View Full Version : jukebox

03-26-2013, 08:21 PM
As requested, and because I don't want to fill shopmade tools with pics of something I havent made myself, heres a pic of my wurlitzer silhouette jukebox.
I bought it cheap intending to gut it to make a retro mp3 jukebox with a embedded pc, but it seemed such a shame to bin all the insides as it looked like with a little tlc it could be made to work again and mechanical era carousel jukeboxes are fascinating things to watch.
And so some tinkeration happened. The issue was a shaft which moved the grabber, on that shaft there was a lever which had split and lost tension where it gripped the shaft, therefore wasn't pressing the microswitch that told the rest of the innards the grabber arm was parked and ready for work. After finding that unaided and feeling pleased with myself, the posters on the british jukebox mailing list told me it was a really common failure with that model.
I knocked a replacement up in short order on the mill. It wasnt splined or indexed on to make it adjustable and not a great deal of force needed to press the switch home so just ran a slitting saw through the end to give it the right amount of pinch to still be adjustable.

Simple, but I couldn't have justified the price of the jukebox if it was working, so I'm happy it was broken in such a easy to fix way once I'd got my head round how all the springs and arms etc worked, as the mechanism is still firmly in the electro mechanical era ;)


Joins some other toys...

As you can see one of the tubes was out (it was swapped in position between the two pics), but I couldn't source the right size here &the closest I can get is 28", so I machined up two small discreet blocks to bring the ends of the flouro tube mounts in by 11mm each side so it now takes standard tubes.

03-26-2013, 08:22 PM
Also found that the 7" singles it takes need the centres cutting out to work with a jukebox unless you buy the expensive jukebox edition ones. There are special tools called dinkers which vary in price and quality but I decided to just knock one up after reading varying reports of sucess with the ebay ones.
Die is some unknown grade of very hard stainless, and punch is xc38 steel.

It works great on all but one type of record (plain relieved centres with no label, they are known to be troublesome). I've done about 40 discs with it without drama this week.

Its sort of home shop, in that I had to make stuff for it, its spawned off shop built tools, and its mechanically interesting.

03-26-2013, 08:37 PM

03-26-2013, 08:53 PM
Interesting post for sure!! I remember WAY BACK, when a dime would get you a favourite song.

03-26-2013, 09:34 PM
I like it! These old machines gave many, many hours of pleasure, and likely in the case of yours, thoughts of home. Kudos for keeping it original.

03-26-2013, 09:41 PM
"I wanna beer, here's a twenty, and bring my change in dimes.
There's a song on the jukebox I want to hear a thousand times ..."

03-26-2013, 10:41 PM
Please Mr, Please, Don't play B17 :D


03-27-2013, 12:03 AM
Ah, its a thing of beauty :) Glad it was a easy fix, as I agree they do look so cool with all the moving parts :)

03-27-2013, 02:04 AM
Brings back memories. We had a juke box way back when. I figured out a way to get into it and I watched the guy who serviced it. He always left us some marked coins so we could play it, and when those ran out I could still play it. Those were the days of Duane Eddy, Elvis, Marty Robbins, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Patsy Cline--I could go on and on- the newer stuff was Hermans Hermits, Scott Mackenzie, Mamas and Papas- et al. We had Johnny Horton, Buddy Holly- every two weeks there would be some 45 changes and us kids would get a few for ourselves. We ended up with quite a collection after a while. I had it wired to a speaker in my bedroom- when a customer would play a few songs I had tunes.

03-27-2013, 05:46 AM
Strange reversal. All 45's were supplied with "easy push out" centres so the juke box suppliers could change the selections on the boxes out on hire. Roaring trade in ex-box (bad pun) discs and "Record players" had a molded bush supplied with them to enable singles to be played. Also you could buy snap in moldings for the centres to allow stacking on "auto" players.

Regards Ian

03-27-2013, 10:44 AM
I've done some juke box repair, as well pinball, pachinko, pashislo, and a few coin-op arcade games. I especially like working on the PM (purely mechanical) and EM (electro-mechanical) pinballs over the new SS (solid state) machines. Sometimes I'm amazed at how creative those guys were to make the games do what they did before computers and stepper motors.

The good news is that coin-op machines were built for one reason and one reason only. To make their owners money. And they didn't make their owners money if they didn't work. They are fairly robust machines and usually don't take a whole lot to get them working again. One of the biggest problems I see is mechanisms where the grease has turned to sludge over the years. Clean it out, relube, and off they go. The paint usually wears off the playfield and the cabinet before the mechanism wears out.

Nice job of bringing saving the old girl from the scrappy. Now you get the watch the amazement in the neighborhood kid's faces when they try to figure out what magic makes the thing work. :o

03-27-2013, 12:29 PM
Now you just need some Derri boots, a Lewis jacket and a Triton!