My hobby is not to collect radios but to repair them and breath new life into them. The radios that I restore are usually 60+ years old. They were probably never intended to last this long. With what I do to them, I hope to help keep them around for another 60+ years.
The radios that I restore are usually radios that I acqure from radio club swap meets, antique stores, or online. I restore the radios and then usually give them to friends and family. I recently restored a Philco Model 48-460 radio nicknamed "The Hippo" due to its likeness to the face and mouth of a hippo. This was a radio that I did not acquire through the normal means.
A co-worker approached me one day and told me that he and his wife were going to be going through his father-in-laws things. He had passed away (I recently found out) 15 years ago. He said that if he came across any radios he would bring them to me.
One Monday he came to me with a chassis that he pulled out of a storage building. The cabinet was nowhere to be found and without it, it really didn't give me any opportunity to restore it. The next Monday he came to me with two Philco radios which were complete. One was the Philco 48-460. This is a Bakelite cabinet radio. The cabinet was dull and faded due to years spent in a storage building. Looking at the condition of the radio, it may have also spent a lot of time in the sun.
I took it upon myself to try to restore this radio to its formal glory and give it back to my friend and co-worker. I felt that the radio belonged back with his wife. There was nothing better I could do with that radio then to give the lady her dad's old radio back.
That mission was completed this past week, thanks to the help of a good friend. I have a friend who use to do automotive body work so is very good with spray painting and spraying automotive clear coats. That is exactly what this radio cabinet needed to rejuvinate it. It needed a good shot of clear coat. Anyway, the radio was returned to my co-worker this week. He was extrememly surprised by the condition. Go be honest, so was I. It is full functional now and hopefully will be something that they can pass down to their kids (their grandfather's radio).
Monday, April 18, 2011
I have been threatening for some time to start an on-line blog. Well, the little voices in my head finally convinced me to do so. Hopefully this will be a fun thing and not something that takes me away from the things that I love doing most of all, and that is working on old radios. I will share from time to time the radios that I have found, the work that I do with them, and the ones that I sometimes kill. My restoration skills have improved over time but I still have the occasional misfortune (well, sometimes more often then occasional) of doing more harm to a radio that has survived 60+ years then good. I hope you enjoy and look forward to your feedback.