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Other Radios - Wood Tabletop: Delco 1106 Restoration

I bought one of these Delco 1106 radios about a year ago. I bought another a couple months ago. Both needed lots of work, so I sort of combined them into one, complete radio. The cabinet on the left is the better of the two. The veneer was OK, but the top was loose and the case needed refinishing. The radio has a couple walnut panels, one on the top and one on the front. The rest is cheap wood which was toned to match. It is often tricky getting these colors to match properly. The grille cloth on both radios was good, and I had four knobs between the two.

After stripping
Neither chassis seemed to work, though one seemed to have a bad bandswitch. I decided to use the other chassis for restoration based on that fact.

Cabinet Restoration

The lacquer finish on this radio was in poor shape. The toned lacquer areas were scratched, and the lacquer was flaking off. The front and top were ok, but the entire radio needed to be stripped. The top of the radio was almost off already, so I removed it for stripping. I stripped the case with Parks refinisher and 000 steel wool, gently removing the old lacquer finish. The stripped radio is shown on the right.

Clamping the top

The top needed to be glued back down. It was warped, so I did it in two evenings. First, I attached the front, glued, and clamped (see photo at left). The next night, I did the back. Once the top was re-attached, I could tone the lighter woods.

I masked and papered off the real walnut, and toned the rest of the case using Behlen Master Toner Brown. I really like this stuff - I went through an entire can, but the resulting finish was superb. When I removed the paper and tape, I then stained and lightly toned the walnut sections to match the rest of the case. Once I was happy with the color, I added a couple of layers of clear nitrocellulose lacquer for the final coats. I re-installed the dial glass and the grille cloth, then re-installed the restored chassis. A photo of the complete radio is on the left.

It's done!
Click for a larger picture...
Electronic Restoration

After recapping the radio, I still had no reception. My oscillator was not operating, and tracing some voltages around (with help) showed me that the oscillator coil was open. I swapped one in from the other chassis, and I had stations on the AM band! However, I still had nothing on shortwave. As it turns out, the shortwave band's oscillator coil was also bad. In hindsight, I picked the wrong chassis to restore! However, once the radio was complete, it sounded great and works very well.