Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Truetone Restoration

I found this 1941 Truetone radio at a rummage sale a couple weekends back.  It was pretty rough looking and missing knobs, but it was only $5 and I wanted to save it.

I discovered an old Bubble Tape box in the back.

Opening it up, I found the missing knobs.  Things were looking up.

I pulled the chassis from the case.

And discovered someone else had attempted to repair it. 

There were quite a few cut wires, so it wasn't looking good for a full restoration.

I liked the "claw foot" decorations.

After sanding the case down.

The original grill cloth was in poor condition, so I replaced that.

It was mounted on a piece of cardboard that was deteriorated as well, so I cut a new mount from a thin sheet of plywood.

The new speaker grill and cover.

After staining and varnishing.

The speaker was bad, so I replaced it with a this one from Walmart.  It fit the spot pretty well, although I had to trim the front right corner off the chassis.

Since it wasn't a candidate for a full repair, I hooked up a small amplifier and  bluetooth device directly to the speaker.  I also wired some batteries into the on/off switch to the lightbulb behind the dial to give it some illumination and the illusion of a working radio.

The final product.  I think it turned out pretty nice.  You can actually buy new reproduction dial covers for this model on eBay, but I thought the yellowing gave it some character.


  1. Wow, nice job! The wood is beautiful. I love that the parts were in a bubble tape container.

    1. Thanks, Sharon. The wood grain shows really nice, you couldn't really see it when first bought it. The Bubble Tape was a nice find, particularly because it had the knobs and mounting bolts in it!


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