What I will try to do here is give you some idea of a typical complete restoration of a vintage radio. For this example I will be restoring a 1941 Zenith Model 10-S-669. I will number each step accompanied by a picture. You can click on the "+" symbol on each picture for a larger view.
1. This is what a radio chassis looks like when it comes to me for restoration. I've already removed the vacuum tubes that will be tested later.
2. This is another picture of the chassis prior to restoration. Lots of dirt but no rust or corrosion on this set.
3. This picture is of the under side of the chassis. Lots of old capacitors and resistors that require replacement. Back in the day when this set was built at the factory alot of rubber insulated wire was used. Hard to see in this picture but this wire is almost always dried and cracked and must be replaced.
4. In this picture the chassis has had all of its major assemblies removed. This is necessary in order to properly clean the chassis in preparation for paint. It also makes those removed assemblies alot easier to work on.
5. Here we have all of the major assemblies that were removed in step 4. These will be cleaned and rewired where applicable prior to installation back into the chassis. Remember to use the "+" symbol on these pictures to get a closer look.
6. This is a look at the underside of the chassis after all the old pieces of wire have been removed and all the old solder has been removed from all the connection terminals and tube socket pins.
7. Now the chassis has been cleaned, primered and painted with high quality materials. In this case I used a "Hammered Copper" finish. Personal preference, looks great on certain Zenith chassis'. I do not paint the inside of the chassis. This creates too many problems with certain sections of the circuitry that require grounding to the chassis. All openings to the inside of the chassis were masked off along with the tube sockets prior to painting. Masking of the chassis keeps overspray out of the chassis.
8. Here some of the removed assemblies are being reinstalled. The Antenna Coil, Oscillator Coil, IF Transformers and Tuning Condenser are installed. New components (resistors and capacitors) begin to go in along with new wiring.
9. This is a picture of the top of the chassis. Here you can see the Antenna Coil, Oscillator Coil and Intermediate Frequency Transformers referenced in step 8 all housed in their freshly polished cans. Also visible is the Tuning Condenser which was thoroughly cleaned and lubricated where required.
10. In this picture the chassis is complete. All new capacitors, resistors and wiring. The new wiring is a teflon coated 22 gauge stranded wire designed for radio use.
11. This is the top of the chassis. The restoration is complete.
12. This is another angle of the top of the chassis. Power Supply Transformer has been cleaned and given a new paint job. All new hardware has been installed and the vacuum tubes have been tested and reinstalled. Any weak or bad tubes have been replaced with NOS (New Old Stock) tubes.
13. Another picture of the chassis from the top. At this point the chassis has been tested and an electronic alignment performed in order for the radio to operate at its peak performance.
So this is the way I restore the electronics on a vintage/antique radio. Some radio folks may tell you some of the things I do are not necessary. They blow the chassis off with some air to get the heavy dirt off, replace the capacitors and any resistors that are out of tolerance and hopefully replace any bad wire. That's not a full restoration. That's just making your radio work.
If you want a restored 1956 Chevy do you want one that's had the motor rebuilt and a paint job put on it or do you want one that's truly been restored from the ground up.
My prices are competitive and no part goes untouched.
Next time I do a cabinet restoration I'll walk you through one of those. Today is April 3rd 2011 and I'm restoring a cabinet now. Very soon I'll have pictures with captions of each step of that. If you still have any questions concerning a restoration please feel free to Contact Us .
This is a full cabinet restoration. You know, the one I've been promising to show you for two years.
The cabinet used in this illustration is a Crosley Model 1117 Super 11. Most cabinets can be refinished but this one was in very bad condition.
Again please remember to click on the + symbol while your mouse pointer is on the picture to see a larger view.
1. Here's a couple of pictures of the cabinet prior to the restoration.
2. The restoration begins by removing any parts of the cabinet that can be removed. Electronics chassis and speaker of course along with, in this case the front vertical grille bars, dial bezel and magic eye bezel.
3. Next I start removing all of the old veneer. In this case much of it was missing or badly separated from the substrate to begin with.
4. This is the cabinet with all of its old veneer removed. Still some work to be done before new veneer can be applied.
5. All of the low spots, gouges from veneer removal or any defects in the substrate need to be repaired. Generally filled with a wood filler and sanded smooth as the next few pictures will show.
6. Now that the substrate is repaired the cabinet is rubbed down with a denatured alcohol to remove any oils and clean the substrate in order for the new veneer to adhere correctly to the cabinet. The new veneer begins to go on. This particular cabinet took 17 individual pieces of veneer to complete.
In this next picture the matched sequence walnut burl veneer is applied to the center front of the cabinet. The top of the cabinet has new veneer at this point. Not pictured.
7. At this point the cabinet is completely veneered and is masked off in preparation for several coats of lacquer.
8. And that's about it. A coat of sealer paint is applied to the inside of the cabinet to further protect the wood, vertical grille bars reinstalled, restored electronics installed, knobs bezels and new grille cloth.