Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by Wildcat445 on Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:30 pm

The problem with remedial action to the tops is that the frau keeps loading them with items that are simply too heavy. Those big glass lamps she collects are gorgeous sitting on a Magnavox cabinet. You have to prop up the sliders to keep those heavy glass lamps from bending them. I'm fortunate that she at least tolerates all this stuff in her house. I just straighten the tops when I think they need it and move on.

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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by 75X11 on Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:41 pm

You might look into some plexiglas sheets to distribute the weight of the bric a bracs. That is, on the ones you want to protect to that degree.
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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:46 pm

I have decided to "divide" the cabinet up into sections.  This will make it easier for me to manage certain details and to fight the humidity.  

The sliding lids have been grain filled and an additional coat of shellac has been applied.  Next step is to flat sand ready for final finish.



A close-up of the lids grain filled.



Those lids are not perfect, but they are quite acceptable and have come a long way since this project started.

Everything but the top has been masked off.  I am going to finish the top completely, then move to another area.



The first coat of finish applied to the top of the cabinet.  This gets wet-sanded with 600 grit and EVOO or mineral oil and then the final coat will be sprayed on.



The top section is getting really smooth now.  The final coat should finish filling any small imperfections that remain.  The gloss of the finish should be a clue as to what it is.  Gloss polyurethane.  The high humidity was causing too many blushing concerns using shellac as the final finish.  I could not get the gloss right, given my limited experience.  Hopefully this decision will eliminate the humidity concerns, since poly flashes off with a chemical reaction, not from the venting of solvents.  Poly will require at least 72 hours before it can be sanded.


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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:55 pm

I have been playing with the electronics while I wait on stuff to dry.

I hope I don't jinx something mentioning this, but the Collaro changer in this stereo is the most forgiving one I own.  This thing simply does what it is supposed to do without drama.  It needs a new drive tire, motor mounts and the usual tune-up, but this thing is a sweetheart.



This changer is allegedly the ultra-cheapo model with the small trim.  I can't see any difference mechanically between it and the "top line" Imperial Micromatics.  This one even says "Imperial" on its sticker.








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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by 75X11 on Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:30 pm

Looks nice so far!
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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by Tony V on Mon Jun 27, 2016 1:09 am

Looking good!
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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by Wildcat445 on Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:46 am

Thanks, guys. I mis-spoke earlier. I don't do an oil rub between coats. That is reserved for the final rub out. The old radio guys claim that urethane can't be rubbed out. I'll either prove or disprove that old saw in a few weeks. I don't see why it can't, though. It is done on cars all the time. This will be my first attempt on furniture.

I'll admit that I've learned a lot. I'd like a redux on a couple radios I've done in the past. I may actually strip one down and do it over, my Sparton 880. That thing would look killer with black grain filler and a hand-rubbed poly finish. Shellac is the secret. I'm not convinced it is the best top coat, especially if you have a non-air conditioned shop. But it is fantastic for an undercoat. It brings up the depth of the grain and it seals against almost any type of contamination. It is easy to sand and easy to remove if you mess up. It is nearly impossible to mess up. It's Achilles heel is blushing in high humidity. The warning is printed right on the can, but who reads that stuff, right?

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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by Bill Cahill on Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:31 am

Speaking of radios..... Does anyone have a Detrola they'd part with?? I once had a thirties by them. Wish I could find it.

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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by Wildcat445 on Mon Jun 27, 2016 5:07 pm

I have been using Zinsser "Bulls Eye" shellac on this project.  At $9 and something a can, this is getting unnecessarily spendy.  So I make a 40 mile trip to "The City" to pick up a quart of the same product that I can brush on.  The quart can is identical to the spray bomb.  Same paint, same writing, same everything.  Except two excerpts from the instructions.  On the spray can, it says that the product is 100% wax-free and is recommended for use under polyurethane.  On the quart can, it says specifically "Not recommended for use under polyurethane."  HUH?  

I asked at three stores that handled the product, Walmart, Menard's and Shewin-Williams what the difference was.  Nobody could tell me.  So I dialed the toll-free number printed on the can for Rust-Oleam, to get their take on what the difference was.  I finally got off hold and to a live body, named Debbie.  She informed me that the difference was that the quart was not de-waxed, hence its POSSIBLE incompatibility with urethanes.  De-waxed, white, two-pound cut shellac is now called "Sanding sealer."  You need to use the waxed product, (for whatever reason) then cover that with the dewaxed product "sanding sealer" to insure compatibility with urethanes.  I asked why one could not merely allow the waxed product to stand, thus allowing the wax to settle to the bottom, then skim off the top liquid, which should be thusly de-waxed.  She said this would not work, that I would not get "a complete product".  I asked what they had added to the shellac to prevent the wax, which settles naturally, from settling.  She could not tell me, but she did "not recommend that."  The spray bomb version is de-waxed so it does not clog the nozzle when spraying.  

In the olden days, one purchased shellac in flakes.  You would then add alcohol to it to make it liquid again.  One refers to shellac in pounds, such as a two-pound cut, three pound cut, and so forth to denote the mixture of shellac to alcohol.  A two-pound cut would be two pounds of shellac flakes mixed with one gallon of alcohol.  Shellac is actually a food-grade finish.  You could technically eat shellac. ( This is NOT a recommendation that you eat shellac!)  In fact, M&M's and Reece's Pieces are covered with shellac to make them shiny!  The only part in shellac that would potentially hurt you if you drank it would be the denatured (wood) alcohol used to thin it.  Food use shellac is thinned with grain alcohol (moonshine?)  When one mixed up a fresh cut of shellac, you would allow the mixture to stand for at least 24 hours to let the wax settle to the bottom if you wanted it de-waxed.  If you were using it for a top coat, the wax was desirable for durability.  It is painfully obvious to me that Debbie has never actually used shellac in her life, and knew beans about it.  She was only reading what the computer screen told her.

I offer this little diatribe both to vent my spleen for having wasted the whole morning trying to find the answer that I already knew.  How hard would it have been to simply print "Not De-Waxed" on the can somewhere.  Then make the printing larger so it did not take a magnifying glass to read it.  The Sherwin-Williams store was squared away.  They have a lighted glass to read such things in.  I also offer this to advise those, novices like me, when they go to purchase shellac and want the de-waxed, to get "Sanding sealer" if you get the Zinsser brand.  Other brands are likely similar.  White shellac is now "clear."  Orange shellac is now "amber", and de-waxed shellac is now "sanding sealer."  I also read on a can of lacquer that it wanted shellac removed before the lacquer was applied.  That will come as news to old-timers who use shellac as an undercoat to lacquer.  I ASSUME they are referring to waxed shellac, or any shellac if you are unsure of its wax content.  It seems to me that a coat of sanding sealer would take care of that, but what do I know?


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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by 75X11 on Mon Jun 27, 2016 5:35 pm

Looks like your vendor needs to have a little less added sophistry to their product offerings. Mad
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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by Wildcat445 on Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:49 pm

I have done some not-so-scientific testing on my practice board and can't see any detriment to using waxed shellac under Minwax polyurethane.  My test board is gorgeous.  If only my Magnavox stereo looks so good when I get it done.  My test board is a hunk of 1X4 that came out of my scrap pile.  My thinking is that certain brands/types/glosses of poly may be sensitive to waxed shellac.  I am going to play it safe and follow directions.  The waxed material seems to build better, so I can use it for undercoat, then put a couple coats of de-waxed as my final block sand coats before spraying polyurethane.  I can develop a possible workaround when I don't have the fate of my entire project at stake.  Waxed and de-waxed are the same price, so I'm not hurt there.  I was going to buy a gallon, but wanted to try a quart to see how it went.  So I'll have a half gallon total, which is not unreasonable.  There is an additional step to remember, but that is nothing new.

There may be some type of additive in the waxed shellac that will not allow the wax to settle.  I got mine home and opened it.  You can see that the wax is well-distributed.  It does not settle.

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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by 75X11 on Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:04 pm

I would let the poly dry completely on the test board, then take a piece of masking tape and put it on the surface and lift it off. See if there is any delamination of the poly.
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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by Wildcat445 on Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:03 pm

That is a great idea. I'll try that.

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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by Bill Cahill on Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:15 am

Shelac and, polyurethane will not work together.

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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by Wildcat445 on Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:38 am

Why not, Bill?

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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by Bill Cahill on Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:25 pm

Polyurethane is plastic, shellac isn't. I don't know the chemicals, but, Shelac cracks, then, peels off. Not compatible.
I also learned the hard way that shellac and, lacquer don't mix, either.

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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by Wildcat445 on Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:09 pm

Compatibility issues with shellac involve the use of waxed shellac. Many finish material are not compatible with it. Minwax polyurethane apparently is. If you use de-waxed shellac as an under coat or as a sanding sealer, it is compatible with nearly every finish, including lacquer. "Lacquer" sanding sealer and most pre-stain conditioners are nothing more than a wash coat cut of shellac. Many lacquer containers warn about the use of shellac under their products. Most old furniture is finished with waxed shellac which may cause compatibility issues with lacquer. Polyurethane is uralkyd varnish. "Cooked" differently than regular varnish to promote hardness and durability, much like Mobil 1 is cooked differently than Standard Permalube, to promote hardness and durability. It is no more plastic than lacquer. There are several versions of "poly", oil based, soy based, synthetic water borne.

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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:16 am

I bought a multiplex adapter for this stereo from an ARF member. Nice fellow with good communication, prompt shipping and excellent packing, for what that is worth. One of the smoothest online deals I ever did. The MPX adapter is coded for the 43rd week of 1962, Run 3. The 12AT7 tube is coded for the 43rd week of 1962, GE sourced. The 6EA8 is coded for the 43rd week of 1962, RCA sourced. Both are Magnavox branded. This is the "short cable" model, meaning that the "big cable" with the Molex connector that connects the adapter to the tuner is only about 18" long. The "long cable" version is about three feet long. My plan is to use this MPX adapter in the Concert Grand, which could use the shorter cable, and put the one from the Concert Grand into this stereo. That is the good news.

The bad news is that this adapter does not work. The one I got for the Concert Grand did not work, either. I am betting that it sufferers from low B+. It sorta works, but the volume is very low and somewhat distorted, exactly the same malady suffered by the other one. I'll totally recap the adapter and go from there. I'm suspecting either a wonky filter cap or a drifted resistor. The malady is common to both channels. There is not much to a multiplex adapter, and little circuitry that is common to both channels. The 12AT7 is an audio amp and cathode follower. I can remove it completely with no detriment to how the adapter works. It is a good bet that the AT7 is not doing anything. I have subbed tubes with no effect whatsoever.

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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:27 pm

I have the multiplex adapter working. It had a different malady than the others. This one had good B+, but not much if any signal past pin 7 of the 12AT7, the cathode follower section. I found a 4uf at 50 volt electrolytic coupling cap that had opened. I had to parallel two 2.2's to make it work. I also learned something on this job. There is a 2uf @50 volt electrolytic hidden off pin 6 of the 6EA8. I replaced all the electrolytics and checked all the resistors. I replaced a 47K and a 100K that had drifted high. This adapter sounds better than the others. I believe I'll look at them to see if they have the hidden cap as well. This one is model 7003-00 and the other two are 7002-00, but they share a schematic.

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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by 75X11 on Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:34 pm

Looks like the unit is going to make you work for it. Very Happy

At least it's worth it when you're done and you have a good looking and sounding unit for your trouble.
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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:06 pm

Thank God for my old signal tracer. It had recently gone on the blink and I had to fix it. I really don't use it much, but it was a God-send on this project. Just what I needed to troubleshoot a MPX adapter. With multiplex, you are dealing with the signal and not much else past B+. The "alignment" is really an adjustment to avoid "birdies" and cross talk. "Happy hands at home" kluging can't really mess one up too badly. As long as one is not rusty with some of the coils runined, I would think almost any of them would be usable after a good tune-up. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to troubleshoot this one. The next one will not seem as daunting, perhaps.

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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Jul 03, 2016 6:49 pm

I moved this thread to more accurately reflect what I'm trying to accomplish.

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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:33 pm

I got some quality bench time in this afternoon.  It was raining cats and dogs, so I could do little else.

FM performance on the 5900 series "Series 100" tuner is quite robust.  AM not so much.  The circuit is typical of that found in an AA5 radio, with no RF amplifier for AM.  All I could receive connected to my longwire antenna was noise and squealing.  Alignment time.  The first IF proved to be badly mis-aligned.  AM performance now is acceptable, although it is still not a Hallicrafters by any means.  Buyers of Magnavox stereos likely cared less about AM performance even when this was new.  Stereo records and FM stereo were the hot features.

More cabinet pictures.

Grain filling the front panel.





The panel after filling and rubbing with burlap.



The felt runners that the slides move on are all shot.  I scraped them off, and have made replacements from brown felt sourced at Hobby Lobby.



I spread the grain filler with the grain, then in a random pattern with a brush with shortened bristles.  I allowed that to flash, then scraped off the excess with an old credit card.  Then I buffed the rest off in a random pattern with a swatch of burlap.



I don't know how I got those last two pictures out of sequence.  Please bear with me.  Embarassed

Sanding polyurethane.  A process the "old radio guys" think is impossible.  It actually sands nicer than shellac or lacquer!  



Although now dull from sanding, the sliding lids are glass smooth.

Black grain filler on a leg.  The horizontal groove you see in the end panel will be painted black with a fine-tip magic marker.



/url]The project is coming along nicely.  Tomorrow evening, after work, we test all systems.  Then Tuesday morning we shoot the final finish.  So far, so good.

I learned to be careful masking off a semi-finished cabinet. Due to the high humidity, I found white streaks under the masking tape. I had to sand these out, redo my shellac undercoat and hope for the best. If I mask in the future, I will remove masking materials when the finish dries, then redo the masking at the next process if necessary. I will not leave the tape on for a week at a time, especially in high humidity on shellac.


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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by 75X11 on Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:53 pm

That will look mighty nice with all the proper work done with it.
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Re: Restoration on Magnavox Stereo Model 1ST616

Post by Wildcat445 on Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:17 pm

Today it got the final finish.  All done unless there is a screw-up found later.  We need to wait at least a week, perhaps two with this humidity, before it will have cured enough to color sand.  It is far too shiny, but the finish looks about a foot deep. Notice the horizontal line in the end of the cabinet after I blackened it with a magic marker.



This is one of the lids with a gun finish.  You can see the shop lights reflecting.  You can actually see the grids in the shop lights in the finish.  After sanding and buffing, this should be glass smooth.  This is the lid that had the black water stain.



The trim that goes on the front panel of the cabinet.  I had supposed these were gold anodized "mystery metal" of some kind.  I was intending to sand them off and paint them.  Turns out they are solid brass!  Solid brass trim on a cheap Magnavox stereo.  The pulls for the sliders are brass, too.  These babies will get a good polish on the wheel, then clear coated. I'm not sure how bright they are supposed to be, but on this job they'll be polished.


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