Wurlitzer Style-B Enclosed
"Self-Oiling" Worm Gear Standard

Wurlitzer Style-B Worm Gear Standard.

(Photograph courtesy of Dana Johnson)

A restored Worm Gear Standard Type SA-1B from Wurlitzer Style CX Orchestra Piano No. 26743. The oil sump level gauge is at the bottom of the cast iron base and just right of center. By opening the dust-cap it is possible to visually look in to see if the sump is adequately full, or not. The protruding cast iron lip beneath the crank bearings catches any oil that seeps through the bearings, which is then returned to the oil sump through tiny drain holes.

An interesting facet of this particular unit is the carelessly misapplied nameplate, which was intended for use on a Heavy Gear Standard. Rather than put on the correct nameplate the unique embossed model designation, "200 HG," was obliterated and "1B" was die-stamped to the right, so that the type was shown correctly as "SA-1B."

Wurlitzer intermediate style worm gear standard with top cover and crankshaft removed.

(Photograph courtesy of Art Reblitz)

Looking down into the base casting of a Wurlitzer Style-B Worm Gear Standard, Type SA-1B, from Wurlitzer Style CX, #35,949, circa 1918?. The worm gear is visible at the bottom of the casting. Removable cylindrical cast iron bearings are at each end, each with a slot in which an oil ring floods the bearing with a constant flow of oil. A ball thrust bearing is visible on the worm shaft at right. The brass crankshaft bearing inserts are newly made replacements for the original pot metal inserts that had deteriorated and cracked with age.

Wurlitzer intermediate style worm gear standard disassembled into major component parts..

(Photograph courtesy of Art Reblitz)

The Wurlitzer Style-B Worm Gear Standard, Type SA-1B, disassembled. The main casting is at left, with the crankshaft and fiber gear with oil rings loose around the crankshaft sitting behind the main casting. At front right is the worm and shaft, with the ball thrust bearing on the shaft and to the right of the worm gear. Immediately behind it is an assortment of machine screws and a crankshaft bearing cap, and behind the machine screws is one of the removable cast iron worm shaft bearings. The slot visible midway along the bearing height is for an oil ring to keep the high speed shaft and bearing surface flooded with oil. At the rear is the top cast iron cover with nameplate.

(Photograph courtesy of Dana Johnson)

This Wurlitzer Style-B Worm Gear Standard, Type SA-1B, is from a Style W Organette, #99719, built circa 1926-27. It is unusual because instead of using the common 53-tooth fiber gear it, instead, is fitted with a 40-tooth fiber gear, running with a 3-thread worm, and rated at only 1000 RPM. It sits atop a very wide vacuum bellows, of a design reminiscent of those observed in Wurlitzer coin pianos. As of this June, 2015, writing, this is the only Wurlitzer gear standard observed with a 40-tooth fiber gear. The unit is rather rusty looking inside, and it has the expected oil rings for the oiling of the crankshaft. However, note that the original pot-metal bearings are made to accommodate the use of an oil cup for oiling. Moreover, the bearing caps were drilled for an oil cup, but the holes later filled at the factory with a hard substance. The filling of the bearing cap oil holes raises the question as to whether this might be an early SA-1B, but one that laid idle on a factory stock shelf for a long time, until a rarely needed 40-tooth unit rated at 1000 RPM was called for.

(Photograph courtesy of Dana Johnson)

Inside (or bottom view) view of a crankshaft bearing cap for the Style SA-1B Gear Standard in the Wurlitzer Style W Organette, #99719, built circa 1926-27. At the center of the bearing area notice the circular hole that has been filled with some kind of hard substance. From the black-painted outside (or top view) the filled hole is not immediately obvious, without specifically looking for it.

(Photograph courtesy of Dana Johnson)

The high-speed power out end of the Wurlitzer Style-B Worm Gear Standard, Type SA-1B, from a Style W Organette, #99719, built circa 1926-27. The shaft that screws into the coupling goes to the gears that drive the vertical shaft that powers the roll mechanism. Somewhat visible through the overlay of gunk (and located inside the little red oval) is the die-stamped serial number 2789, although perhaps nearly impossible to clearly discern in this photograph..

Drawing of a Wurlitzer Style-B Worm Gear Standard.

(Wurlitzer Service Manual drawing courtesy of Dana Johnson)

This official drawing of a Style-B Worm Gear Standard comes from the service manual "How to Properly Take Care of Wurlitzer Duplex Roll System of Style G and O Photoplayers." It provides a good cross-section view of the gear unit. The small circles drawn below the worm gear show the location of the fiber star oilers. The removable cylindrical worm gear shaft bearings use oil rings to flood the bearing with lubricating oil. The oil capture grove can be seen just inward from the outer edge of each bearing end cap, along with the oil drains that return any captured oil to the unit's oil sump.