The Fine Things are Always Hand Made
Well folks, in January of 2013 when my dad and I drove a couple hours south to pick up this strange set, I had no idea what a project I was getting into. The $25 radio was by the entrance of a 3-sided shed, and looked as if it had stayed there for decades. We wondered how even it could stand up on its own, since it had suffered from so much water damage and delamination. As we were loading it into the backseat of our '04 Corolla I couldn't help but notice the nesting material underneath the tuner chassis...
At 14 I was sure there was a way I could someday restore that cabinet but after looking at it for years I came to the fateful conclusion that I would have to search for another cabinet. Quite a long shot, considering the rarity.
Well, believe it or not, but a couple weeks ago I was surfing the classifieds for the whole Canadian territory, which I don't normally do since I live in Quebec city, and believe it or not, dumb-as-that, I found two Wards/Airline cabinets, FOR FREE. Only problem was that they were located in Edmonton, 3800KM away from home (or should I say 2360 miles).
Frustrated at this lost cause, I mentionned my problem to a friend I met through the antique car circles, but who also has an interest in old guitar amps and vintage audio. Turns out he had an acquaintance in Edmonton, and that person owed him one. Next thing I knew, the two cabinets were loaded into a truck and these pictures were sent to me.
I am now working on getting those packaged and sent to me by train or bus. I think I'll have enough parts for two complete sets, one that I will keep (using my original chassis I got years ago), and one I will give away to my dear friend John Hagman who has been after this set since the 1990s and who was also the one who prompted me to buy said LaFrance, 6 years ago.
Now, with my Zenith 12U159 freshly done (or almost, and besides that ATROCIOUS finish), I think it is a good idea to dive back into the Airline project. And what a reward it will be to have the Zenith playing in the background as I resume recapping the tuner of the LaFrance! It is officially the first functional radio to come with me in my apartment, after moving out of my parents place in January. (How I've missed the sound!)
As I pulled the Airline's tuner out of storage just today, I noticed I'd already begun recapping it and had also saved any cap I would need aside (before you ask, I freakin BOMBED that thing with 99% alcohol and various cleaners several times, to avoid contamination from the rodent activity). I also know for a fact all transformer and speaker windings test good, but I'm unsure about the tuner. It seems the rodents chewed a few caps and wires but nothing deep into the chassis. Actually, I'm more worried about that impressive 4-stacked-section volume control. The power supply chassis remains untouched, aside from the testing of its critical components, and I will get to it after I finish the recap of the tuner and have tested all resistors.
So this is it for today guys, the iron is warm and I'm going to be working on the radio after I post this. How exciting!
Hi Felix. Welcome to the Scott Enthusiasts Site.
Don't know if many Scott collectors have experience with your Wells-Gardner model. Another venue for you to try is Antique Radio Forum. https://antiqueradios.com/forums/index.php
Usually see this model with two 12 inch speakers. But, I have no experience with this model.
Generally, high tube count radios are much like the all American 5, but with the additional of ... an RF amp (radio frequency amp), additional 2, 3 or even 4 stages of IF amplification, two or three stages of Audio Frequency amplification( often in push-pull), automatic volume control, and maybe an RF automatic gain stage, variable sensitivity and maybe adjustable IF band pass for high fidelity audio reception, and bass and treble controls.
Be a great restoration experience.
I'm familiar with the Antique Radio Forum (member since 2012) as well as this one (member since 2014).
Just thought I'd share my progress since there has been interest about this specific set on this forum by seasonned E.H. Scott collectors. This is actually a duplicate post, as I posted a similar thread on the ARF.
Also I'm sorry if I mislead anyone, but the speaker and amplifier chassis seen on my bench with the tuner of the LaFrance are actually out of my E.H. Scott Sixteen, they're just sitting there. I do have both 12'' speakers and the correct amplifier for the Airline.
Have a great day,
Felix, Glad you have the complete radio. It is an eye catcher.
Oh - and a really nice looking Zenith. Another eye catcher with that oversize black dial.
I could use a nice undented speaker chromed bell cover if you have one to sell for the Airline LaFrance speaker