This is an RCA Victor radio 816K from 1937. Our client was an old radio hobbyist that had us restore the cabinet while he repaired the interior works and radio tubes (chassis). Notice the rounded surfaces and walnut veneer – typical of 1930s furniture.
This vintage radio cabinet had problems with lifting and missing veneer – mostly around the base. A previous owner had used scotch tape to hold down the peeling veneer. Photo below shows what we had to repair once all the tape was removed.
To repair the veneer, the first step was to apply glue under everything that was loose and clamp tight overnight. The rounded front edge was difficult to clamp, so we used masking tape to hold the veneer down until the glue was dry. The next step was to fit and glue in new pieces of veneer wherever missing.
The repaired veneer was touched up and blended in as we reconditioned the existing finish. This involved cleaning and a light scuff. Then touch up and color work, followed by a couple coats of finish to seal everything.
The top to this old radio had a dark stain outlining a drinking glass. Trying to hide the stain with touch up would only give compromising results, so it was decided to refinish the top. The photo below shows the refinished top with the dark stain completely removed.
The original gilt decals for the control knobs were pretty worn. Our client thought they would have to be replaced, but a good cleaning revealed they were still intact and only needed some touch up.
This rca victor radio restoration project was completed for a Kingston NY client.