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 Post subject: Rare Zenith Zepher 6-s-137 Tombstone cabinet overhaul
PostPosted: Nov Mon 27, 2017 3:29 am 
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Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1184
Location: Dallas Tx
This poor cabinet had seen better days, looks like it had been in a fire and then water damage as well. I didn't want to replace the upper structure but I have to, the ribs are fine its the inner ribs that were loose and damaged. I will replace with solid mahogany that way it will be solid as a rock, nice and even. The lower section was stripped of the veneer that was someone put on some time ago and looked bad, but you know the ribbon mahogany was still there and is in decent shape and may just leave it. But then again I may replace the ribbon mahogany with new veneer. The top was all jacked up and the paper back veneer that some put on was removed and will also be replaced, top had sunken down abit and also will be leveled out before new veneer is replaced. Chassis was a mess with smoke suet , almost black, Speaker checked out good and will have to be painted zenith copper along with chassis. This set Is worth restoring, no doubt.


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Last edited by fred taylor on Jan Sun 07, 2018 4:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Rare Zenith Zepher 6-s-137 tomstone cabinet overhaul
PostPosted: Dec Sun 03, 2017 3:54 pm 
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Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1184
Location: Dallas Tx
Found some time over the course of the week to get some more work done on this cabinet. I will have to make new spacers that go in between the grill work (RIBS). I got the lid stripped of its old veneer and all leveled out , once new veneer is on there it will be nice and flat. I'm in the process of getting some measurement's over to a fellow member so he will be able to make an exact replica of this cabinet. I am very impressed with the cabinets he had already reproduced, the quality he does is amazing. He did a Walton cabinet that looks like the real thing. With that being said I'm sure he will post those cabinets when he seems ready to and I'm always willing to help in any way I can. I will get some ribbon mahogany veneer for this zenith zephyr , I believe that's what veneer was used on it from factory. I'm taking it one piece at a time, wanting to get looking as close to factory .


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 Post subject: Re: Rare Zenith Zepher 6-s-137 tomstone cabinet overhaul
PostPosted: Dec Sun 03, 2017 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3783
Location: WI 54812
Nice work Fred. So do you use the aid of steam to get these cabinets to come apart so cleanly, or do you simply knock them apart dry with a chisel and hammer? Inevitably I always seem to end up making matters worse during the disassembly process. There's always that one little area that hangs on for dear life.


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 Post subject: Re: Rare Zenith Zepher 6-s-137 tomstone cabinet overhaul
PostPosted: Dec Mon 04, 2017 2:57 am 
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Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1184
Location: Dallas Tx
I didn't use steam, good old fashion wood chisel and a small hammer. Came apart pretty well with minimal damage. The original glue was brittle and the contact cement used on the veneer job someone did was heated up before peeling off, the old veneer on the main body of cabinet is pretty darn nice and may leave it alone , doing a little repair on one small corner.


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 Post subject: Re: Rare Zenith Zepher 6-s-137 tomstone cabinet overhaul
PostPosted: Dec Sat 09, 2017 4:25 pm 
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Joined: Mar Sat 06, 2010 3:37 am
Posts: 1017
Location: Broadview Hts. / NE Ohio
Going to be a beauty once it’s done Fred. Can’t wait to see it!

Lenny


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 Post subject: Re: Rare Zenith Zepher 6-s-137 tomstone cabinet overhaul
PostPosted: Dec Thu 21, 2017 2:18 am 
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Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1184
Location: Dallas Tx
I'm coming alone slowly but surely, the rib spacers I had to remove and make new ones, this will be time consuming process because I will have to wrap new mahogany ribbon veneer one each spacer, then sand and level each section till I get to the top section. I will show you how the factory I believe did it, its hollow around the front corners, the veneer is glued on block spacer and bent around the hollow front section going into the curve. You can see this on the factory built cabinet. Don't really understand why they did it this way but that's the way it was made. You would think that they could have made one solid spacer piece that goes around the curve. Anyway this will put back together like I took it apart. I'm really leaning towards putting on all new mahogany ribbon veneer on the entire cabinet, the main body factory veneer does have some areas that don't look to good and would be very hard to do a patch job without noticing the repaired area. Now I have to shop around for this type of mahogany ribbon veneer. Stay tuned for progress on the rare zenith tombstone design.


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File comment: New spacers in place, notice the front curved area, no wood spacer there just hollow. The veneer strips will be bent around the corners.
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File comment: close up of corner
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File comment: Back view.
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File comment: Here is what I'm taling about , the hollow gap in the front corners, the veneer strips will wrap around the front corners without anything behind it. That's the way it was put together, go figure?
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File comment: All my new spacers I made by hand and new corner wood blocks, they go in the upper corners.
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 Post subject: Re: Rare Zenith Zepher 6-s-137 tomstone cabinet overhaul
PostPosted: Dec Thu 21, 2017 2:49 am 
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Joined: Aug Wed 26, 2015 9:41 pm
Posts: 835
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
That is going to be a nice radio, Fred. Is it yours? Or are you fixin' it up for someone else?
Either way, the radio could't be in more qualified hands!

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Mark


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 Post subject: Re: Rare Zenith Zepher 6-s-137 tomstone cabinet overhaul
PostPosted: Dec Thu 21, 2017 2:57 am 
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Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1184
Location: Dallas Tx
Yes indeed, that's my radio that was part of a trade, buy a fellow radio collector. I had traded out some restoration work on some rare consoles and that zenith was part of the deal.


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 Post subject: Re: Rare Zenith Zepher 6-s-137 tomstone cabinet overhaul
PostPosted: Jan Mon 01, 2018 12:41 am 
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Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1184
Location: Dallas Tx
Found some time to work on the cabinet and chassis. The cabinet sure did take some time getting to where it is now, I ordered new mahogany striped ribbon veneer , same as factory. I used yellow glue on veneer, iron on with heat and will not come loose. So the whole cabinet even the top was re veneered and the spacers were replaced. The cabinet is solid as a rock, grain filler was applied for smooth finish. The chassis was gone thru and will be playing soon, I found some copper high heat paint that's almost the same color as factory, chassis looks great. I will post pictures when I'm finished with the radio.


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File comment: One layer at a time, gluing down veneer with heat for the yellow glue to reactivate.
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File comment: Mahogany stripe ribbon veneer
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File comment: Veneer is done now
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File comment: Grain filler for smooth finish
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 Post subject: Re: Rare Zenith Zepher 6-s-137 tomstone cabinet overhaul
PostPosted: Jan Mon 01, 2018 12:46 am 
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Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1184
Location: Dallas Tx
few more


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 Post subject: Re: Rare Zenith Zepher 6-s-137 tomstone cabinet overhaul
PostPosted: Jan Tue 02, 2018 4:53 am 
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Joined: Sep Sun 15, 2013 9:59 pm
Posts: 85
Location: Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Amazing as always but how on earth did you get the paint so smooth on the chassis and speaker? I'm assuming you sprayed it but it's so smooth it almost looks plated!
Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Rare Zenith Zepher 6-s-137 tomstone cabinet overhaul
PostPosted: Jan Tue 02, 2018 1:32 pm 
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Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1184
Location: Dallas Tx
The chassis and speaker was sanded smooth with 240 grit, the paint is a good high quality heat resistant . I'm good a spray painting and the finish came out smooth. I have been a painter for the automotive industry for 28 years or so and have been refinishing furniture and radio cabinets on the side for a long time also. Just take your time , make sure everything is sanded smooth and clean.


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 Post subject: Re: Rare Zenith Zepher 6-s-137 tomstone cabinet overhaul
PostPosted: Jan Wed 03, 2018 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Jul Sun 26, 2015 11:34 pm
Posts: 532
Location: Hurdle Mills, North Carolina
Looking good Fred!

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Larry in NC


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 Post subject: Re: Rare Zenith Zepher 6-s-137 tomstone cabinet overhaul
PostPosted: Jan Fri 05, 2018 1:03 am 
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Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1184
Location: Dallas Tx
In these photos I have got my color the way I want it but can do some more toning if desired, also I have sprayed on 3 coats of sealer that is still drying. The sealer dry's to a semi dull look. I will sand the sealer after its cured with 320 grit to a smooth finish. Then I will spray on several top coats of satin lacquer then it will be finished. All that's left to do its get it playing good, I did order new dials for the volume, band selector, tone and the distance _ local. Those are the reproduction white and black plastic round discs. I have looked on the web for this rare model zenith and there aren't many pictures of them to go by getting the true colors. I think the way I have it looks good


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 Post subject: Re: Rare Zenith Zepher 6-s-137 tomstone cabinet overhaul
PostPosted: Jan Fri 05, 2018 2:27 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3548
Location: McPherson, Kansas
MY GOSH!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Rare Zenith Zepher 6-s-137 tomstone cabinet overhaul
PostPosted: Jan Fri 05, 2018 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 30, 2012 2:03 am
Posts: 355
Location: Port Orchard, Wa
Fantastic! Just like all the other radios You've done.


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 Post subject: Re: Rare Zenith Zepher 6-s-137 tomstone cabinet overhaul
PostPosted: Jan Sun 07, 2018 3:57 am 
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Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1184
Location: Dallas Tx
Got the cabinet finished but not the chassis, my electrical man Dick Morgan has been sick and I need his help on getting this thing playing. I wish I was as good at repairing the guts as I'm at cabinet work. I still have a ways to go on trouble shooting the problems I run into when restoring the electrical part of it. It seems there's no high voltage on the tubes, I can faintly here a strong station thru the speaker when I touch grid cap on one of the tubes, anyway I think this zenith turned out beautiful and is one of my favorite radios in my collection.


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 Post subject: Re: Rare Zenith Zepher 6-s-137 Tombstone cabinet overhaul
PostPosted: Jan Sun 14, 2018 3:47 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 632
Location: Crossville, TN USA
Wow Fred - you brought that baby back from the dead! Glad you could save the old veneer and can't believe what you did with the ribs. This is a nice radio now, but it had a lot of problems before. So glad to see something as unique and rare brought back to where this one is. That's what it is all about. You set the standard for a lot of us. Good show!


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 Post subject: Re: Rare Zenith Zepher 6-s-137 Tombstone cabinet overhaul
PostPosted: Jan Mon 15, 2018 9:14 pm 
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Joined: Jun Thu 05, 2008 6:28 pm
Posts: 470
Location: Santa Rosa Ca
VERY NICE!


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 Post subject: Re: Rare Zenith Zepher 6-s-137 Tombstone cabinet overhaul
PostPosted: Jan Tue 16, 2018 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Jan Sun 07, 2018 6:32 pm
Posts: 27
Incredible. I can only imagine what it's like to have that level of skill.


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