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 Post subject: Should I refinish this?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 11, 2021 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Feb Mon 25, 2019 12:43 am
Posts: 170
Location: Minneapolis, MN 55414
Hello,

I just bought this RCA Super VIII for $10. It seems complete except for tubes, batteries, and the paper dials (I have the back panels). The finish was originally semigloss but has since alligatored and darkened. Should I refinish this piece or is it historic enough that I should leave it as is? Also, is this radio new enough to have a lacquer finish or is it shellac?

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1A1IB8E ... sp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1k0jJsB ... sp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UBmiQu ... sp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1998zWz ... sp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/15Ss4tS ... sp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/12qjCOw ... sp=sharing

Does anyone know how to embed images from a google drive? This is the best I can do so far.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I refinish this?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 11, 2021 7:19 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 16897
Location: S. Dartmouth MA 02748-1225 USA
Not in a conventional way. The finish is tinted shellac, areas that are darker have toning in the shellac. Clean initially with mineral spirits on a dampened rag. Since the finish is also crazed, any other cleaner like Hand Jelly will penetrate the cracks and stain the wood so it will look like "webbing". Once cleaned with spirits. I would suggest using Howard's for neutral finish wipe on/off different rags for the different tones so not to smear color. That will re-amalgamate the shellac and close the pours in the finish. After Howard's, it is possible to French Polish, look up that online...

I am working on transferring images but it seems Google has encoded them.

I snagged one and converted another.

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The backs are missing, the driver for the bass horn is "different" and possibly better as it "looks" like a bipolar pin drive unit, better bass tones...

Very luck to find one WITH the large bass horn and the battery box. Backs are relatively easy to make.

I can't clearly see the battery harness...

It does appear the the Bass driver has an added terminals, possibly for an extension speaker. That may explain why the back is gone.

I have a BMP file of the paper inserts, if you need a copy I can email.

Such a deal too, I paid $75 for mine and that was '76...

I have refurbished several of these 6-tube v-cats, process is relatively simple as long as shortcuts are not made. V-99's are around at all kinds of prices but the best will be about $15 with dedicated looking. One CAN swap bases with a x-99... There are no suggested replacement tubes as all will have excessive gain for the circuits resulting in feedback or distortion.

There is a catacomb check list published by RCA, follow that using those old school instruments or a Simpson 260, note any failure as that will aid in later repair.

That is if one desires a functioning radio.

Chas

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Last edited by Chas on Sep Sat 11, 2021 7:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I refinish this?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 11, 2021 7:29 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3831
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
I would give it a good cleaning, and a coat of wax. Of course it needs new grille cloth.

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Andrew


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 Post subject: Re: Should I refinish this?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 11, 2021 9:08 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 39311
Location: SoCal, 91387
What a cool looking radio! You can always do a PrintScan, save the image in Paint, and then post it here. That's what I did.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I refinish this?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 11, 2021 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Feb Mon 25, 2019 12:43 am
Posts: 170
Location: Minneapolis, MN 55414
Thanks for the advice and information. I actually DO have both back covers but removed them for the photos. I like the ideas of cleaning, re-amalgamating it, and polishing—it seems like a good compromise.

I would be interested in the scans, but will need to get some proper paper for printing them.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I refinish this?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 11, 2021 10:38 pm 
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Joined: Feb Mon 25, 2019 12:43 am
Posts: 170
Location: Minneapolis, MN 55414
I’m very pleased with it and plan to get it working. Unfortunately the radio came with a mouse nest complete with a mouse skeleton (behind the chassis). I fear the bass horn might have doubled as an effective mouse trap. I don’t see any damage to the components related to the mouse, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I refinish this?
PostPosted: Sep Sun 12, 2021 6:33 am 
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Location: Baguio City, Philippines
If the finish is shellac (you can test by dipping your finger into denatured alcohol* and rubbing a small circle. If it is shellac it will start to feel sticky. Note: this will mar the finish, so do it in a place not too obvious) you can re-flow the original shellac by placing the surface flat, facing up (so the finish doesn't run) and brush a liberal coat of denatured alcohol* onto the finish and letting it sit. The alcohol will liquefy the finish allowing it to flow out evenly, and then the solvent will evaporate. You'll probably want to add a touch of new shellac once you're done to get an even finish overall. That is really easy to do using a French polishing technique.

*denatured alcohol apparently is no longer available in the US. You'll have to use whatever the replacement solvent is. Ask at your paint store.


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