Services We Offer

Whether you buy a radio from us, or have us restore one that you already own, our goal is the same, to preserve the character of the piece that you have, and yet return it to like new condition.  That means that the electronics of the piece are much better than they were when it was first manufactured because of the quality of the parts that are now available.  The furniture portion is restored so as to preserve the patina of the finish and yet make it so that it is something that becomes a valued piece of furniture, much like a family heirloom, which in some cases, it already is.  Below you'll find details as to what each part of a restoration means.  Enjoy!

One question that Is asked often is "what do you work on?"  I work on any radio that was sold for home use, be they console (floor model) table (cathedral, tombstone) or specialty (chairside or grandfather/grandmother) and were built in the 1930's '40's and even early 50's. I also work on auto radios.  So the radio that came out of your 1934 Ford pick-up that you're restoring is welcome.  What I don't do most generally are communication radios.  They are found in ham radio stations and the like.  They were made by companies like Hallicrafters, National, Hammarlund, etc.  That is not to say that I NEVER do them, but they are not something that I routinely do.  Something else that I do not do is convert an early auto radio to AM/FM/Cassette/CD units.  I know people that do that as a matter of  course and usually I would refer you to them.  I don't generally work on solid state radios (transistor) from any era.  When I do a radio/phono combination unit, the phono restoration part of the project gets referred to Gary Stork of V-M Audio Enthusiastes.  He is set up to do the work needed to put the turntable and the cartridge of the unit back in top shape for you so it's as reliable as I've made the radio.  In short, I stick to what I know best and have parts and service info for.  If you're still not sure about what you have, then send me an e-mail or give me a call on the phone and we'll talk about it.  Thanks!!!

CHASSIS

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

RESTORATION

  

  

  

  

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Most radios I see are 70 years old or thereabouts.  That means that the components "under the hood" have outlived their design life. Those parts (called capacitors and resistors) have become unusable due to heat, moisture and many years of use.  Some radio manufacturers used rubber insulated wire and  the insulation is falling off, which can create a fire hazard if not repaired properly.  Vacuum tubes become weak or otherwise unserviceable and may need to be replaced as well.  In order to make an antique radio work as it should, those "discreet components" need to be replaced.  In my shop those things get replaced as a matter of course.  In addition, for safety, new line cords and fuses are installed.  All transformers and coils in the set are checked and replaced if necessary.  The metal chassis itself gets cleaned and the paint or plating of the metal is repaired if necessary.  The speaker gets a thorough inspection and is reconed if necessary and if it needs new wiring it gets that too.  Rubber mounts and isolators are replaced so that the chassis doesn't create rattles when the set it playing and so the dial and control shafts line up in the cabinet holes.  All controls and switches are cleaned and lubricated.  The point of all this is so that I don't get a phone call or e-mail from you, the customer, to tell me that your radio just quit working.  My goal here is to not here from you, unless you want to buy another radio, or just to say HI.  This is an instance where "no news is good news!".

CABINET 

  

  

  

  

  

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Working with wood is fun but always a challenge.  Some manufacturers built very good cabinetry (RCA, GE, Wells-Gardner) and some weren't so good.  The price a set brings nowadays has little to do with the quality of the cabinet.  It's more eye-appeal.  Never-the-less, if the cabinet needs work, it's restored as close to original as is reasonably possible.  Many sets that I see have loose veneer, water damage and ply and joint separation issues and worse.  I've taken in consoles that had veneer hanging in ribbons.  It's still fixable, for a price.  Here in western Michigan we have some real craftsman from the wood furniture industry that are capable of repairing much of that kind of thing and bringing back to life what would otherwise become firewood.  The people who do my cabinet work use repair techniques that the fine furniture industry perfected years ago and we also use the original finishes (nitro-cellulose lacquer) to restore the cabinets.  If we need to strip a cabinet and start over, we're careful not to pull the filler out of the wood and try to use period veneer to match any repairs made so that they blend in and look authentic.  Any hardware that gets replaced is done with the idea that it needs to match what was used when the cabinet was made.  At the same time, we use authentic grille cloth that matches what the manufacturer used when the radio was built.  It costs a little more, but it looks correct when it done.  The appearance is what's important here and you want it right.  That's what we're after and it's not that hard to do.

  

Golden Antique Radio Service

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