November 1, 2009 at 3:44 pm #1478
This 1925 radio was made by J. B. Ferguson Co., New York. I don’t know how common the New York Ferguson radios are but it is very hard to find any information or photos of them.
I picked it up a few years ago on Ebay, looked at it, then shelved it while I searched for a schematic etc. Finally a member of one of the other forums had an article from an old radio magazine and sent it to me. This got me started on the chassis restoration. One of the problems that I had was that the radio had an unique switching system that allowed it to be operated as a 4 tube, 5 tube or 6 tube radio. The more common setup for that type of switching is the use of several output jacks but this radio only has one output. The problem was that someone had rewired it, possibly to use only the amplifier portion for a phonograph. The switch was fairly complex and contained the volume control.
The chassis photos show the large cast chassis frame and the switching arrangement. These photos are of the chassis as received. It came with a full complement of #30 tubes with adapters that allowed them to be used with the twist lock 01A type sockets. All of the wiring was rotten and had to be replaced. When the chassis was finished it was shelved for a long time while I worked on the cabinet.
The huge cabinet was in poor shape, it had many dings in it and someone had started stripping it and had given up. The insert panel in the lid frame was split in two. Repairs were made and the cabinet refinished then shelved for another long time. The copper coloured pot metal escutcheon was a problem. It had warped into a saucer shape with the outside perimeter about 1/4 inch higher than the center. To salvage it I mounted it on a flat plate and built up the underside of the edges with polyester body filler so that it would sit flat and then repainted it.
Again the radio sat on a shelf waiting to be put together. The knobs are a problem, it came with none. Any photos I have seen are too poor to see the proper knobs in detail. Also, they are double knobs with front and back sections. One set for tuning and trimming, the other for volume and tube selection. The front knobs appeared to be of a fairly common shape, I will probably have to fabricate the rear knobs to fit this radio. They have odd diameter shafts that they fit on. I figured I would post this now rather than wait until I solve the knob problem.
I have also started on a Ferguson Ten radio, it was a year later model made in 1926. It was so full of animal effluent that restoration started with a scraper. The only information that I have been able to find on it is a couple of 1926 magazine ads.
Download ferguson7b.JPG. (Caution: This file may not be virus scanned.)
Download ferguson7a.JPG. (Caution: This file may not be virus scanned.)November 3, 2009 at 4:48 am #1482
Ed, that is a very nice (and unusual) radio. interesting the way the chassis is assembled on the black panel.
I have no idea what the knobs did look like having never seen one.
I have a collection of knobs, they aren’t well organized and the problem is if you mix them all up finding two the same is a challenge, but figuring out which were inners and which were just normal knobs is a challenge never mind putting the set of 4 together. a lot of these older sets had either rubber or black bakalite knobs but some were wood. I make no promises but I’ll make a mental note that next time I am going through them to look for any outer knobs that look very old. hopefully someone will chime in with more info. Nice restoration. I guess the switches were a power saving feature for battery life. They were going green and didn’t know it.
I have been trying to piece together and AK12 breadboard and it had such a feature to listen with headphones or to run a speaker.
PhilNovember 3, 2009 at 3:52 pm #1484
From the poor photos in ads that I have seen the knobs were probably bakelite. I have outer knobs that look similar and for the time being I may turn some inner knobs from plastic and paint them black. Since finding pictures and information on the Ferguson radios is difficult I would expect finding original knobs near impossible.
The Ferguson Ten I am working on has an interesting chassis also. In three sections, a mix of wood and bakelite with lots of copper shielding. I don’t think Ferguson made low budget radios.
Ed.November 10, 2009 at 7:10 am #1495
would these be any help?
Download P1010001.jpg. (Caution: This file may not be virus scanned.)November 10, 2009 at 4:10 pm #1497
Thanks for offer Phil but I think I will have to make them. The radio requires knobs with set screws. The shafts are 0.437" and 0.625" in diameter. I will try using some polycarbonate as it machines fairly well.
Ed.November 11, 2009 at 7:01 am #1498
Turn , ah you have a lathe. you are set if you spend the time then.
i’ve often wondered if the material from billiard balls would work nicely for this.
I tried turning some wood ones. what I ended up doing was getting a piece of flat high carbon steel , think it was a blade from an oil type rotary compressor. I cut it to the profile I wanted with a dremil, then used that as a cutter rather than trying to follow the identical profile twice. I did a few wood knobs like that on the metal lathe. worked quite well.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.