Featured
Latest
An unexpected Ekco ...
 
Share:
Notifications
Clear all

Forum 141

Radio An unexpected Ekco (A22)

11 Posts
3 Users
21 Reactions
399 Views
Lloyd
(@lloyd)
Posts: 1933
Prominent Member Registered
Topic starter
 

As the title would suggest, this was unexpected! As any of you who read my ‘insane’ A22 thread know, I had a spare chassis for an A22, which after the black and chrome one, I’d decided was only ever going to be spare parts.

That was until last week, when this got listed on eBay:

89C7967D 0639 4AAD 8683 1D365C09EBD5

An empty cabinet!! Sadly a victim of couriers and poor packing, (not when it was on its way to me!) but that meant I could obtain it for a bargain price of £42! So now the homeless chassis has a home.

So the damage to the cabinet isn’t terrible, there is a crack from the volume control all the way to the back, and also a chunk broken out near the back.

77F515A8 F4B3 40AF A2D0 E3147981F68B

The bits that are broken out were included with the cabinet luckily, as otherwise it would have been a no-go for me. There is another crack on the left side near the back, which is going to need some Dremmel work to get it to sit flat before gluing it. 

image

The chassis is going to be more fun, there’s bits missing, rust, and a damaged output transformer, looks like a mouse tried to eat it, along with some of the wax caps! The mains transformer is the wrong one, I think when trying to identify it in the other A22 thread we came to the conclusion it was probably from the Ekco A33 Radiotime clock radio from 1947, I was planning on stealing it for the black and chrome A22, as the transformer in that has a leak either to chassis or one of the secondaries, although I may just put out a wanted ad for another transformer and see if one turns up. The hardest part to sort out is the tuning drive and dial cursor, the whole lots missing!

E39BED54 CE0F 4582 BA72 1BDAEB0DD3DB
E8DC162B 55B2 441E 9253 7964171ADC3D

This is probably going to be a long old project, and may lay dormant at times whilst waiting for bits (like all my other unfinished projects!), but it will progress!

Regards,

 Lloyd 

 
Posted : 16/10/2023 7:30 pm
Lloyd
(@lloyd)
Posts: 1933
Prominent Member Registered
Topic starter
 

Found some more bits for this set, I had purchased the ‘Mercedes’ badge shaped dial and speaker grille carrier ages ago, and I spotted it sat on a shelf doing nowt! I also found the naff reproduction dial that came with the black and chrome set, so bunged it in. Not sure why, but the radio has a rather sinister appearance without the speaker ring and cloth fitted…

60B62464 F849 44E2 92E4 B4E8ACF3C83A

I test fitted the broken out part to see how well or not it fits, and from what I can tell, it fits rather nicely, holding the crack shut whilst the glue sets will be the hardest part!

5D8BC977 EA75 4010 AB56 E4CF8CB916E8

There are a few chips to fill as well, the one next to the volume knob hole I have the piece to stick back in.

6AD5EEFE 9431 4BD3 876B 21D95FC81D69

The cabinet will need strengthening once it’s glued up, for that I’ll first cut some slots into it on the inside, put some thick wire in the slots, probably some lengths of those massive paper clips that I found in a drawer, superglue them in place, and cover the area with fibreglass mat and resin, whilst also trying not to get it in the way of fitting the chassis back in!

As for the knobs, I still have the mould I made for the black ones, all I need to do is work out how I’m going to keep the brass inserts central this time, and how to make walnut looking resin! I’m thinking of using the black potting compound with some loosely mixed in brown powder paint.

Some of this will be experimental, but the main cabinet repair I’ve done before on others with success. I might as well make a video of it whilst I’m at it!

Regards,

 Lloyd 

 
Posted : 18/10/2023 6:08 pm
LSmith, crustytv, slidertogrid and 1 people reacted
Lloyd
(@lloyd)
Posts: 1933
Prominent Member Registered
Topic starter
 

Work has begun on the cabinet, well, it did begin about a week ago! First job was to clean it out on the inside, there was much old dust and cobwebs which made handling the thing rather a messy experience, I got some anti static foam cleaner for that job.

Once that was done I could start test fitting the broken piece, which lined up pretty well! That was glued into place with Loctite 406 super glue on the foot side of the break, as that was the most awkward break.

EE085439 F257 4F43 AD14 F7545BF975B7

With that piece in I could look at how well the main crack would close up.

D8166D58 1913 48B5 BA62 D74FC7467F95

It looked pretty good, but could be better. I spent some time carefully filing away some of the edge of the crack until the point where it fitted back together with no gaps.

At this point I noticed more cracks! Just a couple of tiny hairline cracks on the front of the foot, extending upwards onto the main body of the cabinet, not surprising really.

895D3691 7A3D 4905 9D63 8B2D2691ACA6

Just a minor setback, but it gave me the kick to try and find some of that really runny superglue, known as wicking grade, I had some from Loctite before we moved house, but it was so runny it escaped from the closed bottle during the move! I found some from ‘CA-UK’ labelled ultra thin, available on eBay for just under £10. So whilst waiting for that to arrive I gave the outside of the cabinet a quick polish with no.5, with a few chips and scratches covered with masking tape, so I can fill those in later.

Once the glue arrived I tested it on a broken KB FB10 cabinet (another project!!) just to make sure it’ll do what I want, and it certainly does! If you don’t keep an eye on it, it goes off doing it’s own thing in places you don’t want it! Since it worked on the KB, I set about the Ekco with it, the hairlines were much harder to work with, as you can’t open them up to get the glue in, but you could see the glue disappearing into the cracks, so hopefully it’s gone in and will hold it now.

With that sorted, I could go back to the main crack, after a little more fettling, I bit the bullet and glued it, using the Loctite 406 again, probably too much as it dripped everywhere! I couldn’t find any way of clamping the cabinet during gluing, anything I tried ended up with the crack coming out of alignment, so I had to stand there holding it by hand for nearly 10 minutes whilst the glue got hold of it.

DB92E434 751E 46C3 B5CA 27F2DC6A1B0B
C8D4346B 71A5 40B0 A25B 96724FB301F1

Thats as far as I got for now, next up will be some sanding to flatten the glue to the same level as the Bakelite, followed by polishing, this will reveal how far out the crack was when the glue set! Then I’ll move onto strengthening the cabinet on the inside. 

 
Posted : 29/10/2023 10:53 am
crustytv and Cathovisor reacted
Lloyd
(@lloyd)
Posts: 1933
Prominent Member Registered
Topic starter
 

Well, preliminary results are in:

906D0027 1BB7 43DD ACDB F23EF9FBB8F2

It’s not terrible! The photo above shows the crack quite well, but looking at it with the naked eye it’s barely visible, you have to get up close with a decent light, and it helps to know where it was in the first place. 

8EF3E91C 1819 4C32 9874 EB6E44CB168A

Obviously it’s not finished! There’s still a lot more work to do, some of the chips need more glue to fill them, but I’m happy with how it’s going.

on a different note, I have been recording the whole process, so you’ll get to see it eventually! I have been using the cameras time lapse mode, and I was beginning to think the camera was faulty, as after about 25 minutes it seemed to go dead, but pressing the shutter button would bring it back to life, I first thought it was a dead battery, but it still said it was full, then I thought maybe turn off the power save settings, but it still goes dead! So this time when it seemed to go dead I stood in front of it and did a countdown on my fingers, and it turns out it was actually still recording! It’s just the screen goes off… an odd feature you can’t turn off! Modern technology is far too clever for its own good…

 
Posted : 29/10/2023 7:05 pm
Lloyd
(@lloyd)
Posts: 1933
Prominent Member Registered
Topic starter
 

Time certainly flies when you’re having fun! It also does when you’re not… but never mind!

Work has been slow on this old beast over the last month, had too many other projects on the go! I did finally get to finish the sanding of the main crack, and it actually looks pretty good! I did have to dig out the glue from the big chip on the front a couple of times, as the glue set with bubbles and white bits in it, I think I’ve got it now though. The chips on the side still need a little attention. The hairline cracks in the foot didn’t take the glue as well as I’d hoped, the cracks were just too tight shut to get the glue to flow into them! I found a way of making them less visible, by using a black marker pen, the ink soaked into the crack and made it less obvious.

370710ED 7BCE 4B07 9EE0 D06100141900
3AB035CE A73B 4A01 A619 C5EB7334350E

I had a go at the nasty crack on the left side of the cabinet, it was an odd one as it wasn’t all the way to the edge, and was out of alignment, and also wouldn’t go back in place at all. I used a dremmel to take away material from the inside of the cabinet behind the crack, then I was able to align it, but only by using clamps. This is where it all went horribly wrong! I’d done loads of dry runs to check alignment before chucking the glue at it, and it looked good, but when finally gluing it, it must have begun to set before I got the clamps in place, so once the clamps came off it wasn’t quite as perfect as I’d hoped. I spent ages sanding that one down, and you can see a bit of a dip where the crack was, as if the cabinet wasn’t quite as round as it should have been.

8E2E4224 90F8 4937 9EBE 2175B77744AC
EF959572 32EB 4602 8EFE A6B22A2C38E2

To strengthen that one I’m using fibreglass matting, but pulling the strands out of it and stuffing them into the hole I made with the dremmel, then flooding them with superglue, and when that’s done I’ll add a sheet of the matting over the top of it. 

9420B316 B089 4C07 907B 49AECFD9B4BF
8E6F4E2D 8EF3 4CAE 9589 57DBEE38C82C

Regards,

 Lloyd 

 

 
Posted : 01/12/2023 4:33 pm
Jayceebee reacted
Lloyd
(@lloyd)
Posts: 1933
Prominent Member Registered
Topic starter
 

Well, this year is nearly done, as is this cabinet! Actually, I think the year is going to beat it… But I have done some more to it since the last post, mostly on the inside, adding strength to the repairs.

On the side repair I have added 3 layers of fibreglass matting, covered with resin.

9818BF15 B63C 498F 9F32 A67D475FCED6

for the main crack, I cut some slots across it with the dremmel, just deep enough to put some steel wire into, which I glued into place with superglue. This should help brace the crack, and stop it from opening again of the cabinet is put down a bit hard, as the feet are quite thin and flexible on these cabinets. I also added 2 layers of fibreglass matting to this area for some extra strength. I was also thinking of adding something into the feet to keep them from flexing, a piece of carefully shaped wood might be enough.

9D7FB9EB D224 4E1B A121 879EE41A5867
628C871E 34CA 4582 BF02 529D350AE6B5
BAA2402E ABA8 4DB0 BE77 1474E90B32F1

Now the strengthening is done I can move back on to finishing the outside of the cabinet! There are just a few chips and scratches to sort out, then it’s ready for a chassis!

Regards,

Lloyd

 
Posted : 29/12/2023 10:34 pm
Lloyd
(@lloyd)
Posts: 1933
Prominent Member Registered
Topic starter
 

I did some more fettling on the outside of the cabinet on New Year’s Eve, remember the big chip on the front just under the volume control?

6AD5EEFE 9431 4BD3 876B 21D95FC81D69

well, here it is now!

24499468 F3C9 499F 9963 2730DE8B4788

to get it to this point I had filled it with superglue, but not quite enough, as it had bubbles and white bits in the surface, so I had to dig it out and start again, this time ending up with a big pimple of glue. Once fully set I masked off around it and filed it down to near the surface of the cabinet, then moved to fine sandpaper, P800, until flush with the surrounding Bakelite, then swapped to P1000 to finish off. Once I was happy that it was flat I gave the whole area a good polish with no.5.

398CD534 062D 4B66 8E45 5D67687E8404
BD9A830C E63D 4F7F 859F 35517BECEF5D
29C16E22 C721 48BA A695 81031A4E8AB2

It’s still visible, but you can’t feel it, which is what I was aiming for. Maybe if I’d added a bit of colour in the hole before filling it might have been less visible, but I’m happy with it 🙂 

 
Posted : 02/01/2024 1:03 pm
LSmith and Cathovisor reacted
slidertogrid
(@slidertogrid)
Posts: 1035
Honorable Member Registered
 

@lloyd Excellent work Lloyd! It's looking good! 

 
Posted : 02/01/2024 7:00 pm
Lloyd reacted
irob2345
(@irob2345)
Posts: 564
Honorable Member Registered
 

A fellow collector in Oz uses powder obtained from ground up beyond-repair bakelite cases mixed with epoxy. He did a 1937 Airzone Radiostar cabinet for me many years ago. The repairs are completely invisible.

As well as cracks and chips it had a hole drilled in it which he filled.

 
Posted : 02/01/2024 8:03 pm
Lloyd reacted
Lloyd
(@lloyd)
Posts: 1933
Prominent Member Registered
Topic starter
 

@irob2345

That's a good tip, I have done just that before, I used what was left of an Antex soldering iron stand, which had been dropped, which seemed to be made of black bakelite, it worked a treat! I mentioned it on the other forum once, then got promptly told off! I was told that Bakelite might contain asbestos, which did put me off a bit, but I haven't found any conclusive evidence that it would have been used in anything but industrial grade bakelite, so the jury is still out on that one.

 
Posted : 02/01/2024 8:35 pm
irob2345
(@irob2345)
Posts: 564
Honorable Member Registered
 

Asbestos was commonly used as a filler in Bakelite. It is safe if it's not dry and airborne. So provided you keep things wet and don't raise the dust, you are OK.

Asbestos was a big issue in Australia, as you may know. Many houses were built of asbestos sheeting during the boom years of the '50s and '60s.

Mind you, smoking causes far more lung disease and deaths than asbestos ever did. But did they ban smoking? No.

 
Posted : 02/01/2024 11:31 pm
Lloyd reacted
Share: