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Steel case desk for vintage station




 
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Author Topic: Steel case desk for vintage station  (Read 19761 times)
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ke7trp
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« on: August 26, 2012, 12:39:31 PM »

Since I have not found a Desk KW yet, I got the idea to find some vintage Steel case desks for the new J500 and new valiant.  Steel case made the desks for johnson.  I found "the mother load" of metal desks at a local surplus house for the university. These desks are $30 to $75 dollars each.  You can park a car on top and they wont budge.  Built to last and look the part.

My brother and I loaded two up in his 2500 dodge. Lucky for us, he has a lift gate Smiley  I also got the matching Steel case File cabinet to complete the look and to hold ham radio books and magazines.  It was 107 outside and those desks where scorching hot and heavy. My back is shot.

Here are a few pictures as I get everything setup.  I like these desks as they have a closed back with a Gap for cables.  You cant see any of the cables hanging down. Makes for a clean look.  The Steel case to the right will hold the Valiant and the HRO 60.  Probably set that up later today.

This is a way to set things up nice so women dont think you are mad scientist when they walk in.  I will keep these covered up when not in use.

C


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W4AAB
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2012, 02:58:15 PM »

Steelcase is still in business. Their corporate HQ is in Grand Rapids, MI. They have a large facility in my old hometown of Athens, AL. I don't think build anything that heavy-duty now, but then, no one else does either. Nothing like a metal desk for boatanchors.
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WD8KDG
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2012, 03:12:30 PM »

Many have stated, "Steelcase" made the desk options for EF Johnson. I don't believe it is so! Look at the adds in the 1955 & later ARRL handbooks. Plus the paperwork that came with my Desk KW, leads me to believe Corry-Jamestown Mfg. Corp. from Corry, Pennsylvania made the desk for EF Johnson. The adds tell where the desks were shipped from.

But at this late date, use what can be found.

Next time anyone is searching fleabay, do a search in all categories for Corry Jamestown. Some of their office furniture is shown and a postcard from one of their factories.

Craig,


* Corry-Jamestown.pdf (31.39 KB - downloaded 131 times.)
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K0VGD
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2012, 06:42:41 PM »

I'm by no means an expert on the subject but I did find a desk online that was listed as a "Steel Age" desk that matches the desk for the Johnson KW perfectly.  The pics aren't great but you can see the top is rounded at the front like the KW Desk, same trim, drawer pulls and the pedestal arrangement on one side is also identical.  Too bad the guy wanted $450 for the desk and shipping was over $500 if I remember correctly.  It would have looked great loaded up with boatanchors and sitting next to the Desk KW.

Bob/K0VGD


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KF1Z
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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2012, 07:39:43 PM »

I have two of these desks.

Most people around here will almost pay YOU to take them away.
I've never seen them for sale for more than $25. ( yard sales, business 'tent sales' etc. )
They are HEAVY!

Got mine for $5 each, paint nearly immaculate.
The only thing wrong with them, is that no keys came with them,
so I can't keep the kids out of them!   Cheesy
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WD8KDG
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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2012, 07:46:11 PM »

The Retro stuff & Tanker Desk were popular in the 50's. Built to last & heavy is an understatement. Had to take my pencil drawer to a locksmith over in the "People's Republic of Eugene, OR" to have keys made. He had the blanks, info, and machine to cut new keys. It was worth the $$.

Craig,
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ke7trp
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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2012, 08:31:04 PM »

Desk KW owners say that Steel case is stamped on the inside drawer.  It is possible that they used several other companies. Who knows.  I saw alot of desks called ALL Steel that looked very close but had a rubber bumper strip around them.

On Craigs list these desks I got go for $275 to $500.   Like the radios that now sit atop them, There was a point in time when they where people would GIVE you valiants and Desk KW's to haul them off. 


There are plenty of surpluss houses that have these old desks for cheap. 

I spent the day removing what looked like Flooring Glue from the top of the second desk.  I used a product called DE-SOLV-IT.  Two hours of soaking and a good scrub with a brillo pad and the glue came off. THe second desk now looks great!

I have the valiant and the NC183D on top. I have to wire up the mute, Make a reciever cable and plug the station in.  Then its on the air. 

This valiant is new. I think it was used once and then put back in the box. There is a dowkey on the back with a Coax T.  So that means it has been used.  I already tested it on the bench to 150 watts.  Its been sitting for 4 years since.  Lets hope she fires up.   I am thinking 10 meters through the beam with this one.  Its nice to have a low power option for rag chew.  I like to run minimal power in the hood.
C


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KB2WIG
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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2012, 09:53:11 PM »

C,

The desk and Valiant look purdy...... but lonely.  No paper, coffee cup, chatt nor empty 807.

We are here to help.


klc


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Todd, KA1KAQ
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2012, 10:16:28 PM »

Nice pick, Clark - that's exactly what I had in mind when I suggested it in your 'new transmitter' thread. Nothing looks better holding up this old gear than a period desk or table.  Wink

Most people around here will almost pay YOU to take them away.
I've never seen them for sale for more than $25. ( yard sales, business 'tent sales' etc. )
They are HEAVY!

Yup, I got mine from Jim/KA1MNH back in the mid-80s for free, just had to go up to CVH in Berlin to pick it up. Seems he'd had it given to him then had second thoughts due to the size and weight. I did have to peel a roll or two of faux woodgrain contact paper off it to reveal the brown/copper paint.

There are a bunch of good manufacturers: All-Steel Equipment(ASE), Steel Age, Erbe, Shaw Walker, and Haskell are a few. The tables I've posted photos of several times are Haskell. Got them at the State Surplus store years ago for $25-$35. You could easily store a Harley on one if you could get it up there. I routinely get up on them and walk around with all the equipment in place. They don't so much as creak.

The one I'd love to get is in the station of Joe/WA2PJP. It's one of the big All-Steel conference room tables, a thing of beauty. He has 2 stations on it as I recall with space to spare.

BTW Bruce - State Surplus is up in Waterbury now next to the big flea market field. If you're ever in the market, they often have a good supply of similar tables, desks, chairs, and file cabinets. Some even have keys!  Cheesy
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ke7trp
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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2012, 10:56:34 PM »

Got the valiant and NC183D up and running. Had to make all the cables and wire up the mute.  The old valiant fired right up and made full power on 40 meters. Sounds like a valiant... Everyone is upset/shocked I am not going to modifiy these to radios. I have hifi rigs I can turn on when i please.  These are staying factory.

The NC183D is running strong and sounds nice.

This station is done for now.  I am using 20 ft of RG8X and I want to get that out.  I ordered some LMR400 to run from the valiant to the switch next to the 500.  I will feel better with good double shielded coax.

I could not find a Desk KW.  I think I came close to the look.  The best part is those desks where cheap and cleaned up nicely.  Now if I can keep clutter at bay and hide the wires, women wont run and hide.

 Talked for 45 minutes to a couple guys in CA on 7293 and really enjoyed myself.  LOTS of work for the weekend.  Now I have to focus on more JOB and less FUN.

P.S  Thats toby the golden retriever enjoying the air conditioning!
C


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W2JRO
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2012, 06:24:08 AM »

i got mine for free...it was left on the side of the road in front of a swimming
pool dealer.My dad and I dragged it into my basement where my shack is... it is NEVER leaving..omg it is HEAVY!!!! I think a kw-1 would be easier to get out of a basement!
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WA3VJB
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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2012, 08:43:25 AM »

My family picked up several of these when Dad's business office "remodeled" to Ikea type desks, ugh.  We got the better end of the deal.  I've been using one for many years.



The desk shown here has a somewhat rare typewriter platform. The single handle door on the left pedestal opens up, revealing a pullout shelf that is spring loaded, and rises up when extended outward on high quality rollers, allowing the staffer to easily stow and retrieve the mill as needed.  

Happens also to be about the right size and weight handling for, say, a Johnson Ranger !!!

That's the same desk and chair in both photos, only about 30 years apart.

OH by the way, Clark, the closed back you mention was marketed as a "Modesty Panel," and I can explain that to you if need be.

I like these desks as they have a closed back with a Gap for cables.  You cant see any of the cables hanging down. Makes for a clean look.





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ke7trp
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« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2012, 01:56:06 PM »

I understand. That feature could be good or bad depending on who is sitting down at the time Smiley

I really like these desks. I think I will get a third for the ham shack, Clean it up, get rid of the folding table and place my SSB gear on it, next to the 304TL rig. 

The valiant ran great on 80 meters last night.  No issues so far.  The NC183D is very nice.  Audio not as good as the HRO50T but not bad.   

I found some interesting audio mods in the the manual.  I will take a photo of the schematic and post it later today. Never seen this one before.

C
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W7POW
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« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2012, 08:15:40 AM »

"The People's Republic of Eugene, Oregon"

NICE ONE CRAIG !!!!

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Smiley
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