UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Powered By Google Custom Search Vintage Radio Service Data

Go Back   UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum > General Vintage Technology > General Vintage Technology Discussions

Notices

General Vintage Technology Discussions For general discussions about vintage radio and other vintage electronics etc.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 18th Oct 2020, 1:06 pm   #1
BrianAllen
Pentode
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Great Dunmow, Essex, UK.
Posts: 194
Default What material to use for replacement radio back panel?

Could anyone please let me know what material/materials they use to make replacement radio cabinet backs.

Thank you.

Brian
BrianAllen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th Oct 2020, 1:36 pm   #2
merlinmaxwell
Dekatron
 
merlinmaxwell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Maidenhead, Berkshire, UK.
Posts: 9,773
Default Re: What material to use for replacement radio back panel?

MDF seems popular, can be machined with a router to good effect.
__________________
Cats have staff, it's dogs that have owners.
merlinmaxwell is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 18th Oct 2020, 1:54 pm   #3
cathoderay57
Octode
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Bristol, UK.
Posts: 1,085
Default Re: What material to use for replacement radio back panel?

If you're not bothered about an authentic replica (after all it's at the back of the set!) then perforated hardboard, or pegboard, is handy since it is pre-drilled with ventilation holes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perforated_hardboard. All you have to do is cut out holes for aerial/earth/mains and add fixing screws. If given a coat or 2 of dark brown dye or stain it looks reasonable. Cheers, Jerry
cathoderay57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th Oct 2020, 2:38 pm   #4
broadgage
Octode
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North Somerset, UK.
Posts: 1,573
Default Re: What material to use for replacement radio back panel?

WRT to pegboard, if the supplied holes are considered too small for effective ventilation it is very simple to enlarge them.
If drilling large numbers of holes in plain board it is tedious to get them neatly aligned, but enlarging existing holes is easy.

Pegboard was popular for the rear of home constructed equipment. It will burn, but seems less flammable than real wood.
broadgage is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 18th Oct 2020, 5:17 pm   #5
BrianAllen
Pentode
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Great Dunmow, Essex, UK.
Posts: 194
Default Re: What material to use for replacement radio back panel?

Thank you gents, that has saved me a lot of time and effort.

Brian
BrianAllen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th Oct 2020, 7:44 pm   #6
David G4EBT
Dekatron
 
David G4EBT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Cottingham, East Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 4,199
Default Re: What material to use for replacement radio back panel?

This is a topic that's cropped up a number of times on the forum over the years, and is something we're all faced with at times.

Originally, radio and TV backs were made of 'Millboard' and the slots and other apertures were die cut on presses. 'Millboard' is basically layers of paper glued together, which generally has dimpled or grainy textured finish similar to that often found on vintage radio & TV back panels. It's still available and typically used for vintage care restoration for door panels and the like. However, it doesn't machine well with a router or drill bits as it's not very dense and just 'fluffs up'. It's only available in large sheets (62" x 48") and to all practical purposes is unsuitable for our needs:

https://www.woolies-trim.co.uk/category/146/millboard

If all that's required is to make and fit a back for safety reasons rather than an identical replica, then pegboard or MDF/hardboard with rows of holes drilled towards the top will meet that requirement.

If an old back is damaged and the intention is to make a replica, it can at least serve as a pattern for a replacement, but if it's missing altogether, as they so often are, the first hurdle is to find a pattern.

Most of the sets I restore are of little value and many have had missing backs.

I've made quite a lot of replica backs for my restorations over the years using a router jig to cut the slots, and have used both 3mm Hardboard and 3mm MDF, both of which work well with drills and routers, but on balance, I have a slight preference for MDF. The terms 'Hardboard' and 'MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) might suggest that hardboard in more dense than MDF, but it isn't.

When painted with matt emulsion in a suitable shade of brown (or aerosol sprays for that matter), and a label created, a passable replica can be achieved. It depends on what equipment and skills you have, how authentic you wish the panel to be, and how much time you are prepared to expend. Realistically, to make a replica with lots of slots can only be achieved either with a DIY router jig or CNC router. That said, there have been some stunning examples of exact replica backs made only by using drill bits and chisels, notably by forum member Robert Darwent. The '444 People's Set' for example, which has 13 sets of 61 holes (total 793) plus 15 larger diameter holes. Also, exact replica backs for round Ekcos with drills and chisels.

Pic 1: A selection of backs I made some time ago on a home-made router jig, ready for painting and labelling.
Pic 2: The same backs after painting and making/fitting labels.
Pic3: A Little Maestro damaged back with the replacement I made.
Pic 4: A replica back for a Unitra 'Figaro Special' which only called for a drill, so was very simple.

Hope that's of help and interest.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Backs ready for painting and labels V2.jpg
Views:	67
Size:	73.1 KB
ID:	218262   Click image for larger version

Name:	Backs labelled and painted V2 edited_edited-1.jpg
Views:	67
Size:	70.6 KB
ID:	218263   Click image for larger version

Name:	LITTLE MAESTRO OLD AND NEW BACKS_edited-1.jpg
Views:	68
Size:	63.0 KB
ID:	218264   Click image for larger version

Name:	New Back_edited-1.jpg
Views:	63
Size:	64.8 KB
ID:	218265  
__________________
David.
BVWS Member.
G-QRP Club member 1339.
David G4EBT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th Oct 2020, 5:11 pm   #7
BrianAllen
Pentode
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Great Dunmow, Essex, UK.
Posts: 194
Default Re: What material to use for replacement radio back panel?

Thank you David, as usual a very detailed and informative reply to my question.

I must say what a lovely job you have done making up the new panels.

Brian
BrianAllen is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 5:13 pm.


All information and advice on this forum is subject to the WARNING AND DISCLAIMER located at https://www.vintage-radio.net/rules.html.
Failure to heed this warning may result in death or serious injury to yourself and/or others.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2020, Paul Stenning.