Antique Radio Cabinet Retrofit #5: New Face

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Blog entry by Pags posted 02-02-2015 05:06 PM 1671 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: More Repairs Part 5 of Antique Radio Cabinet Retrofit series Part 6: Mount Sub-Woofer »

This weekend had me working on replacing the face of the console where the tuner is mounted. The old face came out easily… just had to remove about a dozen screws and give it a few taps to loosen it up. It wasn’t glued, but the original lacquer finish held it in place some.

Then I had to come up with a way to mount the new radio. I took the new radio out of its case. It came out pretty easily. Just four screws held it together and another pair of screws secured to a pair or retaining clips. I discovered the radio was essentially two parts… the tuner, and the amp. They were held together by four screws that sort of clamped itself together inside the case.

Now knowing how it assembled together, I came up with a way to mount it to the new face using the four screw mounts.

To make the face I began with some scrap ¼” marine plywood I had in the shop and glued a 1/16” thick mahogany veneer to it that was left over from my last project (I need to make myself a veneer press one of these days). This is thinner that the original face, but the marine plywood is better quality and stronger even though its thinner.

Then I trimmed it to size and cut bevels to match the old face and also made a cutout to mount the new radio.

The old face was made with a spline to join the front and top together. This was doable because the face was ⅜” thick. I felt my new face was too thin to use a spline so I put my boat building skills to work and epoxied them together utilizing an epoxy fillet.

First I made a clamping mold.

Then I taped the two pieces together with packing tape that acted as both a hinge and a means to temporarily hold the two pieces together.

Then I applied thickened epoxy to the seam, folded it in place in the mold, clamped it, then applied the epoxy fillet. Note that I also laid down some packing tape to the mold so that I didn’t accidentally epoxy the face to the mold.

After curing for 24 hours it came out pretty decent.

4 comments so far

View handsawgeek's profile


645 posts in 1423 days

#1 posted 02-02-2015 06:29 PM

That is going to look really sharp when all is said and done. Look forward to seeing the outcome of this project.

-- Ed

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15369 posts in 2646 days

#2 posted 02-02-2015 06:32 PM

Very nice work, you’ve got serious skill on display. Thanks for posting!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View rhybeka's profile


4045 posts in 3149 days

#3 posted 02-02-2015 09:51 PM

Great job Pags! I have a table top version I’ve been wanting to rehab and didn’t know where to start and you’ve given me some ideas. Thanks!

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

View Woodknack's profile


11817 posts in 2408 days

#4 posted 02-03-2015 05:41 PM

Coming along great

-- Rick M,

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