Valve Radios

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An example of full restoration

This vintage radio came to me after being stored in a loft for about 30 years.  It wasn’t working, had rust to various parts, and the chassis and the case were also in a poor condition.  The electronic components had seen better days (some were unsafe), the tuning dial (the white drum) was distorted and brittle and the speaker cloth was ripped.  

The radio was stripped to it’s component parts and everything cleaned of rust, components were replaced as required and a new tuning dial was created by hand from a digital image of the old one.  The case was re-varnished and even the logo of the manufacturer was recreated.   The set was tested and aligned while out of the case, then left on soak for 24 hours before it was safety tested and returned to it’s case.

It is now a beautiful fully working radio, which will provide good service for many years to come, as well as making an interesting talking point!

Full Restoration

Full restoration involves stripping the entire radio down to  it’s component parts, replacing  anything that is damaged worn out or dangerous. Followed by a complete cosmetic overhaul of the case and other items, recreating items as necessary, e.g. tuning dials, logo’s etc.  The radio is then re-aligned, soak tested for a period of time, safety checked and finally re-assembled.  Depending on the condition of the original item this can be a lengthy process, and understandably this process does not suit everyone.  However if you want something that looks great and will last another 50 years then this is probably the process for you.

Minimal Restoration

Minimal restoration involves an electrical overhaul replacing any components that are dangerous or faulty, a good clean of the insides and also the case, testing, alignment and a safety check.  Items such as  tuning dials, logos, speaker cloth etc will not be recreated or replaced, so the radio will ‘show it’s age’.  This process can only be undertaken on sets that are not ‘too far gone’.  If you are happy to have a safe working radio that isn’t pristine, this is for you.

Choice Restoration

Choice restoration involves you choosing what level of restoration you want between minimal and full.  For example you may want the ‘visible items’ restored but are happy to have minimal restoration on the electronics and safety critical items.  This way it will look good, but the internals (which can’t be seen) will show their full age, additionally the set will be safe and working.