Ron Connolly

Jan 232019

Recently we restored a beautiful Swiss organocleide cylinder music box.

Here is a video of it playing prior to restoration.



The restoration process included cleaning, polish and lacquer all the parts. Heating the cylinder and re-cementing it.

The mainspring was removed checked for cracks, cleaned, reinstalled and re-lubricated.

Main spring next to the barrel

Spring in barrel next to winding clutch.











The governor was checked for wear and any worn bushings were replaced.

dirty governor just removed from bedplate

A new escape gear was manufactured and installed. Also the endless screw was repointed and polished.

cleaned governor

polished and assembled governor








The musical combs had their tuning recorded. They were then cleaned. Several broken tips were replaced. Three of the missing tips were on one comb as shown below. The arrows point to the missing tips. Wear was removed from all tips of the teeth. Then new wire dampers were installed.

The tuning scale was analyzed. Mistakes were corrected and all comb teeth were re-tuned to the correct scale.

The zither was recovered also and reinstalled.

click on image to enlarge.

The music unit was then assembled. The cylinder was checked for proper alignment.  The retuned and re-dampered combs were reinstalled. They were then adjusted for volume and synchronization.

Please listen to before and after the video. You will note a considerable difference.

The sound is now clear, rich and full.



We appreciate the opportunity to work our craftsmanship on such a fine instrument.


For a free estimate on music box restoration, please call 802-728-9694 and ask for Ron or Dwight.

Aug 302018

Late last summer we started the tremendous job of restoring a 24” Komet upright for a customer.

This was a box that hadn’t played right in sometime.  One of our first discoveries happened when we removed the bedplate from the cabinet.  Someone along the way had decided that the damper rails needed to be replaced with a combination of epoxy, wood and random heights of dampers from several different makes of boxes. With some help from our friends who sent us a rusty damper rail, we were able to design and engineer accurate upper and lower assemblies. See pictures below of before and after.

This is the dampers that were on the komet when it showed up.

The dampers we borrowed to copy (top) and our new manufactured ones(below)

Dampers on rails. Old and new.

Dampers on the bedplate.

We also found that the starwheels were worn and had to be replaced.  The motor also had issues that required us to make new Geneva stop parts to replace the broken and missing parts.  After fixing the motor and going through the bedplate, all parts were cleaned, lacquered and painted.  Then we re-tuned both combs to scale.  We installed the motor and bedplate in the cabinet. Next we built a new sound board from sitka spruce.  The end result is a music box that plays with a rich mellow sound just as it did over 100 years ago.  Proper restoration insures the best results and dependability.

This is the motor and cabinet before cleaning

This is just to show the size of the motor. For reference that is a 6 inch scale being held up.

What was left of the geneva stop.

A cleaned and ready to go motor.

Finished bedplate in cabinet.

Finished cabinet open.

Front of cabinet

Front view of cabinet.

Jul 192018

To zoom in on pictures, click on pictures.

This is a very rare Bornand Mermod orchestra music box. It has a drum, set of tuned bells

with castanet and an 18 note reed organ.


restored unit with completely rebuilt organ bellows.

Hand engraved tune card made from brass and silver plated

view of the spring barrels and winding mech.

completed unit in its refinished cabinet.

The owner of this music box, purchased it at auction in Paris,

had it shipped home, and then gave it to us for total restoration.

Amazing sound with all instruments synchronized to play together

One cannot measure the satisfaction that comes from doing precise work with

magnificent end results.

Jul 192018

To zoom in on a picture, click on picture.

New cabinet made and designed by a company in Italy especially for the Plerodienique movement.



Cabinet design has brass, pewter, and mother of pearl inlay.




Knee is inlaid with brass, pewter, and mother of pearl.

It took one week per leg to do the work. The curves and angles were very difficult.


oxidized tuning leads, had been improperly soldered and had rusted the underside of the musical comb

combs after rust removal, leads properly installed, comb tuned and new dampers installed

before restoration

before disassembly

before picture of motor

after polishing and plating

before picture of governor

after picture of governor has been re-bushed and plated


first play after set up of combs and cylinders

after complete restoration.

beautiful motion shot of the motor assembly.

This rare music box took several months to complete and many thousands of dollars to complete.

The end result was amazing. Another example of restoration by Porter Music Box Company.

The joy on the customers faces when they heard it for the first time, made all the work very worthwhile

Jun 182018

At the end of 2017, we saw two automatics in our shop. The real amazing part was that they were both 27 inch Regina’s. Here we see how the second of these boxes started in our shop..

As we normally do, we started with restoring the bedplate. This included replacing the worn dampers, removing the ruts in the combs that were worn in by the starwheels, and re-tuning the combs, so that this box would sing songs beautifully again. We also replaced the pressure rollers as the old ones had signs of wear.


With the bedplate repainted and reset up with the newly polished and tuned combs; we moved on to the motors. Usually we end up replacing the ribbons due to rust or to lengthen the wrap around the pulleys with most ribbon lift changers.  This insures a longer life of the ribbons. This box also had somehow broken a tooth off the lift gear. We had to surgically replace this tooth, so the lift would work right again.

The next part was to clean the motors and regrease the springs. The disc drive pinion on this box further showed that this box had been used a lot and needed to be replaced. At some point,  this box had been worked on and someone had modified the coin-op. We were lucky to have an old coin-op that we could put in

With all the parts out of the box, cleaned, polished and repainted; it was time to reassemble. This is when the fun begins of adjusting all the parts to work  together correctly. The spring barrel that powers the disc drive gear stop slots were not spaced right on the barrel, so we had to shave one to make the disc stop in the right spot.  This enables the discs  to always pick up in the same place each time. We also added fingers to guild the lift fingers to a consistent spot on the tune rack.

This is just part of what we did to make this 27 inch Regina operate correctly and sound beautifully again. As you can see there is a lot of work that goes into such a beautiful and complicated box. Here is the results of our hard work


Oct 192016

We are working on updating our new disc machine so we can use a modern laptop computer (we were using a 286 and that is old enough that many young people won’t have a clue of what it is!) Once this is done we will be set for the next 10 to 20 years of disc making.

We are also going to have for the first time ever 5 Regina Automatics in our repair shop!  This is exciting and it has motivated us to finish building 3 new Porter Automatics so if you have been wanting an Automatic but can’t find a Regina that doesn’t need a ton of repairs done to it, we have the answer for that.

If you have any questions please email me and I will do my best to answer them.

Have a great day,

Jim Sault

Oct 142015

Here is wonderful example of the quality music boxes we get to work on.  As you can see we have done a complete restoration of the beautiful instrument.

We had to rebuild the bellows from scratch and for anyone who is thinking about do it themselves it is major undertaking and even though we have done many  thru the years it takes many hours to do a correct job.  It can’t leak any air once your done or it just won’t have the power to play the music.

The governor on this music box (the governor controls the speed/tempo of the motor) was not original when we got it and we had to make many of the parts (done from pictures of it in its original state).  We had to calculate the proper gearing as it was playing way to fast with what it had and this was another one of those items where years of restoration work pays off as you can make an educated guess of what it needed to be.  It takes all lot of power to operate the music box so having the correct speed on the governor was critical.

This was a wonderful music box to listen to when completed.  With most Organ & Bell boxes these two often over powers the musical combs, but not his one the combs embellish the organ & bells perfectly.  I will admit it took many tries to get this done.

The cabinet was also completely restored by our cabinetmaker in Italy.  The craftsmanship of our cabinetmaker is unmatched.  It is a work of art in it self!

bell drum organ music box

bell drum organ music box

bell drum organ music box

bell drum organ music box

bell drum organ music box

bell drum organ music box



Sep 032015

This is a set of combs from one of our repair jobs and it show how the leads (on the bass notes) get oxidize and how they should look.  When the leads get this bad the notes are no longer correct and the tooth will not resonate correctly ether.

We complete clean the old lead by sanding them (by hand) but first we need to record the tuning so we know where the octave breaks are.  We know the tuning is not correct but it does help to know what it was prior to doing all the work to them.  As you can see by the lead dust on the vise these combs were very bad and it is going to take a lot of work to bring them back to life.

You can click on the picture to enlarge it, this will give you much better idea of how bad these combs were.


IMG_0176 IMG_0185 IMG_0174 IMG_0183

Jul 072015
Copper Disk Product Image

We are having a sale on some of our over stock disc’s, some for as low as $25 each to get the list please email us and we will send the list to you.

We are also having a spring sale on our disc’s, all disc’s are now $65 each and disc sleeves are only $4.50.  You will need to call to get the sale price.

Jan 272015

Welcome to the summer of 2016!  Time just flies by us and it is hard to keep up with the changing seasons.

We still have some over stock disc so if you haven’t requested a sales sheet send me your email address and I will happily send you one. (some discs discounted to $25!)

Our Reuge repair business is in full swing so if your old Reuge music box is not playing like new give me a call to discuss what we can do you for treasured Reuge music box.  We also have a large selection of new/old stock Reuge 18 note units and these we can sell to you without any cabinet, so if you are making a gift for someone and would like to make it extra special by adding a real Reuge musical unit we can help.

We have a new selection of imported cabinets from our friends in Italy and they should be in stock in May.  So stayed tuned for when they arrive as I’m sure they will sell quickly.

If your antique Regina, Stella, Mira or any style cylinder music is in of cleaning or even total restoration we are your one stop source for all your repair needs.

If you have any questions regarding any make of music box please call me and we can discuss what we can do for you.  Even if you just want to get a feel for its value I’m happy to help.  Oh yes if you are on Ebay and looking to purchase a music box and are not sure about it I can help guide you with your decision making.  (Always nice to know the right questions to ask the seller!)  It is a buyer beware market and if you are really not sure, just give me a call.  A happy music box owner is what we want you to be!

Happy collecting to everyone.

Respectfully yours,

James Sault GM

Porter Music Box Co.