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 Post subject: First attempt. Is this a basket case, or should I proceed?
PostPosted: Jun Sat 02, 2018 1:39 am 
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Location: Lake Stevens, WA 98258
Ok...bear with me. I have some basic woodworking skills, but lack a lot of equipment. But I picked up this RCA C11-3 for $20 bucks thinking if it isn't worth trying to fix, I'd sell the knobs, chassis, and speakers, or just put it up for sale again for $20.

I bought it from a guy who was in dire straights medically, and when I showed up to buy it, at first I wanted to walk, but I felt sorry for the guy and gave him the $20 he was asking for. I would have felt bad turning him down. the chassis and speaker look ok, but there are no tubes in it. It has sat in my truck for 3 days now, while I pondered my next move.

It's still in the back of my truck, but I was looking at it more closely, and most of the messed up parts of the veneer are at the two tall panels just to the right and left of the grille. I can probably get them off without messing up the sides. Somebody has attempted patching the jagged edges of the veneer with putty and it's pretty hideous right there. Looks like a 3rd grader did it. The bottom "kick" area is messed up, but it is a simple rectangle of veneer.

I'm thinking that once I get those two veneer panels off, and get the underlying wood clean and smooth, even a novice like me should be able to glue two perfectly rectangular pieces of veneer on it. the tricky part will be trimming the edge and putting the long strips of vertical molding back on. But once the veneer is solidly back on, I can always use brads and glue to attach the molding strips.

But I will need a toner or something that comes close to the finish color. Or just strip the whole cabinet, and do it all the same with something close and not have to worry about a match.

Here are some pics. I'm looking for opinions on whether I should do it. I'm retired, and have lots of time on my hands. So maybe I answered my own question, but I'd like to hear what you have to say.

Thanks in advance

Roger

p.s. I forgot to mention...the top and sides are in pretty good shape.


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 Post subject: Re: First attempt. Is this a basket case, or should I procee
PostPosted: Jun Sat 02, 2018 2:05 pm 
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In my opinion, this set is not really a basket case, but needs a good amount of work done to it. You might even be able to save the original finish and just glue down the loose pieces of veneer on the panels. On the bottom where the veneer is broken off, I would remove all of that area, re-veneer it, and then use grain filler, toner, and lacquer to finish it. I'm not really a woodworking guy, so if you have any more questions, I would recommend asking someone like LarryAD or Fred Taylor. They both do amazing work. Also, here's a link to an article about refinishing a radio:

http://antiqueradios.com/features/lacquer.html

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 Post subject: Re: First attempt. Is this a basket case, or should I procee
PostPosted: Jun Sat 02, 2018 2:28 pm 
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5Y4GT had really good suggestions. The bottom veneer needs to be completely replaced, stained, sealed, toned with toner lacquer to match rest of radio. You could make a thin cardboard or craft paper template of the area to help with cutting new veneer sheet. Gluing down the veneer that’s loose should be fine.

If you have not done any refinishing at all, I’d suggest doing that on a smaller less expensive radio. The link previously posted will be a great guide. Your radio would look awesome refinished, but that’s my opinion.

Good luck, and let us know what you’re doing.

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People may not remember how fast you did a job, but they will remember how well you did it.


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 Post subject: Re: First attempt. Is this a basket case, or should I procee
PostPosted: Jun Sat 02, 2018 4:01 pm 
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Thanks for the advice. I may try to glue the panels down. That puttied area really bothers me though. That is why I thought I'd attempt replacing those panels.


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 Post subject: Re: First attempt. Is this a basket case, or should I procee
PostPosted: Jun Sat 02, 2018 4:08 pm 
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I agree that the putty does look bad. Is it just in that one spot? I might try removing a small area of the finish near it, and blending it in with some toners.

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 Post subject: Re: First attempt. Is this a basket case, or should I procee
PostPosted: Jun Sat 02, 2018 4:44 pm 
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Might try that. I guess I could remove the panels and attempt replacing them if I don't like the results. It may end up looking passable at 15 feet or so. :)

What type of glue should I use to get the panels back down? I have some Gorilla glue yellow wood glue that has worked for me on gluing some table trim that has split. It seems pretty strong.


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 Post subject: Re: First attempt. Is this a basket case, or should I procee
PostPosted: Jun Sat 02, 2018 7:16 pm 
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Gorilla glue should do the trick. Originally, the manufacturers used hide glue, but any wood glue should work fine.

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 Post subject: Re: First attempt. Is this a basket case, or should I procee
PostPosted: Jun Sat 02, 2018 7:33 pm 
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I think if I just do the reglue of the veneer, I might just remove the broken veneer at the bottom front, and paint it that area black. It's not going to be a museum piece, and a black painted section there might not look too bad. What do you think?


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 Post subject: Re: First attempt. Is this a basket case, or should I procee
PostPosted: Jun Sat 02, 2018 10:04 pm 
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I wouldn't do that. I don't think the black will blend with the radio. If anything, try using toner on it. However, the best thing to do in this case is fix the radio the correct way. The position and grain of the broken veneer make it easy to replace, and that whole section at the bottom should come off easily with an iron and a paint scraper.

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 Post subject: Re: First attempt. Is this a basket case, or should I procee
PostPosted: Aug Mon 06, 2018 7:28 am 
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Just curious to see how the restoration is going.

I've got a weakness for those old consoles. :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: First attempt. Is this a basket case, or should I procee
PostPosted: Aug Mon 06, 2018 1:16 pm 
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Location: Marlton, NJ
I think that radio is perfect to cut your teeth on. It is nice, but not worth a fortune. You can make mistakes and do it again. The bottom veneer of course needs removal... replacing it is not really hard at all since the angles are fairly simple. Make sure the grain on the new piece runs the same way as the old. The area with the putty might benefit from a smooth sanding and then a slightly darker spray toner, feathered a bit. That would hide the booboo a little better. Before anyone screams, I say that because it is a common radio... If you want it done correctly, the labor is going to be kind of tough. I have to really love a common set to get into a full blown cabinet restoration. At my age now, it is far easier to find a better condition one, and part out, or sell, the bad one..lol....


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 Post subject: Re: First attempt. Is this a basket case, or should I procee
PostPosted: Aug Mon 06, 2018 10:17 pm 
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I think the OP sold this radio to another member on this forum, possibly Rodney (Palegreenthumb).

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 Post subject: Re: First attempt. Is this a basket case, or should I procee
PostPosted: Aug Tue 07, 2018 7:49 am 
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I'd like to have one of these in my growing collection ... but I'd also like to stay married! :?


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