Green Columbia 204 portable, what would you do?

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nostalgia
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Green Columbia 204 portable, what would you do?

Post by nostalgia »

I bought this machine cheaply during the winter, and now when spring is here, it is time to make some decisions.
I was planning to use the machine as a donor machine for some HMV 97s and a equivalent Odeon labeled machine I bought some days ago, BUT now I am not so sure. I had a quick look in the HMG book, and it says about the Columbia 204: " The last year's production consisted of 250 each in green and blue". IF only 250 copies were made of this machine in green color, I can't use it as a donor, no matter if the cover is ruined at the area we can see on the photos. Do I read this correctly, or were more green copies made earlier on during the production period of this model? I don't want to misunderstand this, since English is not my mother tongue...

If it is that rare, I better get hold of a scrappy black HMV 97 and use as a donor machine. And the last question for now, IF I should try and save this machine, do you have any suggestions on how to work on the cover? There are obviously not enough cover material under the motorboard for this job, and the only thing I can think of...is to possibly use black cover material from a black machine and transplant it to this machine, if that at all is possible. Has anyone ever tried this with these machines? I doubt it will work really. Maybe it is possible to get access to some material that mimics the cover, if anyone know where to get hold of that I would be grateful to know it. The last option is to simply paint the area, but...I doubt that will be a good solution.

I don't really like to experiment with a machine like this, if only 250 copies were made, and if that is the fact, I maybe even should first try to get hold of a scarappy black HMV 97 also for this reason, to cut off some of the covering paper, and try to substitute it with whatever suggestions you are able to give.

As we can see, the machine is not really too bad looking, apart from the obviously molested parts on the cover, at one corner of the machine
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Columbia 204 (2).jpg
Columbia 204.jpg
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Steve
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Re: Green Columbia 204 portable, what would you do?

Post by Steve »

I'd honestly leave it as it is.

Its not really worth the effort, time or money to recover it and if you did no one would want it afterwards. In my experience most diehard collectors, if they want a rare item to complete a collection, will buy something irrespective of its condition, especially if its in its raw original state.

If it bugs you in its current state, consider selling it as it is. At least then no one can question the recovering job done. I don't see how it can be repaired invisibly.

nostalgia
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Re: Green Columbia 204 portable, what would you do?

Post by nostalgia »

Thank you for your input, Steve. I bought the machine for 15 euro only, and the plan was to use it as a donor machine. I will put it aside, waiting for a scrappy green HMV 97 to turn up, and then use the case from that machine, or leave it as it is. For the sake of learning and failing, I will anyway try to remove some of the paper material from a scrappy HMV 87, that anyway is close to "oblivion", to see if it is at all possible or not.
Selling it is not an option, nobody wants it here, it was for sale for weeks before I bought it. I will keep it safe, there is always (soon still) room for another portable in my storage locker :squirrel: .

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oliver
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Re: Green Columbia 204 portable, what would you do?

Post by oliver »

it's a lovely little machine, even in its current state

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Inigo
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Re: Green Columbia 204 portable, what would you do?

Post by Inigo »

THere is always the philosophy of letting it as is... only decent cleaning, and overhauling of motor and sound system to perform greatly again... but the external aspect tellls us about its trepidant story... War wounds, you can call them. I own an old HMV127 whose pannelling was coming apart, curved and badly attached to the wooden case, due to being stored in a humid place for years. I simply reattached the panels as I could, cleaned it and readjusted and tuned the soundbox and all horn conduit, and it performs like a champion, despite its old aspect... I love it!
Inigo

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Re: Green Columbia 204 portable, what would you do?

Post by poodling around »

Inigo wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:39 pm THere is always the philosophy of letting it as is... only decent cleaning, and overhauling of motor and sound system to perform greatly again... but the external aspect tellls us about its trepidant story... War wounds, you can call them. I own an old HMV127 whose pannelling was coming apart, curved and badly attached to the wooden case, due to being stored in a humid place for years. I simply reattached the panels as I could, cleaned it and readjusted and tuned the soundbox and all horn conduit, and it performs like a champion, despite its old aspect... I love it!
I agree absolutely. Very well said !

nostalgia
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Re: Green Columbia 204 portable, what would you do?

Post by nostalgia »

After pondering on this for a while, I agree. I will leave it as it is, after servicing the motor, and a general clean up. Thanks for the feedback on this :)
It is a machine not too often found in this color, and it already has proven itself to be a survivor, despite its war wounds...

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