Mystery Needle Sharpener

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Orchorsol
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Re: Mystery Needle Sharpener

Post by Orchorsol »

Good to see those Carlos! I don't rate the Davey Rollright either, although I know some people prefer them. Aside from the difficulty of getting them to work well, I don't like dust from sharpening right next to the turntable.

Interesting that you use the Meltrope most of all - as mentioned previously, that's one I don't have and I'd love to find one, and I think HMVDevotee's mod with the Dremel cutoff wheel is a brilliant idea.
BCN thorn needles made to the original 1920s specifications: http://www.burmesecolourneedles.com

Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe4DNb ... TPE-zTAJGg?

CarlosV
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Re: Mystery Needle Sharpener

Post by CarlosV »

Orchorsol wrote:Good to see those Carlos! I don't rate the Davey Rollright either, although I know some people prefer them. Aside from the difficulty of getting them to work well, I don't like dust from sharpening right next to the turntable.

Interesting that you use the Meltrope most of all - as mentioned previously, that's one I don't have and I'd love to find one, and I think HMVDevotee's mod with the Dremel cutoff wheel is a brilliant idea.
If you keep a look on Ebay you will find a Meltrope for sale, Andy. Some months ago Howard Hope posted one. I don't recall the final price, but I bought mine for about 40 GBP, in its box. It's easy to use, three or four turns of the crank and I get a nice tip. And yes, the dremel wheel is a nice idea. As to the Davey, I never got it to sharpen uniformly well. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, and in some cases it would take several turns of the turntable to get a nice conical tip, and then I had to wind it up again. And as you said, I had to dust off the side regularly. It is now resting in peace in its box, looking like new.

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Orchorsol
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Re: Mystery Needle Sharpener

Post by Orchorsol »

Thanks Carlos, yes, I always keep an eye on eBay but it's been a long time since one of those came up at a reasonable price - you were lucky! There are lots of other sharpeners on the UK site at the moment, unusual to see. I think a lot of people are having a clear-out during the lockdown.
BCN thorn needles made to the original 1920s specifications: http://www.burmesecolourneedles.com

Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe4DNb ... TPE-zTAJGg?

HMVDevotee
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Re: Mystery Needle Sharpener

Post by HMVDevotee »

So, out of curiosity, I found two thorn needles of practically the same diameter and sharpened one with my MAL sharpener. Its garnet paper is virtually unused. That needle appears on the right in the attached image. The needle on the left (with the darker cone) was sharpened with the R.M. Thorn sharpener with the stone abrasive surface. The unused steel needle is in place for reference. Regrettably the lighting for my photography is not ideal, over-exposing the needle on the right and showing lots of reflection off of the ball-point of the steel needle. However, the finer point on the needle on the left, as well as the smoother surface to the cone is obvious.

I then played the same record with both thorn needles and found that the needle with the finer point developed less of a "shelf" to the cone, the little flats that wear-in on either side of the point that rode in the record's groove. I suspect this might be because the finer point may "bottom-out" in the groove and bear more weight, at least initially.

Frankly, I didn't notice any difference in sound characteristics between the needles, but then again the record I used wasn't chosen for that purpose. Next I'll try a couple of different recordings that include both high and low frequencies and see if I notice a difference. Perhaps I'll have my lighting sorted by then and be able to provide evidence of differences in wear to both needles. I'll also swap sharpeners to accommodate the variations in the organic material.. who knows, one needle, while appearing similar, may be appreciably harder.

Nothing like a Covid weekend to find time to fiddle with such things....

R.
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Roaring20s
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Re: Mystery Needle Sharpener

Post by Roaring20s »

HMVDevotee wrote:Nothing like a Covid weekend to find time to fiddle with such things....
The yard gets cleaner too. :coffee:

Those points look very good.

James.

PS: you start doing stuff like this, just keep yourself entertained...
Horror.png
Horror.png (747.91 KiB) Viewed 325 times
Until I saw this scary infomercial, I always used cactus thorns!
I'm gonna get me an Edison!

PS, PS: I tried this funny within another thread about needles and listened to the wind blow. :lol: That's ok, I'm amused.

HMVDevotee
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Re: Mystery Needle Sharpener

Post by HMVDevotee »

James,

I'm amused as well! Unsuspecting woman (gramophone owner) held captive by the repeated need to renew cactus thorns! ... and the smile on the little boy, delighted with his purchase, utterly ignoring the woman in peril! (Do I see a smile on the cactus?) If there is subliminal message to this ad, it can't be good.
R.

CarlosV
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Re: Mystery Needle Sharpener

Post by CarlosV »

The kid has an evil smile.

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Roaring20s
Victor IV
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Re: Mystery Needle Sharpener

Post by Roaring20s »

Victoria certainly is in a pinch, and all puckish little Buster would do is play "Put Your Arms Around Me Honey".

James.
:monkey:

HMVDevotee
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Re: Mystery Needle Sharpener

Post by HMVDevotee »

Whilst my obsession with needle points persists, I observed that points honed with the EXPERT sharpener fitted with the abrasive metal disc were particularly long and very fine at the point. When sharpening Burmese Colour Needles (thanks, Andy), the length of the "cone" of the point was almost twice as long as when produced with other similar (rotating) sharpeners. While the BCNs withstood the shape and remained intact when playing a record, cactus needles, thinner from the start, became so thin at the point that many would break off at the point during play.

Hmmm, thought I.

Since these sharpeners were initially made with a thin abrasive paper adhered to the rubber disc that drives the metal wheel as well, both the wheel and abrasive were practically on the same plane, so to speak. However, add the later metal ring, and you add 1mm to the "height" of the point in relation to the wheel, hence a longer, finer point, and for cactus needles, apparently too thin.

My solution was to inset a 1mm natural rubber "race" (rust red color) on top of the black rubber disc that now puts the metal drive wheel on the same plane as the needle point. Now, the points are similar to others honed by similar sharpeners, and the cactus needles are finished with a more durable point. Of course, the length of the needle inserted into the sharpener's chuck contributes to the final shape of the point, but on average, this little adjustment makes for better points.
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Orchorsol
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Re: Mystery Needle Sharpener

Post by Orchorsol »

An excellent solution! As mentioned in email correspondence, it's great to see one of these fabulous Expert sharpeners which accepts standard thorns as opposed to miniature thorns only.
BCN thorn needles made to the original 1920s specifications: http://www.burmesecolourneedles.com

Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe4DNb ... TPE-zTAJGg?

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