Picked up this 1935 Crosley Gallion radio on Craigslist for $50. Its a small, light weight, and easy to work on project. This is the 4th one I have made using various makes and years radios, so I have some ideas of how to make these transition from radio to wine bar.
I removed the chassis and speaker board using the old fashioned standard screw driver. As can be seen, the finish was shot but the cabinet has "good bones" with no veneer issues.
My objective was to make this not only an attractive display / conversation piece but also an all inclusive functional wine bar; with space for wine bottles, wine glasses and charms. In order to accomplish this, I decided to only have wine bottles in the lower half and would need to cut the top for access to the radio chassis area for glass storage. The round dial opening lends itself perfectly to a small Ihome wireless blue tooth speaker.
Step 1: Cutting the Top
Cutting the top is a one shot deal, meaning if you mess up, it could be over! I measured and re-measured and drew lines for where my cuts needed to be made. I used an oscillating cutter with a small 1 inch blade and gently guided it to start my cuts. Letting the tool do the work, I continued to deepen the cuts as I went along. I had to cut the front, back and the two sides through 3/4 inch stock. (The actual top is only 1/4 inch veneered plywood). The pictures above are obviously after the cuts, some sanding and hinging to the back cross brace.
Step 2: The Wine Bottle Holder and Interior Work
After opening access from the top to the chassis area, I replaced the shelf using 1/2 inch plywood covered in cork for a better look when the glasses go in. I fabricated the wine holders cross pieces using 3/4 inch pine, sanded and stained a dark walnut. I used a 3 1/2 inch hole cutter to cut a complete circle out of a piece of 1 x 6 3/4 pine. I then ripped it down the middle splitting the circles into two pieces. The spacing between the holes was determined based upon the spacing needed to put bottles through the front of the radio. The front wine holders were made in the same manner using a 1 1/2 inch hole cutter. The lighting is Home Depot under-cabinet LEDs lighting. The little shelf for the speaker was 1/2 inch plywood made to fit the speaker snugly and was screwed to the shelf.
Step 3: Refinishing
I hand sanded the entire radio. I was scared off using a palm sander as I didn't want to burn through the veneer. After sanding, I finished the radio using a light brown and a dark brown Bri Wax finish. Its much faster and easier than trying to spray on a poly finish with dust issues etc. It provides a nice finish which can be re-applied in the future for touch-ups or to freshen up the look. I re-attached the original knobs by cutting the heads off of threaded bolts and gluing them into the knob using the expandable gorilla glue. I then put a washer on them and a nut from the inside which is out of sight for the most part when looking into the radio. I used brass polish to put a shine on the original circular dial surround.
Step 4: The Finished Project!
The final step was gluing a wine block with a witty phrase to the inside top after first drilling and screwing in 5/8 inch cup hooks for the wine charms. The charms stay on the hooks, whether the top is open or closed, by installing the hooks' openings facing the back.
The final project as shown is a one of a kind functional and great conversation piece. Time for a beer ( I dont drink wine)!!!