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Old 12th Jun 2020, 4:02 pm   #1
eddie_ce
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Default Ultra T401 - Cleaning Dial

Now that I have restored my radio's case to a near pristine condition I am wondering whether anyone has experience of cleaning the dial.

The lettering is not on glass but is on what seems to be thin galvanised steel sheet.

Has anyone tried careful cleaning with cottonwool buds and soapy water or is it best to leave well be?
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 4:18 pm   #2
Nickthedentist
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Default Re: Ultra T401 - Cleaning Dial

Hello again,

I would tread very carefully!

Clock dials from the same era are similar, i.e. screenprinted onto a thin metal (aluminium?) sheet. Get it wrong, and the appearance of the finished piece will be ruined!

Firstly, brush off any dust or loose dirt with a soft, dry brush.

Then, I would either leave well alone, or clean under running, lukewarm water with some mild soap on a pad of cotton wool, then blot dry with a microfibre cloth, but only after testing a small inconspicuous bit to see that it's safe to do so. If the printing looks flakey or fragile, then don't even try this.

Cleaning the (plain) glass so that it gleams will really help make things look nice, even if the printed dial underneath is less than perfect.

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Old 13th Jun 2020, 12:31 pm   #3
eddie_ce
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Default Re: Ultra T401 - Cleaning Dial

Following Nick's advice I very carefully dipped a cotton bud in warm water containing a drop of F**** liquid and very gingerly went over the dial. Luckily no disasters and quite a bit of dirt came off.

Mods I think this can be closed. Many Thanks
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Old 13th Jun 2020, 6:41 pm   #4
David G4EBT
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Default Re: Ultra T401 - Cleaning Dial

The dial on the 401 is just a piece of printed paper glued onto the backing plate.

They go grubby and a bit 'beige' over time and any attempts at cleaning them tends to worsen their appearance. Unfortunately, the rectangular dial plate to which the paper dial is attached has a lip all the way around so the dial can't be placed on a flatbed scanner to scan and make a tidier copy of it, which is rather a shame.

I have two awaiting restoration, one with a smashed cabinet, and only the remnants of one back to use as a patter, so it will need the cabinet to be restored and two backs routed. In addition to the standard brown and cream standard model, red and green were available at extra cost (both colours sprayed over the Bakelite cabinet). When I get round to it, I'll repair the cabinet and spray it green as I've several radios on which I'd repaired smashed cabinets and sprayed red. (Lipstick on a pig?).

Rather a shame about the dials.
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Old 14th Jun 2020, 12:00 pm   #5
eddie_ce
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Default Re: Ultra T401 - Cleaning Dial

On my radio, serial numer 36909, the dial lettering would appear to be printed directly onto the off white coating, which I assume to be paint. I can see no sign of paper or any other material stuck to the dial plate. If I take a sharp object and scratch the outer edge of the dial plate (where it is hidden from view) I can remove the paint.

So it would appear that I have been lucky with my treatment with mild detergent in warm water.
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