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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jun Wed 27, 2018 9:18 pm 
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On this one its the zebra stripe looking strips along the top and bottom. Maybe you're isn't?


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jun Wed 27, 2018 11:18 pm 
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Location: Glendale, CA
Bob,

My GE F-70 is real wood veneer that runs around the top and bottom. I think it is called Zebra Wood. The GE F-70 is from about 1937 or 1938. Maybe they changed it during the production run? Anything is possible, I would imagine.

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jun Thu 28, 2018 3:01 pm 
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Here's last night's doin's: A pair of Hallicrafters.

The first is 5R34A. Yes- that orange knob is actually original as is the satin gray paint. A very cool design. Its just an AA5 and was easy to restore.
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The 2nd is a large portable. Its more or less a Zenith Trans-Oceanic on steroids. I've seen tons and tons of the Zeniths but this is the first time I've seen one of these. In fact I have two, and the museum doesn't have one. So we will keep one, auction the other. The one shown will be auctioned. As tested it works perfect, no hum, no static. Ordinarily I would overhaul it but seeing as how it actually works, I have a massive pile of sets to do before the July 21 auction, and collectors like to work on their own stuff it will simply be sold as original working condition.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Mon 02, 2018 4:23 pm 
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19 days left before radio day...

We've been rounding up radios and equipment for the auction and as always its all coming together at the last minute. I've been focussing on the European sets. About half of the other sets won't be restored as collectors will likely want to do their own. I find that the mid century sets have an appeal to non-collectors but they want them to work and usually don't know how to do the work themselves.

We have two more large German sets that are with other members: a big Telefunken Opus stereo and an equally impressive Grundig with a giant center woofer. I finished up the last of the German sets last week meaning now that I can move forward on the more basic sets and the AA5's which will more likely head to an upcoming antiques show versus the auction.

Here's the last of the German sets for me anyway...

1: A early 60's "StereoPrinz" made by Lion electronics? Never heard of it. It says its made in West Germany but the quality is more like East German. Pretty cheaply made with 5 tubes and 2 small-ish speakers. 2 of the tube sockets were loose and wiggly causing some shorting out of the sound. I have a teeny pair of surgical tweezers I use to pinch the contacts back together, making the connections tight again, which is what I had to do here. Besides the two electrolytic caps the rest were all mylars.
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2: A large Olympic brand set. The radio was absolutely filthy inside and out. I meant to take before pics. But it has been sitting in a basement for years. It was a tag team effort: I did the recap but wasn't paying attention at one point and snipped a few wires by accident, then spent hours trying to figure out what went where via the schematic. Maybe I was having a brain fart because I had to bring it in and have one of our members, Jimmy check it out. He and another member finally did. I took the chassis back home, added bluetooth, and spent a lot of time cleaning and buffing the case.
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3:Sometime in the middle I got really tired of working on the German sets and took a pit stop to restore a boring GE clock radio. It was beige but I gave it a paint job in 50's aqua marine.
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4: An unusual Silvertone in a half-barrel shaped case. The top is a bit worn but the rest is in great original cosmetic condition. All I did was give it a wax job. It uses slug tuning and is a decent performer. Someone had already recapped it in the not so distant past so for once it was just a cleanup job.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Tue 03, 2018 4:22 pm 
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18 days to go...

Its back to the AA5's and plastic radios.

1: A Westinghouse clock radio. Actually I did two Westinghouses from the same era and they had the same PCB board material that seems prone to having dry solder joints. So this and the other one had to have most of the board re-flowed. The clock radio initially blew 35W4's which was caused by shorting in the socket's connections. After reflowing it works fine now
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It also doesn't help that the boards have little if any structural reinforcement despite being loaded up with heavy components.
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2: The other Westinghouse had the same problems.Now both are up and running
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Thu 05, 2018 4:48 pm 
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Restored this very common RCA. Yes- we've seen a million of them and I've worked on a lot of them as well. But this one was in rather nice original condition. Usually the finishes are always royally messed up on these for whatever reason.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Thu 05, 2018 5:00 pm 
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Bob,

That RCA looks nice. I don't have near the radio experience you have, but this is the first time I've seen an RCA like that. I'm guessing it's from the 1950's?

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Thu 05, 2018 5:28 pm 
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Its from 1945-1946. The reason I see so many of these is because I assume there was a huge demand for radios post WW2. They're actually pretty good sets too and are sensitive.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Thu 05, 2018 9:09 pm 
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Bob,

Thanks for the information.

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Mon 09, 2018 5:02 pm 
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Its... radio madness around here these days. For some reason every year, right before radio day at the museum a TON of stuff comes in at the last minute, and since we are building the supply of both auction and then antique show sets a LOT needs to be restored. We are now at 188 auction sets, and I'm guessing 30-40 antique show sets. Some of the other members took home a few radios too. So we're firin' on all cylinders.

Here's a quick couple of more sets.
1: Image
A Motorola and Admiral AA5. Nothing amazing. Just 50's radios with cruddy PCB boards where the leads had to be repaired in places.

2: An experiement: when bakelite looks like this there's not a whole lot you can do. The finish is totally gone. I've had a can of clear varnish sitting in the garage for a few years and since this set already had a crack and isn't particularly valuable I figured it was worth a try. Turns out you can make a faded bakelite set look pretty good that way. No- I probably would not do this on a nice set, but at least this radio has a chance of being bought.
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3: Another set that had ruined bakelite but given a green paint job. I am using up all of the weird colors of spray paint. Actually it looks halfway decent. The radio had a dead-shorted 35W4. As with the other sets, recapped, aligned, tested. done.
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4: Another set with bad bakelite. Plus the appearance was rather plain-jane. So I used a can of paint my wife had gotten a few years ago: peppermint chocolate chip blue. I'd never think that would look good but for whatever reason it looks fine on this set. Very 50's appropiate.

Its a AM/FM set and works VERY well on both bands, which is nice seeing as how FM from this era can be a pain and need a lot of tweaking.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Mon 09, 2018 10:27 pm 
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They all turned out nice.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Tue 10, 2018 4:59 pm 
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Hi Bob,

Do you have any advice you'd care to pass on how to paint these bakelite radios that makes them look so good?

Thanks a lot, Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Tue 10, 2018 8:31 pm 
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Well, Over time I figured out a few things. Remember that I do these pretty quick and there's probably better ways. For the bakelite ones I spray the entire cabinet with undiluted tire cleaner, that purple power stuff sold in gallon jugs. Let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a scotch pad, get into the crevices with a old tooth brush, then rinse well. Dry, and then wipe the whole thing down with rubbing alcohol. Most of the time the tire cleaner will remove whatever was left of the original shiny surface and it will look dull and chalky. So the paint sticks well.

The key is application. Regardless of the paint you get always make sure to start spraying before you hit the cabinet. Otherwise if you press the button as it passes over the cabinet it will place big blobs of paint which will cause runs. I'll move around the set and apply numerous thin coats. Apply a LOT of paint too. As in usually 1/2 can per table radio. The thing that took me forever was to learn when I had put too much paint on. Once it looks uniformly glossy its usually good.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Tue 10, 2018 9:46 pm 
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Thanks Bob. That would be a nice mini topic all by itself. I've actually got a 40 ounce size bottle of Purple Power spray on cleaner, so I'm good there.

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Thu 12, 2018 5:04 pm 
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Uh oh... Only 9 days to go before radio day... But the good news is that we're all set for that with our required 188 items. So now the rest on the bench will go to a large antique show we do every year.

1: One of those fugly looking RCA "horn" speaker radios. They must have sold a billion of these because they turn up way too often. That and they are ugly. Not sure why RCA thought fake wood grain looked great with the large horn. So I took it apart and painted it red. The horn part was problematic: You can't just unscrew it and pull it out. Apparently the metal mesh was installed first and the rings of plastic heat-welded through slots in the mesh. So I had to use some pliars to snap those off and when it was re-assembled I used Lexel glue, which is amazingly sticky stuff and once cured is very strong. It got the customary recap job. The chassis on these are a real PITA to work on too.
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2: This large-ish Motorola AM/FM set. It was an off-white color before. Not the most attractive set but it works very nicely and has good FM and a nice speaker too. I figured it would be a challenge. It was taken entirely apart and the metal trim and stuff were pried off. Both clamshells painted, dried and then the decals and trim glues back on. The chassis is pretty elaborate. All I did was replace the electrolytics: the rest were ceramic and mylar. I find that Motorola used those caps extensively and more frequently than the other radio manufactures of the time. As a result these are unusually reliable. This one actually worked fine but did have a slight hum and hence the replacement of the electrolytics.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Thu 12, 2018 6:15 pm 
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Bob,

I'm guessing that's an all-plastic case. Is there any advice you can offer when painting a plastic case such as what surface prep to do and what paint to use?

I know you're busy now getting ready for a sale, so it's not necessary to answer right now.

Thanks, Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Thu 12, 2018 6:40 pm 
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Basically its all about making sure the surface is totally free of dirt, grease, oil, and contaminants. Today you can buy many spray paints made specifically to bond with plastic and they seem to work really well. If a plastic case is too slick I will go over it with steel wool, then clean the whole thing with rubbing alcohol and then paint. This time of year I'll leave the cases out in the hot sun for a few days to make sure and cure and harden the paint well.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Thu 12, 2018 6:47 pm 
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Bob,

Thanks so much for the very quick answer. You've given me the information I need to know. I'm going to try this procedure some time.

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Thu 12, 2018 11:02 pm 
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Bob,
I have say that those "fuggly" RCA bullhorn radios sound pretty good. Golden Throat and all that. They're definitely odd-ball looking though.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Thu 12, 2018 11:13 pm 
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Yeah, they do sound pretty good. Not sure the weird horn thing has anything to do with it. It does have a somewhat large speaker. RCA sold these to go along with their 45 players, which have the same exact gold and brown design.


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