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Old 02-09-2019, 02:33 PM
RB86 RB86 is offline
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Default Old radio body

Hello everyone

So as a self learning challenge I decided to try and remake the body of my grandpa's old radio. Has a lot of shapes I feel translate to various automotive projects so I figured it would be a good challenge.

I made paper templates for the main body. Already I can see some discrepancies in size, likely due to me cleaning up edges to make a good joint for Tig welding.

I plan to make the two "gauge bezels" if I can call that by tipping the edge, then splicing into the body for an easier metal finishing.

The challenge I'm having is firstly, they're a cone like shape, then it's a matter of tipping the edge, which if I don't have a lot of excess material on the piece, I don't have the leverage to physically tip the line on the English wheel or bead roller. I tried to make a tape template but found that a conical tape form doesn't translate into flat metal too clearly.

Should I make a straight edged strip of metal and round it over and weld edge to edge to make a circle let's say 2" deep, followed by shrinking one edge and stretching the other, or should I cut a strip with a curved edge before I make the circle. Or! Hammer form perhaps. I'm worried whatever round over bit I have for the router wont capture the correct angle of the cone.

Hope this makes sense. If not I'm happy to make a video.
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1950 Cadillac
1956 Cadillac
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:46 PM
RB86 RB86 is offline
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I found a piece of scrap in the garage and made this with the shrinker/stretcher and tipping die just to see if the concept would work. Its not long before the pieces are all marred up from the teeth, and, before there's more shape than will fit in the jaws.

An experimental hammer form is up next. 1549748589966202358166738858336.jpg
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1956 Cadillac
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:25 PM
RB86 RB86 is offline
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Wow what a workout with Peter's blocking hammer! My arm is jello. Quite an amazing amount of stretch, I'd say 2 inches at the peak. Probably could've gone further but I was afraid to tear it.

I'm still not sure this is going to be the winning method to create this piece. IMG_20190209_170527156.jpg

IMG_20190209_180634101.jpg

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1950 Cadillac
1956 Cadillac
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:22 PM
Secant Secant is offline
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Have you been able to remove one of the original bezels?
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:33 PM
RB86 RB86 is offline
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I haven't tried to, but I'm mainly concerned with the cone shape housing of the bezel (I may have mis-labeled what I meant in calling it a bezel)
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1950 Cadillac
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:27 AM
RockHillWill RockHillWill is offline
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That radio is looking nice Rob. Here is a thought to consider.

Cut several circles out of wood of decreasing diameters and glue together to form the basis for making a buck to generate a cone of the appropriate contour, then radius the forward end to suit your need. Then you can roll that slight taper in a slip roll and weld at the bottom. Then using the cone as a hammer form, turn the forward edge to the appropriate width for attaching the trim component. When that is done, consider opening up the radio unit a little at a time until it fits the cone intersection points, mark the cone and trim it about I/4" inside the radios contour. Then you can tip the edge to match the radios shape and then tack weld the back side OR solder the front side if you want a small radius at the joint without the distortion of welding. My sketches show a straight contour, but the contour can be planished to suit your buck.

I imagine their are other options, but if this appeals to you, I have everything that you would need to do this, including the wood and access to a wood lathe, and am willing to help as needed. I have a commitment in Daytona this week, but contact me near the week end if you would like to come down to the shop.

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Last edited by RockHillWill; 02-10-2019 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:32 AM
RB86 RB86 is offline
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Wow, great thinking Will and thank you very much. I was considering gluing/screwing together wood circles and using a roundover bit in a router to create a hammerform, but I knew the roundover bit doesn't quite match the contour of the radio. Gluing different radius circles together and then contouring them is a great idea.

I'll keep you posted. What a great learning experience here, and I look forward to the next time I can come spend time with you at the shop.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:40 AM
RB86 RB86 is offline
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Couple shots in a little better lighting....

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Old 03-17-2019, 05:39 PM
RB86 RB86 is offline
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Just wanted to showcase my latest effort.....my most successful failure to date

RockHillWill was kind enough to give me a block of wood, and bring me to his friends wood shop to lathe the piece to the contour pattern I made earlier in the day.

Today I traced the circle of the wood onto metal and blocked in that shape there on a sand bag. I made another tape pattern and translated that onto the blocked metal. I found my pattern and measurements to be a little bit large, but this is a learning experience.

I found it most effective to shape on a flat bench dolly, which I also hammered and tipped the edges with.

The body is sore but I'm happy to have gotten closer. I did a ton of shrinking and stretching on a stump.

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Old 04-09-2019, 09:47 PM
RB86 RB86 is offline
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Messed around a bit tonight on this...

I decided to cut out the holes, tip the edge with pliers, then hammer/dolly the rest. Tore my Tig joint twice (fixable). I believe I won't quite get what I need going about it this way, but it is a fun exercise...

IMG_20190409_223758558.jpg

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