get started... The front slides out and here's the chassis
in its pleasantly dust-covered state. This is always a good
sign because it means the set hasn't previously been tampered
Aurora standards converter/modulator has now arrived
from Darryl Hock in the States too. This amazing little
device is an essential accessory whenever you want to fire
up an old British television on a modern signal. Get yours
switching this old television on still lies a long way ahead...
CRM121 tube in its cradle of canvas straps, tensioned by
springs. By now all the various coils and magnets around
the neck have been removed.
The tube is
carefully dismounted and put aside for safety, well away
from the 'action'.
cabinet is complete disassembled. Here are the parts..
first a problem to address... The veneers and the general
construction of this cabinet are not of the finest quality.
The top curved panel is coming away. This is araldited back
into position and some weight applied to ensure it is positioned
are various minor problems at the veneeer edges to attend
to. Superglue is trickled in and the edges are firmly pressed
back. Then plastic wood is applied to fill the 'gross' aspect
of the damage. All this is done to make sure the cabinet
is roughly shipshape before the old finish is stripped off.
cabinet is stripped with Nitromors and then cleaned off thoroughly
with coarse wire wool and cellulose thinners. The brown paint
around the cabinet's orifice rims is removed separately, so
it won't leech onto the main cabinet panels.
is stripped. Meanwhile the smaller cabinet parts, here shown
missing, have also had similar treatment.
day it's time to sand the entire cabinet. Here we see one
of the grille spars receiving the treatment. Fine-grade
production paper is used, sanding only in the direction
of the grain.
blemishes in the veneer are discovered, these are carefully
stopped with plastic wood.
The side edges
of the spars, now stripped and with the ply visible, will
later be masked with maple brown paint before the main finish
The next dawns
with final rubbing down and correcting the minor flaws remaining
- as I go. All to the strains of the 'Music while you work"
Guild CD coming over the workshop tannoy. I find this sort
of music chivvies me along and is good for productivity
! (It's obtainable here)
In the meantime,
more cabinet weakness has been discovered - this time underneath
the base. The original glue has dried out and the corner
reinforcing blocks just pull off. This has to be corrected
down, there's no substitute for the sense of touch. Running
your fingers gently over the surfaces will reveal little
imperfections which are invisible to the eye...
attention with the wood bleach is needed on a spot of discolouration
found at the top of the screen section. This could have been
part of the grain pattern, but I know it isn't, because it's
not also seen mirrored on the other side...
And so the
first coat of lacquer is applied. The customer has requested
the palest possible finish so there's no call for cellulose,
toner or compressor in this instance - the whole job is
to be done with transparent acrylic, using spray cans. This
is an expensive way to do it and many flatted coats will
be needed. This is the same method I used on my own Baird
Townsman. The results will be excellent.
A thin 'keying'
coat is applied to start then more is added. At this stage
we just need to build up the lacquer thickness. Since there
will be a lot of rubbing down, the opaque masking of minor
blemishes, veneer edges and cabinet orifices must come later.
major coat is left to harden overnight, then the first of
the many flatting operations with 400 wet-n-dry is started.
Many more flatted coats will follow. Depending on the type
of surface, this can be up to 10 coats.
At this stage
a block is used, to establish a really flat surface on the
overall scale. This will pay dividends later on, ensuring
the finished job looks really good, even in glancing lights...
cabinet finish is setting, there's time to take a first
look at the chassis. Here the dust is being given the benefit
of the air line.
Look at the
horrible state of that dropper, all unravelled on the lower
right! A problem in store.
Now the valves
are tested, so any replacements can be ordered in good time,
should they not be in stock.
the 20P1 line output. It looks excellent. Then I come to
the U801 rectifier... this has dreadful internal shorts
and an o/c heater. I look at my stock - all of these have
an o/c heater too... apart from one! The heater on this
valve operates at 80 volts and is very delicate. It's not
a happy choice for use in this prime position. I don't think
these sets could have been too reliable when new...
Of the nine
10F1's, three are good, two are marginal and four are low
or broken. All the low and marginal valves are replaced