Brand: Philco Radio &
Telev. Corp. Year
Of Manufacture: 1939 Frequency Range(s): 540 - 1600KC, 1.6 - 3.3 MC
Tube lineup: 84
Rectifier, 41 Output, 75 1st Audio, 37 2nd Det/AVC, 78 I.F.,
Schematic: Available here,
courtesy of Nostalgia Air.
This one was
purchased at a CARS meet in Florence , Kentucky in June of
2002. The price was rather cheap at only $15. This
radio, along with my Philco 42-PT95
and RCA 25-BT2 followed me home from that
The condition of this radio was not quite "basket
case" or "parts set" yet, but it was close. Not much was original on
it. Someone had refinished the cabinet in the past, luckily with
lacquer, but the finish didn't look that good after years of neglect
and abuse. The cabinet also had several holes drilled in it, the
largest and most noticeable was a 3/8" hole directly below the dial on
the front panel. The dial cover and knobs had also been replaced. The
plastic pushbutton tips were gone, but this was no surprise, since few
original examples of these ever survive. And finally to top things off,
the grill cloth was raged and torn.
Now for the good part, the electronics were complete
and in rather good condition. Unfortunately, this radio had to sit for
a little over three years to be restored.
the chassis was removed prior to the restoration in 2005, I was
to find that the radio had already been recapped, and the capacitors
had already been restuffed into the shell's of the originals. This must
have been done shorty after purchase, but forgotten about over the
years, talk about a good surprise for a change. With that out of the
way, all that was left was to clean and lubricate the moving parts and
switches, and give it a good alignment, which it really didn't need.
The only necessary
electrical repairs this time around was the replacement of some
deteriorated rubber coated wiring, which was replaced using modern
cloth covered wire.
started off by cleaning off the cabinet with some mineral spirits to
remove the usual greasy dust. This revealed a lacquer finish that
needed to be removed. I used CitriStrip brand stripper to strip the
finish off. This stuff worked quite well, and only took off one layer
at a time. After this was accomplished, I had to tackle several other
problems with the cabinet. As you can see in the above "Before"
photo, there was a large hole drilled in the front panel, along with
some smaller ones on the top. I filled these in, along with several
small veneer chips with some Minwax stainable wood filler.
After the wood filler had dried overnight, I started
sanding the cabinet with some 220 grit paper, moving up to 400. Next
came applying the new finish. I sprayed on a few base coats of lacquer
which helped show the places that needed to be toned to match the rest
of the cabinet. I used Mowhawk medium brown walnut colored toner to
help blend in the wood filler, I then gave the whole cabinet a few
coats to slightly darken it. To tone the two dark strips on each side
of the front panel, and the inside of the grill, I used some black
toning lacquer. I finished up by spraying on several coats of Deft Semi
Gloss lacquer. Below: The cabinet
Next came the grill cloth, which would have to be
replaced. I found an almost exact reproduction at Radio Daze. When I began to
remove the old cloth from the radio, the backing that it was mounted to
simply crumbled away. I was able to make a replacement from a thick
cardboard type cover from an old binder. The original and replacement
can be seen in the below left photo. The original cloth and
reproduction can be seen in the below right photo. I used my usual
methods to mount the cloth. This cloth was rather hard to mount, being
that it has horizontal lines that are hard to get perfectly level. I
was able to get mine close, but you can notice that it is slightly off.
Below left: The replacement and
original backing, Right: Thereplacement and original grill cloths.
With the radio nearing completion, I still had
several things to do. The original pushbuttons on this radio, which are
notorious for deteriorating and crumbling away, were missing. I
purchased some very nice reproductions from Larry Bordonaro at Old Time Replications. To
get the new pushbutton tips to work correctly, I had to slightly grind
down the bottom corner on each one so they wouldn't rub the chassis, I
also had to use some silicone to glue them to the pushbutton assembly
shafts. With that out of the way, I cleaned the escutcheon with some
metal cleaner. This removed the several paint specks, green corrosion,
and discolored parts. After this process was complete, I coated it with
some clear lacquer. I also added a reproduction "Philco" Decal where
the original use to be. This was purchased from Rock Sea Enterprises. I
sprayed on a few coats of clear lacquer on top of this to protect it.
Last but not least, I had to do something with the
dial cover, which looked pretty miserable. Not having a correct
replacement on hand, I made one from some clear plexiglass, and held it
in place with a little bit of clear silicone. It looks ok, But I may
try to find a better reproduction sometime in the future.