When at First You Don't Succeed, Get a Bigger Hammer
So the Beseler 23 (blue body) I have had a ridiculously badly stripped set of gears. One side was missing half its teeth. It was like that when I bought it a few years back, but I never got around to replacing the elevation gears.
Finally did that today.
Wow, was it noisy, and messy. Rewarding, though. The elevation crank now handles smoothly. It was interesting having to track down the necessary tools (including a 1/8" pin punch), and rewarding getting the thing to work. Took about forty-five minutes including tool track-down time.
I can now better appreciate the consequences of attempting to alter elevation without disengaging the brake.