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Arvin Rhythm Queen Cabinet

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Arvin Rhythm Queen Cabinet  Empty Arvin Rhythm Queen Cabinet

Post by neali on Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:52 pm

Hi all,

Please be patient with me. For this topic to have any meaning, I need to figure out how to post a picture here.

First I will try to post two before pictures.

This is one before:

Arvin Rhythm Queen Cabinet  Before_side

This is another:

Arvin Rhythm Queen Cabinet  Before_waterfall_crack



Let's see if I figured this out before I proceed.

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Post by neali on Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:58 pm

OK, that was easy. Let me explain something. Those pictures were not taken by me. They were taken by the guy that sold me the radio. This gentleman is named Bob Timms and he goes by the alias joybird on ARF and on youtube.

The chassis of this radio was perfectly restored by Bob. The cabinet was stripped by him. The tweets you hear in the following video are love birds that have the reign of his house. That is the inspiration for his alias as well.

I encourage people to view his other videos. He is the best radio man I have ever had the good fortune to come across and I am honored to have a piece of his finest work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7hX9-HAMuw

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Post by neali on Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:11 pm

So, let me explain a little about Arvin. The real name of the company is Noblitt Sparks Industries. They got their start making after market heaters for a new fangled contraption called the automobile.

They branched out to car radios and then consumer home radios. The company is still around and has thousands of employees. While mighty RCA, Zenith and Philco are either a distant memory of a name slapped on some cheap Asian electronic junk.

If you search around eBay, you would think Arvin made only cheap transsitor sets or midget 4 tube metal tube radios. But for a brief period of 1935-1940, the golden age of radios, Arvin made sets that can challenge and Zenithophile as some fo the most beautiful radios ever.

In my mind, the 1936 Rhythm series was their peak. And the Rhythm Queen their most beautiful radio and the most beautiful radio dial ever.

I looked at all the images of Arvin Rhythm Queens on the internet and the best restoration, IMO, was done by Radiola guy.

http://www.radiolaguy.com/Showcase/Console/Arvin927.htm

This is what I was aiming at.

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Post by neali on Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:22 pm

OK, some photos of the cabinet work.

This is after regluing the cabinet, making everything tight. The gaps and and cracks were filled with wood filler. Grain lines were painted back in over the damaged areas with artist brushes and oil paints. Over this went a couple of coats of thinned shellac. This sealed the cabinet and protected the painted grain lines.

Then grain filler. Wait a long time because even the oil based stuff shrinks a little. A few applications of that. Then some clear coats. A tiny bit of toner on the white wood – maybe not enough – but it was as close to radiola guy as I could get.

http://www.radiolaguy.com/Showcase/Console/Arvin927.htm

A second to last coat wet sanded with 600 and 1000. Then a final coat followed by 600, 1000, 1500, pumice, rottenstone, jewelers rouge and finally cornstarch – tip from Eddie Brimer, not sure it did anything but make a mess. Then wax. Going to let it rest a week because I won’t have any time until next weekend. Then Bob’s beautiful chassis goes back in. With fresh chassis grommets from radiola guy.

Some pictures:

Arvin Rhythm Queen Cabinet  Queen_cabinet_finished1-1

Check the area where the waterfall crack was. It is as perfect as I can make it.

Here is a couple of pictures of my attempt vs. Radiola guy. I might have paid too much attention to the printouts and forgotten to look at the internet pictures because the white woods are probably not toned enough. After 400 hours, it is what it is.

Arvin Rhythm Queen Cabinet  Queen_cabinet_finished_vs_radiolaguy2-1

Arvin Rhythm Queen Cabinet  Queen_cabinet_finished_vs_radiolaguy1


One more post after this.

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Post by neali on Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:31 pm

I do not really understand some things about pictures. I open them up using microsoft tools and they are sideways and I rotate and save them and the they are twisted when I post them.

Sorry for the sideways pictures but you get the idea. Final picture, the knobs or knob in this case. I saw a restoration of a Queen that was over done in my opinion, but the knobs had a red tint that I liked. But too red. So I shot the knobs with some redwood pigment in the lacquer and then layered some medium brown over them. In person they have a lot of depth and beautiful hints of red that does not photograph.

Arvin Rhythm Queen Cabinet  Queen_cabinet_finished_knob

Ok, that is a year in a life. Please be kind. I will have the whole shebang back together in a week or two and will post a video if there is any interest.

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Post by Wildcat445 on Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:00 am

Beautiful radio. Great workmanship. Congratulations.  Very Happy 

WC

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Post by neali on Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:38 am

Thanks WC,

That is high praise coming from a best in class restoration (Buick) winner. You know what is involved trying to get everything perfect.

Stay tuned. The audio quality is spectacular. Smile

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Post by Bill Cahill on Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:55 am

Nice job on re gluing. The only thing I would have done differently is originally, these cabinets were stained in different shades of walnut stain. Otherwise, great job........
I'm interested.......

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Post by neali on Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:25 pm

In the thirties, the gum wood or poplar parts of the cabinet were sprayed with non grain raising stains probably alcohol based. The few guys I talked to about this that are the top of their craft - Kenny Richmond and Eddie Brimer being a couple, do not use stains but rely on using toning lacquer to add color.

If I ever use a stain, it will be a dye based non grain raising stain that is disolved in alcohol and applied with a gun. Transtint stains look acceptable. Certainly a thirties radio never had stain applied with a rag or a brush and nothing water based was used. Interesting article here.

http://www.rockler.com/how-to/wood-stain-in-a-nutshell

I was severely cautioned about overdoing the toning lacquer mist coats to the point that I under did them. I agree with you that the sides are too light. I think the walnut veneer is already dark enough - possibly even too dark - but I am very happy how the veneer ended up.

I do not like a popular style of radio refinishing these days where the solid wood is toned almost black. Not at all. Nor do I want to shoot for perfectly uniform color across the radio. I like some contrast between the veneer side wood pieces and the veneer. Also between the grill bars and the veneer.

Since we both agree that the sides are a little too light, I have to decide whether I am going to mask off the veneer, again. And apply some more toner mist coats and rub out the finish again, something I spent about 80 hours doing already.  No 

Or do I enjoy the radio for a while, Tough call. Thanks for your advice and nice words.

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Post by neali on Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:30 pm

One correction, I did see Mr. Brimer use shoe dye on his Philco 38-690 on several parts of the cabinet like the feet that he wanted extremely dark.

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Post by neali on Mon May 05, 2014 11:40 am

Off Topic:
Arvin Rhythm Queen Cabinet  865_small
Arvin Rhythm Queen Cabinet  864_small
Arvin Rhythm Queen Cabinet  861_small
Arvin Rhythm Queen Cabinet  859_small
Arvin Rhythm Queen Cabinet  858_small
Arvin Rhythm Queen Cabinet  857_small
Arvin Rhythm Queen Cabinet  866_small

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Post by Wildcat445 on Mon May 05, 2014 11:04 pm

Neali, for some reason, that thing looks familiar. Is that a Magnavox Imperial? Thanks for all your help on this.  Very Happy 

WC

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Post by neali on Tue May 06, 2014 12:14 am

Yes, yes it is. A beautiful example of one as well rescued from a landfill or worse by one of TRF's best. Thank you for the pictures, I really enjoyed seeing them.


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Post by 75X11 on Tue May 06, 2014 7:23 am

Really nice work on the Arvin cabinet! As I remember, I have always had to rotate the images before storing them on any other applications or they default to their original orientation. One of those t&e lessons.
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Post by neali on Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:07 pm

75X11 wrote:Really nice work on the Arvin cabinet!  As I remember, I have always had to rotate the images before storing them on any other applications or they default to their original orientation.  One of those t&e lessons.

Thank you 75 for the kind words about the cabinet.

About picture rotation, I only have problems with an image that has spent some time on an apple product. An iphone in this case. If I use a camera and a PC, I get WYSIWYG when I post the image.

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