We've met on a few occasions, you used to be at the Vancouver flea market a lot, but most memorable to me was a show in New Westminster where your catalin sets were on display.
I had never seen one in person before, and was truly impressed, that's for sure!
As to the electronic restorations, I have been messing with vintage electronics over 30 years now. Some of my earlier repairs did involve minimum parts replacement, and a few came back for servicing later.
I don't sell my sets, but have given at least a dozen or so away to people as gifts, especially when the flock gets to thick. Some get used daily, some sit and are just ornaments, and a few, I'm afraid to ask what happened to those ones.
Last week I gave a nice bakelite Silvertone "basket weave" set to a neighbor, completely restored, and I notice he is listening to AM a lot now!
Anyway, I restore audio gear, mostly guitar amps, and here's a case in point.
Serviced a early "60's amp, real nice one, but for cost reasons didn't bother with the filter caps. The unit was quiet and working quite well, and as usual there was not any easy place to put new ones anyway, other than on a perf board mounted under the chassis.
Sold it to a fellow at a good price, all was well, or so I thought! Two weeks later it was back buzzing like crazy! Should have done those filters! How many times till I learn! All coupling and bypass caps were new, so I thought I'd get away saving a few bucks and some time, after all it was my amp, and at the time wasn't planning on selling it anyway, but having bought a few more, decided to get rid of that one. In the end the new owner is happy, I just wish I'd been more thorough in the first place.
My theory is, if A 50 year old paper capacitor is still working, and now gets put into daily use, surly its life will be short, and from experience leaky for sure. Even though the set works fine, there will be a noticeable improvement when they are replaced. I've done 4 radio chassis in the last few weeks, 3 worked, and one had a fried power Xformer.(had a spare from the junk box)
Usually I replace 3 caps at a time, and then test, before doing more, to avoid mistakes. I always notice improvements as they are done, and can measure resistors at this time as well, because the ends are unsolderd usually anyway. Amazing thing is most resistors are close enough in value, and can be left alone, but rarely have I come across a paper cap that when replaced didn't improve the radios reception or audio in some way.
One radio I've had over 30 years now and although it has always worked, I have not restored the chassis because the artwork on the components is just so nice, and yellow or orange caps would ruin it. So finally I think I can do a nice restoration by chucking the parts in my lathe and boring out the centers, thus new ones can be stuffed in.Looking forward to using that set with no fear of letting the smoke out!
Right now there are 5 radios on the go, 3 are to be given away, the other two I'm keeping. I use my sets daily, depending on which room I'm in or what station one is tuned to. Makes for a very satisfying hobby, have no idea how I ever got started, but seeing my old sets displayed in someones home years later is sure neat.
To be sure, there is a lot more to a restoration than getting the thing working. Consider the work involved in the cabinets;
Anyway, keep up the nice work Chris, but watch out for those little paper capacitors!