You can’t have mine… So here’s yours!

Well, a while back Dad, Carrie and Jake came up to visit and I was showing off my little speakeasy down in the basement and they were admiring my old GE Console radio.  While probably joking, they offered to buy it.  First of all I really didn’t want to sell it… and second of all they offered WAY more than it’s worth and I just can’t go about ripping off family like that.  Co-workers?  Sure!  But you gotta draw the line at being a shuckster somewhere, right?

So I had it in my mind that I’d keep my eyes peeled for something for them.  Good ol’ Trading post came through for me eventually (same place I got the Blazer… watch out)!  A guy north of town was selling this old radio.  He was asking $75, I got it for $60 and felt like I paid too much…

Here it is:

$60.00? WTF was I thinking?

It's old. And unearthed from a tomb apparently.

What a gift. Who's gonna want this crusty old junk? Even for free? The wood might make good kindling for a fire I guess.

Speaking of starting a fire!

So I’m committed at this point.  I figure worst case scenario, the radio sounded decent and if I couldn’t get it halfway respectable I’d just toss it in a corner and use it as a work bench or something.  If the record player isn’t too far gone and it cleans up okay it might turn out halfway decent.  The knobs are looking pretty ratty, and Brasso has always done me right in the past.  You have to start somewhere, right?

They won't be original with the silver trimmed knobs and all. But they look a heck of a lot nicer! At least it'll have nice knobs!

Then I start hitting the cabinet with a rag to see what’s just dirt and grime, and what is really damaged.  Then some Old English.  I’m no woodsmith so I’m not coming within 10 feet of this thing with sand paper.  I’d destroy the damn thing, so whatever is broken is going to have to stay broken.  Turns out once all the crud is scraped away, and the Old English brings some of the shine back, it’s not in too bad of shape!

Thar be shine! Haven't cleaned the speaker grills yet.

I'm starting to feel better about this project!

The most frustrating part has been the record changer.  I got a new needle no problem.  But the mechanism itself just didn’t have the gusto to run through a whole change cycle.  The old springs were weak.  And once I got it taken out to grease it, I found that one of the mounts that holds the motor on was busted, so I had to fab up some new ones out of hardware store parts.  It seems to be working now, but there were some hairy moments getting from there to here.

So without further adieu.  Here it is in action:  The 1964 RCA Victor Console Radio!

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Posted on November 25, 2010, in Projects, Radio. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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