Friday, January 29, 2010

Victor 1-5 Repair (Part 2)

With the phonograph disassembled into a pile of parts one can begin to clean and lubricate the mechanism. For cleaning I use a toothbrush. You're not looking for it to sparkle like chrome. You just want to remove debris and hardened grease. This will all brush away easily. Any crud that resists this will require solvents. Lets try to avoid that. We're not just removing old oil to make it pretty. Gummy dried oil and grease hold grit and dust and this will wear down the gears and add friction.

If you decide to outsource I recommend APSCO. The manual says to use Victor motor grease. Since that no longer exists I'll go with something comparable, and 3:1 oil on the more delicate parts.

The basic parts are as follows:
1. Spring Barrel
2. Governor
3. Drive Gears
4. Base plate
5. Speed Control shaft
6. Turntable

1. SPRING BARREL
We are tentatively assuming the Spring is not broken which I have proven by process of elimination. This means that barrel can stay sealed.

2. GOVERNOR
The Governor needs oiled at each bearing and the Friction Sleeve in the middle of the shaft as well.

3. DRIVE GEARS
wipe away old grease and freshly lubricate the spiral of spindle and the teeth of all gears. This is a 85 year old phonograph, it's been lubed before. You can see where it needs to go.

4. BASE PLATE
Just wipe clean.

5. TURNTABLE
In this case we have a little rust so I've buffed it off with steel wool and the rubbed in a thin coat of oil. After that all I can do it hope that it doesn't spread.

OTHER PROBLEMS: I realize now that I'm also missing the escutcheon. This is not something I can fake. I'll need to buy a replacement. There also is deep cracking in the potmetal case of the reproducer, and strangely there are 2 needles and one dead bug inside the reproducer. Those probably made it in through the tone arm as well. I may have to farm out the more delicate work of repairing the reproducer.
I gave it a couple cranks and it seems to to test it. It seems to wind up and hold tension but it slows down quickly, finishing one side of one 78. This is probably average behavior for a single spring model. But it's equally likely that the 80 year old spring has metal fatigue and will ultimately need replaced. However, with out the escutcheon it's not safe to keep winding it up. Without an escutcheon the cranking motion will wobble outward and can damage the gearing, strip the threads and otherwise destroy the motor. I've emailed George at Great Lakes Antique Phonograph. So short of a complete rebuild.. I'm done.