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 Post subject: 1939-40 Motorola 82A Restoration
PostPosted: Apr Tue 04, 2017 2:13 am 
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Joined: Apr Tue 04, 2017 1:47 am
Posts: 11
In the process of a cabinet restoration of a 1939-40 model Motorola 82A. I'm looking for a replacement or reproduction part but I'm not sure if this is whats called the Bezel / Escutcheon as seen in the images. If anyone has any idea on where or how to get this replaced / reproduced Id greatly appreciate it.

The cabinet is currently at an professional Mennonite Carpenter who is sanding it down and doing the actual cabinet restoration in the original Walnut color. While I have all the original internal components this is more of a cosmetic restoration as at this time I'm not sure whats all involved in a true mechanical restoration. I do need the four buttons that go on the front as well.

Any assistance or information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advanced


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1939-40 Motorola 82A.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: 1939-40 Motorola 82A Restoration
PostPosted: Apr Tue 04, 2017 3:56 am 
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Location: Somers, CT
Just a note--sanding is risky, since it is very easy to go right through a veneer. Most of us strip the old finish, if the original is too far gone to be salvaged.

Pete

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 Post subject: Re: 1939-40 Motorola 82A Restoration
PostPosted: Apr Tue 04, 2017 4:10 am 
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Yes Pete today I was speaking to the carpenter today as we were looking over the radio and he mentioned that this is a very delicate restoration and like you said if you're not careful you can sand right through the veneer. He is well aware of this and has done old future restorations and thats part of the reason I took it to him. Ill post some before and after images once it all finished to see how it looks.


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 Post subject: Re: 1939-40 Motorola 82A Restoration
PostPosted: Apr Tue 04, 2017 7:11 pm 
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Location: Somers, CT
Mario

Try renovated radios for a repro part. He has an ad on the right side of the page...

Pete

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 Post subject: Possible Bezel replacement solution
PostPosted: May Wed 17, 2017 5:31 pm 
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After exhausting all the leads I was given for replacing the bezel and researching antique radio parts sources I was at a dead end. I found nothing and no solution to my restoration problem.

The only good news was visiting the carpenter who is working on the cabinet. Many of the structural trim parts on this particular model are solid wood so moderate sanding has been very successful. In therms of the veneer the news was also good. Due to the quality and thickness of the original veneer he reports there is enough meat on the bone to do a light sanding and not go through the actual veneer. He reports that China can make a veneer these days so thing that you can look at it wrong and go through it before ever touching it with sand paper, but in this case the veneer is rather thick and well made.

He is confident he can source a cloth speaker cover thats close to the original color and pattern design.

Being a cosmetic restoration I was not concerned with the interior mechanical parts however I did want to replace the bezel on the front because it is so damaged. After no success in locating old replacement parts or reproduced copies I was left at a dead end.

The carpenter then said he knew a guy that worked in plastic moldings for tractor parts (Bezels for the gauges) and other stuff and maybe he could be of some help. With nothing to lose and needing only a simple flat face plate bezel for a simple cosmetic restoration I figured why not.

I sent the carpenter the entire complicated part as pictured below and asked for a simple flat plastic bezel just to look similar and cover the opening on the cabinet. He said he would pass it off to his friend to look at.

I recently got an update and was told his friend looked over the part and said he thinks he can reproduce the entire thing. I just told him to match the color and do his best but that I am not expecting miracles.

As many of you already know these old plastic parts really warp over time and deform in both shape and color and become super brittle and mine were no exception.

These are a few before pictures of what the bezel looked like. As soon as I get the new replacement part I will post images.

Even if its not 100% the same I hope it will pass for looking good enough but wish me luck either way. By the way I have no idea what it will cost as I just told him not to break the bank but do what he felt was reasonable.

Updates to follow


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 Post subject: Re: 1939-40 Motorola 82A Restoration
PostPosted: May Wed 17, 2017 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Apr Sun 02, 2017 4:18 pm
Posts: 84
Location: West Bend, WI
I restored a similar model (not the cabinet, though) for a friend and the bezel looks almost identical as yours. I was fortunate in that his was still intact, albeit cracked in a few spots. A few dots of super glue fixed that. It almost appears you're missing a bezel around the clock too? Maybe it's just a different design. At any rate, if I read what you wrote correctly, it sounds like you just want this to display and not as a functional radio? If so that's a pity because they are excellent sounding radios when properly restored with deep booming bass.

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 Post subject: Re: 1939-40 Motorola 82A Restoration
PostPosted: May Thu 18, 2017 2:14 am 
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Joined: Apr Tue 04, 2017 1:47 am
Posts: 11
NostalgiaRadioTime

Yes those bezels look identical. I also agree that there might be a bezel missing around my clock but its been that way for more than 25 years and can go a little longer until I figure out a pattern to recreate one.

As for the ecumenical restoration I will wait until after the cosmetic restoration is complete before I decide to jump into that area. I think it would be cool to have it working like it was when new but I don't know who to contract for such a restoration.


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 Post subject: Re: 1939-40 Motorola 82A Restoration
PostPosted: May Thu 18, 2017 2:30 am 
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Location: West Bend, WI
When you get that far to want to do the chassis restoration, I'm sure if you post your location here you'll find someone nearby who will be willing to take on the job. Good luck! Keep us posted on your progress.

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 Post subject: Update
PostPosted: May Tue 23, 2017 8:40 pm 
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Images taken today May 23, 2017

Taking time to do it right the cabinet is coming along very nicely. There was enough meat on the bones with the curved veneer so a sanding was possible. The actual trim pieces were solid wood so those are turning out very well. There was some water rot along one side of the bottom.

Our solution is to simply sand it down, fill it with wood putty when possible or replace the wood rot where needed and then add a small half inch high base layer along the very bottom so the radio will actually be sitting on new hardwood base that will run around the entire bottom. When the stain is all finished you wont even be able to see or notice the new small additional bottom plate. This new base plate being added is intended to help protect the original wood from future wood rot and should help the radio last another 50+ years.

The plastic bezel I am told is going to look super nice (Again I will post images when I get it back in mid July). The actual parts are being fabricated up in Canada and are taking time to get them right. I was told they will cost a couple hundred dollars but will all be like new and function like the originals.

I had asked the carpenter to take his time and do it right so he is working at a nice slow pace. At this time the cabinet alone will cost several hundred dollars alone when finished. I might have over $800.00 dollars into the restoration but I figure its better to do it 100% right and above and beyond than to cut corners and have issues later.

I think this is going to be sharp cabinet when its finally done and I am looking forward to posting more images but the work will be slow over the next two months. This particular carpenter really does outstanding work and the old saying is true you get what you pay for.


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File comment: Top and left side curved veneer sanded
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File comment: Front left curved veneer sanded
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File comment: Front right side in original condition not sanded
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File comment: Close up of the top and the curved veneer face sanded. Note the corners and edges have not been sanded yet.
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File comment: Another angle of the work in progress
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File comment: grill details before sanding and cleaning
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File comment: Solid wood front trim pieces during sanding
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 Post subject: Re: 1939-40 Motorola 82A Restoration UPDATE
PostPosted: Sep Tue 19, 2017 1:17 am 
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Joined: Apr Tue 04, 2017 1:47 am
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Update

I had sent the bezel to a guy up in Canada and was told he could reproduce it to look original and to even be functional however he wanted over $600.00 dollars and I felt that was just way too much money for a cosmetic restoration. He then told me he could make a cheap flat bezel with wood grain and I agreed. When finished he charged me $100.00 dollars and I felt his price was way out of line for what he provided but I didn't argue, I paid him, and learned the lesson.

So here is the flat "cheap" bezel which I will leave up to you guys here to share your thoughts.

On the back its white which will be hidden,

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File comment: Back of bezel
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Here is the front of the bezel with its simulated wood grain and the outline of the original buttons. There is a clear plastic protective sticker over the bezel and thus you can see the angled water marks. I will peal this sticker off once we install the actual bezel.

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Here is what it looks like up against the radio. The white edges will get a stain treatment to match the stain on the radio so no white will be seen. The glass will slide up behind it and I think it will pass as a decent alternative to the original. Again I'm curious to everyone's thoughts on this. For the die hard restoration guys don't be too hard on me.. after all what I am doing to cosmetically restore this radio is better than it sitting buried in a landfill somewhere.

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The actual cabinet has not had much work done since I was waiting in this bezel to see what it would look like and to get an idea of it. I am actually disappointed both on the price but on the quality of this cheap bezel but I figure it will look better than the old broken one that in pieces.

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 Post subject: Re: 1939-40 Motorola 82A Restoration
PostPosted: Sep Fri 22, 2017 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Sep Wed 06, 2017 6:06 pm
Posts: 51
Location: New Castle, IN
Ah, man, that's a bummer. I need a bezel done myself and was hopeful you'd done all the work and found a place; I agree, for the price, that's disappointing. I have a laser engraver here in town that would be able to pull something off like that for much less. Not to mention, it won't be very useful when it's time to actually do a mechanical restoration. Can't wait to see the cabinet finished, though!


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 Post subject: Re: 1939-40 Motorola 82A Restoration
PostPosted: Oct Thu 05, 2017 4:29 pm 
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Yes I am disappointed and it was a real bummer for what I got. The carpenter recently obtained some new equipment that does laser etching and computerizes routing. I'm going to see if his new equipment can maybe create a wood bezel that had a shape and form of the original plastic one and then maybe paint it a solid color.

I doubt I will use the new cheap plastic piece of crap that I ended up getting screwed on. I hate people who tell you they can do something only to just tell you what you want to hear and then not deliver on it. I was always taught to promise very little and deliver a lot .. not the other way around.

As for the cabinet I will try to get it going too as I had told the carpenter there was no hurry but on my last visit I said I'd like it by the end of the year which gives him just under 3 months to get it done. His work is looking good.


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 Post subject: Re: 1939-40 Motorola 82A Restoration
PostPosted: Jan Wed 10, 2018 1:02 am 
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Update

We had taken things slow and with the holidays we didn't get much done but we are back on track.

The cabinet was completely stripped and certain areas repaired and filled as best as possible. There was a lot of wood rot along the bottom and we had to cut some new wood pieces and attached them were the rot was cut out.

While doing the work we discovered an area where the original stain color had not really been destroyed or weathered. We were able then to match the original stain color pretty close.

I apologize for the poor cell phone picture quality of the enclosed images, later I will use my camera and try to snap a few good pictures that really show it off better.

Here are images of the radio after all the sanding and work was done and the stain was put on.



Here are images of the radio with the protective semi-gloss lacquer and notice how it really darkened up the color. It really looks nice.

After searching many fabric stores I found a fabric to cover the speaker area that I felt best fit the old style and pattern that might be originally used on an old radio. The original fabric was a thick solid gold colored fabric that was basically impossible to find.

When I found the new fabric it came in the same pattern but in two different colors. I bought it both colors they had available, one being a lighter golden color and the other a darker one. After the cabinet was finished we felt the lighter fabric color that had more of a gold color looked better. We covered the speak and the pattern and color really looks good.

We never found the bezel and the old one I had basically broke into a million pieces. The guy who claimed he could make one failed big time and since these bezels are impossible to find I asked the carpenter to use computer machine and make one out of wood. I really have no other option at this time so we will see how it goes. They are going to try to get the wooden bezel made in the next week or so.

When its done they are going to try to stain it n a dark brown chocolate color in an attempt to match the original plastic bezel as best as possible. As soon as its done I will inspect it and see if it will work. I really have no other option at this time and so I feel until I ever come across a replacement bezel then a wooden one made on a 3d wood printer will have to suffice.

I will post an update as they come. Thank You


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 Post subject: Re: 1939-40 Motorola 82A Restoration
PostPosted: Jan Wed 10, 2018 1:08 am 
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Here is a picture of the fabric I found for the speaker box. The fabric color on the right is what I chose to go with.

Here is another image of what the fabric looks like on the radio.


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 Post subject: Re: 1939-40 Motorola 82A Restoration
PostPosted: Jan Sat 13, 2018 8:41 pm 
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Wow the update has generated almost 100 views but not a single comment. I was hoping to hear from a few of the regulars here including Fred Taylor with comments, constructive criticism, or what we did wrong.

I had never refurbished or restored any wood furniture or antiques and I would actually like to get some honest feed back on what we have done. Good, bad, or indifferent Id like to hear from you guys.


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 Post subject: Re: 1939-40 Motorola 82A Restoration
PostPosted: Jan Mon 22, 2018 8:23 pm 
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Location: New Castle, IN
It's looking pretty good to me! I wonder if you could get a bezel 3-D printed. I'm sure you'd have to do some design work (or find someone who can), but I'm curious how that would look as a final product. Good luck, and I'm anxious to see the final results!


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