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 Post subject: Easy 5-S-127 project?
PostPosted: Apr Thu 12, 2018 6:49 pm 
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Location: Western North Carolina
I signed up here anticipating a project coming my way that I'd need help with, but my project might have just gotten a lot easier. Just as a way of introduction, I'm a radio restoration virgin, but not afraid of learning something new.

I bought a 5-S-127 from a woman who said she found it in her grandfather's hardware store. Before it got here, I was thinking I'd have to strip, stain and refinish the cabinet, but it looks better in person than it did in the photos I saw. The finish is in dire need of a makeover, but this might be the original finish. I know it's important to try to preserve as much of the original look as possible, so I'd like to do that. I don't think the electronics have ever been repaired because the power cord is pretty much falling apart, and I'll be sending out the chassis to have it brought back to working condition. This is a keeper for me, not for resale after it's cleaned up.

Am I right in thinking that lacquer thinner will take off the finish along with 80 years of grime and that I can then just hit it with a few new coats of sealer? I assume lacquer thinner will eat up the decals and those will have to be replaced. Or would mineral spirits take off the accumulated schmutz without too much wear and tear on the finish?

Thanks for any advice. I've been reading quite a bit here and am open to any suggestions or ideas.

Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Easy 5-S-127 project?
PostPosted: Apr Sat 14, 2018 12:45 am 
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Joined: Jun Sat 07, 2014 9:08 pm
Posts: 722
Location: Sanger, CA
I'd start with GoJo hand cleaner (the kind without pumice) and 0000 steel wool and clean the cabinet without pressing too hard with the steel wool. Wait a few days for the hand cleaner solvents to dry out and then go over the cabinet with Howard's Restore-A-Finish and wipe it off after a minute. You may want to use Johnson's Paste Wax after the Howard's has had a few days to dry. I think most of those dark spots will be gone after the "GoJo treatment", but it's hard to tell when the cabinet isn't in front of me.

I know a lot of the guys here like a perfect finish on their radios, but I like a little history on mine, unless the finish is too far gone...


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 Post subject: Re: Easy 5-S-127 project?
PostPosted: Apr Sat 14, 2018 3:24 am 
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Joined: Apr Thu 05, 2018 3:59 am
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Location: Western North Carolina
Thanks for the tips, Steve. The spots are disappearing with the GoJo, but I'll keep working on it and see if I can get rid of them. Otherwise the finish is surprisingly good on a radio this old. A couple of very minor and shallow scratches that the Howard's will probably take care of. Otherwise there's no damage I can see, the joints are all tight and I'm feeling lucky.

Had a heck of a time getting the chassis out of the cabinet. Those rubber chassis mounts were so old and worn out that they stuck to the bottom. But it's out and I don't see any evidence of critters or any damage inside the cabinet. This radio must have just sat on a shelf its entire life.

Thanks again,
Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Easy 5-S-127 project?
PostPosted: Apr Tue 17, 2018 5:13 pm 
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Location: Western North Carolina
Wood knob question: Aside from the pointer knob, Zenith made round knobs and squared knobs. On the radio I have, the squared knob is on the second shaft for the ON/OFF and volume switch. On most other examples of the same model, I see that the squared knob is on the first shaft for the Tone Control.

Is there a "right" shaft that the squared knob should be on? In the picture below, my radio is on top, someone else's on the bottom.

Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Easy 5-S-127 project?
PostPosted: Apr Fri 20, 2018 6:04 am 
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Joined: Jun Sat 07, 2014 9:08 pm
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Location: Sanger, CA
Dan,
Glad to be of help. Please post pics when you’re finished. Be careful not to rub too long with the 0000 steel wool. It may damage the original finish, if you do it too long.
Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Easy 5-S-127 project?
PostPosted: Apr Fri 20, 2018 6:10 am 
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Location: Western North Carolina
It cleaned up much better with the GoJo than I expected, so I stopped before going overboard with it. All I plan to do now is hit it with a few coats of clear lacquer, which might even everything out. The grille cloth arrives Saturday and I just sent out the chassis to be brought back to life so I can listen to it now and then. All in all a much easier project than I was expecting.

Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Easy 5-S-127 project?
PostPosted: Apr Fri 20, 2018 10:40 am 
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Joined: Jun Sat 07, 2014 9:08 pm
Posts: 722
Location: Sanger, CA
Personally, I wouldn’t do the clear. Most collectors can spot that on a radio and it would tend to devalue the set. The Howard’s should do the trick just fine, but that’s just me talking....


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 Post subject: Re: Easy 5-S-127 project?
PostPosted: Apr Sun 22, 2018 10:26 pm 
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SteveG wrote:
Personally, I wouldn’t do the clear. Most collectors can spot that on a radio and it would tend to devalue the set. The Howard’s should do the trick just fine, but that’s just me talking....

+1
Stick with the Howard's.

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 Post subject: Re: Easy 5-S-127 project?
PostPosted: May Sat 12, 2018 2:25 am 
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I got the chassis back today, fixed and working great, so I thought I'd post some final pictures. All I ended up doing with the cabinet was cleaning it with Gojo and mineral spirits. I finished with a very light coat of paste wax and I'm good with how it ended up. Maybe down the road I'll get the itch to strip it and refinish it, but not yet. It's working, even if the AM stations are pretty slim pickings around here.

Thanks again for the help,
Dan

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 Post subject: Re: Easy 5-S-127 project?
PostPosted: May Tue 22, 2018 8:40 pm 
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Quite nice!

Great job Dan

:)

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