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 Post subject: Cabinet restoration of Zenith 6s340
PostPosted: May Mon 14, 2018 12:59 am 
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Location: Fresno, CA
So when this radio first appeared on these message boards She looked something like this:
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After first cleanup:
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After "the treatment":
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Progress but three big issues:
1. The finish on the top is almost non-existent. I am lucky I don't get splinters when I rub my hand across the top.
2. The "barrel spokes" were cheaply stained a very dark brown color after purchase:
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3. The grill cloth is a cheaply made replacement.

I was hoping this would be minimal work. But the dark brown is really unacceptable so I feel I will need to sand and refinish the whole cabinet.

Any ideas of Mohawk toner and lacquer colors to employ? Has anyone done a cabinet restore of this model that can provide me guidance?

Thank you!
Shawn


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 Post subject: Re: Cabinet restoration of Zenith 6s340
PostPosted: May Fri 18, 2018 9:25 am 
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A difficult one to refinish unless you are lucky and the grill bars are removable. Could be held with wood screws from the inside?

For the bars, without seeing the piece, or a better one, I would look at Extra Dark Walnut which is of the obliterating type ("Tone Toner"). For the rest and lighter pieces, I don't like rattle cans apart from those that are very light such as Golden Oak? which is a "Classic Toner". Use stain, very much thinned and artist oil paints myself.

Sure someone will come up with some pics of a good one to base colours on.

But you have come a long way, so GL with the rest.

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Cabinet restoration of Zenith 6s340
PostPosted: May Sat 26, 2018 5:45 am 
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Slow going on this cabinet restoration. I got the speaker grille backing off and alas no screws for the spindles:


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The more I look at it, the more I dislike thick dark stain on the middle section. Luckily I don't think it was stripped - I think they just slapped the stain on top of the lacquer which might be a saving grace not damaging the original color of the wood.

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Here is an example of what a 6s340 should look like:

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I've got to figure out about what color for the speaker grille fabric. The grille fabric I removed reminded me of the texture wall paper popular in the 1960s:

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The original grille clothe design is not in production:

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I've been told I should go with a "Zenith Gold" but I think I want to stick with more of a taupe color. Any thoughts?

Shawn


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Last edited by shawn1967 on May Sat 26, 2018 7:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Cabinet restoration of Zenith 6s340
PostPosted: May Sat 26, 2018 6:43 am 
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Location: Nr London, England, SS1 3PT
Lucky that it should be all one colour at the bottom for toning once you get the stuff off the bars.

Yes! I agree gold would be too in the face as there is such a lot of it. Something more staid would be better, taupe may be just right.

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Cabinet restoration of Zenith 6s340
PostPosted: May Sat 26, 2018 7:52 am 
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Thanks Gary! An example of one with a gold grille..blech...IMHO.
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 Post subject: Re: Cabinet restoration of Zenith 6s340
PostPosted: May Tue 29, 2018 2:53 pm 
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I tone my grill cloth. It makes it look much nicer with the bronze coloring.

As for the OP... I never strip and sand. I use lacquer thinner, #0000 wool, and toothbrushes. If you cant get the bars off then thinner is the way to go.

:)

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 Post subject: Re: Cabinet restoration of Zenith 6s340
PostPosted: May Tue 29, 2018 3:11 pm 
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Location: Nr London, England, SS1 3PT
Don't tone the grill cloth …

But +1 on stripping the original finish.

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Cabinet restoration of Zenith 6s340
PostPosted: May Wed 30, 2018 12:20 am 
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Dont tone the grill cloth why?

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I'm not a hoarder.. I am a collector of piles of stuff. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Cabinet restoration of Zenith 6s340
PostPosted: May Wed 30, 2018 8:07 am 
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Location: Nr London, England, SS1 3PT
Never felt the need. Usually I can get something I like and even if it is a little bright at first it soon ages down.

Would worry that toner might clog the pores. A lot that is sold is too dense anyway and if the radio has bass flaps along with the music.

Heard of folks trying coffee to tone cloth down a little but with modern synthetic materials I'm doubtful that works as the fibres dont absorb.


Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Cabinet restoration of Zenith 6s340
PostPosted: Jun Fri 15, 2018 4:02 pm 
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Location: Horse Shoe NC 28742
I have a similar issue. I have a majestic 666 I have included pictures of the original grill cloth which I would
say is bronze bars on brown background; not exactly a herringbone pattern. I'm not sure if I can find a match
from the suppliers out there. Looking for solutions.
Thanks in advance for any help guidance


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 Post subject: Re: Cabinet restoration of Zenith 6s340
PostPosted: Aug Mon 20, 2018 3:35 am 
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Location: Fresno, CA
Ok I have begun removing the lacquer, with citristrip kept from drying to quickly with saran wrap and lacquer thinner. Pros thoughts welcome...


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 Post subject: Re: Cabinet restoration of Zenith 6s340
PostPosted: Sep Fri 07, 2018 10:22 pm 
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Spindle citristrip hell...


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 Post subject: Re: Cabinet restoration of Zenith 6s340
PostPosted: Nov Thu 08, 2018 1:19 am 
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Help! I have stripped and stripped but seems like whoever refinished this literally tattooed the wood with stain. There troubled areas are in the solid wood portions of the cabinet. Its like he used a rough sander and then filled it in with thick stain. Is it appropriate to fine sand these areas to get the gouges/tattooing off the wood? See pictures


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 Post subject: Re: Cabinet restoration of Zenith 6s340
PostPosted: Nov Thu 08, 2018 10:01 am 
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Location: Nr London, England, SS1 3PT
You are certainly a hero Shawn. That's a real tough one.

For me the way forward now is to decide if you want it to look like an original one or just attractive enough to have around. The first is hard, possibly impossible, for an amateur, bearing in mind the condition. I would go for the second option.

Now is the wood between the bars solid or veneered? If the latter then you cant do much sanding. Even getting it flat if solid will be difficult as the surfaces will dish inwards as you try to flat.

What you could do is fill carefull the abused wood between the bars with Bondo! Yes Bondo and then sand flat. Now spray the areas and the bars with a Mohawk Tone Toner. Now I'm going to quote from an article I wrote as it will save me a lot of typing:

Most of the wounds were to the sides and were filled with car body filler which really hangs in there particularly if near an edge. They would need touching up with artists oil paints before final spraying. The front and sides were probably given a rub over with thinned walnut stain.

There was damage to the box wood front corners, and after filling and sanding smooth, I sprayed them with Mohawk Light Walnut Tone Toner; this is the type that is obliterating. For me it was a bad colour as it came out too yellow and looked almost painted. It was adjusted with artist’s oil paint and lacquer using a Raw Umber that was dragged along it with a rag to make tiny grain lines. I’m happy with the result.

The grill bars were sprayed with a Dark Mahogany toner, again of the obliterating type, but this came out too chocolate and I didn’t like it. So it was taken off and done in the same way as the cabinet corners as was the top. The top had been a cheap wood that had been sprayed with a solid colour so this was in keeping with the original.

Finally the whole radio was lacquered with Mohawk 75-80 sheen lacquer a
nd after a couple of weeks rubbed out in the normal way.

You can read about the "Artists Oil paint Method" on the Forum. It takes a little practice but for your job you are only using it as a detail. The main colour is from the toner. So when you are doing the detail that will be well dry and so if you don't like what you have done just wipe the artists paint off with Mineral Spirits and try again.

Now for some pics... 1000 words and all that
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Does it look as good as the pics? I think so and the toned and paint areas look a fair mimic to box wood.

Don't use cheap oil paint: Windsor and Newton is great. And practice on some scrap prepared wood first. Of course you can try other colour toners and paints.

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Cabinet restoration of Zenith 6s340
PostPosted: Jun Mon 29, 2020 11:19 pm 
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Zombie Thread!! In all seriousness I've moved back to tackling this beast. Last night I put timberline white grain filler...on the top of the radio. After drying and sanding with 400 grit this is what it looks like...am I on the right track?

Shawn


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 Post subject: Re: Cabinet restoration of Zenith 6s340
PostPosted: Jun Tue 30, 2020 8:14 am 
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Location: Nr London, England, SS1 3PT
There still seems to me a lot of excess grain filler on that top? Doesnt have much grain does it. What are you going to refinish it in? What colour and and shade is it going to be?

If its veneer take care particularly near the edges: extra sanding and its easy to go thru :|

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Cabinet restoration of Zenith 6s340
PostPosted: Jul Wed 01, 2020 11:52 pm 
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Radio Fixer wrote:
There still seems to me a lot of excess grain filler on that top? Doesnt have much grain does it. What are you going to refinish it in? What colour and and shade is it going to be?

If its veneer take care particularly near the edges: extra sanding and its easy to go thru :|

Gary


All good questions. I am posting a picture post grain filling and sanding after wiping it with mineral spirits. I will like do an initial wiping stain and then a coat or two of toned lacquer followed by clear coat lacquer which will likely be in a high gloss on the top. Tomorrow I will be experimenting on some wood scraps with the staining color and tone lacquer combination.


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 Post subject: Re: Cabinet restoration of Zenith 6s340
PostPosted: Jul Thu 02, 2020 7:43 am 
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Location: Nr London, England, SS1 3PT
Beware of aerosol tone lacquer in dark shades. It will come out looking like pepper as the droplet sizes are large. If you have a spray gun then this is not a problem.

The cans are OK if you just use light tones like Golden Oak etc.

Like that you are experimenting on scrap: way to go.

GL Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Cabinet restoration of Zenith 6s340
PostPosted: Jul Sat 04, 2020 11:12 pm 
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Progress! So I created my own stain by mixing 6 parts of Golden Oak three parts a gun stock two parts red mahogany and 1 part special Walnut. After application realized that the white grain fill did not absorb the stain well at all. Place to another layer of Walnut colored grain fill and sanded it. That mitigated the color of the grain fill. That applied one more coat of wiping stain and then did mohawk Golden Oak toner. Very pleased.


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