A good friend of mine had bought a Columbia Gramaphone at an auction a few years back and has had it sitting in his storage garage ever since. I’m not sure as to how old the actual unit is, but I could guess the 1930’s to 1940’s at best. It’s a pretty generic model and I suspect it wasn’t the deluxe unit by any means.
Since he and I only met within the last year, he never bothered to do anything with it. When he found out that I was pretty good with refurbishing or repurposing furniture, he let me take a look at it to see if there was anything I could do to save it. The problem with this unit is that it has, for some reason, been exposed to the elements so a good portion of the wood is water damaged and moldy. Much of it is beyond salvage but the way the cabinet was designed, not complicated to replicate. The most important parts are still usable including the mechanical parts themselves. However, I have informed the owner now that I have had a chance to tear it down that it might be cheaper to buy another one in better shape on EBay or some other online site. There, they average between $100 to $900 depending on style and condition. I even found an identical unit to his in excellent condition for $500.
I suspect that salvaging the current unit could cost that much and wouldn’t make it worth anything because most of the wood is not original anymore. However, I did tell him that I could make him a completely new and more compact box to house the unit so that at least it would function and still be in a wooden cabinet.
-- Rob, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, newagainedm.blogspot.com