to my 85 year old friend yesterday, and she said: "You must not make it
look different, then it loses its identity".
Myself I first wanted to strip it, or at least camouflage the marks and revive/disguise/renew with Liberon products, and make it look shiny and nice, since it obviously is made of a beautiful wood, and as it looks now, it to me looks, well..ugly.
While waiting for registration on the German forum, I googled A LOT today, and was able to find this model. It actually has the same motor (!) but a different lid. I thought you maybe would like to have a look, so I paste the link here:
http://deerbe.com/unt/80611-extrem_rar_ ... _1925.html
It also probably has the color that my machine had from the start..


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 Post subject: Re: The Ugly Duckling, Parlophon hornless tabletop
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:22 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:51 am
Posts: 466
PW on the motor stands for Polyphon Werke - so not Parlophone. I will try find my Polyphon catalog as I seem to remember this one is there. The domed lid is quite unique.

Polish yes, strip - rather not, my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ugly Duckling, Polyphon hornless tabletop
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:26 am 
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Victor III
Keep winding up
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:58 am
Posts: 545
Location: Anywhere the Wind blows
Thank you "Sidewinder" for correcting me on this Polyphon (and not Parlophon, and also for taking the time to check a Polyphon catalogue. Thank you also for your view on how to pursue restoring the gramophone, it is much appreciated.
Somehow my head was infected with the Parlophon name the last days after looking at a Parlophon portable some days ago, despite the fact that the Polyphon name and logo shines towards me when opening the lid on this gramophone. Yes, I quickly understood this domed lid is quite unique, and after joining the German Grammophon Platten Forum yesterday, it was from a forum member there first suggested my model was a table top with a flat top lid that we see on most tabletops, but after some more discussions and photos uploaded, new suggestions were forwarded. https://grammophon-platten.de/e107_plug ... .php?38784 This gramophone has the same domed lid, but a different tonearm, and also some other minor differences in the woodcase and possibly needle tray.
When reading a bit more on that new linked page a member there at first suggests that it is a frankenphone, before a different member points it (rightly) to be a Polyphon, and give the below link to an auction site that sold a model that I believe is exactly the same model as mine. It has two needle trays, same tonearm as far as I can see, and also the wooden box is similar. The gramophone on the auction site, is missing one door, my fortunately have both doors:
https://www.lauritz.com/de/auktion/poly ... /i3274055/
I find it interesting to identify models that are not so common, good detective work and mutual effort is needed. Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ugly Duckling, Polyphon hornless tabletop
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 2:14 pm 
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Victor III
Keep winding up
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:58 am
Posts: 545
Location: Anywhere the Wind blows
This is an old thread, from September last year, but I always like to end a restoration by showing what it possible, also to save gramophones that one may consider leaving alone, or even put aside for ever. I finished restoring it last week, and made new governor weights using old copper coins glued together. I had ony one original weight, but after weighing it I knew the exact weight needed for the coins. Glued together, drilled a hole in the middle of the coins, and fastened to 2+1 governor blade springs (2 springs taken from a scrappy HMV 102 governor plus one original blade spring, the machine now runs smoothly. I am happy with the result, and the reason why I also post the photos, is that there is another Polyphon machine on the US part of the forum now, I was able to help identify the motor of that machine, since I remembered the P.W mark on my own machine since I serviced it last week. This is the thread on the US part of the forum, by the way.viewtopic.php?f=2&t=45492&p=269082#p269082
And here comes the photos, ending this thread, confirming that "The ugly duckling", that I paid €10 for, now has a new life in my kitchen (Yes, no more space for gramophones in my sitting room).
I decided not to strip the lid, I prefer it to wear it's scars with pride, and still shine, which I feel it does...but a new felt was needed, since there was no felt present.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ugly Duckling, Polyphon hornless tabletop
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 3:55 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:21 pm
Posts: 2779
Location: Biggenden, Queensland, Australia
When I've got machines in similar condition I always try and salvage the original finish.
Sometimes it comes out great, sometimes acceptable, and other times is will still look bad and you simply can't enjoy the machine the way it is.
In this case, I will strip it.
But if you can, save what's there by camoflauging damage.
At least then you've tried to save the finish, and whether or not the results are acceptable to you, it has given you a bit more practice and knowledge about saving another machines finish in the future.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ugly Duckling, Polyphon hornless tabletop
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 4:32 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:50 am
Posts: 41
It looks pretty good after the cleaning and polishing, it is always easier to restore machine when you have a good example of an original to work to so this one would be tricky.

The shape is unusual and interesting and I think I would concentrate on making it play well which it seems you have done.

Sometimes it is also nice to have a machine you can take to demonstrate to community groups ( when they are possible again) without worrying about damaging it in transit.
Also good for the kitchen, as mentioned, and the domed top stops people putting cups or glasses on it and leaving rings.

I have tatty HMV 102 portable that is great for picnics as I am not worried about the case.


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