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Westinghouse Radio Restorations

little jewelsI have always thought these little radios were cool. I was able to purchase two of these online but they were not in the best of shape. These streamlined powerhouse radios are also known as refrigerator radios because of the similar physical appearance as refrigerators of that era.

LJadHere are some images of the way they looked when I acquired them.

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As you can see this unit is well used.

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This little guy had a bad crack that needed to be glued, filled, sanded and painted.

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I decided to change the color from the boring cream color to a retro aqua color.

After a lot of sanding and effort here is how this one turned out!

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I am very pleased with how this turned out. With the new color and speaker fabric it really pops now. The flash of the camera makes it look light blue but it is actually aqua colored. This unit still works and sounds fantastic!

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Here you can see the great little Bakelite handle to carry it around. These units have such great sound. They actually sound like a larger unit.

Here is the next unit I picked up from Craigslist in Sacramento. This unit is non-functioning but I will fix that later.

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This unit had a lot of wear. The speaker fabric was dirty and loose. Also, you can see it is missing a knob and the handle for the back. (if any of our readers has a spare handle please let me know).

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After some light sanding time for paint.

I chose a classic maroon color that would compliment the gold color. I also had to order a new dial wheel from “Radio Daze”. I think this unit looks great!

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Though the knobs are not original they look great! (these knobs are from a Zenith Transoceanic).

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Like I mentioned above, if anyone has a spare handle let me know!

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These are great little units to put on an end table and just enjoy the experience of listening to music. I plan to drop the maroon one off at the radio repair guy to get up and running.

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Heywood Wakefield Revival

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This group of sad-looking Heywood Wakefield pieces are a part of my next series of projects. If you study the photos above you will see that these have been used and abused.

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Look at these two sad sorry end tables. The guy we bought them from proudly advised us he painted one of them blue and he went further to tell Mel and I he had planned to paint the other one red! AAARRRGGGHHHH! An intervention was required.

The first piece I took on was the coffee table model M905G produced for only one year during 1955.

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Gosh! Had the previous owner ever heard of a coaster!

As I have mentioned before the great thing about Heywood Wakefield is that it is SOLID wood. If a piece has any issue usually you can sand out most of the imperfections.

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Here it is sanded down and ready for stain. This will help get rid of all the water rings and will even out the finish.

Now that it has been sanded the next step is applying that famous stain that I get from Jeff off Ebay!

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Here it is after its first coat of stain. I applied 4 to 5 coats to get that nice buttery finish.

After a lot of staining and buffing between coats it is finally finished. I even had a piece of 1/4 inch glass cut from a local glass store ($30) for the top so another water ring never has a chance to appear. Without further delay…

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As usual Jeff’s finish always turns out great!

Before I had glass cut for this piece I was under the impression that getting glass cut for furniture was costly. But it really isn’t, and it is worth it. It only takes one careless placement of a glass with condensation to mess up your finish so spend a little and preserve what you worked so hard to restore.

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Telefunken Sonata 5183 WK

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Hey all,

I was sitting around and remembered that I had not blogged about this great little 1960’s German unit. I found this on Craigslist sometime back for about $60. It was a part of a cluster of items a younger man was selling that were part of his late mothers estate. I was surprised to see everything worked when he turned it on. As usual it had that really rich and deep sound. I couldn’t get the $60 out of my pocket fast enough.

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The great thing about these units is that they are small but still give the rich sound like the larger units. Also, one person can move them. The sound of these units can get even better if you buy a pair of satellite speakers to play through. I have a pair sitting around that need to be restored so I guess I should get on that.

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Here are a couple of photos of my grandparents. The picture of my grandma Troxel is of her in England sometime around WWII. The picture of my grandpa Troxel is soo cool, he looks like a gangster or something. The frames are really cool. I plan to blog about Art Deco frames, there are soo many cool ones out there.

This unit can play all the variety of speeds (16, 33 & 45) including 78! I have a mess of 78’s including about 15 binders like the one below full of one of my favorite crooners Bing Crosby. I must have every song he sang or even hummed.

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Since I am on the subject of 78’s let me take just a moment to express to you what a lost piece of treasure these records are. I have seen people throw these records away because they are not in demand anymore. These records are also brittle and can break with very little effort. This is why they need to be appreciated and in some instances there are some really rare recordings on these records. I love sitting around listening to records that range from early Perry Como to country western. Do yourself a favor, get a player that can play 78’s and just kick back and let the music wash over you (stepping down from soap box).

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Check out all these cats listening to 78’s! How can all these guys be wrong!? On a side note, this would be a cool way to sample your music, why don’t they do this anymore?

So, if you get a chance to pick one of these units up I would say go for it, especially if space is an issue.

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Chalkware Lamp Repairs

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I have been busy lately fixing a few lamps that our friend Stephen brought to us that he purchased online and received broken. He always manages to find really great lamps.

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This lamp had 8+ breaks in it. The only frame to this lamp are the white poles that go through it so it was gonna need some crazy gorilla glue to hold it together.

The first lamp I want to talk about is the really cool green Plasto Mfg. Co. lamp that he purchased. As you can see, this would have ended up in the garbage by most folks but Stephen thought I could fix it. After a lot of gluing, spackeling and sanding and a good amount of paint here is how it turned out!

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I am amazed at how things turned out. Stephen also had me paint the lamp shade frames white and I relaced the shades. I also had to install a new push switch. Once Stephen gets the lamp back in place I will have him send me a pic to show it off.

The Next Lamp Stephen asked us to repair was a really cool Capri lamp. The damage wasn’t as bad as the one above but it did have a few good breaks. Here are a few pics of the damage it suffered during shipping:

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I marked the areas that had damage with those really cool pink ovals…..I love pink! Anyways, here are closer images of the damage:

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That looks like a pretty good crack!

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This is towards the base, it seems to go all the way through.

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Here is another crack up underneath one of the brass poles.

The one thing that always makes Stephen’s lamps a challenge to repair is the finish on each lamp. I have to really try hard to duplicate it with toothbrushes or stiff metal brushes. It would be interesting to see how they originally did it. I imagine they maybe used an airbrush to get that unique finish. Here is the lamp repaired and ready to go!

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Look great!

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Ok, that is a really cool lamp!

The next lamp may seem like deja vu but Stephan managed to find another very rare Frederick Weinberg horse lamp. Unfortunately like the other one he acquired this one was damaged too. This lamp had damage to the top of the front legs and it also had many small cracks. We were able to repair it in the same way we repaired the other one and it looks great in his home!

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As you can see from the photo the crack goes all the way to the metal frame.

As usual, after glue, spackle, sanding and paint it was back to like new condition. These lamps are soo Mad Men! I could see these sitting in the background while Don Draper is trying to sell a pitch to some company at his advertising agency. These are very cool.

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Here it is like new!

Here are both of the Weinberg horse lamps repaired and in Stephen’s home, they look soo nice together.

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I know as long as chalkware lamps are shipped I have job security. I love being able to save these from the scrap heap and make them new again. The alternative is to just throw them away and I couldn’t do that. This is why I try to share my techniques so others can save these fascinating relics from a time gone by.

Heywood Wakefield Vanity Stool and Queen Bed Resto

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It is all done, that’s right the bedroom set is finally complete. I refinished the stool base and dropped it off to Bill at B&T Upholstery with some really cool retro frieze fabric Mel and I picked up on Ebay.

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Here it is before its transformation

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B&T Upholstery did another great job!

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It looks great!

As I mentioned in the title above I managed to refinish the Queen size headboard and foot board for our bed in the Heywood Wakefield champagne finish. I am trying to sell our other bed so I can put this bed up. Here are some pics of its resto:

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The finish on this bed frame was not in the best shape so that I why I refinished it. This is a dog bone bed frame by Heywood Wakefield. I prefer it more than the Rio style bed frame.

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Here is the frame all sanded down. I have refinished a lot of HW pieces but the old finish on this bed frame was on there like glue!

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Here is the foot board after the first staining. It is amazing to watch the transformation between the coats. I put a total of 4 coats to achieve the final finish. Remember to check out Jeff on Ebay to pick up your stain, it is an easy process to refinish any piece.

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As usual the finish is buttery and sooo rich looking. I can not wait for our current bed to sell so I can throw this one up!

Rare Lighted Carlo of Hollywood Frames

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As you can see these frames need some attention.

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Hello all you Hepcats!

We are pleased to announce that we have acquired our first set of rare lighted Carlo frames. Since we have collected Carlo I think I have only seen three of these style frames. We stumbled across them while surfing the internet at Metro Modern. We reached out to them to see if they still had them, after a discussion we agreed on price and they sent them out. These frames were not in the best of shape and required the usual restoration and the lights needed to be replaced to prevent any damage to the art work. I have noticed that these lighted frames usually burn the art work because of the heat that the original lights generate. I replaced them with an under the counter light used in kitchens that did not generate heat from Lowes. Here is how they turned out:

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I wired the lights in tandem that way I only have to use one cord to turn both on. I plan to install a switch later.

When these arrived they did not have glass in the frames. I am not sure but maybe the lighted frame Carlo’s didn’t come with glass. I shot of to Wholesale Art and Framing again to have Tim and staff help me get some glass cut.

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As you can see the frames look cleaner. A good rule of thumb is that if you restore something and it is hard to tell a difference then you did it right.

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Now for the moment we have all been waiting for, lets turn the lights on!

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These look great a night. I  am happy with the finished product.

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It looks great with our other Carlo’s!

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