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Date Of Project: Approx. Mid 1996
Arklay, model unknown.
This is the before,
click on the picture
to see the before
I bought this radio at a local junk store for $10. It was completely rusted, had some water damage and the case was bent. It did work, however.
I started out cleaning the chassis. It took about 3 hours with steel wool to remove all the rust. I then cleaned it further with a protective silver polish, being careful not to get any on any part of the electronics. I was going to realign the set, but I could not find any service manuals since I didn't have the model number (if anyone knows anything about this radio, mail me and I'll be glad to hear from you). Instead, to improve sound quality, I cleaned the tube pins and tube sockets with WD40 (yeah, thats right!). I was very surprised at the difference it made.
Now to the case. There was no hope at all of preserving the original paint. It was chipped, dull, scratched and rusted. I stripped it off with lacquer thinner and a wire wheel attached to my drill. I then put on 3 coats of a tan primer. After the primer was dry, I sprayed on 4 coats of flat black, followed by 3 light coats of varnish. The result was the type of finish you would find on modern stereos, TV's etc. It suited that radio well.
The radio had line-level outputs so I connected to the stereo in my room. I would have liked to build a tube amp for it, but I lacked the resources. It's too bad, the modern transistorized stereo takes away most of the "tuby" sound.
I would like to thank Anthony Giambone for sending me the following information about this radio in December of 2000. It's quite interesting to know that I did exactly the wrong thing by restoring it.
Dear Aaron? the radio you have was built in 1932 by the Dumount corp. it is an Arklay RR327J. It was produced for the RKO radio corp. and sold for $4.39 you were able to purchase it at Gimbles and RJ Macy's. In 1939 the company was sold to Peterson Electronics a Div. of Mesa Industries located in Albuquerque NM. They no longer build radio's the just repair them. Sorry they are not into tube radios anymore only CB radio's and Electric golf machines I also contacted the company and they told me that your radio would have been worth at auction if left un touched about $3,500.00 so you got a good deal at that store. By refinishing it it is only worth about $2,000.00 I hope that this e-mail helped you.
Anyone wanna' buy a radio?
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