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 Post subject: Help identifying this machine and info on it's restoration
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:51 pm 
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Victor Jr
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Posts: 11
Hello and please be a little patient with my ignorance about such wonderful antique machines. A short back story, I have been restoring and repairing antique spring and weight driven clocks for over 15 years and love working on mechanical devices from the past. I bought a Birch portable a few years back that was not in to bad of shape at a yard sale and was able to get it operational. It came with and old Victor 78 by Corinne Morgan and loved listening to a recording over 100 years old. Enough n this , here is where I am at today.
I bought a cabinet phonograph at auction about a month ago. Tiger oak with the original finish, nice crazing to the patina. No labels as to the manufacturer anywhere. Through research it looks like a Wondertone to me but this is not my area of expertise.
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It has an Meisselbach 2 spring drive motor. Looks like a 12a model but the gear plate does not have it marked that way,
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The tone arm looks like a Heineman No. 11, don't know about the reproducer, again not my area. The main issues I have is the tonearm elbows have crumbled at the joints, just love pot metal castings! And the mica diaphragm has broken from the needle arm, somebody had a couple of pieces of cloth tape as a fix.
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Please give me any information that you know about identifing this machine, it would greatly help me with the restoration.


Last edited by Herderz on Tue Oct 20, 2020 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Help identifying this machine, newbie to this
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:48 pm 
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Victor O
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Say it With Music
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:12 pm
Posts: 73
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

You have an off-brand machine. Looks very similar to the Cadillac, sold by the Sadowski Music Co., Detroit, Michigan.

Here are a couple of pictures to compare (these came from the internet somewhere, craiglist,e-bay, etc.)

Our list shows two possible manufacturers: Cadillac Phonograph Co., Chicago, Ill. ~OR~ Clements Mfg. Co., Chicago, Ill., sorry, no date reference in our info (yet), but probably late teens-early twenty's.
Ed and Nancy


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 Post subject: Re: Help identifying this machine, newbie to this
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:38 am 
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Victor Jr
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Posts: 11
Thanks, phonolamplighter. It looks real close to your pics.


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 Post subject: Re: Help identifying this machine, newbie to this
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 9:15 am 
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Victor Jr
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Posts: 11
I have worked on the machine over the past month. Starting with the motor, broke it down and cleaned everything up to see where I stood. I have cleaned many dirty clock movements but this thing was nasty dirty. Quickly found out why the motor would not run. One of the 2 main springs had broken at the drum end and the fiber gear was completely worn out.
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The springs looked to have plenty of life left in them and were not set. I annealed the broken end and cut a new staking slot. Reassembled the drum and used lithium grease to pack the drum. I researched finding a fiber gear with no luck. When I bought the phonograph it can with a box of parts from a Perkins. The mainboard in the box had a Saal motor that was operational. The fiber gear looked new with the same diameter and tooth count but the spindle shaft diameter was smaller than my Meisselbach. The Meisselbach was .4375" and the Saal was .4250". I bored the Saal gear to be able to press on the Meisselbach shaft. Sometimes you have to make new parts or adapt what you have when working on antiques with little hope of finding originals.
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I set the gear mesh/backlash the way I do on antique clock gear trains. If there is a spec that somebody knows please let me know.
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Reassembled the motor using lithium grease on the drive gears and clock oil on the pinion shafts and bushing. Don't know what you guys use. Please let me know. The turntable is running smoothly and very quiet.
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 Post subject: Re: Help identifying this machine, newbie to this
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 9:22 am 
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Victor V
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 2:04 pm
Posts: 2329
in Awe :D


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 Post subject: Re: Help identifying this machine, newbie to this
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 9:58 am 
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Victor V
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
Posts: 2189
Location: South Carolina
Always impressive when clockmakers decide to mess with phonographs.


The tone arm will be trickier but let us know how that goes! The motor turned out fine for sure--congratulations.


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 Post subject: Re: Help identifying this machine, newbie to this
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 12:13 pm 
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Victor Jr
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Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:39 pm
Posts: 11
Thanks, soundgen and Van Eps Fan. Someone on this site sent me this link to a tone arm and reproducer, looks pretty close to what I have. Going to try to get it and maybe between what I have and this purchase I can come up with a total tone arm. I will still need to rebuild the reproducer.
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 Post subject: Re: Help identifying this machine, newbie to this
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 12:21 pm 
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Victor Jr
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Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:39 pm
Posts: 11
Van Eps Fan, yes I am a clockman plus many other ventures. Over 100 antique clocks in my shop plus what I have in the house. A pretty big commitment to keep them all operational. Sorry everybody that this is off topic but I cannot help myself.
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 Post subject: Re: Help identifying this machine and info on it's restorati
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:41 pm 
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Victor Jr
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Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:39 pm
Posts: 11
I polished the tone arm at the base of the horn. Came out nice for 100 years. I don't know if it is chrome plate or nickel. Looks chrome to me.
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I polished the turntable brake lever and slide mount, also the edge of the platter. Cut felt to fit the platter and had a question. Did they just lay the felt on the platter or did they glue it to the platter? I don't think they glued them because I do not see any glue residue on the platter. Newbie here, but am a restorer and want to get it as close to original as I can.
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I used a strobe card that a phono/clock guy gave me when I got my portable and adjusted the speed to match the speed dial using the adjustment screw under the mainboard. It just took a few adjustments to get to match the top dial. I know the top knob has a set screw to adjust from the top side but it was way off after I broke down the motor. I know this can change with multiple playing's and settling of the rebuilds to normalized operation.
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 Post subject: Re: Help identifying this machine and info on it's restorati
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:24 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 2:04 pm
Posts: 2329
Felt was always glued !


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