Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Stromberg Carlson Restoration

Stromberg Carlson model 662
 I have had this Stromberg Carlson console radio since 1987. It was bought at a household auction near Amherst, Nova Scotia. I have done nothing to it over the years but I have noticed recently that it is looking a little haggard.

Here is what I know. It is a Canadian model 662 which I believe was built in 1946. It is a shortwave and broadcast band radio. I think, but do not know for certain, that it was the also referred to as the model 552 in other markets.

Stromberg Carlson model 662
I would like to refinish the cabinet but need a little guidance. In the first photo you will see that from a distance it looks okay. Upon closer examination you can see that the stain has lifted along what appears to be a darker band. There are other areas like the base that need to be refurbished as well.

Radio face
You will also notice that there are two dark bands on each side of the cabinet and I assume that they are there as part of the manufacturing process. I can only guess that is where the veneer pieces meet and the darker stain was used to hide the seams.

I am pretty confident that I can re-stain / refinish the whole thing apart from the face. Around the dials (which are original) there is still lettering which appears to be in great shape. I would not want to erase the lettering as it would be almost impossible to replace them (though there might be aftermarket decals available). Which leaves the question; should I refinish the face?

Radio information
I have not decided to restore the radio itself. I know nothing of old tube radios and would not know where to begin. The visual indicator still lights up and I am hearing some faint hissing but cannot tune into any stations. I don't even know if the tubes are still available. The thing on the left side of the chassis looks a little swollen, a capacitor perhaps. Again, I know nothing.

My goal is to restore the cabinet. If I can get the radio to work, that would be an added bonus but I am content if it does not function as a radio.

Anyway, I would like some ideas on refinishing the cabinet and where to start.
Finish lifting on the top

 Comment here or email me.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Dugena Clock Dilemma

Dugena mantle clock
I bought this Dugena mantle clock for $30CDN. The owner assured me that it was an old clock and not to expect it to be perfect. It certainly is not perfect. It is a 2-train German made Bim-Bam clock. There is a strike and a time train. The strike train is off because it will strike incessantly. No doubt something is either worn, broken or misaligned.

Movement for Dugena clock
My first attempt at cleaning it involved taking out the movement and placing it in an ammonia bath with some Murphy's soap. The net result is that once I dried it off it was no different than before. The clock has a balance wheel escarpment and it looks as though the spring might be a little weak because the wheel does not spin more than 180 degrees. Bottom line, it needs to be taken apart and cleaned properly.

Given that I have never taken a clock apart it looks like a daunting task for a couple of reasons. One, I do not have the right tools and two, if I took it apart there is an excellent chance that I would not get it together correctly and working as it should.

So, I have a couple of choices. I can work on the movement and get it to work as it should after a decent cleaning or use the movement as a test bed and simply buy a replacement movement like the one in the last photo. The replacement movement is $128CDN for a pendulum movement or $198CDN for a balance wheel escarpment.

Balance wheel escarpment taken with an Olympus E330 and 50 macro lens
Now I could get a replacement balance wheel but at this point I don't even know if that is the problem. So, what to do.

possible replacement movement from Hermle
If I got a new movement the clock would likely run trouble-free for years. It would mean bringing the case up to showroom condition however. At this point the case is in pretty good condition for it's age and it would not take much to make a few more cosmetic improvements to make it quite presentable but obviously not new looking. So, that is my dilemma.

Leave a comment for me if you have any advice.