The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

It is currently Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:30 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Fixing up a Columbia Grafanola Viva Tonal 118 Suitcase
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:20 pm 
Offline
Victor Jr
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:21 pm
Posts: 22
I picked up a Columbia Grafanola Viva Tonal 118 suitcase player. I'm first fixing up the tonearm. I will need a flange for the reproducer as the old one is dried out. Is there anywhere to buy one? I can just figure something out for now.

Other questions: The bearing balls are missing from the tonearm. For the up and down movement (this is a Plano Reflex tonearm) I am going to use some 5/64 inch balls, as there is a groove where those should fit. But, for the horizontal movement there are no spaces for any ball bearings that I can see. Is this part of the tonearm just friction fit for left to right movement across the record? What type of oil should I use in these parts of the tonearm? I wouldn't want to use anything too thick.

Any tips for fixing up these reproducers?

Best,

Jonas
(located in USA)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fixing up a Columbia Grafanola Viva Tonal 118 Suitcase
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:08 pm 
Offline
Victor Jr
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:21 pm
Posts: 22
I posted a quick photo of the gramophone. The tone arm and reproducer are in the foreground. I now realize that there aren’t supposed to be any ball bearings in the tonearm. There is a little screw that attaches the two pieces of the tonearm for the vertically moving section. There was a washer and with the washer in place, the set screw didn’t go deep enough to hold it tight. Now it is tighter without that washer.

I still would lie to know what grease is preferred for tonearms like this, if there are any reproducer flanges available, and also if there are any parts for rebuilding the reproducers. Or any tips in general.

Thanks everyone


Attachments:
994A3773-529B-4593-B06B-45162BE589C4.jpeg
994A3773-529B-4593-B06B-45162BE589C4.jpeg [ 2.78 MiB | Viewed 643 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fixing up a Columbia Grafanola Viva Tonal 118 Suitcase
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:28 pm 
Offline
Victor Jr
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:21 pm
Posts: 22
Another question. How do I get this piece back onto the bottom of the tonearm?


Attachments:
09AB0DE6-F6F8-4061-BC61-DBD048FC439A.jpeg
09AB0DE6-F6F8-4061-BC61-DBD048FC439A.jpeg [ 2.41 MiB | Viewed 643 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fixing up a Columbia Grafanola Viva Tonal 118 Suitcase
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:37 pm 
Offline
Victor VI
An analogue relic trapped in a digital world.
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Posts: 3250
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
The tonearm on your machine is not a Plano-Reflex. The Plano-Reflex looks like this :


Attachments:
plano-reflex.jpg
plano-reflex.jpg [ 41.4 KiB | Viewed 600 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fixing up a Columbia Grafanola Viva Tonal 118 Suitcase
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:40 pm 
Offline
Victor Jr
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:21 pm
Posts: 22
Okay, thank you for clarifying that.

Does anyone know how I can get that ring back around the tonearm base? Is there a specific tool for that??

Best,

Jonas


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fixing up a Columbia Grafanola Viva Tonal 118 Suitcase
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:51 pm 
Offline
Victor V
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:08 pm
Posts: 2886
Location: Harrison Township, MI
Jeb98 wrote:
Another question. How do I get this piece back onto the bottom of the tonearm?


How did you get it off? I believe it's a snap ring. You just spread it open, place it over the end of the tone arm until it aligns with a groove in the tone arm base, and gently let it close over the tone arm. Do not just let go of it and let it snap back, as that will most likely break the end of the tone arm. A snap ring plier might help, but I'd try it first with my fingers.

As for lubricant, you can use a light grease or even Vaseline.

You haven't shown a photo of the reproducer backside, so it's pretty hard to instruct you as to what would work for a reproducer flange.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fixing up a Columbia Grafanola Viva Tonal 118 Suitcase
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:38 pm 
Offline
Victor Jr
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:21 pm
Posts: 22
Here are pics of the reproducer. I’m not certain what it is and I don’t know a lot about this stuff right now. The inside diameter of the reproducer is about 13/16 inches wide. The outside diameter of the tonearm where the reproducer would meet is roughly 23/32” wide as far as I can tell


Attachments:
4FA794F5-9A17-495D-9C1C-336993CD1C81.jpeg
4FA794F5-9A17-495D-9C1C-336993CD1C81.jpeg [ 2.63 MiB | Viewed 563 times ]
066FBA52-2A8D-4FE9-A926-85106A60BE58.jpeg
066FBA52-2A8D-4FE9-A926-85106A60BE58.jpeg [ 2.32 MiB | Viewed 563 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fixing up a Columbia Grafanola Viva Tonal 118 Suitcase
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:04 pm 
Offline
Victor V
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
Posts: 2046
Location: South Carolina
Hello--

I think the tonearm on your machine is by E. Toman. It looks like some of their popular die-castings for the phonograph trade. Popular equipment for late-era portables, of which yours is a nicely preserved example.

To get the ring back on, first make sure the arm swings freely and then grease it up with axle grease if it does. If not, polish with fine sandpaper, and repeat. Then just take the ring and snap it round the base of the tonearm. Be careful as all these parts are fragile "pot metal" on this model--you will only find brass arms when you go further back in time to the old Victor Victrolas, etc.

The reproducer is of the same type. It is simple and can be rebuilt but if it's in good shape, I'd content myself with cleaning & oiling the pivot points where the needle bar is attached. You don't want any side-to-side play in it. You only want the thing to hold "just so." It will move with the needle but not side to side on its mounting bearings. I'd remove the rubber ring inside the neck of it and then put a fresh one in, cut from a sheet of thin flexible rubber, or from silicone caulk rolled out on a flat surface maybe between two pieces tin-foil. (I'm not familiar with the ways of silicone caulk.) These old reproducers are fragile and the metal diaphragm is easily bent, causing the sound to be raspy. If you want to seal it, unscrew the 4 screws on the front and place a tiny dot of beeswax right on the needle's connection to the diaphragm, touching it with a hot sewing needle or a soldering iron to melt it. Same goes for the screw on the back side of the diaphragm.

Good luck!

I'm betting the motor is a simple General Industries "Flyer" single spring from the Garford Elyria plant, based on the controls. I found one in a Waters-Conley Phonola of the 1940s and in an early 1950s Sears-Roebuck Silvertone which was in such bad shape that I junked it for spare parts. It's a simple motor to repair and should run bravely if not exquisitely.

You'll be listening to some 78s soon enough! Nice phonograph, too--seeing Columbia's name on a basic sort of portable makes me curious. Better yet, it appears the machine has a proper horn, so it should have a far sweeter sound than some late-model portables on which the motor literally hangs down into the "horn" cavity (Amplifying every unlubricated squeak and bump!)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fixing up a Columbia Grafanola Viva Tonal 118 Suitcase
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:04 am 
Offline
Victor Jr
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:21 pm
Posts: 22
Thank you so much for the detailed reply. The tonearm does in fact habe E. Toman stamped inside it. I just assumed it was all Columbia based on the stickers in the unit. Unfortunately, the metal diaphragm in the reproducer is a bit dented. Hopefully it will sound ok and not raspy as you say but based on how it looks, and what you describe, it likely doesn’t bode well. Anyway, I’ll get the tonearm greased up, get that ring back on (I’ll probably need a pair of ring pliers since it is quite hard to get on my hand) and and then I’ll follow your recommendations for getting the reproducer rebuilt, unless it’s not worth it with the shape of the diaphragm. I’ll keep you posted.

The motor, seems to run smoothly though I haven’t checked the speed. It runs pretty very quietly. I have a Victor VV-2 55 suitcase that is likely the better machine but the motor is making much more noise. I cleaned off as much hardened grease as I could off the gears inside that one and I still can’t get rid of the noise it seems to make. Anyway, that’s another project for when I’m more knowledgeable about these machines.

Thank you!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Fixing up a Columbia Grafanola Viva Tonal 118 Suitcase
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:47 pm 
Offline
Victor V
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:08 pm
Posts: 2886
Location: Harrison Township, MI
The dent in the diaphragm might not be so bad. The dent can sometimes be carefully worked out of it during a rebuild, assuming it's not too bad. Even a small puncture can sometimes be sealed with a tiny bit of wax or shellac.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Content © 2009-2020 by The Talking Machine Forum and the respective posters.
Americanized by Maël Soucaze.