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 Grill cloth recipe
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 8:08:50 AM on 20 October 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

I like original cloth,but as you are all aware it's often so stained it's a throw away and then comes the very hard task to find one the looks right, So I have been tinkering for a long time at finding away to save and rejuvenate Radiogram and TV cloths , So After researching the closest thing I could think of which is fabric lounges I've come up with a recipe that makes grill cloth clean and new looking again, I mix sard wonder powder with windex In a bucket with white vinegar and paint it on the cloth with a brush going in horizontal stokes and then vertical stokes getting nice and wet and leave it on over night and by morning I have beautiful dry clean grill cloth ,no need to even remove the cloth from the Radiogram. Soooo happy with my results,,,,pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 9:25:27 AM on 20 October 2019.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 941

My recipe for cleaning grill cloth was to soak in mild fabric detergent, rinse and dry. No physical washing.
Until I tried it on an STC cloth. This fell apart from this treatment because it consisted of rayon thread woven over thick soft cotton thread. The cotton must have been rotten on some way because it fell apart leaving the rayon threads intact.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 9:45:32 AM on 20 October 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Yep, I've taken cloth off and washed it before, it's hit and miss that's for sure,I use to use wool wash for all my clothes which is safe enough,but this new recipe works great and the cloth stays on. Apparently people cleaning lounges do a similar combination.

Pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 12:06:57 PM on 20 October 2019.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6348

It depends on the material used and the type of weave. Many grille cloths will survive being washed but will shrink to 3/4 the original size as they dry. The US has an ample supply of new grille cloth available but most of the patterns do not suit our radios and look nothing like the patterns used here at the time.

Some of the patterns on late 1960s and early 1970s stereograms are useful but the best way to clean these is to hoover them with a brush attachment before cutting the cloth off the old speaker boxes and the cutting can simply be done with a Stanley knife.

With regard to the red cloth used on late 1940s Radiolettes, I've simply shifted the cloth either up or down so that the unexposed parts of the cloth take place of the exposed parts. The unexposed parts of the cloth often look brand new and lift a restored radio to as-new condition.

Some cloths have the same weave on both sides and can simply be turned around if they don't have that much left over glue on them.


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A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 2:00:49 PM on 20 October 2019.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 881

And when you are desperate like me, there is always Lincraft or similar dress/craft shops.
Last time I was in a Lincraft I bought a couple of metres of each cloth that looked anything like a radio speaker cloth.
That will do me for the rest of my life.
Not so good if you want to accurately match a pattern but if you just want a brown or gold colour or something, easy and cheap.

Fred.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 6:51:20 PM on 20 October 2019.
Tallar Carl's avatar
 Location: Latham, ACT
 Member since 21 February 2015
 Member #: 1705
 Postcount: 1574

My attitude to speaker cloth is if it doesn't survive the washing machine then you were going to have problems anyway. John McIlwaine from the Sydney HRSA has a good supply of vintage speaker cloth though.
I mostly use Lincraft though.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 7:10:52 PM on 20 October 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Hmmm on a Radiogram it's much harder to get away with the wrong cloth, because it's such a large area compared to a Radio,Well that's how I feel about it anyway., Often the grill cloth is a main feature of them. I did buy some 1962 Fender cloth from Melbourne and it looks great on a Radiograms.
Pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 7:20:47 PM on 20 October 2019.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 941

Have thought for a while than lens cleaning cloth might do for grill cloth. It is thin and comes in a range of sizes and pastel colours, and best of all might be free.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 7:37:06 PM on 20 October 2019.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6348

Pete, I was thinking more along the lines of using stereogram cloth for mantel sets. I did it once on a 1940s timber Airzone Cub and an Astor JJ with two different patterns. On those radios it seemed to work well though I doubt it'd always be the case.


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A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 9:44:59 PM on 20 October 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Yep Brad, That makes sense as you need a smaller bit of cloth, my interest is only in Radiograms or TV's from say 1958 to 1964,I don't really restore Radios as a rule , pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 7:43:26 AM on 21 October 2019.
Tallar Carl's avatar
 Location: Latham, ACT
 Member since 21 February 2015
 Member #: 1705
 Postcount: 1574

My Reliance Sky-raider console which was I think is my first project which I listed here in general discussion was the example used. A very large piece of cloth which I pulled off and was very soiled . All I did was put it in the wash and it came out like brand new such was the quality of the 72 year old cloth. It retained full strength and looks awesome. But just in case I would rather buy from Lincraft and have the set looking neat.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 11:53:58 AM on 7 February 2020.
mawdryn's Gravatar
 Location: Gosford, NSW
 Member since 4 December 2005
 Member #: 7
 Postcount: 45

I lucked out with the grill cloth on my Astor radiogram. I spent a week looking for replacement as it had a hole in it, plus the cloth was quite brittle. Turns out it's identical to the cane weave cloth used in early Marshall guitar amps.

Only thing I had to do was paint it dark brown.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 4:20:01 PM on 7 February 2020.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6348

One thing that I did not mention originally was that rayon grille cloth will shrink morbidly when it comes into contact with most fluids. The only way to try and prevent this would be to first secure it to a contraption that is similar to one of those frames you put old fashioned squash raquets in when restringing them.

There is a lot of the Airzone-style grille cloth going around that used to be sold by Steve Savell. I still have a fair bit of it and will probably need it soon as I am going to kick my restorations in the guts before too long. It is suitable not only for Airzone but also AWA Radiolettes from the 1930s.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 10:24:10 PM on 7 February 2020.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4339

I actually used to do dye work on jeans (like 100Kg in a batch) using real dye not the pretend stuff. So when there was an overload in washing & Dry cleaning: I got involved in that. Technically as a Dye Chemist you actually had to know the fabric.

One of the things you will find in the laundry stuff are small mesh type bags with a zip top. These are for washing delicate stuff & things like belts & ties that are literally going to tangle & get knotted or torn to shreds.

You can make something like an "Art Stretcher" for canvas and in some cases you can do that with the fabric using a heavy card paper to get all of the creases out, & bind it (adhesive) before introducing it to the radio.

Rayon is made from Viscose & can be made to look like silk. Wet processes like washing in water are a no no as it looses its strength substantially and is not used in garments to be washed, for that reason.

Marc


 
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