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 Post subject: Newby Q's: Procuring Dial Lenses/Covers for Emerson CY-286?
PostPosted: Jul Fri 07, 2017 11:33 am 
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Joined: Jun Thu 01, 2017 4:39 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Massachussetts
Hi Everyone,

I'm new to the forum but have been reading and learning from forum members for a while before joining. I'm excited to say that I've been bitten by the radio restoration bug and am excited to contribute where I can over time. I recently restored a fantastic Emerson CY-286 who's dial cover has ambered and cracked. While some people might like this look, I'd like to figure out where to either procure a dial cover for it or mold my own. I looked at the dialcover website but couldn't find my model and wasn't sure if I could substitute another model? Thanks very much in advance!

-Brian


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 Post subject: Re: Newby Q's: Procuring Dial Lenses/Covers for Emerson CY-2
PostPosted: Jul Fri 07, 2017 8:53 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 4541
Location: Charleston, W.Va.
Hi Brian and welcome to the forum!
I would encourage you to contact Mark Palmquist at http://www.dialcover.com/

Even if Mark does not list your radio, he is usually willing to make a custom dial cover for you, as per the following quote from his website:
"To order a custom made dial cover that is not on the list, simply send me the old dial cover or trace the outline of the dial opening in your radio on a piece of paper and mail to the address above. Also, estimate the depth of the dial cover, e.g. ¼ inch. Enter “Custom” in the text box if purchasing a custom dial cover with PayPal."

I would add this: Even though Mark says you can send him your old dial cover for reproduction, quite often these have shrunk in size. From my experience, best bet is to send him your old dial cover plus an actual tracing of the dial opening in your radio. Or, if your dial cover mounts into a metal or plastic escutcheon then send that to him and he will remount it into your escutcheon at no additional cost.

Mark is a great guy to deal with, and I am sure you will be pleased with your new dial cover.

_________________
Poston


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 Post subject: Re: Newby Q's: Procuring Dial Lenses/Covers for Emerson CY-2
PostPosted: Jul Sat 08, 2017 8:15 pm 
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Joined: Jul Tue 04, 2017 1:21 pm
Posts: 4
If you want to try molding your own, getting that puffed rectangle shape turns out to be not all that hard to do.

A couple of years ago, I restored the cabinet of a Truetone radio/phonograph. The dial glass was dirty, had gone amber, and had a big crack through one corner.

I'd looked at replacements available online, and while I think they are priced fair for what they are - low-volume bespoke specialty items - the idea of paying $20 for a thin little bit of plastic amped up my DIY drive.

I was thinking it was going to be a good excuse to build a vacuum table, and that I'd 3-D print a mold of the dial glass shape then find some clear thermoplastic online that I could vacuum down to the mold - the plastic and wood and pegboard for the vacuum box probably costing together more than $20. Before really diving into that I thought I'd give a shot to a cardboard press-mold.

As proof of concept I traced the opening in the cabinet onto a piece of cardboard and cut it out, following the rounded corners to form the outer/top mold. Then I traced inside of that about 3mm in, and cut that out for the plug mold. I stacked a couple of oblong pieces of cardboard on top of the plug mold, and wrapped it all in clear packing tape, which gave it roughly the curved shape of the dial glass.

I then cut out the back panel of a clear plastic clamshell package (Radio Shack heat shrink assortment package, ironically) and warmed it up with a heat gun. It didn't take long for it to get floppy, then I set it on the plug and pressed it down with the top mold. The first shot wasn't hot enough. Then I overheated it and it turned milky. I cut another piece of plastic, and and the results were good enough not just to prove out the method, but to use.

This is my replica dial glass cooling in the mold - the plug is pushing it up through the opening of the top mold:

Image

Here's the replica next to the original:

Image

As you can see in the reflections, the curve isn't quite as perfect as the original, and that top edge radius isn't as tight as if it were vacuformed like the original, but in the cabinet, no one has noticed.

The whole process took less than 15 minutes start-to-finish as my test-shot before going to the full-blown computer modeling / 3D-printing / vacuum table route, and cost literally nothing because it was all scrap I had on hand.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Newby Q's: Procuring Dial Lenses/Covers for Emerson CY-2
PostPosted: Jul Tue 18, 2017 9:02 pm 
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Joined: Jun Thu 01, 2017 4:39 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Massachussetts
Thanks so much everyone! Very very helpful and so sorry for the delayed response here. I'm still getting used to this forum. Bill, your technique looks AMAZING! I'm going to see what I can pull off with the cardboard technique looks great and I'm encouraged by the result. Thanks again, everyone. I'll try some DIY and post back about my result.

Best,

-Brian


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