Jul 292014

This music box came from a New England collector and was in good shape.  It is quite rare and it has whistles along with a Triangle and drum to accompany the musical combs.  It was a coin-op and like so many coin-ops it did not have all the parts and so we had to figure out what was missing and manufacture those parts in our tool shop.

We rebuilt the bellows and all the whistles, which is really an undertaking in itself.

Another great job done and a Very Happy Customer!


Jul 292014

Orphenion Restoration 2014,

What a project we under took here!  It came from the Mid West and was in pretty tough shape and the owner really wants it done correctly as it appears someone had done work on it at one time and did not stay with the original.

The first thing we found were some very bad dampers (see pictures) and as nobody has these we had to make our own and with some help from our friends in Texas, we came up with a solution and made a whole new set that was from the same model but a bit different then what was in this unit.  All of which were made here in Vermont.

The musical combs were rusted badly the leads were really oxidized and the combs were worn just as bad, so we had to sand the rust and remove oxidized leads out and hone the tips of each tooth and then restore the tuning from scratch.  When you do this it also changes how the combs are set up on the bedplate so more man hours!

It was a coin-op but did not have all the parts so we had to use pictures from the Bower’s book of Music boxes (our music box bible).  Many of the parts we hand made and we learned more as went on on how this unit worked.

There are a lot parts on this music box as you can see from the pictures and it was certainly an adventure working on this unit and the final out come was terrific.


Apr 262013

So this is how the story goes, I get a call one day from a lady who has a Christmas tree stand that needs repair and wonders if we can help.  I assure her we can as we had just finished one a month or so a go.   She then goes on to say that her father had taken it during World War II when they invaded  Adolf Hitler retreat “The Eagles Nest”.   Well now she had my imagination and I said that on our next trip out to the Mid-West we would stop by and pick it up.

So we meet this lady and she show us this banged upped  Christmas tree stand that she said that was  her fathers that he took from Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest and she had other items that were most certainly from Hitler’s home (somewhere).  So we can not confirm that this item is from the “Eagles Nest” but it does make a great story.

Her father carried the stand from Germany to America in his back pack and it certain shows as it is all dented up.

Ron started cleaning it before I could get a good picture of just how dirty it was but we were able to get some good shots so you can see all the work we had to do.  The combs had a lot of damage to the leads and they needed a lot of cleaning to bring them back to a reasonable looking shape.  With all this cleaning of the combs and leads we had to restore the tuning and since this is Dwight’s specialty he had no problem with that and they sound beautiful again.

As you can see in the pictures there is only one motor and two separate musical units.  The one motor plays both instruments by moving a pinion gear from one unit to the other, and since it is all mounted on wood it is quite tricky to get them in perfect sync.  Since we have worked on several of these we have some jigs to help us with this process and it is all working perfectly now.  The cup that holds tree is not with the stand and we are not sure if it ever was.

I have spoken with the family and they are all excited to hear there father treasure once again, she was almost in tears over phone and it will be fun to see them again when we delivery it.

It is a wonderful gift that we have to give the world and we are forever grateful to all of customer who entrust us with their family treasures and for inviting us in to there lives, we are very blessed.


Jim Sault

Porter Music Box Co April 26, 2013



Mar 062013

We have been working on very unique Symphonion with a clock. It came to us with no start stop mechanism and with some help from friends we did get a picture of another one that is located in Texas! (Thanks Allen) and with those two pictures we were able to recreate it with all new parts that we were able to make in our tool shop.

We also built soundboards for this cabinet, as everything was ether broken of missing.

What makes this one unique is how it is powered. It has massive weight that measure 12 ½ long x 5 ½ wide x 3 ½ thick and weighs about 75 pounds. It connects to the winding arbor by a metal ribbon and when fully wound it will play for about 15 to 20 minutes.

The clock turns the music box on every second hour and can be turned off at night.

This just another example of what projects we can tackle here at Porter Music Box Company.