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 Post subject: Collector Not Experienced with Motor Repair
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:13 am 
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Victor O
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James-Gail Co.
Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:41 am
Posts: 99
Location: Hertford, NC
I have a dilemma. I love phonographs, have over 20 in my collection right now. I love the history and am pretty comfortable doing some light refinishing work. However, I am not a very mechanical person... at all. :?

I have written a book, managed businesses, and am a licensed funeral director in two states but the thought of tearing down and rebuilding a phonograph motor is rather intimidating. Go figure... :lol: So, I pose a question to those more experienced than me. How bad is it? I do plan to watch some videos on youtube and do a search of posts here on the forum.

I would at least like to get it where I can break down the motor enough to send the springs out for service... instead of the WHOLE motor like I do now.

I think the best practice might be to grab one of my off brands that doesn't work and just spread it out on the garage floor and take the motor apart to get a better understanding. Bad idea?

And, as a quick note, I have a basic understanding how the motor works and I am very comfortable removing the turntable and getting the motor out of the cabinet. But, I don't get any further. Maybe there are others like me... I wish some of the national shows would offer informal classes for people like "me" to start working on their own machines without having to send them out.

Enough of my rambling... Love the hobby, I hope I can go to the next level eventually and start repairing.


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 Post subject: Re: Collector Not Experienced with Motor Repair
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:25 am 
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Victor Monarch Special
Stop for a visit when in Oregon.
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:25 pm
Posts: 7396
Location: Albany, Oregon
I've done a few springs but don't enjoy that part of the hobby. So my goal was to have enough skill to get the spring barrel out of the motor. It's much easier to send the barrel or barrels than to send the entire motor. It's safer as well. I once sent a three spring Victor V motor and the weight of the springs broke one of the castings. That was an expensive repair.

Jerry B.


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 Post subject: Re: Collector Not Experienced with Motor Repair
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:50 am 
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Victor II
Greg
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:40 pm
Posts: 457
Location: Central Maryland
I've done a few motors, and I can tell you it's not so bad. It's more obnoxious than anything, but if you aren't very strong it could be more dangerous. If you can keep control of the spring and wear gloves, you won't have too many issues.


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 Post subject: Re: Collector Not Experienced with Motor Repair
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:14 am 
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Victor O
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James-Gail Co.
Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:41 am
Posts: 99
Location: Hertford, NC
Jerry B. wrote:
I've done a few springs but don't enjoy that part of the hobby. So my goal was to have enough skill to get the spring barrel out of the motor. It's much easier to send the barrel or barrels than to send the entire motor. It's safer as well. I once sent a three spring Victor V motor and the weight of the springs broke one of the castings. That was an expensive repair.

Jerry B.


Jerry... that is exactly what I am thinking. If I could get my skill level up the point of safely getting the spring barrels removed so I can send that portion out....


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 Post subject: Re: Collector Not Experienced with Motor Repair
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:42 am 
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Victor O
I'm Steve
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:15 am
Posts: 89
Like others have said, they're fairly straightforward, but intimidating for sure. Carefulness is the most important skill you need. Having the right size screwdrivers is next.

Honestly the hardest part for me is dealing with the old grease and the new grease. Have lots of Gojo on hand!

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Collector Not Experienced with Motor Repair
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:45 pm 
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Victor III
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    Martin     "phono_fluff" on instagram
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 6:27 pm
Posts: 629
I completely clean and relubricate all of my motors starting about a year into collecting. When done properly is makes a world of difference, but its easy to make a mistake.

The FIRST thing to do is to make sure the spring is fully wound down. Even when you let the motor run down by itself, there can still be a lot of energy stored in the spring. The best way to check is to see if the drive gear (the one attached directly to the barrel) can rotate freely, or if there is a lot of pressure in one direction.

The difficulty of removing and installing the spring is mostly based on its thickness and strength. Edison springs are strong and more difficult, but victor springs are thinner and more beginner friendly. New springs are more difficult to install but generally give a nice boost in performance. One of the most important parts of making a motor run smoothly is to make sure every little bit of the old grease is gone.

My advice would be to practice first on a single spring victrola motor, then maybe an edison motor. Some people may disagree, but the last motor you want to mess with is a Columbia, they can be a real pain.

Martin


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 Post subject: Re: Collector Not Experienced with Motor Repair
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:14 pm 
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Victor O
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James-Gail Co.
Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:41 am
Posts: 99
Location: Hertford, NC
Mormon S wrote:
I completely clean and relubricate all of my motors starting about a year into collecting. When done properly is makes a world of difference, but its easy to make a mistake.

The FIRST thing to do is to make sure the spring is fully wound down. Even when you let the motor run down by itself, there can still be a lot of energy stored in the spring. The best way to check is to see if the drive gear (the one attached directly to the barrel) can rotate freely, or if there is a lot of pressure in one direction.

The difficulty of removing and installing the spring is mostly based on its thickness and strength. Edison springs are strong and more difficult, but victor springs are thinner and more beginner friendly. New springs are more difficult to install but generally give a nice boost in performance. One of the most important parts of making a motor run smoothly is to make sure every little bit of the old grease is gone.

My advice would be to practice first on a single spring victrola motor, then maybe an edison motor. Some people may disagree, but the last motor you want to mess with is a Columbia, they can be a real pain.

Martin


Okay, I follow.... I will make sure the spring is wound down before diving in... And, I like the idea starting with a single spring motor. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Collector Not Experienced with Motor Repair
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:10 pm 
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Victor VI
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:08 pm
Posts: 3169
Location: Harrison Township, MI
As with disassembling anything, don't do anything that's irreversible. Have a good, quality set of screwdrivers. A variety of pliers, (regular & needle nose). Some small wrenches. A small & medium sized hammer. An assortment of pin punches. An assortment of patience.


Take pictures of how it was put together. Save the all the pieces. And yes, make sure it's wound down.


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 Post subject: Re: Collector Not Experienced with Motor Repair
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:06 pm 
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Victor Monarch
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Needle Tins are Addictive
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:32 pm
Posts: 4909
Location: Belmont, North Carolina
As Jerry said, good quality, hollow ground screwdrivers are essential, the type used by gunsmiths not cheap WalMart types. Hollow ground screwdrivers fit firmly in the slots of screws, which prevents slippage and messing up screw slots and heads. Also, good quality wrenches are important, open end, box end and socket sets along with various size vice grips come in handy. Don't use adjustable wrenches, which can round off nuts and bolts, use the correct size wrench or socket for each nut and bolt.

These motors are not rocket science level, just mechanical wind up motors that are relatively easy to service once you have messed with a couple of them. Your idea to try an extra generic motor for practice, is a good idea, just don't be intimidated by them (if someone put them together, you can take them apart and put them back together).

Even though I have taken a number of them apart, I hate to change springs, so you can send that part out. Its not that they're impossible to service, but there is a level of danger involved in removing springs from their barrels, since unwinding them can get away from you and cause physical harm. They also have to be inserted back in the same direction or they won't work. Just getting new springs out of their circular metal keeper can be a challenge. If they are not broken, there is no need to remove them anyway.

Jerry also mentioned pictures... BEFORE taking anything apart, take pictures so you have a reference at each step of how it was assembled originally. You CAN do it, just think things out before starting and remember how you take things apart... Good luck.
"The phonograph† is not of any commercial value."
Thomas Alva Edison - Comment to his assistant, Samuel Insull.

"No one needs a Victrola XX, a Perfected Graphophone Type G, or whatever you call those noisy things."
My Wife


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 Post subject: Re: Collector Not Experienced with Motor Repair
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:51 pm 
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Victor VI
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Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:17 am
Posts: 3543
Location: Where there's "hamburger ALL OVER the highway"...
Granby wrote:
Jerry B. wrote:
I've done a few springs but don't enjoy that part of the hobby. So my goal was to have enough skill to get the spring barrel out of the motor. It's much easier to send the barrel or barrels than to send the entire motor. It's safer as well. I once sent a three spring Victor V motor and the weight of the springs broke one of the castings. That was an expensive repair.

Jerry B.


Jerry... that is exactly what I am thinking. If I could get my skill level up the point of safely getting the spring barrels removed so I can send that portion out....


Indeed: I tend to send spring barrels out for work these days. The only time I had to send the motor frame out was on my Triumph, where the spring barrel shaft wouldn't budge.

- Bill


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