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 Television and Radio Cabinet Restoration part 4
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 4:43:49 PM on 30 July 2017.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 2032

Television and Radio Cabinet Restoration part 4

Hello all,

Well , Here we are again and I'm running late with my posts. Never enough hours in a day lately. I'm wearing a few different hats lately .
Anyway I'm back restoring my tellies now and thats always fun!
We are now up to the staining stage which we will need chat about a bit. Although I'm not sure anyone will read it. Please forgive my bird scratch as my school days were spent on the beach.

Ian Robinson has done a wonderful job on the chassis and its so clean now, you could eat your dinner off it!
Nothing like the birds nest I gave him.
We had the CRT and chassis on a table and it was wonderful to see it light up and play images again.
The chassis is 60 years old and Ian has bought it back to life again and its now waiting for me to finish the cabinet.
Heres a Link to Ians Restoration of the chassis.
You can follow his restoration and how to tips! on this link below.


PLUS heres the link to the part 1 on this Cabinet Restoration.


I must say that the Aim of the restoration was always to restore the veneer and not replace it as I mentioned in the beginning of the Restoration. Which I have done ,but its not been with out some major problems and it was by means a walk in the park , Due to the 60 year old glue that holds 12 peices of veneer and 15 joins are failing and not holding up to the stripping and chemical process of the restoration.

So basically the veneers were coming un glued in every direction.
Normally if this was happening to a Cabinet I would just replace the lot, But as we are trying to save them I kept persisting with the old glue joins and finally it was all sealed again, But it was many days work and a slow process.
In reality it would of made more sense to replace them. Not only would it have cut the work down by half, but also looking into the future of the next 50 years and the stability of the 60 year old glue is questionable.
It would of been practical to replace them and use fresh glue.
But I still feel ,I can save this 1957 cabinet.
This is why its best to restore a good solid original cabinet to begin with,because the job could turn into weeks if not months depending on whats under the finish of your cabinet . Once the finish is off ,the veneers start to fall off , the veneers begin to crack and the nightmare begins.
So pick a good solid cabinet to restore.

A perfect example of this and the silly things we do is ,,,
I have a 1957 HMV TV in shed that's a complete basket case! The veneers have all fallen off,
The chassis is a complete birds nest with no valves,the grill cloth looks like the moths had a feast,,yet I keep saving it from the being thrown out! Madness!
it belongs at the tip.
The veneers alone would cost over $300 just to buy them.
You can't make strawberry Jam out if pig shit ! Although I'm told the chinese have now found a way to do it and it will soon be in a supermarket near you !

Now something else I should of mentioned earlier in this Restoration is that ! If you are Restoring a Radio or a TV Cabinet DONT BE TEMPTED TO RESTORE THE INSIDE OF THE CABINET!!!! Don't go putting Shellac, varnish, Lacquer, paint , oil finishes in there because it would be a Fire Hazard and this is why there all bare wood on the inside near chassis.
So just give it a good clean up in there and leave the clear coats out of the picture to be on the safe side.


Some TVs and Radiograms are not Stained in the simple methods like Antique items .
Its a completely different concept. Particularly in the 50s and 60s when bright even colour was the fashion.
Radiograms and Televisions are often finished in whats called a Glaze.
A Glaze is when you put colour pigments in the clear coats and this gives you more control over the colour and the grain.
Most Glazes are quite opaque so you can reduce the grain by laying a opaque glaze over it and there for it blocks it out. Which is what you may want on a TV or a radiogram in many cases, otherwise it maybe too busy. The other reasons they used the Glazing techniques was so , Their products were all the same basic colour .
A Glaze has some excellent benefits in a manufacturing sense because.

1: no wastage as the Glaze covers all timbers in the same colour , unlike a stain that changes from timber to timber.
Most often they would dilute the clear coat by 50/50 and seal it on the bare wood and then lay the Glaze on top of it .In doing this ,The Glaze gives a uniform colour and the clear seal coat prevents the timber absorbing the colour and at the same time it leaves the finish with a smoothness and it needs less filling so the manufacturers like it because it's saving money on materials as well as being faster.

2: Plus you can use multiple colours in what we call , layering, eg, gold glaze, than a brown glaze to create tones.
3: A glaze is easily removed again because it is sitting ontop of a clear seal coat and therefore its not being absorbed by the timber ,as apposed to a stain which is generally layed on bare wood and more than often it is hard to remove it again.
Plus A good Glaze can look great.

So why am I telling you all this you ask?
Well if your project is a Glaze and your intentions are to restore it to how it looked originally? Than you can't do it with a simple wipe on stain.
If the project and texture does not need to appear the way it did originally than by all means a simple stain can give you a lovely cabinet.

A Glaze is not a hard thing to make at home and it can be put on with a brush or Gun.
But for this post its too much detail to go into.
But if you feel you would like to make a Glaze and give it a go, Then by all means just email me and I will give you the formulas and a run down on the process. .

So if you have read my posts , you can see why the 3 traditional finishes are no longer used, Its only old farts like me that have a passion for it, If we were in the business of restoring people items,,, they can't pay for 10 coats and a drying time of 24 hrs between each coat and then a 2 week drying off time before you can start wet sanding and polishing in up to spec ! Who can pay for that?? there is no time for this in the modern world.

Just as a note, for all those people who take their item to be restored in the traditional finish with a furniture finnisher , your dreaming !
Most Finishes will just do it in polyurethane and then put a top coat of shellac on it and then give it back to you!!!!! And call it a french polish!
If they didnt the bill would be enormous! Its 2017.


As I've said before, there are two types to buy .
1: Dye type , translucent and penetrates into the timber.
2: pigment type ,sits more ontop of the timber and has an opaque look to it.

They also go on very differently.
1: a dye stain will generally need to be done 2 or 3 times before you get the tone you want because it is soaking into the timber .
You will also find ,it gets to a point where it won't absorb any more, This can be a real pain in the butt with certain timbers that dont stain well.
Eg maple and some of the lighter timbers..

2: The pigment stain will more than than often be dark enough with just one coat.

You must also be aware that the more clear coats you put on the finish it will get darker and darker.


Ok , there are so many different methods for appling stains,, spraying on , brushing it on, wiping on, flooding it on.
The list goes on and on.

I feel the truth of the matter is,, whatever feels right for you.
Your aiming to get on a nice even colour tone on all sides and so just do it the way it works best for you.

Personally I do it this way.
I get a white cloth and fold it into a 4 inch square and I just wipe it on and then after a few seconds I wipe it off with another cloth.

Rememeber if the stain is to strong , just buy a reducer.


If you intend to take this up for a hobby ,then you will need to learn how to make you own stains , because a bought over the counter stain is just too limited, not only in colours ,but also pigments.
Learning to make your own stains and colour match is great fun , but its a learning process that never ends and all us guys that do this have endless amounts of notes and formulas that we save over the years ,mainly from hand me downs or trial-and-error.
The dyes and pigments are not available in hardwares and we so we buy them off the net or from Art shops in the various bases that we need in , oil , Alcohol etc etc, The pigments then need to be refind more because their still a bit rough and primitive.
But making stains is something you would only do , if you were taking this up as a serous hobby.

Well , on that note I think its time for a coffee and I'm going to watch an old movie on one of my other 1950s tellies. "" Island in the Sky, John Wayne"" 1953.


Next post applying clear coat finishes !!

 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 5:50:09 PM on 30 July 2017.
Brad's avatar
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6531

...as my school days were spent on the beach.

Quite a few of my 4th form days were spent in the milk bars and lolly shops of Strathfield. I think the positive thing about that was that me and my mates periodically propped up the local economy and the fact that the said shops no longer exist probably proves that. We'd bully anyone in the lower forms that were doing the same thing and on the two occasions the police questioned us we'd tell them we were in 5th form and on a free period. Most of my group were big lads so they believed us.

On to a more serious issue - I, and most likely many other of the regulars here, are hoping that a nice, large, glossy, well lit and sharp photo of this telly, when reassembled and turned on, will one day feature on Receiver Of The Week, complete with details of the innards, etc. Expect many members to second, put and say Aye! to the motion.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 5:57:04 PM on 30 July 2017.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 2032

Thank you Brad,
I have really enjoyed doing this project on your site.
Its been great doing it together here with Ian ,its always good when two people meet who share the same interests ,but both have different trades . When this happens ,not only is it fun ,but you accomplish a great deal.
Thanks pete

 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 6:02:47 PM on 30 July 2017.
Brad's avatar
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6531

I reckon that's why we'll like seeing it on Receiver Of The Week. This is probably the first well-publicised team effort and, yes, it's a job very well done.

If I ever get myself the 10-channel 21 inch AWA Radiola telly which is pretty much the telly I've been after for years I'd be honoured if you two would do the refurb, for the right fair and negotiated fee of course. Smile Though at the moment I am still in search of the right candidate to be the lucky telly. Shock

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 7:45:42 PM on 30 July 2017.
Ian Robertson's Gravatar
 Location: Belrose, NSW
 Member since 31 December 2015
 Member #: 1844
 Postcount: 1981

Brad, it was one of those AWAs, a 212C, that was responsible for me meeting my late wife and solemate, Jenny. But that's another story.

Spent a few years watching that TV. I'd be honoured to do my bit. I made some moulds for the large knobs for that set when I did the 207C, they are the same.

Pete, I noticed when doing your chassis that in at least one stage in its life it had got very wet. The ply that forms the wooden side rails screwed to the chassis has delaminated a bit. It's no wonder the veneer is lifting.

Your latest post introduced me to the concept of glaze. That explains what I found when I stripped my 207C.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 9:09:50 PM on 30 July 2017.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 2032

Yes Brad, always happy to join in on projects.

Ian,, yes its had some water damage in that Attic over the years, but all fixed now.
Glazes, are a nice finish on a TV that lasts and lasts.
I have some here that are 55 years old and still look great. Most Krieslers were a Glaze.
I make Grazes and I like them on TVs, notice how classy a Kriesler finish looks compared to a cheaper 50s or 60s TV...... even the German TV I have is no match on Kriesler finish


 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 10:52:17 AM on 2 August 2017.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 2032

Part 5 of finishes will be at least 2 weeks away ,due to the temperatures dropping below 10c in a 24hr time line.
Sometimes its down to 7c.
I use to have a make shift drying shed ,but that was at my old house.
Clear coats need higher temperatures than 7c or below 10c to dry. Otherwise it can stay tacky for days and remain flat .

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