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 Post subject: Warped Zenith 6S249 dial face...can it be saved?
PostPosted: Dec Mon 04, 2017 8:41 am 
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Joined: Jan Mon 25, 2010 7:51 am
Posts: 2623
Location: Toledo, Ohio
Hi Guys, I have a couple Zenith 6S249s I picked up.

I am restoring the one and it has a fairly warped original dial face. I know they reproduce these but thought it might be possible to repair the original. Anyone every attempted to flatten a warped one? My guess it was heat from incorrect dial bulbs and missing diffusers after a previous cosmetic restoration.

I though about gently heating the dial face with a blow dryer or heat gun and the sandwiching the heat dial between to heavy pieces of flat glass. Anyone tried anything like this? Figured I would give it a shot what do I have to loose.


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 Post subject: Re: Warped Zenith 6S249 dial face...can it be saved?
PostPosted: Dec Mon 04, 2017 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 16, 2012 4:15 pm
Posts: 3605
Location: Near Brandon, Iowa
I have tried the "heat and clamp" approach with some, but not entirely satisfactory, success, on various Grunow backlit dials. A shallow glass pan of microwave-heated water worked well as the softening agent. Unfortunately there is a fine line between heating the celluloid dial disk to a state of malleabiity and heating it to the point where it distorts past any hope of recovery.

Grunow didn't seem to use water-soluble inks in their backlit dials; IDK about Zenith. Might be prudent to test a small part of the dial with hot water and a Q-Tip before you dip the entire dial in water.

Since one is available, I'd spring for the repro dial and avoid a lot of work spent to achieve a disappointing result.


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 Post subject: Re: Warped Zenith 6S249 dial face...can it be saved?
PostPosted: Dec Mon 04, 2017 3:02 pm 
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Joined: Apr Sat 29, 2017 6:22 pm
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Location: Ossian IN, 46777
Iron it.


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 Post subject: Re: Warped Zenith 6S249 dial face...can it be saved?
PostPosted: Dec Mon 04, 2017 8:37 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 25, 2010 7:51 am
Posts: 2623
Location: Toledo, Ohio
I think the hot water is way to go too. It will be an even, gradual heat. We use this method at the shop with old, warped plastic trim on cars. Heat it in near boiling water til it becomes pliable, install and when it cools it sets hard again in position and looks like new. Of course it all depends on the material they used originally but going to try this method then sandwich between the glass until it cools. It is worth a shot, it is useless as it is and if it fails nothing lost.

T

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 Post subject: Re: Warped Zenith 6S249 dial face...can it be saved?
PostPosted: Dec Tue 05, 2017 12:41 am 
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Joined: Jan Mon 25, 2010 7:51 am
Posts: 2623
Location: Toledo, Ohio
So for anyone that cares, the hot water method wasn't great. The plastic would indeed soften and become pliable but the plastic cools VERY quick. Even getting the plastic from the water to the glass it starts to cool and take shape.

I found what worked better was my heat gun I use for shrink tubing. I would lay the dial on a piece of glass then carefully heat the dial and then quickly sandwich it between glass or something similar. In fact I even could do just certain areas. The heat gun was much hotter and seemed to work better. I got the dial probably 65% better then it was. To the point that it is usable in the radio (no scraping of the dial pointer) and looks presentable.

If I was doing a full on restoration in this radios case I would probably opt for a replacement but this trick would work in salvaging the dial face in many instances.

T

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