Making a replacement dial lens
If you need a lens, but don't want to try this technique yourself, I will make it for you!
I have made made molds for a number of radios and probably have or can make one for your radio.
Click here to contact me and we can work something out!
Making a replacement dial lens for most old radio that have plastic lenses
is relatively easy. The model airplane folks have a clear thermoform
plastic that is used to make an airplane canopy. This stuff is great for dial lenses.
The lens for my Stewart Warner R-1802A was badly scratched and had a crack.
The following pictures show how I made a new lens.
The plastic that I use is Squadron Clear Thermoform. Available in 8 inch x 5 inch sheets from:
1115 Crowley Drive
Carrollton, Texas 75011-5010
The thermoform plastic softens at a very low temperature.
I heated a sheet in the oven at 200 degrees F and pressed it into a mold.
The mold is just a balsa wood plug carved to be the inside
shape of the final lens and a frame that fits around the plug with
clearance of a little more than the thickness of the plastic sheet.
This is a closer look at the balsa wood plug.
I could not get balsa wood that was thick enough and had
to laminate three thin pieces.
If you look closely you will see the thermoform sheet on the plug.
The plug is resting on a cookie sheet.
This all goes into the oven at 200 degrees F.
I placed the plug and thermoform sheet in the oven until the
sheet is hot enough to "droop" over the plug.
I then QUICKLY pressed the frame over the sheet to form
it around the plug.
I removed the cookie sheet from the oven and continued to
press on the frame until the whole thing is cool.
I then removed the frame and trimmed the excess plastic from
the new lens.
The last picture is the new lens pressed into the bezel.
The lens is so clear you can hardly see it.
When the radio is finished we will see the new lens in its proper place.