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 Post subject: Zenith 16a63 Stratosphere cabinet refinish ( COMPLETE )
PostPosted: Sep Mon 11, 2017 1:45 pm 
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Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1006
Location: Dallas Tx
I was selected to refinish a very rare zenith radio Model 16a63 Stratosphere. Some day if I'm fortunate to have the money to buy one I would jump on it like a pit bull on a ham bone.. Until that happens I am honored to been chosen to refinish this beautiful radio cabinet. My refinishing skills have come a long way since my long career in the automotive painting position I held at a high end European body shop / dealership here in the Dallas tx area for 15 years. I've always was fascinated with wood refinishing on antiques and especially on radio cabinets from the late 1920,s - 30,s-40,s -50-s. This cabinet is dissembled and stripped and is going thru a tedious stage in witch imperfections and grain filling are done before any color is applied. The top veneer was peeling off and has to be replaced. I will continue to post my progress as time allows.


Attachments:
File comment: Stripped
joes radios 026.jpg
joes radios 026.jpg [ 143.43 KiB | Viewed 1672 times ]
File comment: Gluing down loose veneer on the front edge of cabinet
Joes radios 136.jpg
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File comment: Walnut veneer on top was removed in this photo
Joes radios 140.jpg
Joes radios 140.jpg [ 138.16 KiB | Viewed 1672 times ]
File comment: Inside of cabinet is being worked on for loose veneer and imperfections. It will be painted, not sure of the color as of yet. Black seems to be it but dark blue has showed up also. Any Thought on this from you Guys?
Joes radios 154.jpg
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Joes radios 148.jpg
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File comment: Grain filler has been applied and is being carefully sanded off.
Joes radios 153.jpg
Joes radios 153.jpg [ 172.41 KiB | Viewed 1672 times ]
File comment: Grain filled panels sanded and ready for some color
Joes radios 152.jpg
Joes radios 152.jpg [ 166.9 KiB | Viewed 1672 times ]
File comment: Sanded smooth and ready for grain filler
Joes radios 146.jpg
Joes radios 146.jpg [ 138 KiB | Viewed 1672 times ]


Last edited by fred taylor on Sep Sun 24, 2017 10:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 16a63 Stratosphere cabinet refinish
PostPosted: Sep Sun 24, 2017 5:14 am 
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Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1006
Location: Dallas Tx
I have done quite a bit on the Stratosphere since I posted last, the walnut veneer on the top was replaced due to water damage and lifting. I'm using a new veneer glue that I am very pleased with , its an iron on method. First you glue the veneer then the substrate that your putting it on , let dry 25 minutes or so then position veneer then using an iron at medium high . The heat from iron reactivates and welds together both veneer and substrate. Very tight and hard like it should be. The cabinet was grain filled and re sanded, then toned to desired color and I applied 4 coats of sanding sealer. Next step tomorrow will be to lightly sand the sealer with 320 grit to smooth out the sealer being very careful not to break though the sealer. Then I can spray on 4 or 5 coats of lacquer clear at a 75% gloss level to give the wood some grain depth and will surly protect the cabinet for years to come. This radio will look very close as it was back in the 30,s I will not assembly the cabinet that will be Joes job to put it all back together and I'm sure he will post it when he gets it all back together later this year. Next cabinet is another McMurdo console from Joe. Thanks for looking.


Attachments:
File comment: Working on stratosphere doors and control panel, sitting on work bench. This is my office.
Joes radios 239.jpg
Joes radios 239.jpg [ 127.13 KiB | Viewed 1489 times ]
File comment: Templet made from paper for the top of cabinet, placed it on walnut veneer.
Joes radios 269.jpg
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File comment: Glue applied with roller on top of cabinet, taped off sides.
Joes radios 271.jpg
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File comment: Underside of walnut veneer with glue applied.
Joes radios 272.jpg
Joes radios 272.jpg [ 117.7 KiB | Viewed 1489 times ]
File comment: Ironing on the veneer to reactivate the glue, with cotton rag to protect veneer.
Joes radios 275.jpg
Joes radios 275.jpg [ 128.22 KiB | Viewed 1489 times ]
File comment: All glued down and tight. Grain filled and sanded.
Joes radios 279.jpg
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File comment: All my color has been applied, all toning done. Ready for sealer.
Joes radios 282.jpg
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File comment: Doors and control panel toned and ready foe sealer
Joes radios 327.jpg
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File comment: Sealer has been applied with HVLP spray gun. Looking very good at this point. Will sand smooth after cured and then final clear coats.
Joes radios 298.jpg
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File comment: Top looks awesome. Just like factory.
Joes radios 320.jpg
Joes radios 320.jpg [ 100.82 KiB | Viewed 1489 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 16a63 Stratosphere cabinet refinish
PostPosted: Sep Sun 24, 2017 5:26 am 
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Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1006
Location: Dallas Tx
Some more pictures.


Attachments:
File comment: Awesome looking radio, isn't even done yet .
Joes radios 310.jpg
Joes radios 310.jpg [ 167.79 KiB | Viewed 1489 times ]
File comment: Sealer still wet.
Joes radios 313.jpg
Joes radios 313.jpg [ 151.67 KiB | Viewed 1489 times ]
File comment: Back side looking in cabinet you can see the old dark blue paint. This is sanded smooth and cleaned before new zenith blue paint is applied.
Joes radios 280.jpg
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Joes radios 293.jpg
Joes radios 293.jpg [ 110.01 KiB | Viewed 1489 times ]
File comment: This may have to go a bit darker, looks little on the blue side.
Joes radios 324.jpg
Joes radios 324.jpg [ 92.07 KiB | Viewed 1489 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 16a63 Stratosphere cabinet refinish
PostPosted: Sep Sun 24, 2017 10:11 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2544
Location: England
Very beautiful.

thanks for posting.

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 16a63 Stratosphere cabinet refinish ( COMPLETE )
PostPosted: Sep Sun 24, 2017 10:36 pm 
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Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1006
Location: Dallas Tx
Got up early to finish the Zenith Stratosphere , now with the cabinet complete I can start another McMurdo cabinet from Joe, I must say the Stratosphere is one amazing design from zenith. I gave it the best job that I know how to do, not every radio gets the special treatment, it took a lot of time to get it right and it shows. This isn't your ordinary radio. Thanks for looking.


Attachments:
joes radios 353.jpg
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File comment: Matched old color witch I thought was better than the zenith blue you normally see in other cabinets.
joes radios 351.jpg
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joes radios 360.jpg
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joes radios 386.jpg
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joes radios 348.jpg
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joes radios 379.jpg
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joes radios 412.jpg
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joes radios 413.jpg
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joes radios 401.jpg
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joes radios 392.jpg
joes radios 392.jpg [ 152.57 KiB | Viewed 1454 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 16a63 Stratosphere cabinet refinish ( COMPLETE )
PostPosted: Sep Mon 25, 2017 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 538
Location: Crossville, TN USA
Fred did an outstanding job on the Stratosphere and also on the McMurdo Silver cabinet. I'm very glad that I decided to bring these cabinets all the way ro Texas. I plan to write a story up on the restoration of both of these radios for Radio Age. Many thanks Fred.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 16a63 Stratosphere cabinet refinish ( COMPLETE )
PostPosted: Sep Mon 25, 2017 5:43 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2544
Location: England
Close to an 800 mile drive each way Joe and 11 hours driving. Looks a straight route though.

But you did the right thing and made an excellent choice.

Top work, from a top guy who has the experience and a proper shop to work in.

Beautiful result, you must be most pleased.

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 16a63 Stratosphere cabinet refinish ( COMPLETE )
PostPosted: Sep Mon 25, 2017 6:57 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 765
Location: Southwestern,Ontario Canada
Fred, your workmanship is amazing. The radio is unbelievably gorgeous, Joe is a lucky guy and I'm sure will admire your work for a long time to come. I know the woodworking industry is coming out with a lot of new glues. Could you elaborate on this "new glue" you used for the iron-on veneer process ? I'd like to order some and give it a try on a radio that needs it. I've tried using white glue, and it works,.. but it could be better.
Thanks for the photos,keep 'em coming.
Tony


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 16a63 Stratosphere cabinet refinish ( COMPLETE )
PostPosted: Sep Tue 26, 2017 1:35 am 
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Joined: Jun Sun 03, 2012 12:40 am
Posts: 716
Location: Cromwell, Connecticut
What can I say? Absolutely beautiful! Your work just keeps getting better and better. I'll bet Joe can't wait to get it home.

_________________
Tony

People may not remember how fast you did a job, but they will remember how well you did it.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 16a63 Stratosphere cabinet refinish ( COMPLETE )
PostPosted: Sep Tue 26, 2017 12:32 pm 
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Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1006
Location: Dallas Tx
Tony F wrote:
Fred, your workmanship is amazing. The radio is unbelievably gorgeous, Joe is a lucky guy and I'm sure will admire your work for a long time to come. I know the woodworking industry is coming out with a lot of new glues. Could you elaborate on this "new glue" you used for the iron-on veneer process ? I'd like to order some and give it a try on a radio that needs it. I've tried using white glue, and it works,.. but it could be better.
Thanks for the photos,keep 'em coming.
Tony

Hi Tony , thank you for the complements . The veneer glue I'm using is called Heatlock. Look it up on internet. (www.joeworkworker.com) he sells it. You can get a pint to start with to see if you like it and I would recommend getting a special roller for application.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 16a63 Stratosphere cabinet refinish ( COMPLETE )
PostPosted: Sep Tue 26, 2017 3:02 pm 
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Joined: Nov Mon 05, 2007 11:08 pm
Posts: 2373
Location: Calgary Alberta
You have done it again Fred.. I can't say much more than '' fantastic job.''. The link you posted about the heat glue can't be displayed. I think it was on account of misspelling
Here is the link I found '''Joe woodworker.

https://www.joewoodworker.com/veneering ... eering.htm

Dan in Calgary


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 16a63 Stratosphere cabinet refinish ( COMPLETE )
PostPosted: Sep Wed 27, 2017 4:52 am 
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Joined: Jan Sat 01, 2011 9:10 pm
Posts: 252
Location: Temple, GA
Wow Fred!!!!...incredible job. Absolutely beautiful.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 16a63 Stratosphere cabinet refinish ( COMPLETE )
PostPosted: Sep Thu 28, 2017 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Mar Sat 02, 2013 5:43 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Ummmmm yeah, I'm going to have to stop by the shop and hang out for a little bit!! Awesome Job!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 16a63 Stratosphere cabinet refinish ( COMPLETE )
PostPosted: Sep Thu 28, 2017 8:11 pm 
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Joined: Jul Thu 14, 2011 4:39 am
Posts: 46
Location: Springfield Ohio
Good grief Fred! I probably have as much an auto painting experience as you BUT, clue me in as to how you got from there to here. Unless, of course, it's one of our painter's secrets.

Larry KC8KEF


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 16a63 Stratosphere cabinet refinish ( COMPLETE )
PostPosted: Sep Fri 29, 2017 12:44 am 
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Joined: Jun Thu 05, 2008 6:28 pm
Posts: 444
Location: Santa Rosa Ca
Super Job!


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 16a63 Stratosphere cabinet refinish ( COMPLETE )
PostPosted: Oct Thu 12, 2017 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3498
Location: McPherson, Kansas
That's a WOW!


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 16a63 Stratosphere cabinet refinish ( COMPLETE )
PostPosted: Oct Fri 13, 2017 1:56 am 
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Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1006
Location: Dallas Tx
[quote="kc8kef"]Good grief Fred! I probably have as much an auto painting experience as you BUT, clue me in as to how you got from there to here. Unless, of course, it's one of our painter's secrets.

Larry KC8KEF[/quot


Always loved the antique radios Larry, the skills I learned from refinishing autos I also applied those on wood. It is some what different but as an auto painter yourself should be easier for you to master.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 16a63 Stratosphere cabinet refinish ( COMPLETE )
PostPosted: Oct Sat 14, 2017 6:35 am 
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Joined: Nov Tue 18, 2014 9:18 pm
Posts: 461
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
Fred - looks like you have a full career working out on this and you should, you are amazing at refinishing. Very impressed and almost always lurking your threads. Keep at it and discriminating customers who haven't found you yet will find you soon.

Cheers,

Bosch

_________________
Fast is only good if you don't have to start over.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 16a63 Stratosphere cabinet refinish ( COMPLETE )
PostPosted: Oct Sun 15, 2017 1:41 am 
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Joined: Mar Sat 06, 2010 3:37 am
Posts: 986
Location: Broadview Hts. / NE Ohio
Joe I saw your radios in person today with Fred. Excellent job and attention to detail.

Can't wait to see the sets all put back together. The Ebony McMurdo is stunning.

Lenny


Joezenithman wrote:
Fred did an outstanding job on the Stratosphere and also on the McMurdo Silver cabinet. I'm very glad that I decided to bring these cabinets all the way ro Texas. I plan to write a story up on the restoration of both of these radios for Radio Age. Many thanks Fred.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith 16a63 Stratosphere cabinet refinish ( COMPLETE )
PostPosted: Nov Thu 23, 2017 5:15 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 538
Location: Crossville, TN USA
I drove back to Texas to attend the VRPS event last week and picked up my three radios from Fred Taylor. Needless to say the quality of the work exceeded my wildest expectations. Fred did an outstanding job on the Stratosphere, the Mc Murdo Silver Bristol (which was almost a basket case), and the Mc Murdo Silver Ebony Norwich cabinets. The Stratosphere and the Norwich are now residing in the Living Room. I will get these all back together in the next few weeks and will post pictures.

As a point of interest, the Mc Murdo Silver Bristol cabinet has a restored Masterpiece V with the original Jensen Little Giant 18 inch speaker. Sadly the Norwich is missing its Little Giant which is most likely residing in the Orient. Both of these chassis were restored by master restoration expert Cliff Hensley, and he made a special chassis (picture forthcoming) containing resistors to substitute for the two field coils in the Masterpiece VI and a large output transformer on it with an output for an 8-ohm speaker. I just ordered an 18-inch PM speaker for the Norwich.

The restoration of both the cabinet and the chassis of these radios will be documented in a future issue of Radio Age. Stay tuned!

Outstanding work Fred and Cliff.


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