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    Kurt Draper
    CVRS Member

    Phonola 40B41P

    The Phonola 40B41P is a four tube battery table radio. It was manufactured in 1940 by Dominion Electrohome Industries LTD in Kitchener Ontario Canada. It was an internet purchase from a vendor in Barrhead Alberta Canada. The seller bought it at a garage sale. An older couple was downsizing. He didn’t know any other history on it. The purchase price was $120.00 shipped to my door.
    The tube complement consists of a 1A7 converter/local oscillator, 1N5 intermediate frequency amplifier, 1H5 detector/first audio amplifier, and a 1C5 power output. It requires a 1.5 volt filament battery and a 90 volt B battery. It receives the broadcast band only. All but the power output tube are CGE (Canadian General Electric) branded and probably original. The 1C5 is Westinghouse branded. It uses a superheterodyne circuit. To start repairs, I replaced all five paper capacitors and the one electrolytic capacitor. The electrolytic capacitor was housed in a cardboard tube and was restuffed. The paper capacitors are Solar branded and are molded wax with a paper label affixed. In an attempt to reproduce these, I stuffed the new capacitors in small cardboard tubes. These tubes are NGK spark plug packaging I obtain from work. I attempted to remove the labels from the original capacitors. I heated them with a heat gun. I attempted to remove the labels with a small screwdriver. This attempt failed. I’ll have to figure out a way to scan them into a computer and print them on labels. At this point I connected my home brew power supply and turned it on. It came alive and worked. It received stations across the dial with good volume.
    The cabinet was in a condition that it was hard to make a decision on how to fix it. The center dark brown section had a pattern sprayed on that I wasn’t sure how to reproduce. I decided to attempt to save the finish on the front and sides. The front and sides were sprayed with Blender Flow Out, then clear, then Blender Flow Out And more clear. This worked pretty well except there was a couple places the finish crazed. I sanded the crazed areas with wet dry 600 grit sandpaper wetted with mineral spirits. Then I sanded the whole cabinet with 800 grit wetted with mineral spirits. After that dried, I gave it another coat of Blender Flow Out then clear. It turned out pretty decent. The top had a large chunk of veneer missing. The remaining part was scraped off with a large scraper. A new piece of veneer was glued on with Weldwood Contact Cement. It was then sanded and a coat of Constantine’s oak grain filler applied. The top was sprayed with black lacquer followed by some clear satin lacquer. The original grille cloth was in good condition and reused. The dial lens was cleaned with 3M plastic polish. This is an essay I wrote. I show some radios from my collection at three local antique machinery shows in my area (Valparaiso Nebraska). For as simple as it is, it works very well and has nice tone. If anyone from the Barrhead / Edmonton region reads this I would be interested in hearing some history from this region. This is my first post. When I or more likely my wife figures out how to add pictures, I will.

    Sterling Spurrell
    CVRS Member

    Would love to see some pictures. It sounds like you did a good job.

    Gerry O’Hara

    Those little Phonola sets are great – I restored one a few years back and I really love it. Some photos attached. It was in a bit of a state when I obtained it (I think it had been left outside on a doorstep for a few years!). I installed a small power supply inside the cabinet. Its a Model 1B4L-1P.


    Gary Albach
    CVRS Member

    Looking forward to seeing the pictures. As for fabricating replacement Solar capacitors, I’ve had mixed results soaking the labels off in warm water. They’re pretty flimsy but you can scan and fix up the blemishes in a photo editing program before printing them.
    Gary in Victoria

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