Another save - a Philco 655B - Printable Version
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Another save - a Philco 655B - Ron Ramirez - 06-09-2011 12:18 AM
Two years ago, Debbie bought a Philco 645B cabinet at a local antique shop, and gave it to me. The cabinet still has its original finish, with some scratches and scuffs; certainly not bad enough to refinish. More on the cabinet later.
Last year, I obtained a very rough Philco 655B in order to get a chassis to use in this cabinet. The cabinet was literally falling apart, badly delaminated, and beyond reasonable repair. Someone like my friend Kenny Richmond, or Exray, or Steve Davis, or one of our other Phorum members who is very skilled at cabinet work probably could have saved the cabinet; but it was also scratched all over with the name of the organization which I assume was the original owner of the radio - Brentano School (now known as Brentano Math & Science Academy), which is located in Chicago.
Whoever scratched the name "Brentano School" all over the cabinet also scratched the school name on the chassis; on the power transformer, filter choke, and half of the tubes.
Anyway...here is how the chassis looked originally.
I started working on this chassis over a week ago, in between summer college classes. Today, I finished it up:
Yes, the tuning condenser was replaced with one from a junk 650. Both the 650 and 655 use the same tuning condenser (they even have the same part number). The original tuning condenser was badly rusted and had rubbing plates. It was easier to just replace it.
Once the chassis was done, it went into the 645B cabinet. In case you're wondering, the 645B and 655B cabinets are identical.
I would like to encourage other collectors not to throw out those "rust bucket" chassis - like the very rough cabinets, the chassis can also often be brought back from what appears to some as "parts only" condition.
Re: Another save - a Philco 655B - Steve Davis - 06-09-2011 02:11 AM
Nice job, Ron. Very nice indeed
Re: Another save - a Philco 655B - w4rtc - 06-09-2011 03:18 AM
Hi Ron well you did it again. That is a good looking radio, I am envious, your radios look so good and mine looks so bad. Once again it looks beautiful Joe
Re: Another save - a Philco 655B - Arran - 06-09-2011 04:39 AM
What sort of paint did you use on that chassis? It doesn't look like silver or aluminum paint.
Re: Another save - a Philco 655B - Uffda - 06-09-2011 06:30 AM
Another satisfying episode of "Extreme Makeover."
Re: Another save - a Philco 655B - BILL - 06-09-2011 02:46 PM
Your Chassie look beautiful! are you painting them? They, I believe , where originally catium plated, I use a cheap chrome paint to replace the catium plating that was originally done on the auto radio cases I restore, is this what your using?
Re: Another save - a Philco 655B - Ron Ramirez - 06-09-2011 02:56 PM
Arran and Bill: I use Krylon Satin Nickel spray paint. It looks more authentic than that gaudy aluminum paint some people use. And, an additional benefit: It is conductive, which is a good thing, especially for tube shields; it helps ensure that the tube shields will still function properly.
Re: Another save - a Philco 655B - BILL - 06-09-2011 03:13 PM
I'm going to try this paint on my 37-610 I'm restoring , for the black you use on your power transformer, do you use a engine paint?
Re: Another save - a Philco 655B - Ron Ramirez - 06-09-2011 04:16 PM
For power transformers, filter chokes, etc., most of the time I use Krylon Satin Black. For the 655, noticing the 655's interstage transformer had the remants of gloss black paint, I had some leftover Dupli-Color gloss black auto touch-up spray paint and used this for the power transformer, filter choke and interstage transformer.
I usually run any radio I am playing for hours at a time through a bucking transformer setup, dropping the line voltage to 110 so the power transformer only gets lukewarm. I would think that if you need high temperature engine paint designed to withstand several hundred degrees Fahrenheit, that your power transformer is running too hot!
Re: Another save - a Philco 655B - Uffda - 06-09-2011 06:59 PM
Ron, since you brought up the bucking transformer I have to ask: Is there any danger in using a variable transformer like my Isotap or big honking Powerstat as a dedicated 110V outlet? I promise to exercise the knob regularly.
Re: Another save - a Philco 655B - Arran - 06-10-2011 05:30 AM
Ron Ramirez Wrote:Thanks, everyone!
I'm guilty of that, I used to use it because there wasn't anything else, just silver which is even more gaudy then aluminum. I think that when they were new the plating on some chassis was almost like aluminum paint in terms of brightness, but 60-70 years on it doesn't look quite right to be original. If you really want to go to town, and dismantle the whole chassis, you can get a chassis replated in cadmium, it isn't nearly as expensive as chrome since there is little to no polishing involved. On most sets it isn't worth the effort, but if you had something rare or high end that you wanted to bring back it could be worth it.
Re: Another save - a Philco 655B - Arran - 06-10-2011 05:33 AM
Uffda Wrote:Ron, since you brought up the bucking transformer I have to ask: Is there any danger in using a variable transformer like my Isotap or big honking Powerstat as a dedicated 110V outlet? I promise to exercise the knob regularly.
What is a power stat, another name brand for a variable transformer like a Varaic?
Re: Another save - a Philco 655B - Uffda - 06-10-2011 05:43 AM
Yes, another brand of var. trans. Nice looking hefty beasts. This link to one on ebay is a 10 amp (smaller) version of mine.
Re: Another save - a Philco 655B - gary rabbitt - 06-10-2011 07:58 AM
Very nice work Ron.
I agree that even rust bucket chassis have a place in our hobby. The paint work is excellent, I'll have to pick up a can of that color to keep on the shelf.
Re: Another save - a Philco 655B - etech - 06-10-2011 02:55 PM
That is a very nice job on this radio Ron. It's good to see another one saved. Like I always tell my wife when I bring another old rust bucket home, 'you know they're not making these anymore'. She usually just rolls her eyes.
Anyway, I know you are busy, what with school and all, so I'm glad to see that you have been able to make some time to work on the old radios.