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!

  2. George Pepperdine founded the Western Auto Stores out of Kansas City, MO after the turn of the Century. He later sold the Company in the 1930's and founded the now Pepperdine University located in Malibu, California. Truetone was the brand name of the radios sold through the Western Auto Stores for many years to come. He was a member of the Churches of Christ and built the school with the money he garnered from the sale of the Western Auto Store chain.

    1. Thanks for the additional info, Anonymous!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...