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 Post subject: Front Panel Finish
PostPosted: Sep Fri 24, 2021 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Jul Tue 14, 2020 2:37 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Palos Verdes Peninsular, CA 90274
How is the front panel finish shown in the attached photo made?

It looks like the same sort of finish as on the front panel of the Hallicrafters S-28A.

Can this kind of finish be done at home or is it strictly a factory thing?

Max


Attachments:
General Raio Var Cap in Box, Cropped.jpg
General Raio Var Cap in Box, Cropped.jpg [ 636.42 KiB | Viewed 688 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Front Panel Finish
PostPosted: Sep Sat 25, 2021 4:11 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3063
Location: Cortez, Colorado
That's a crackle finish, you can replicate it with Titebond wood liquid hide glue.
http://www.titebond.com/_site/community/Crackling.aspx


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 Post subject: Re: Front Panel Finish
PostPosted: Sep Sat 25, 2021 5:51 am 
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Joined: Jul Tue 14, 2020 2:37 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Palos Verdes Peninsular, CA 90274
I looked at several YouTube videos on crackle finishes and am convinced that the front panel finish shown in the photo is definitely not the same as crackle finish. Note that all of the indentations in the finish shown in the sample photo form raised closed cells and there is only one color (black). Instead, the crackle finish produces random cracks in the top layer of paint that do not necessarily form closed cells. Also the main function of the crackling process seems to be to allow a contrasting first coat to show through the cracks in the first coat. There has to be some other method by which the finish was done on the SX-28A and the item in the sample photo. Max


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 Post subject: Re: Front Panel Finish
PostPosted: Sep Sat 25, 2021 6:23 am 
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Joined: Apr Sun 08, 2007 6:47 am
Posts: 4994
Location: British Columbia
Max Brandt wrote:
How is the front panel finish shown in the attached photo made?

It looks like the same sort of finish as on the front panel of the Hallicrafters S-28A.

Can this kind of finish be done at home or is it strictly a factory thing?

Max


That texture may actually be stamped into the panel, if it's aluminum, so the paint is just a regular enamel of some type.
Regards
Arran


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 Post subject: Re: Front Panel Finish
PostPosted: Sep Sat 25, 2021 6:45 pm 
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Joined: Jul Tue 14, 2020 2:37 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Palos Verdes Peninsular, CA 90274
Yes, The pattern could have been stamped or etched into the panel. However, someone would have to painstakingly make the stamping or etching pattern. It seems more likely to me that the pattern was produced by some natural random process and the radios with this sort of finish were made in the late 1930s, way before modern computers. Max


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 Post subject: Re: Front Panel Finish
PostPosted: Sep Sat 25, 2021 7:13 pm 
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Joined: Mar Sun 09, 2008 8:05 am
Posts: 597
Location: Santa Cruz, California
I think that finish is more properly referred to as "craquelure". I'm reminded specifically of the front panel finish on General Radio test equipment from the 30s and 40s when I see that.

Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Front Panel Finish
PostPosted: Sep Sat 25, 2021 10:00 pm 
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Joined: Jul Tue 14, 2020 2:37 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Palos Verdes Peninsular, CA 90274
Chris.
I looked at some YouTube videos on "craquelure" and that seems to be the answer. And yes, the photo I submitted is indeed a portion of the front panel of a General Radio variable "condenser". It is mounted in a wooden box as a piece of lab equipment and is presently for sale on eBay. Thanks for tip.
Max

Note: I have no connection with the eBay Sale. Max


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 Post subject: Re: Front Panel Finish
PostPosted: Sep Mon 27, 2021 6:03 pm 
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Joined: Mar Wed 16, 2011 10:44 pm
Posts: 2042
Location: Peekskill, NY
Some of the earlier hallicrafters panels were brass, with a chemically etched finish. The lettering was un-etched (raised from the background) using some kind of litho process. The effect is apparent on older panels with the paint worn off, this is an SX-11 panel:


Attachments:
fp_texture.JPG
fp_texture.JPG [ 592.39 KiB | Viewed 401 times ]
fp_litho_lettering.JPG
fp_litho_lettering.JPG [ 216.47 KiB | Viewed 401 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Front Panel Finish
PostPosted: Sep Tue 28, 2021 2:41 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2782
Location: Saskatoon
The ancient method of producing a crackle finish is to put a fast drying finish over top of a slow drying finish, before the slow drying finish has completely cured.


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 Post subject: Re: Front Panel Finish
PostPosted: Sep Wed 29, 2021 3:15 pm 
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Joined: Jul Tue 14, 2020 2:37 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Palos Verdes Peninsular, CA 90274
It is necessary to distinguish between crackle and craquelure. The finish on the General Radio and Hallicrafters panels is definitely not the former but instead has the randomly sized and shaped closed cells appearance of the latter. The craquelure two layer paint process is what I will use for my current radio project. However, it doesn't seem likely that this process was carried out on a production basis. I think there must have been some kind of masking and etching process. The proof would be to compare two identical production items and see if they have the identical pattern on their panels. Max


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 Post subject: Re: Front Panel Finish
PostPosted: Sep Wed 29, 2021 11:37 pm 
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Joined: Jun Wed 08, 2011 2:33 am
Posts: 12210
Location: Ohio 45177
That is why my AK 35 is still in storage after all these years. Figuring out the brown alligator skin finish replication. Or get perfect matching paint to painstakingly fill in the chips and missing spots. Well it is still a low priority.

_________________
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