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Re-new a vintage radio and restore its gleam.

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Picture of Re-new a vintage radio and restore its gleam.
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This is a 1950ish Firestone radio alarm clock. I found this at a flea market and got an excellent deal. I did not know if it worked or not and I didn't care, I saw potential in it right away. When I got it home, I plugged it in to see if it worked or not. It made a humming noise right away. Not a "radio" noise, but a mechanical noise. I found that that was the clock running.
After about 1 or 2 minutes all the sudden I heard radio noise, a quick tune got many different talk radio station. It sounded awful, but, none the less, it still worked. So for now, I decided to simply clean and polish the entire thing to bring it back to its original (as original as possible) glory...
 
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Step 1: Carefully take it apart

Picture of Carefully take it apart
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Look the unit over carefully. Check the knobs as well, those are the first to come off. Some knobs have set screws. Most pull off with a little force...
Find the screws that putt the radio guts out. Mine has three located on the bottom. after I remover those I pulled the entire radio out and had to unplug the clock cable from the main radio tray. After that I removed 2 nuts holding the clock in place via a bracket. Whenever possible I find it a good habit to place the screws nuts and bolts back in the holes after you remove the parts you are removing.
I also removed the metal face plate and glass dome from the clock face by bending the small tabs out, on the back of the clock face.

After I removed all the inside parts its time to move on...
DanW137 months ago
For Your ring issue, Try a product called Tarnex tht you would dip the piece in a Water like solution to clean the tarnish, or there's another product (can't recall the name) but it comes in a small round Dark Blue metal container and it has a (Cotton/Wool) like material tht is laced with a Cleaner/Polishing agent tht would be gentle on the surfaced to be polished. If I ever come across the name I'll let you know.

Once polished and or cleaned to your liking, you can buy a can of Spray Laquer made by many different Brand's i.e Minwax….Give it a topcoat allow to dry (usually within 30 MInutes to cure, sand lightly & recoat for a final finish.
I can't really tell from the pictures but the outside ring looks like a copper tone paint. If this is the case you could find a typeface that resembles the closest to the numbers and print them onto sticky labels, then carefully cut them out and stick them onto your dial. Lightly spray a copper tone paint onto the dial and when dry, peel off the numbers and this should bring the dial a treat. The numbers could also be laser cut from vinyl at a printers if you wanted them to be more precise...hope this helps!
stephenniall10 months ago
This looks great !

Although I've been told not to use dishwasher soap with Bakelite as it dulls the effect, although that could be wrong !
SlickSqueegie (author)  stephenniall10 months ago
You may be correct in this... I did use a mild soap, nothing harsh, and very dilute... If it did dull it, you could not tell because it came so much cleaner. and after I buffed it, it gleamed...
not if you use a diluted solution. I use 2 to 3 parts water to 1 part ketchup. I have used it in several restoration projects.
I'll have to try that then. Thanks for the tip. Maybe I'll do an instructable on it. I'll throw you some credit if I do.
great job. for the metal face ring try a diluted solution of water and ketchup. let it soak then wipe with a clean cloth.
Thanks, Won't that eat away everything down to bare metal?
lmnopeas10 months ago
I obsessed with antiques! This is so cool!
SlickSqueegie (author)  lmnopeas10 months ago
Thank you, Im glad you enjoyed this instructable.
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