Gary alerted me that there was a Sunline snowglobe on eBay a couple days ago. I documented it to add to my tracking list, but I did bookmark it. As the auction drew to a close, it still had no bids, so I bid on it right at the end. I didn't really need a second one, since 449 is mint, but this one said it included the (rare) original packaging, so I figured it would be a good buy.
I'll be honest, I feared the seller might just ship the box with the globe as is. But I was very impressed when it (quickly) arrived today and not just in one extra box, but two!
I opened it up and even though the original packaging is in great shape, the snowglobe itself was sticky and dirty looking. I went to wind up the music box part and it was solid.
The thing that tipped me off was that the water level in the globe looked lower than it should be. I guess it helps I know what to compare it to.
I tore into it this evening. I had no idea what to expect and know nothing about music boxes/snowglobes, etc. For those who don't know, once wound up, it's supposed to play Willie Nelson's On the Road Again.
The base of the globe is just glued on, and the music part is screwed to that base. I carefully peeled off the plastic base, only to find a very rusty looking music thing. No wonder it didn't work I thought, and I honestly wasn't sure if I could get it to work.
I spent about an hour on the music unit itself. I completely disassembled it, including all the gears. I cleaned up the drum from the rust too. I discovered the coil spring that actually gets wound up to make it work seemed to have been wound too tight and was stuck. After lubing everything, reassembling, and tweaking, I'm happy to say I surprised myself and got it to work just as it should/did.
Here's some music box 101, for those who don't know how they work. When you wind up the little lever on the bottom, it winds up a coil spring around a shaft. There's a little plastic gear that locks to hold it wound, much like how a locking retractable dog leash works, except this can't be released. That plastic gear also has teeth on the outside to turn the drum mechanism. The gearing is such that the drum turns rather slow. The drum has little points sticking out. Then, there are a series of tuning fork things that cover the width of the drum. As the drum turns, the points come in contact and 'flick' the respective tuning fork to make the particular note/sound. Getting this adjusted right was particularly difficult because if it's too far away (or if the screws aren't very tight), it either won't make any sound or it'll be really muted. Push it in too close and the forks lock up on the points and the drum stops. So it needs to be just right to get good volume.
After I got the music unit working again, I poured a little bit of distilled water into the globe to replace what was lost over time. It appeared the rubber plug that kept the water in (and also holds the scene) was leaking around the edge somehow. It had some silicone around the plug, but apparently not enough to keep it from leaking. I read online that most globes these days are made with a water/glycol solution. It wasn't down that much (under 3 oz), so I figure it probably had enough glycol in it that I didn't have to worry about it freezing if it got cold.
Note to self, don't overfill the globe with water. When pushing the plug/scene back in, it may or may not squirt up glittery water back at you...
Once I removed a couple spoonfuls of water (and tried not to take any glitter), I put the plug back in. I put a new bead of silicone all the way around the plug edge just in case. I have it sitting in the bowl overnight now, upside down, so that the silicone can dry without a water drip on it. I will flip it back over tomorrow, with the base still out, to see if it leaks at all for a little while before I put the base back on.
Sorry, no pics of disassembling the music unit. Messy job and too many small parts.
2007 T-286SR Cherry/Granola, #6236, original owner, current mileage: 9473.8 (as of 6/18/21)
1997 T-2653 Blue Denim, #5471
1979 12 1/2' MC, Beige & Avocado, #4639
Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR