EH Scott Radio Enthusiasts

The Fine Things are Always Hand Made

Hi All,

New member here. I am the proud owner of a Philharmonic (red band) in a Warrington cabinet. (will add some pictures soon) 

I'd like to restore it.  I know that it will need extensive re-capping at a minimum, and no, I'm not plugging it in!

The cabinet has two issues. First: the Veneer on the left side was water damaged and while it seems to be fully intact, it is discolored and warped away from the side. The underlying veneer is also loose beneath it in the center of the panel.  

Second- the small piece of scrollwork/molding that wraps from the front off  to the left is broken and half is missing. 

I'm on Long Island. Any good cabinet restorers in the NY/NJ area? Anyone make repro  trim pieces? 



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Jeff - worthy project, but a major one. Hope you have the basic skills and some prior experience with vintage radios.

Get the full information, in addition to what is in Riders - get the factory tech information too (Kent has it) . Take your time. In addition to the caps you see in the receiver chassis, there are a number of them half hidden going into in the coil cans. And there are about 7 more hidden in the rectangular metal box mounted on the side of the chassis inside. Finally, there are 4 more in the top mounted rectangular tone reactor assembly box between the 3rd A F tubes (6J5's) and the  expander tubes (6L7's).

Avoid removing the old finish. Rather clean it and maybe wax it. Or try Norm Braithwaite's recipe rejuvenator from in another thread a few days ago. Someone used to make the repo "D" replacement veneer accents years ago. But because you have sample still on your cabinet, some careful work with an exacto knife and some mahogany veneer, try making your own. Probably ought to stain and finish it before attaching it. 

Loose veneer can be a challenge. I recommend Liquid Hide Glue (Home Depot or Lowes) which you can inject with a hypodermic needle (see your pharmacist - get the biggest bore they have and you can clean it with hot water). I like liquid hide glue because it is compatible with the glues used in the 1920's and 30's  - indeed it tends to reconstitute the old glue used back then for joints and veneer laminations.  Make slices with the grain as injection sites. Then figure a way to work the glue around under the loose veneer before you clamp it.

If you find bad transformers, someone on the site may have what you need. To start, check that your power transformer is OK - pull the rectifiers and take some AC voltage readings.

Good luck. - Dave

A well known radio restorer told me he charges $1K to restore a Philly due to the large number of caps and the complicated alignment work. He would prefer not to do them unless they are his own set I would guess.

As mentioned, this is a big project unless you are comfortable doing it yourself. JMO too.

Hi David & Bruce,

Thanks for the advice and tips on fixing the veneer. I'm certainly capable of recapping the radio, but I don't have all the instrumentation needed to do a proper alignment.  I plan to get the unit to a certain point and then pay to get the alignment done by someone else. I wonder if anyone has any of the replica grille cloth? 



When you get around to addressing alignment, this may help...  The alignment procedure is to peak align when the selectivity-fidelity control is in the high selectivity position (full counterclockwise).


I am afraid there is no grill cloth replacement. Is yours' torn, or just dirty? If it is just dirty, or has small holes, it still can be cleaned carefully. You can find a lot of ways of cleaning the grill cloth in forums - both, dry and "wet" way.

And yes, I also have a Philly in Warrington waiting to be restored. A major job, I have to say. Restoring my Philco 38-690 console (20 tubes only) took me a year with complete cabinet refinishing. I was lucky though - after recapping all functions worked well, no damaged transformers etc.

Jeff Joseph said:

Hi David & Bruce,

Thanks for the advice and tips on fixing the veneer. I'm certainly capable of recapping the radio, but I don't have all the instrumentation needed to do a proper alignment.  I plan to get the unit to a certain point and then pay to get the alignment done by someone else. I wonder if anyone has any of the replica grille cloth? 


Here's a picture of the grill cloth. It's not only dirty, but frayed at the bottom. I was playing with the idea of sliding it down to conceal the damage, but I see it is glued on either side, and nailed on top.


It is original Phil's cloth and when you wash it is going to look great. I can not see at your picture, but in my Phil the cloth was much bigger, than the visible part. It does not have the holes, though.

What I would try to do: try to slightly wet the glued part of the cloth. It should be easy to remove it afterwards, I am sure. If not - add more water. The glue is not water-resistant. Nails are small and are easy to pull out. The pieces of wood in the left and right sides are easy to remove too. They can be replaced by big matches for fireplace - 25 sm long, so don't be afraid to brake them.

Put the cloth into the warm water with a lot of strong detergent. Let it stay there overnight. Rinse. Then repeat. Some people do boil the water with cloth to make it completely clean, but this is dangerous, IMHO. Be careful with the cloth - it can fall apart if you apply force.

When it dries, you can iron it and put back moving the cloth down, so the holes are not visible. Some people do it when the cloth is still slightly wet. It shrinks when dry and becomes tight. It is also possible to sprinkle the dry cloth afterwards.


There is also a way to hide the holes. Taylors have a special cloth (normally black or white) with glues itself to other cloth when heated (by iron). Only one side can be glued. So you can move the cloth to close the hole, put a piece of this special cloth (this cloth is called interlining) from the reverse side and iron it. It will hold the hole closed then. Yes, you can see that there is defect in the cloth, but I do belive the repaired cloth is better, than not original replacement.




Your photos reveal you have a late version AM/SW Philharmonic  (2 additional control knobs, and the beam of light dial with top logging scale.. Nice potential. The knobs are proper.

That side veneer does look pretty bad. Worth working with, but you may need to remove it, repair and filler then smooth out the sub strata. And likely use some or all new veneer.  Hope you have the cabinet top.

For the chrome, I like Turtle Chrome Polish (a liquid). 

I agree you may be able to reinstall the cloth down enough to hide the damaged area. Screen door 1/8 th inch spline from the hardware store works well in lieu of the wood splines  to secure the cloth


Thanks! Leonid & David I'll try to remove the grill and give it a bath. Norman, I believe I have the necessary equipment to do the alignment after all. I have a hp 200ab oscillator and several meters.

But it will be long term project to recap this monster!

Thanks again or the excellent advice and info.



The HP 200AB oscillator will not be sufficient.  It is an audio oscillator with a maximum frequency of 40-khz.  An RF oscillator is necessary for the 465-khz IF frequency (or possibly another nearby IF frequency if so marked in grease pencil on the inside of the back apron of the chassis).



Doh! Of course you're right.  I think I have a RF osc as well, but I need to check.  



A digital frequency meter to verify correct RF generator settings is advisable.  -Dave

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