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 Post subject: Zenith 8S443 / 8S563 Bezel Refinish?
PostPosted: Nov Thu 21, 2013 9:30 pm 
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Location: Chesapeake, VA 23322
I have a nice table top 8S443 that I have completed the recap and restored the cabinet. The bezel is very dull or tarnished and the wing tone and station contols are are also dull. Is the bezel piece with the dial glass solid brass or plated?

I'm sure there are forum members that have refinished these bezels. Can you give me your process used in refinishing the bezel and controls? Don't know if I want it looking like new bright and shiney or an older/aged looking finish.

Britt
Chesapeake, VA


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 8S443 / 8S563 Bezel Refinish?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 23, 2013 1:36 am 
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Clean it, with warm water and soap, rinse, and be done with it. Try to keep the bezel, tone and preset colors the same.

Old tooth brushes are good, for the nicks and crannies!

I think, the bezel is plated brass.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 8S443 / 8S563 Bezel Refinish?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 23, 2013 1:55 am 
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Here's a very nice example:

Image

NOPE...this is not my radio, but I wish it was!!!

Here's now I left my 8S463:

Image

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Last edited by gvel on Nov Sat 23, 2013 2:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 8S443 / 8S563 Bezel Refinish?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 23, 2013 2:02 am 
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Location: Chesapeake, VA 23322
Greg, I'm kinda with you on this. I've seen some restorations of these consoles that look like the bezel and wing control units look freshly painted one gold color. That just doesn't look "natural." I'm going to go over the bezel piece lightly with a little Brasso, just to see how well it will polish or clean up.
Thanks for the response...

Britt


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 8S443 / 8S563 Bezel Refinish?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 23, 2013 2:08 am 
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Trust me, you can get the bezel very shinny. I made that mistake, once!!!!!!!!! :oops:

Here it is:

Image

Don't do it, you'll never get the radio to look right!

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 8S443 / 8S563 Bezel Refinish?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 23, 2013 5:48 am 
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gvel wrote:
Trust me, you can get the bezel very shinny. I made that mistake, once!!!!!!!!! :oops:


Don't do it, you'll never get the radio to look right!

Well, I would have to disagree. Here's the way the bezel looked on my 8S-463 before, and then after;

Image

Image

After all, if one is going to restore a set electronically to make it play like new, why not remove 70 years of grunge and have it look like new as well?

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 8S443 / 8S563 Bezel Refinish?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 23, 2013 1:52 pm 
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Yep...and you kept all "components" the same color. Just like the 11S' I posted up top. Very nice work.

Share your method, with the OP.

My shiny one would have stuck out like a sore thumb!

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 8S443 / 8S563 Bezel Refinish?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 23, 2013 3:10 pm 
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fifties, what did you use to clean the bezel? Was it GoJo?

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 8S443 / 8S563 Bezel Refinish?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 23, 2013 11:26 pm 
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I used Brasso, the current formulation, and plenty of elbow grease.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 8S443 / 8S563 Bezel Refinish?
PostPosted: Nov Tue 26, 2013 7:24 pm 
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fifties wrote:
gvel wrote:
Trust me, you can get the bezel very shinny. I made that mistake, once!!!!!!!!! :oops:


Don't do it, you'll never get the radio to look right!

Well, I would have to disagree. Here's the way the bezel looked on my 8S-463 before, and then after;


After all, if one is going to restore a set electronically to make it play like new, why not remove 70 years of grunge and have it look like new as well?


Problem is, these escutcheons never looked like this, even when they were new. The shiny, mirror finish brass that a lot of people go after did not come into being until the second half of the 20th century. I see people make this mistake all the time with door hardware in older houses. Most brass hardware was sold with an "antique brass" finish on it back then. I am assuming this was to go with the Colonial-inspired architecture/decor of the era. Soap and water is as far as I'll go with pre-1950s brass hardware. If there's a ton of grime buildup, I may use a diluted de-greaser on the worst spots, but nothing else.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 8S443 / 8S563 Bezel Refinish?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 30, 2013 3:53 am 
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There's a fine line between original appearence, and years of grime or "patina". I have to agree with the statement of making them perform like new and making them look like new. If you ever have the opportunity to see real photographs of real radios in radio shop displays of the era, they were not dark or grimey, but they also were not polished real bright. It's really difficult to say since color photos didn't exist and none of us were around then to know, or if we were, we are very old and not sharing our thoughts in this thread. We probably will never really know exactly what the color was when these pieces were new, but I know several of us that will keep on trying to reproduce it when called upon to do so.

It has been my experience that a lot of the bezels received a tinted clear spray that appears to be a lacquer that sealed the metal and added a color to them. It was almost an orange/bronze look that made the brass look slightly aged. All I can say is...keep on restoring. Every piece you restore you are probably saving them from being tossed out in the future.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 8S443 / 8S563 Bezel Refinish?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 30, 2013 5:37 am 
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tubular bob wrote:
It's really difficult to say since color photos didn't exist

I pretty much agree with your post, but have to make a correction in that color photography did exist, "back then".
I have a PBS documentary DVD which briefly displays motion pictures in color, from World War One.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 8S443 / 8S563 Bezel Refinish?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 30, 2013 10:50 am 
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Yes, I knew when I stated that about color photography, it would open up some debte. I've never seen color still photography from factory photos fom the pre-WWII time period. I honestly thought pre-war color didn't exist in still photography although the movie indusrty was starting to show bits of color film around 1939 (Gone with the Wind, Women, Wizard of OZ, to name a few)..

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 8S443 / 8S563 Bezel Refinish?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 30, 2013 11:07 am 
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Here's one from 1928;
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 8S443 / 8S563 Bezel Refinish?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 30, 2013 4:59 pm 
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Fifties,
The advertisement you have posted does not contain actual photgraphy, but artist illustrations. Yes, it is in color, but it's not actual photos of real radios. At this point, I am finished discussing this subject if you do not realize the difference between photography and artist's renderings. You called me out on the fact that color still photgraphy existed before WWII, and I still say I am unaware of any examples of color still photography of radios prior to 1941.

Thanks for enlightening me on the subject.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 8S443 / 8S563 Bezel Refinish?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 30, 2013 5:27 pm 
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Back on topic, google images of said radios and make a choice.

There is an abundance of '463's.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 8S443 / 8S563 Bezel Refinish?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 30, 2013 9:58 pm 
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Yes, back on topic. As I originally stated, existing pictures are of existing conditions, not necssarily what they looked like when they were new.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 8S443 / 8S563 Bezel Refinish?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 30, 2013 11:07 pm 
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Martin would be a great reference for this information. There was a post about 8 years ago about information he has from examining numerical parts lists. Some radios came with either in polished brass or an aged bronze color that was dark. You can also Google Zenith radio advertisements. They may not be photos, but you can tell in the colored images if they were bronze toned or polished brass.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 8S443 / 8S563 Bezel Refinish?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 11, 2017 7:27 pm 
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I just scrub it with 0000 steel wool or 3m scotchbrite pads.
Looks clean and natural when done.
murf


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