The Columbia Graphophone and Grafonola -- A Beginner's Guide.
Part Three. Graphophone Repair
Copyright 2007 Lynn Bilton
In keeping with the philosophy that less is more I am going to instruct you on only three repairs of Columbia Graphophones. Once you master these three elementary procedures you will be capable of repairing 98 per cent of all Columbia machines that need repair. And the third repair is so mind-boggling that it requires no work at all on your part -- you simply toss the machine away!
1. Disc graphophones -- most front mounts and many early rear mounts.
Symptom: Turntable unwinds all at once, or spins and sticks.
Solution: You have a worn out turntable drive gear. Most of these gears were made of fiber, probably to quiet motor rumble. Purchase a replacement from the parts suppliers. The gear is just pressed into place. Sometimes I tack down the new one with a little epoxy.
2. Columbia Grafonolas
Sympton: Tone arm doesn't swivel because elbow is cracked.
Solution: Purchase a replacement elbow from the parts suppliers. They are available in the most common sizes.
3. Cylinder Graphophones, certain A series machines.
Sympton: Feed screw or reproducer won't advance or engage because housings are cracked or warped, chassis is warped, etc.
Solution: Toss the machine in the garbage. Or live with it as is.
You have a pot metal upperworks. Over the years the pot metal has swollen and cracked. Notorious for the use of pot metal, Columbia even went so far as to employ pot metal spring barrels on a few of its most inexpensive machines such as the AP.
Possible pot metal components include:
*The sleeve that holds the feed and its associated parts.
*The reproducer housing.
*The entire chassis (early style ATs).
I have seen recuts of the sleeve, and only the sleeve, in aluminum, but I am not certain that they are still available and I cannot vouch for how well they work.