This antique radio is fully restored by Don Hoglund. Don has been collecting and restoring antique radios since 1977 and was the Charter Vice President and a Founding Member of the Arizona Antique Radio Society. He was also the President of the Arizona Audiophile Society from 1999 to 2001 and continues on their Steering Committee through 2008-2009.
( Note. The rest of this description is written by Don Hoglund and copied here for your information. So, you will notice it is written in the first person.)
This radio has been in my private collection for 30 years. It was made in 1938 and was Philco's top of the line model. I bought it from another collector. I also bought 2 other Model 37-116 Philco Hi-Fidelty radios that were made in 1937. I used the best parts from all 3 radios when restoring this one with the intent to keep it forever. I sold the other 2 radios long ago, one restored and one un-restored.
Cabinet Restoration and Refinishing.
I've been a master cabinetmaker for 35 years and so this is a truly professional refinishing job. I've had many other antique radio collectors see this radio in person and swear that the finish has to be original because it looks original in detail and color. But, then they can't explain how they think the finish looks so good if it were 70 years old. Yes, the finish work is that good. It should be because I spent 200 hours doing it.
I started by stripping the old finish to bare wood. Then sanded the walnut veneer to 600 fine grit. The "shoulders, grill fins, and feet" were masked separately and shot with custom tinted pigmented lacquer to match the semi-opaque original color of these areas. The rest of the radio was masked separately and sprayed with 4 hand rubbed coats of tinted clear sanding sealer to give the finish an antique looking patina that would appear to be 70 years old when it wasn't. Then the cabinet received an overall 6 hand rubbed coats of clear finish lacquer to give it depth and bring out the walnut veneers and inlays. You can see the quality of the walnut veneers by clicking on the hi-rez photos next to the thumbnail photos.
The interior of the cabinet was finished in an opaque chocolate brown color to stabilize the wood and thus maintain the integrity of the cabinet and surface veneers for another 70 years or more. The grill cloth was also replaced.
I added a built-in loop antenna inside the cabinet. The frame is made from solid alder hardwood to match the trim wood of the cabinet. The wire is antique cloth covered copper wire and gives the loop a vintage look. And it works very well.
I went through the chassis completely. I spent around 100 hours on the chassis alone. I even made a special rack to hold the chassis in any position just for the restoration work. All the capacitors were replaced including the electrolytics in the power supply and all the old wax & paper coupling caps. You will notice in the photos that all the electrolytics still look original. That is because I put the new ones inside the old ones where possible or inside the chassis where they would not detract from the vintage look of the chassis.
All the tubes were tested and replaced if weak. All the switches, contacts, and tuning condensor were cleaned. All knobs were soaked, cleaned with a toothbrush, and treated with Armorall. All dial lamb bulbs were replaced and the main dial bulb hood was lined with foil to increase the light output to light up the beautiful dial.
The tuning mechanism of the 38-116 is quite complex. There are course tuning, fine tuning, Magnetic tuning, and direct station tuning options. The mechanism is notorious for "backlash" after 70 years of usage, but not this one. I used the best gears from all 3 chassis I had. I even took the planetary drive assembly completely apart down to the ball bearings inside. Everything was cleaned and lubricated. Many of the bearings were "flat spotted" so I examined them under a microscope and used only the best ones to reassemble this one. All the springs on the dual gears were tightened to give optimum meshing of the gears. I've had many collectors tune this radio and were amazed at how smooth it operates and with very little backlash. So, when you want to tune in two stations that are close to each other on the dial, no problem.
The asking price for this radio is based on how much I have invested in it. My investment includes: around 300 hours labor, radio cost, stain, lacquer, capacitors, extra parts chassis, and vacuum tubes. Of course you can find other Philco 38-116's for less money. But, you won't find one with this much restoration work done it. And I doubt you could find anyone else to do this much work or at this level of quality on another 38-116. This was Philco's best model and this radio is in the best condition. This radio is for someone who appreciates the best and wants to simply plug this radio in and use it. The reception on it is amazing. I receive most AM radio broadcasts within a 1200 mile radius. On the shortwave band it's difficult to find a dead spot on the dial. It receives station after station all over the dial and from every continent and country. You certainly won't get bored with the number of available stations on all bands.
Asking price is $14,000.00 and does not include any shipping. Buyer will have to make arrangements for local pickup and arrange all shipping and transportation details and costs. The radio is in Tempe, Arizona zipcode 85281.