Seeburg 100B Restoration

The Seeburg 100B was the first jukebox of the "major manufacturers" to play the 45 rpm record released in 1949. It used the Selectomatic mechanism first used in the 100A and played 100 selections.

I got these (see picture below) in March 2012 as part of a load of Seeburgs I bought from a fellow in San Antonio. These two were the "dregs" of the load. The one on the right looks like it is in worse shape but the cabinet is solid. The one on the left is relatively complete but the cabinet has suffered significant delamination due to water exposure. Hence both will be gutted and the one on the right will be the one to be restored. It will be painted red and white like the left one and will be my girlfriend Esther's juke. She deserves it...she helped haul these home and goes to all the swap meets, flea markets, and auctions that I attend.

The restoration project will include:

Cabinet Restoration:

The first order of business was to gut the good cabinet. There wasn't much to remove: a partially disassembled 100C mechanism and the program selection panel. The fun part was stripping the cabinet. It had no less than 4 layers of various types of finish: the original zebrawood finish, some kind of a spray-on spackle finish, nasty sticky plastic black marble/aquamarine cloth material, and over it all, a sticky plastic wood grain material. Razor blades and a heat gun were used to remove the plastic and paint stripper was used to remove the spackle and original finish. Here's a side shot showing some of that nice sticky stuff and a picture of the empty cabinet with some remaining spackle/original finish.

While the cabinet was empty it was a good time to replace the casters. Almost every juke I come across has bad casters. Usually the problem is not the caster itself but the housing the caster is inserted in. They split, then the caster gets wobbly and won't roll or pivot. Here, I have installed new hard rubber casters. They roll much better than the old steel casters and are much easier on floors.

With the cabinet completely stripped it was apparent that some repairs needed to be made. I used a special two part epoxy from the Rot Doctor to fill in holes, chips, etc.

Mechanism Restoration:

I will attempt to make one functional mechanism out of two. I do have some other mechanisms just in case. The mechanism at first glance appears to be complex and intimidating...because it is! This unit pretty well does it all: scans for records, indexes records, positions records for play, positions the tone arm on either side of the record, and returns the record after play is complete. Here is a pic of the mechanism that will be restored:

As can be seen, it's in pretty rough shape and has been messed with in the past as evidenced by the motor having been removed.

Let the mechanism restoration begin! I cheated a little before tackling this unit by disassembling the 100C mechanism carcass so I had a clue how to attack this unit. As complex as it appears, it can be stripped down methodically as the following pictures and discussion will show.

The picture below shows the record magazine removed. To remove the magazine:

The picture below shows the record clamp removed. To remove the clamp:

The picture below shows the clamp arm housing removed. At this point, I noticed a missing part...there is supposed to be a leaf type switch mounted on the housing. Good thing I had a few parts mechanisms. To remove the clamp housing: