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A PHOTOGUIDE TO THE RESTORATION OF AN AERODYNE 'SWAN' MAINS TRF, c. 1933      

 

A restoration article featuring this receiver was published in Radio Bygones for April/May and June/July 2009. These images demonstrate the problems presented by many radios of pre-WWII vintage and show the kind of work restorers face when attempting to overcome them. Clicking on any picture will bring a larger version. If your settings block active content you may need to set to 'allow' or alternatively use your browser's 'back' button to return.

Above, left: the 'Swan' as found. It had been worked on by persons unknown and there was a legacy of mediocre workmanship alongside an evident understanding of vintage electronics. Left/centre: inside view as found. Right centre and right: close-up of cabinet damage - missing veneer.
Above, left: non-original (plywood) wooden feet were removed. Left/centre and right/centre: filling and levelling missing sections. Right: the cabinet after stripping of the original finish, including the painted Art Deco grille design.
Above, left: filling and levelling. Left/centre: delaminated timber clamped and reglued. Right/centre and right: cabinet ready for refinishing.
Above, left: chassis before stripping. Left/centre: assorted parts removed and cleaned. Right/centre: view of under-chassis before restoration. Right: during stripdown. This process removed every component, down to bare metal.
Above, left: tuning capacitor clean-up. Left/centre: the corroded reaction capacitor. Right/centre: reproduction control knob. Right: de-rusting metal parts.
Above, left: the completely stripped chassis. Left/centre: the repainted chassis. Right/centre: rebuild begins. Right: top view of rebuilt chassis.
Above, left: Cleaning and derusting the mains transformer clamp and laminations. Left/centre: underside of the rebuilt chassis. Right/centre: a restored replacement energised LS of the correct type and age. Right: rotted sleeving on mains transformer wiring.
Above, left: severely rotted sleeving to valve cap. Centre: the crudely painted escutcheon. This required stripped and chemically ageing. Right: scale and slow-motion mechanism before cleaning.
Above, left and left/centre: views of the finished upper chassis. Right/centre: 'new' set-back labels, based on an identical set - this receiver had a home-made back panel. Right: repairs used tinted two-part wood filler to match veneer, after poor results were obtained with standard filler.
Above, left: primer-spraying the grille surround. Note the extensive masking. Left/centre: making the new back panel in ply. Right/centre: cabinet finished. Spray lacquered using a home-mix toning to blend and make the repairs less obvious. Right: the completed 'Swan'. The veneer had been sanded away in places at corners and edges previous to my obtaining the set. This kind of damage is very difficult to conceal and it does show slightly. The only way to improve this would have been to re-veneer - but with the beauty of this timber, I discounted that option and chose to live with something less than perfection, but still a visual delight.
For a full account of the restoration, see Radio Bygones issues 118 & 119.
 

 

This restoration can be seen in video form, along with several other restoration videos.

VIDEOS

 

 

 

 

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