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Soda Pop Collectibles

Antique Coke Machine Refurbishing

by Daniel Wright

Very old soda equipments are extremely needed in the collectibles market. Amid the different brands, very old Coke equipments guided the bunch. Several equipments were run by using a semi-automatic lever that consumers press down to sell the product. These are the mainly attractive equipments as they are so homesick. Several people like to reinstate these equipments and either vends them for earnings like memorabilia or to boost their own home with such discussable items. Nevertheless, there is generally a lot of work implicated to reinstate these mechanisms of art.

Early Vendolater coke machines feature "crank handles" as well as a mechanism which advances the next bottle whenever coins are put in and the lever gets pushed down. The mechanism which dispenses bottles is typically circular and rotates if the handle gets pressed down. There's an opening at the top which the bottle spins around so that the users then can pull it out. Earlier models vended with a nickel, but later models vended with a dime. The nickel models also featured a change unit which gave back nickels if a dime was put in. These mechanisms frequently require some amount of labor when restoring antique coke machines to full functionality.

You should expect that the refrigeration unit will be in need of repair at once, and in ongoing need of repair in the future. These units are more likely to break down than any other part of the machine since they get more hours of operation. If you are not comfortable working with cooling and refrigeration units then you will need to bring it to a specialist. It would be even better if you could find a refrigeration technician who specializes in vintage cooling units so you can get a more authentic restoration. You can try it yourself, but don't expect it to be easy.

If you are reinstating one of such machinery you will wish to remove any corrosion from interior or exterior of the machinery. Once more, if you are not well-known with how to dispose of corrosion efficiently, look for an expert. In several cases, component of the machinery will be required to reinstate or substitute.

The final thing to consider is the finish. Whether or not you refinish your repro has a lot to do with what you intend to do with the finished product, and the condition of the current finish. Units that you are restoring for yourself may be best treated with a thorough cleaning and polishing. This will maintain some of the wear that marks the unit as an original instead of a new machine with a "repro" design. The small flaws add to the character of the unit and adds to the respect people will have for your restoration efforts. However, if the current finish is in bad shape, it will really add value to remove the offending finish and start over. If you do decide to strip off the old finish you can either restore the unit with an authentic color scheme, or express yourself by designing your own. A quick web search will provide photos giving both the originals and other people's creative takes on color combination. The internet is also a good source for decals to add the final touches to your unit.

Of course, other aspects of these machines will likely require attention as well when undergoing restoration. Coin mechanisms, wiring, cap catchers, and other small parts are all commonly in need of replacement or re-chroming. The good news is, a small cottage industry has popped-up in the last few years serving this market. You can now find virtually everything you would need to completely restore these machines, including copies of the "Service Manual". If you're determined to undertake the restoration process on one of these yourself, you're best bet is to start by acquiring a copy of the "Service Manual" for your particular model and go from there.

My hope in this article has provided you with a small idea of what is actually involved in restoring one of these awesome machines. While you can get a great feeling when you restore a Vendorlator antique Coke Machines to its full functioning status, it's not a little task either. However, after it is completely restored, you can then sell it for a pretty good profit or put it up somewhere in your house feeling very proud of it. A number of people enjoy having these machines in their game room, kitchen or sometimes in their garage. This machine will be a wonderful memorabilia which will can be enjoyed now and by future generations.

Browse antique Coke machines of every make and shape at View a great selection of Vendorlator Coke machines and tons of soda pop memorabilia for sale.

Published January 10th, 2009

Filed in Antiques, Hobby

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