Rust Removal - Front Panel

Sun Jun 10 11:53:14 EDT 2001

In the recent past several have written to inquire about what to do about
rust. Unfortunately rust on our "vintage tin" is continually advancing
deterioration and the bubbling you see on the paint surface has often
affected a larger area underneath (like cancer or termites) to the good
metal. If left unchecked the condition will only get worse. You have three

1) Leave it alone and live with it as the gradual process of decay (slow
oxidation) is relatively slow.

2) Local spot repair. Contact a supplier of boatanchor paints to see if a
color match is available or get a computer match from a paint supplier.
Carefully scrape away all rust observing when you have reached the edge of
unaffected metal under the paint and perform a spot repair touch up either by
hand or with an air brush. You may have to fill the pits left by the rust
removal with a polyester or epoxy filler-surfacer first. Use a flattening
agent to adjust the degree of gloss to match the original semi-gloss (if
applicable) for a better match.

3) Complete restoration of the finish to the front panel. Check to see if
silk screens are available for your model or take the panel to a screen
printer to get screens made for replication of original graphics and procure
primers, fillers, correct shades of replacement paint for refinishing and
other needed refinishing supplies. Using glass bead or plastic shot remove
all old finish and working the pits be sure to get all rust out and fill and
prime as required to get a good surface. Refinish as required and rescreen
original graphics.

       Remember that the degree of success here will completely depend on the
level of preparation to the surfaces, attention to detail, cleanliness of
work area and skill at applying finish coats. If you have to tell an
experienced eye that your set has been refinished you have done a good job. I
have seen many radios for sale at swap meets where this has not been the
case. Many repaints can be spotted from 20 feet away and look more like
someone's training radio where the radio would have fared better had the
owner just cleaned it and polished it a little not to mention how the value
was affected. Strive to see how original you can make it look and enjoy doing
some craftsmanship if that is your interest.

Greg Gore; WA1KBQ

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