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Author Topic: Wood identification for a radio cabinet restoration  (Read 395 times)

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Offline kunkled

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Wood identification for a radio cabinet restoration
« on: November 22, 2018, 06:55:42 PM »
Hello everyone

I am new here and hope everyone had a happy turkey day.  I am a member of the Antique Radio Forum and primarily collect and restore wood cabinet tube radios which are often more of a woodworking project than electrical restorations.  My current project is a Kennedy Model 426 chair side table radio that someone over the last 88 years amputated the legs and made it into a table top radio.

I have been able to retrieve the stubs of the 4 legs which are pieces about 1 1/4" square by 1 5/8" tall.  The body of the cabinet is walnut veneer while the legs are some type of common hardwood which was originally finished with a dark walnut toning lacquer.  The piece I have behind the molding was never finished but is very old - circa 1930.  I sanded the end grain and face which I have pictures attached.  I would guess this is either basswood, poplar or maybe birch but this is not my field of expertise.  

Any suggestions on the identity would be helpful as I do like to replace missing wood with at least original style materials and construction.  I have also attached a copy of an original print ad showing the radio lower right.

thanks
Dave

This is the remaining stub of a leg.


 


Sanded end grain taken with macro lens on iPhone


 


Sanded face grain

 <

1930 print add showing cabinet with legs lower right model 426
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Online Don P

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Re: Wood identification for a radio cabinet restoration
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2018, 07:27:15 PM »
Looks like yellow poplar, Liriodendron Tulipifera, which is a very common "secondary" wood

Offline kunkled

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Re: Wood identification for a radio cabinet restoration
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2018, 07:33:09 PM »
Thanks Don!

Online Don P

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Re: Wood identification for a radio cabinet restoration
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2018, 07:46:28 PM »
Keep your eye on this, our resident expert is probably still wiping gravy off his chin ;D

Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: Wood identification for a radio cabinet restoration
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2018, 07:51:24 AM »
Looks like a diffuse-porous wood, which is consistent with poplar.
sounds like headed the right direction.
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Offline btulloh

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Re: Wood identification for a radio cabinet restoration
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2018, 08:07:41 AM »
I did some work on some of these old radio cabinets and I saw both poplar and soft maple for legs and secondary wood.  Since they used the finish to achieve the color, it wasn't critical.  In the end, the veneer and the everything looked the same.  The substrate for veneered panels were usually the same - poplar or soft maple.  I haves seen some that used mahogany for panels.  Usually the finish was toned shellac or lacquer on the ones I saw.
HM126

Offline kunkled

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Re: Wood identification for a radio cabinet restoration
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2018, 10:25:40 AM »
Thanks - I think I am leaning to using poplar as it is relatively cheap and will be covered by lacquer toner.  Also, I have to work out the legs as they are doweled, beaded on all 4 sides and one leg is bored all the way through the center for the power cord.  So if I mess anything up, not a great loss and poplar is easy to work with.

Dave

Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: Wood identification for a radio cabinet restoration
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2018, 02:30:55 PM »
As close as the growth rings are I would lean more toward red maple/soft maple the poplar, its stonger and harder the poplar too.
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