Laminate Wood Radio Refurbish

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Project by nonenone posted 06-16-2013 05:29 PM 1736 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Laminate Wood Radio Refurbish
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Sorry, I did not take a before picture. This is a wood laminate veneer Airline radio that I inherited from my grandmother. It had been in the basement and had some water spotting/damage. I used some gentle sanding along with Formby’s wood re finisher to bring it back to life. Also used some gold paint and poly to rejuvenate the knobs and replaced to torn speaker screen. It is a tube type radio and my dad was able to set me up with several replacement sets of tubes, so I hope to have it running for many years.

7 comments so far

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 4324 days

#1 posted 06-16-2013 07:44 PM

Nice save on a family heirloom. Those old tube radios are pretty cool.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View Woodstock's profile


264 posts in 4366 days

#2 posted 06-16-2013 08:27 PM

Very nice restore. Old radios like this have a fairly $trong following in the collectors community. So don’t give it away if you decide not to keep it as a heirloom in your family.

I do love old radios that are known as “boat-anchors” or “Radios that glow in the dark” in the ham radio community.

Just FYI: If you should ever hear buzzing similar to what a motorboat sounds like, you will most likely need to “recap” the radio or aka replace the power capacitors. Many old radios used paper types that will dry out over the decades and slowly fail. Common problem with older tube sets.

It’s generally not hard to do, but it takes knowing what the caps were originally rated at, possibly the polarity and knowing how to solder in the replacements. Most likely to solder lugs “point to point” style construction in a metal chassis as this era was well before PC boards I suspect.

If your dad was able to set you up with several sets of tubes, I bet he’d be the one to ask about any other restoration steps to get it sounding again as it came out of the factory.


-- I'm not old. Just "well seasoned".

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2902 days

#3 posted 06-16-2013 10:37 PM

What a beautiful restore PJ…When I saw this picture memories came flooding back of the family, my parents, older brother, my Aunt and myself all sitting in the lounge room after Sunday biner listening the a Sunday night program called Play House Theater…hahaha good old family valued memories. Great job PJ thanks for sharing…

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View doubleDD's profile


10354 posts in 3121 days

#4 posted 06-17-2013 01:30 AM

Great job to restore some history. Did a floor model one years ago and was very proud of it myself.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7915 posts in 3992 days

#5 posted 06-17-2013 02:07 AM

Boy! That sure brings back memories… Thanks for sharing.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View nonenone's profile


55 posts in 2885 days

#6 posted 06-17-2013 02:19 AM

Thanks for the nice comments. This was definitely a project that inspires memories – although I am not old enough to remember old time radio, It reminds me of my dad and grandmother.


View Makarov's profile


103 posts in 2883 days

#7 posted 06-17-2013 07:11 AM

Nice restore, nothing like a baseball game on a summer evening over an AM tube rig, it just sounds right.


-- "Complexity is easy; Simplicity is difficult." Georgy Shragin Designer of ppsh41 sub machine gun

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