1936 Philco Radio Wine Bar

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Introduction: 1936 Philco Radio Wine Bar

About: Idea Man, Jack of all trades, Master of none. Have gun will travel. Sometimes nothing is a real cool hand. Shoot the three and play no D.

This is a 1936 Model 660 Philco which was purchased on Craigslist in non working condition. ( I resold the works on CL so as not to trash them). It has great art deco lines but needed a full sanding and refinishing. The following are a general overview of the steps taken to transition it to wine bar!

Step 1: De-constructed and Ready to Go

I removed the carriage and speaker leaving only the empty cabinet. The radio had 3 wood posts in the front. Two of these need to be taken off, cut, and portions put back to complete the look.

Step 2: Re-working the Vertical Posts

I cut the tops and bottoms from two of the posts and replaced them. I inverted the bottom portions which worked out fine. The tops portions had to be filed and sanded to be shaped before reinstalling.

Step 3: Cutting the Top

The top had to be cut to allow access into what was the carriage area of the radio. This was done with a jigsaw after first removing the back cross brace member. It was then triple hinged to this same cross brace. On older models, the tops were thicker 3/4" veneered wood. (on newer models the tops are 1/4" veneered plywood which doesnt alway allow for cutting and hinging).

Step 4: Wine Brackets and Inside Shelf Install

The wine holders were pine, drilled with a 3 1/4" hole cutter and then ripped down the middle on a table saw. This provides 2 holders for each piece cut. The front wine brackets were made the same way using a 1 1/2" hole cutter. The shelf was 1/2" plywood which was eventually double covered with cork.

Step 5: Refinishing

I sanded the entire radio and refinished with dark and light brown Bri Wax. I purchased online the "philco" replacement sticker which was put on the final after waxing. I installed under-cabinet LED lights purchased at Home Depot. I installed a 1/4" plywood back, stained dark walnut.

Step 6: Put It All Together and Fill It Up

  • I dont have pictures in process order but the final result is a fine looking and functiional conversation piece.

Step 7: Installing a Brass Opener Hook

The top had to be chiseled out to allow for installation of a brass recessed opener purchased from Rockler Woodworking. This was done very carefully as there was very little room for error.

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    2 Discussions

    This a really cool way to re-purpose an old radio. Have you considered putting the knobs to use and installing an MP3 player so it can play music again too?

    1 reply

    Yes, i have but im not electronically inclined. In one of my conversions i installed an ihome blue tooth speaker as the radio lent itself to installing it. Thanks