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Having a nice sound system has always been a priority on my life since I was a teenager in the 1970's. My tastes in music have changed over the years but I still insist on listening to good quality audio equipment. These days I find myself seldom playing CD's anymore, instead I either stream music from the internet, play music ripped to my laptop via iTunes or listen to my local FM radio station. So my audio equipment has dwindled down to just an integrated amp , a tuner, and speakers.

I've always been fascinated with those old radio consoles from the 1930's and 1940's and decided it would be neat to retrofit one of these old cabinets with my audio equipment. So begins my next project and first posting on Lumberjocks.

I came across this 1940's Philco cabinet on ebay which I bought for $40 which I found the art deco design very appealing to match my 1930's built house…. and most important, my wife agrees
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It has a lift up panel where the original tuner went which is a perfect size for the tuner I wish to use. It also has a pull panel that housed a turntable which would be perfect for housing my integrated amp.
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The project begins with repairs to the cabinet's framing…
Looking forward to this.


· Registered
11,255 Posts
New Face

This weekend had me working on replacing the face of the console where the tuner is mounted. The old face came out easily… just had to remove about a dozen screws and give it a few taps to loosen it up. It wasn't glued, but the original lacquer finish held it in place some.

Then I had to come up with a way to mount the new radio. I took the new radio out of its case. It came out pretty easily. Just four screws held it together and another pair of screws secured to a pair or retaining clips. I discovered the radio was essentially two parts… the tuner, and the amp. They were held together by four screws that sort of clamped itself together inside the case.

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Now knowing how it assembled together, I came up with a way to mount it to the new face using the four screw mounts.

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To make the face I began with some scrap ¼" marine plywood I had in the shop and glued a 1/16" thick mahogany veneer to it that was left over from my last project (I need to make myself a veneer press one of these days). This is thinner that the original face, but the marine plywood is better quality and stronger even though its thinner.

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Then I trimmed it to size and cut bevels to match the old face and also made a cutout to mount the new radio.

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The old face was made with a spline to join the front and top together. This was doable because the face was ⅜" thick. I felt my new face was too thin to use a spline so I put my boat building skills to work and epoxied them together utilizing an epoxy fillet.

First I made a clamping mold.
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Then I taped the two pieces together with packing tape that acted as both a hinge and a means to temporarily hold the two pieces together.
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Then I applied thickened epoxy to the seam, folded it in place in the mold, clamped it, then applied the epoxy fillet. Note that I also laid down some packing tape to the mold so that I didn't accidentally epoxy the face to the mold.

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After curing for 24 hours it came out pretty decent.

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Coming along great


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