Here it is Vinny - it's from Mark Oppat ****
Hope he does not mind my posting it to you - I don't know of a other way to refer you to it . . .
Mark sould write a book - this was just the best summary advice ever for me . . . even though it was sent to someone else . . .
I will chime in here as I am probably the only one so far that does radio restoration and selling parts for a living. I started in antique radios at age 15 around 1971... began restoring them for others three years later and turned it into a nearly full time job as I moved away from being a location sound, lighting and staging tech.
Here is my advice for a newbie:
1. Stay away from stuff made before 1935. Its harder to work on.
Also, avoid pre 1938 Philco radios as they have capacitors sealed in blocks. Philco was the largest seller, followed by Zenith, then RCA. On the west coast you will find many brands made in the LA area... such as Gilfillan, Remler, Pacific, Jackson-Bell and others.
2. Start with table sets, but you can do consoles, they are usually a bit more work.
3. Most companies made a wide line of radios, from 5 tube "All American 5" simple radios to very sophisticated consoles in the 12 or more tube range. The two top of line brands most sited are E. H. Scott (not to be confused with early stereo maker HH Scott!) and McMurdo-Silver. These were VERY high end radios with usually chrome chassis and lots of tubes. Generally any AM/SW radio with more than 11 tubes is pretty deluxe. Once the early FM band came along, that added about 4 or 5 tubes.
4. You can add a stereo 3.5mm audio input jack (wired for mono) to most any radio for iPod or CD imput if you want. Some radios came with a "television" jack beginning around 1939. This is an aux input.
5. Servicing radios requires a knowledge of what parts fail most, and how stuff ages. Mainly, paper and electrolytic CAPACITORS are the problem, and should be replaced. Micas can usually be saved but we are finding more of those bad now. Stock up on the most common sizes, caps are cheap (check out my site, I have great prices, so do a few others, and lots more thats not on my site). the electrolytic filter caps are VERY "fudge-able" in value, but keep the voltage rating at or above the original. The new ones are MUCH smaller than the old ones, but you cant get can caps much anymore so stick with axial and radial caps and install them under the chassis.
6. Tubes are generally CHEAP, and mostly very available. There are a few exceptions, however.
7. COSMETIC parts are not! Be aware that any radio with bad cosmetic plastic will be a problem except some 41 and 42 Philco radios you can get a repro faceplate. IF a radio has bad plastic (Silvertones, RCA, etc used it mostly beginning 1938) then most all the others of the same year will suffer the same.
Hope this is helpful.