Finished product on the left. Day one on the right.
I had never did a project like this before, but had been wanting to give it a shot. I bought the unit for $5 off a guy on Craigslist. He had a great collection of stuff in his workshop but said he didn't have time to touch this. I really lucked out. It had been in a dry, temperature controlled workshop for nearly two decades. I assume prior to that it was in a basement or stored away somewhere. Aside from some chipping on the wood and veneer, the exterior was in great shape.
I delicately removed all of the hardware from the radio. It did light up and play music when I started, but I couldn't pick up anything audible and the light was very, very dim. So I planned to trash anything I wouldn't need any longer.
This was the most time consuming part. I probably spent 12 hours or so hand sanding the entire thing. I used a wire brush and a dremel tool on the hard to reach bits. Because I couldn't save much of the veneer I just took everything off.
I used a dark cedar stain. I'm more than happy with the way it came out. Not a direct match to the starting color, but it came out great. It took about 2 hours to stain and an hour to put the radio back in. I didn't bother with the transistors and such but needed the face back in there so you could see it through the glass. I went to IKEA and got a $!5 LED light bar which runs from a switch and is installed behind the glass. You can see more of that in the following pics.
To replace the defunct radio, I bought a DJ speaker for about $100 off of Amazon. The sound is fantastic. She gets way louder than I need it. Plus it came with added bonuses like Bluetooth connectivity, support for MP3 from USB, and a microphone for karaoke and crowd control.
Here you can see the speaker put into place. I cut two pieces of angle iron that are pressure fit. The speaker sits perfectly in there and gravity keeps it in place. Above that you can see what's left of the original radio. The LED light bar is covered by a piece of black felt. It was shining on the wall from behind the radio so I had to cover it with something semi-permanent. The light is on a timer which you can see in the pic.
Just a closer shot of the speaker
I started this on a Friday night and finished on Sunday night. So in the end I crushed this over a weekend. But that was busting my ass from the time I got up to late nights falling asleep on the couch. It was well worth it though. I've moved since these pictures were taken and the radio now makes a great center piece in my current house. I have done another radio since and will post that project some other time.