1947 Motorola Model 67-X

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Motorola 67X
A Motorola model 67X six tube AM radio, manufactured on December 11, 1947.

In the middle of Upper Gwynedd Township in Pennsylvania is the borough of North Wales. In North Wales lives a guy named Hank. We'll call him "Hank" because Hank is a nickname for Henry.

Hank gave me this radio in 2017 and it's been sitting in the garage for a year. Hank's brother-in-law gave it to him. It doesn't look too bad. Somebody (not Hank) spray painted it for some reason. The color is not very flattering, but perhaps it went with the decor.

The back is bashed in. Does that matter?  Can we reattach it with some tape and make it work? Let's look at this radio more closely.

Yes, a fine looking radio. From a distance. It's large for a table radio; 13" wide by 8" high by 8" deep.


A closer look reveals this radio has been dropped, or it fell. It had been hastily repaired, then spray painted. The cracks show that it was dropped again after it was spray painted, so it was dropped twice.

I get the impression this radio cabinet was repaired as quickly as possible and then painted "before Dad comes home and sees that we broke the radio." Notice on the right that the paint came off when the screw was removed. That means the chassis was put back into the cabinet before the paint even had a chance to cure.

There is a chunk out of the bottom. The repair was a piece of paper taped to the inside of the cabinet and then the missing part was filled with CAULK. Dad will never notice, he never looks at the bottom.

It keeps getting worse the closer you look at it.

Looking inside, the antenna coil is lying across the contraptions, gadgets and gizmos that make up the radio. It's supposed to be attached to the back. When you see how it is attached on the next page, you will have to wonder what hit the back of this so hard the antenna came off.

The stringy things are spider webs from being in the garage. Notice where the AC cord comes out. It is pinched under the chassis.

The underside of the chassis looked very clean. When the radio was powered on it was silent. An ear to the speaker detected a slight 60 cycle hum. The volume control and tuning knob had no effect.

Look! An exploded resistor! Ha-ha, no wonder it was so quiet. I would have loved to have been there when somebody turned on the radio and it started smoking. There was probably a loud SNAP sound associated with it, or as I like to say, "There was a bright orange flash followed by a loud report."
OK, we'll worry about the exploded resistor later. Here is the cabinet after SEVEN coats of paint remover. What a disaster. The paint will not come off, not even the spray paint. After the third application of paint remover I went out and bought a different brand but it didn't help.

I've run into this situation in my house, which was built in 1880. It's LEAD PAINT. Paint remover is like water to lead paint. What is up with the left side? Maybe it's lead based spray paint from the '50s, but it came off the right side. This is the strangest thing I've ever seen.

After three hours I considered that I had been defeated. I had basically ruined the paint job on the radio cabinet with all the paint remover, then I glanced down at the knobs. I MELTED the knobs with paint remover.

Why didn't I just think to repaint them? I melted a set of 71 year old radio knobs!!

It sure would be easy to remove the vacuum tubes and chuck the rest of the carcass into the trash. But what if Hank found out? What would Hank think of me if he knew he gave me a radio and I destroyed it? My lower lip began to quiver and my eyes filled with tears. Quietly sobbing, I picked up a piece of sand paper.
After a few hours of sanding it started looking better. It looked a LOT better.


The following day, the caulk was removed from the hole in the case, then a piece of nylon screen was epoxied in place. After that, a form was made so the missing piece could be recreated with J-B Kwik Weld. At this time the cracked front corners were also reinforced on the inside with nylon screen and Kwik Weld.

The hole was filled half way, a second piece of screen was dropped in and then topped off with more epoxy.
After the Kwik-Weld cured it was sanded with a palm sander. Some glazing putty brought up the low spots.

It's a beautiful hot summer day at the end of August. I'm listening to the radio, drinking beer and fixing a tube radio cabinet. Life is good! I lost track of how many beers I had. The radio cabinet started looking at me.

More sanding. More beer. Sanding. Beer. Sanding. Beer. Very relaxing work. Birds are chirping, cicadas are droning, all is well.
Wait... Andrea's calling me. "CAN'T YOU SEE I'M BUSY??! GET ME ANOTHER BEER!!" Sanding. Beer. Sanding. Beer.

Two coats of primer and more sanding. It was wet sanded under a dripping garden hose.
I can't un-see this.


The cabinet was painted with Dupli-Color car paint, which turned out to be expensive. The price of this paint has gone up and the cans are 2/3 of the size they were last year. On the plus side, it dries really fast!

After the paint dried I noticed there were some rough spots when I ran my hand across the cabinet. I had to wet sand it with 1000 grit sand paper and then polish it, so "never again" with this paint.
A gloomy Sunday morning (09/02/2018). We're supposed to be out on a farm launching model rockets but a thunderstorm went through and drenched the field. The launch was cancelled, so instead of launching rockets, I polished the cabinet. It looks better in real life than it does in the picture.

Here's how that repair turned out in the end.
And this one.

I just found out that I could have saved myself all that sanding by coating the radio case with brake fluid or oven cleaner, putting it in a plastic bag and letting it sit overnight. Oh well. The beer was good.