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Bringing A Mirror-Tone Back To Life

Over the next little while, I'm going to be working on a cabinet/chassis restoration on this Meck Mirror-Tone.

I'm going to be using this page to display the steps I take during a typical, moderately involved, bakelite radio restoration.
This charming little table set has fallen victim to a combination of poor packaging and the Postal Service.

As you can see, the once-stylish cabinet is in many pieces, with significant cracking. The dial scale window is also suffering from what appears to be a cigarette burn. Apart from a broken tube, the chassis appears to be in fair, close-to-original condition..

Step number one will be to scan the manufacturer's label for future reproduction. I try to preserve the original label, however, more times than not I'm unsuccessful in removing it in one piece.

That having been done, The cabinet and fragments are going to take a swim in the water based stripping solution. The small broken fragments are placed in a ziplock bag containing the same solution. This solution will remove all traces of the factory paint from the cabinet, and if all goes well the label should detach itself with no coaxing, and settle to the bottom of the solution for later retrieval.

We're probably looking at a seven or eight hour soak.

While that is happening, I'll be able to do some work on the electronics..


The electronic restoration of this chassis is a thorough one, since most of the components appeared to be original.

A good cleaning is first on the list. Depending on the state of the underlying sheet metal, I sometimes resort to a light sandblasting. Not necessary in this case.
With things cleaned up, all moving parts receive a lubrication. If indicated, the dial cord will also be replaced. This set uses a friction drive tuning mechanism, so all I had to do in order to revive the tuning action was to replace the rubber drive wheel.

Since most of the electronic components appeared to be original on this set, I replaced all capacitors and every out of spec. resistor. Unless requested, I use new era components - a bit more stable in the long run.

New line cord is always installed.

Once rebuilt, an alignment put this little set into "as new" condition.

After spending a day or so in its bath, the cabinet and all its little fragments has emerged pretty much paint-free.

This is what the cabinet looks like now that I've begun the task of reconstructing his battered body. The pins I inserted on this set are on the inside.

Fortunately, almost all the fragments were accounted for, so there wasn't any major void - filling to do.

For a detailed look at the process of reconstructing broken Bakelite.....