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Restored! Hudson’s Bay Baycrest Radio Console

Restored! Hudson's Bay Baycrest Radio Console! The New and Improved Baycrest Radio from Hudson's Bay - Fully restored and gleaming in its new glory

Where we last left off with the Radio…

Grandpa Stan’s Radio was sitting at my parents’ house, on my dad’s workbench.
To read my mildly entertaining story about why no one used the radio, click here!

Here’s a little reminder of what it used to look like:

A vintage Hudson's Bay, Baycrest radio. B-637A

And here’s an even cuter photo of what it really, really looked like when my mum was a kid.
Aww, look at Little Barb, in her Christmas Morning glory!

vintage photo - copyright alex inspired, vintage radio on christmas morning

I found a newspaper ad, for what I believe is the same radio. I have copied the text below.

A vintage Hudson's Bay, Baycrest radio. B-637A restored

Another Shipment! Ultra-modern, beautifully designed and finished “Baycrest” combination radio!
Plays all types of records automatically. Thrilling features include:  Radio – phonograph plays 78, 45 and 33 1/3 R.P.M. records automatically! Milwaukee automatic changer! 6-tube, 3 gang condenser! Walnut, Mahogany or bleached autumn leaf finish! Self-contained aerial, long and short wave!

$23.95 down, balance in 10 monthly payments of $24.50.
– Radios, Fourth Floor

The Winnipeg Tribune, Sept. 24th, 1949.

The radio needed a lot of work.

I dismantled the majority of it … I removed the burlap type fabric on the door(s) (one is false, it’s there to disguise the speaker), and I removed all of the hardware.

A vintage Hudson's Bay, Baycrest radio. B-637A restored

Since the hardware is brass, my dad polished them up on a buffing wheel.  So Sparkly!

From here I stripped and sanded the entire body of the radio down. All except the interior top “drawer” (it’s actually a door where the tuner is and all of the original decals).

The New and Improved Baycrest Radio from Hudson's Bay - Fully restored and gleaming in its new glory

A little can of stain went a long way. Wax on! Wax off!
That’s the same motto you should use when staining anything… except I suppose you’d say: “Stain on! Stain off!”

After the staining was complete, I used a tiny, tiny, tiny brush and some Martha Stewart gold metallic paint to refresh the door panels.

The New and Improved Baycrest Radio from Hudson's Bay - Fully restored and gleaming in its new glory

After hemming and hawing at the burlap/golden type material, I had the super genius idea to just “refresh” the gold, using spray paint.

This was a huge fail. It dripped everywhere and clogged up the fine fibers… (Clearly this material was picked to allow uninterrupted beautiful sound to flow!), so it was back to the drawing board for me.

Eventually, I found some super fun black meshy type material from Fabricland (in the remnant bin) with gold metallic dots – perfect, problem solved!

The New and Improved Baycrest Radio from Hudson's Bay - Fully restored and gleaming in its new glory

Because my dad is amazing, he varnished the entire radio for me before my birthday. It looks awesome. He said he did about 6 coats, sanding in between coats, using a semi-matte type finish varnish.

Because of my previous situation (fire hazard), everything had to be re-configured and re-wired. My dad utilized the original tuner and rewired it: the lights still come on and the original switch turns on the entire system.

Yes, entire System! He installed my stereo him and my mum bought me for my 16th birthday. The speakers are hidden where the original would have been, and the actual stereo is located on the opposite side, originally where records were stored.  This way I can listen to tapes (don’t laugh!), records, cds and plug in my iPod.

The original record player/phonograph was too old to use, so I found a Crosley portable turntable. Crosely may not be the best in quality, it fit the bill. It was affordable and most importantly, it fits in the drawer.

The New and Improved Baycrest Radio from Hudson's Bay - Fully restored and gleaming in its new glory

So what do you think!?

I think…

  1. Grandpa had excellent taste
  2. My dad is a genius
  3. My nativity scene looks good here, but Nana and Grandpa’s looked better
  4. I’ll go listen to Christmas Eve on Sesame Street on vinyl for the 1000th time with my wine now! weeeee!

 

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