The Restoration of my old Philco Radio - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-16-2011, 08:35 AM   #1
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Name: Robert
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The Restoration of my old Philco Radio

As a child, I spent countless hours sitting in front of our old Philco. I can't remember when it came into our home, but it had to have been around 1945, and it had to have come into our home as a 'used' radio; my parents could have not afforded to purchase such a radio new! The radio made many moves with us and I can remember my family still having it in 1957; after that, I have no idea where it went.

The death of both of my parents this past January caused me to renew my efforts to find an old Philco identical to the one we used to have. Through an internet Forum, and other resources, it was easy for me to identify the old family Philco as a 41-280... now I could start an intellegent search!

A couple of months ago, I located one in Austin, Texas and my son was gracious enough to pick it up for me and bring it to the Fort Worth area. I immediately set about the restoration process... I would "restore" the cabinet, and Randal Walls, of Texas Vintage Audio in San Angelo, Texas would restore the chassis.

In my restoration of the cabinet, I completely disassembled the whole thing! The curved side panels had to be completely re-veneered as did a couple of the top pieces. The old finish was a lost cause, so I did my best to achieve a decent effect with stains after laboriously removing all the original finish with acetone-soaked paper towels. I know that my work will probably offend those who are the real 'purist' in this hobby (and rightly so!), but I worked within my abilities and the end product satisfies my sensibilties. And that's good enough for me. I tried to make my own call letters 'tabs,' but frankly, they aren't very good... perhaps I can find some originals on eBay or somewhere. Also, I am missing four of the little oval-head screws that hold the eschutchon to he front panel... that may turn out to be a real 'quest.'

Mr. Walls did a great - and remarkably thorough - job with the electronics... I am deligted! It plays very well... I can't wait to hook up a long wire antenna and see how it behaves on SW.

Yesterday, I married the freshly restored cabinet with the resurrected electronics... it is now a treasure for me and my wife!

Cheers!

Rob
Attached Thumbnails
Restored Philco 41-280.jpg   Restored Philco 41-280 Chassis.1080.jpg  

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Old 12-16-2011, 05:23 PM   #2
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Beautiful! You can buy the tabs online...somewhere... I saw them when researching a radio my son was gifted. I don't remember the model his is but it is but very similar to yours.
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:18 PM   #3
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Wow,
Was it hard to find tubes?
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:31 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Wow,
Was it hard to find tubes?

CPAHarley,

Nope, but I cheated... the restorer provided the new tubes. You might check with him at http://www.texasvintageaudio.com/index.html ... I'm sure he could either provide you with tubes or point you in the right direction to source your own. He's a good guy to work with!

Rob
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:01 AM   #5
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That is beautiful Philco! It reminds me of Sunday dinner at grandmas, we would finish eating and then to the floor to listen to old time music. On Saturday morning we would go over and listen the Lone Ranger, Big John and Sparky, and Our Club. Thanks for the memories.

Jim
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:10 AM   #6
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Brings back visions of my Grandpa. Back in the 40's he had one similar to yours in the corner of the dining room and after Sunday supper all stopped so that he could listen to Amos and Andy.
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:42 AM   #7
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great project... I've seen many of these over the years and never thought of bringing one back to life. would be a rewarding project
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:54 AM   #8
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Wow - that reminds me of something my sister and I had to do many many years ago. We would visit our two very old (well,they looked old to us) aunts in Worcester, Massachusetts and every night at 6 pm we would be required to kneel in front of the radio and listen to someone reciting the rosary. We would hold the beads and almost fall over by the time we were finished. Why we had to look at the radio I don't know. I don't think they got a TV until the late 60's.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:48 PM   #9
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Rob there really isn't anything better than music from a tube radio. Looks like a great job.here is a link you might not have found yet: Antique Electronic Supply
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:10 PM   #10
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Rob there really isn't anything better than music from a tube radio. Looks like a great job.here is a link you might not have found yet: Antique Electronic Supply

Good evening, GregD

I agree about "tubes" being pretty darned close to magic! When I fire up my main audio system, thirty-eight vacuum tubes are the things that make the music (I can just about heat the house with this rig!). The new vinyl - much of it 180 or 200-gram vinyl pressings - are simply wonderful, and going through the Audio Research and Sonic Frontiers "tube gear" they provide a realism that is difficult to match.

Thanks for the cool link... as you might suspect, I know those guys well $$$

All the best!

Rob







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Old 12-27-2011, 09:22 PM   #11
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Tube amplifiers for musicians (Guitar) are on the way back and in demand for their great sound. (and expensive)
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