Post by TermiteHunter on Mar 8, 2017 14:12:15 GMT -5
The main geo-conversations are soo dead right now I thought I would add to the conversation with another home project or 2 or 3...
I like to build things and when not building I like to refurbish this and that around the house. Seems like there is always a project at home. Some finished, most partially done lacking the final details.(or so I am told or I reached the end of what I can do until I learn more) I'll attempt almost anything. I have tiled baths and kitchen floors (with wounds to prove it), rebuilt damaged furniture or created new ones including my bar. A pallet headboard (pretty cool and rustic). I am in the process of a concrete countertop. It's mostly done and usable but needs the backsplash and part of the surface finish. Below is a few recent or current projects focusing on some old family items at the moment.
What are you doing around the house since you are not geocaching and talking about it here I assume you have lots of spare time.
Post by TermiteHunter on Oct 21, 2017 23:22:10 GMT -5
Anyone have or know anything about antique radios? I have a couple.
A Philco large floor model 40-180 from 1941 and a Sparton Tombstone 652X table top from 1940-1942
The Philco exterior is restored (not always the best thing to do but I like it) Refinished, replaced the glass (missing), replaced the tuner buttons (decayed) and replaced decals (except for the main Philco logo) The 6 tube chassis has been partially recapped poorly (recapping is replacing the old capacitors) lights up but no tuner string. Purchased at an antique store for all of $20
The Sparton has 6 tubes also, with broken tuner string (have not attempted a power up) Got this one from my Grandfather (lived in Detroit) They were manufactured in Michigan This one survived a house fire I had in the 90's and I am about to clean it up now to restore the exterior The plastic tuner scale is warped from the heat of the house fire (I will attempt to remold with some heat)
Just curious if anyone knows anything about these or anything else. Especially any knowledge of persons able to recap them so that they function. May not do it but curious.
While I am at it...
I also have a couple of old crank phonographs along with a few records (came in handy after Hugo knocked off the power for a week or so)
The first is of unknown origin. There are no markings on the phonograph that I could find and have been unable to find anything similar online. I refinished the exterior. It functions well. A bit of distortion from the reproducer that irritates the dog more than me. I bought this at an estate auction in the 90's for about $20. If you think you know anything about it I would be interested to learn about it.
The next is a Pathe" XII. This one I got in trade for a pair of random sleds. The dealer was tired of lugging the 100 lb Pathe' around. It is missing the Universal Tone Arm that plays both Pathe" Vertical records (played from the center out) and the Edison versions (played the way you are used to) The "needle" for the Pathe" records is also a saphire ball (expensive). Missed an opportunity to purchase a re-built tone arm on ebay for cheap so it is still missing. I cleaned the exterior but did not refinish. It needs shelves inside which I intend to build eventually.
Post by TermiteHunter on Oct 21, 2017 23:34:06 GMT -5
Sparton Disassembled. Reglueing the wood parts that came loose from the heat and storage in the attic. The chassis is removed and on the right. I only found a single reference and photo of a similar one (missing the wedge bar across the speaker)
Post by TermiteHunter on Oct 22, 2017 0:09:08 GMT -5
OK. So you can see I like antiques to a degree. Mostly those related to technology of the time. I was cleaning out the attic today (between posts on the relay) and ran across the Sparton radio (which was up front and known) and an old Underwood #5 typewriter (owned by my Grandmother in Asheville. I remember playing with it back then) buried in the junk and forgotten. I pulled both down for cleaning and display which brought this interest up again. I have recently felt the need to "build" something which is often channeled into refurbishing something I already have. I learned all I could about each when I started work on them or bought them. I don't have the ability to get the electronics to work fully but the mechanics I can work with for most.
I'll be working on both the Underwood and the Sparton in coming days
Anyway if you have any ideas or knowledge I would be interested (on any of them)
Post by TermiteHunter on Oct 22, 2017 0:31:46 GMT -5
Not exactly an antique. This is my desk. It needed a little update so I refinished the top and cleaned the rest. (can't do much for the cigarette burns on the edge from when that was a thing in offices) This was Army surplus from the 70's. Been my work desk since I was young. Now it is the home of the GCGC via the internet. A Hot Shot pesticide bottle (referencing my work with the NCDA Structural Pest Control Division) The lamp is my 10 year gift (note the tiny NC State logo on the front) You can also see a Lego VW camper on the table (was my Grandfather from Detroit's and owner of the Sparton radio) in the background reffering to my interest in classic VW's
Post by TermiteHunter on Oct 22, 2017 22:48:10 GMT -5
With little relevance placed on the Sparton, I opted to completely refinish the radio exterior. In the process I found that the "inlay" of darker wood was purely superficial. There is no actual different wood in the sections as it appeared. I went ahead and sanded nearly the entire surface and repainted (by a darker stain) the wood grain found in the inlay. I stained the grain dark and then melded it with a lighter stain to blend. I left sections of the original "inlay" after removing only the coarse cracked finish. The completed fake darker grain sections match pretty well to the original false inlay. I did add a grove to the side sections next to the speaker which where present in the larger sections along the middle as a guide and to match the original middle section. It looked as if the side portions of inlay were actually "painted" in and outlined by a dark line not unlike a sharpie. I gave it a little more definition than the original by adding a groove like what ws present in the central panels. So what I did was in line with the original construction. Looks good so far.
Next is to refinish the remaining exterior and replace the original frayed power cord. I have re-glued all the loose wooden parts that suffered from heat of the house fire and attic storage. I will work on the plastic tuner scale next to see if I can reshape it back to proper form. Once that is done I will reconnect everything and see if it will fire up on it's own. A risky proposition but I have little to lose if it does not work short of another fire.
It should look great and in line with the way I obtained it. Electronics are another matter. They may work as intended or fail causing larger issues but I am going to give it a try.
Post by TermiteHunter on Oct 22, 2017 22:56:11 GMT -5
The Sparton radio
The top center and the bottom center above and below the speaker is the only original. I duplicated the rest including the center speaker wedge (where you can see my duplication of the grain), left and right of the speaker and the portions below the speaker are my duplication. The original top above the speaker and my version within the speaker is darker now but should blend in when finished. The grain looks right. I guess we will see when I finish it. The photo does not show the darker grain lines too well but they are there. The other areas I did look virtually identical but do not show well in the photo I was pleased with the way my own amateur version looked in comparison to the original. In fact my side sections (on either side of the speaker) looked better than the original. your best view in this photo is the center wedge.) Awaiting finish for the main body. On to the plastic scale and staining of the main body.
Post by TermiteHunter on Oct 22, 2017 23:25:06 GMT -5
I was able to find a single photo of a similar radio with the correct model type on the interwebs. It looked identical to mine except that it was missing the center "wedge" over the speaker. Apparently the author of the site had difficulty finding an identification of this radio and referenced the aid he had. Mine is the same built between 1940 - 1942. by Sparton in Michigan. They are apparently famous for using mirrors in several styles of radios at the time. So if you see a radio that has a mirrored face (usually a blue tint) then it is one of theirs. Guess that was their thing back then.
Post by TermiteHunter on Oct 24, 2017 21:10:21 GMT -5
Moving along with the Sparton radio. 2 days in.
Restained and about ready for the protective coating. I was able to reshape the scale...well, better than it was. The fire had warped it badly which was the main reason I had neglected it for so long. The outer edge had melted and folded forward in large flaps. I warmed it and tried to re-roll it. It is far from perfect but at least it now resembles the original shape. The chasis needs a new power cord. Doubt it works anyway with the old caps. The tuner needs restringing which I have yet to figure out exactly how it goes, not that the broken string would work anyway, that needs replacing too. The fake painted grain in the side and central panels is more clearly visible in this photo
Well that conversation went no where but it was fun.
The Sparton now completed as far as I can go at this point (non-working radio but looks good) it is in a place of honor on a bar table (the central post opens to a box with a holder for shot glasses mounted on the door) from his home.
The Underwood typwriter is cleaned and mostly functional. Still needs a ribbon and could really use something else to remove the dullness of the finish. Short of removing the finish which would also remove much of the painted detail it looks OK. It currently resides on a small round table in the corner of a room.
I don't currently have another "project" in mind but you can add yours here. That is, other than maintaining the elder VW beetle in my collection. For that I need to repair rust on the left rear fender and rust on both doors where the window roller mounts, repaint same, re-attach rear storage carpet to the body and replace /repair the generator so that it is no longer a hybrid (I have to plug it in periodically to charge the battery)
If you have a home project I would be interested to see it. Photos are required.
I have opinions of my own, strong opinions, but I don't always agree with them. George H W Bush
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