As I sat there tonight, doing the ER magazine mods to my Mohawk, I also decided to start the cosmetic work. I'm at a point where I'm waiting for parts, so why not do other things rather than put it to the side waiting. As a pro motorhead,(ex dealer line tech, and now a parts advisor), I had no problem with a cleaner for the face plate. But, looking at the nice original aluminum knobs on my Apache, I got to wondering. How can I get the knobs from the Mohawk, or the SB-10 for that matter, to look that good!
I removed the knobs, and first tried the cleaner-degreaser. Not much luck there! Then I tried an automotive chrome polish. Still not great. Part of the problem is holding the knobs. Then I had an idea, and no it didn't die of loneliness! I put a screwdriver bit in my variable speed drill, and put the knob on that. Now I could work on all sides evenly. I first use a brass wire brush in the heavy oxide, while holding the knob still. I then spin the knob at moderate speed with the brush against all areas the knob. I then used 400 grit paper, first on the low areas around the outside, then with the knob turning. Then I used fine steel wool, again with moderate turning speed. I then used a terry cloth rag to apply some chrome polish to the knob, then spin the knob fairly briskly with the polish, then a dry rag.
Wow! What a difference! I wish I had the chrome knobs, but since they are hard to find, this is the next best thing. They shine better than the good original ones. One must be carefull not to scratch the soft aluminum, but sanding can cut thru scratches and deep oxidation, and then continue the polishing phase.
I'll post some before and after photos soon. I'm really looking forward to getting on the air with this rig! Of course, my current "newer" HF rig is a Swan Cygnet, so I do operate hollow-state now anyway. But I'm looking forward to running an AM rig with better audio than my Knight T-150 has!
73 to all, as we get our first smow of the season!