Whole lotta Nekkid Heathkits going on: Cabinet restoration time begins!

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by W7UUU, Jun 14, 2016.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: abrind-2
ad: Left-2
ad: L-MFJ
ad: Left-3
ad: Subscribe
  1. KE4OH

    KE4OH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Dave, your work look awesome!

    So, as I threatened to do in an earlier post, I also did some painting this weekend. I had an HW-16, HR-10B, and HG-10B that all needed a cabinet painting. Rust, dirt, nicks, etc. Now, I don't "restore" gear. I repair and get on the air with my gear. If I can improve the cosmetics without a big fuss, I will... And, for these rigs, I did!

    So I did a light sand, clean, then sprayed with the Heathkit "Dark Turquoise" from Mike, the eBay paint guy. I agree, his paint is da bomb! My three cabinets were all different shades. So, I don't want to tell K9STH that he's wrong but, he's wrong. There isn't one perfect paint shade for Heath gear. It varies all over the map. The paint from the eBay guy exactly matches one of the cabinets I have. The other two weren't the same. My HR-10B was about the color of K9STH's example. But the other two were two different shades of "green" that tended toward the blue side of green.

    In any case, the paint was great! I was able to give all three cabs 2 medium coats (outside only) and still have a little left over for touch-ups if needed.

    Here is a "before" pic that sort of shows the difference in color. It was more pronounced in person:

    Here is my solar powered curing oven after the painting was done:

    Final product. Very happy!!


    Bottom line - This paint is good quality and the right color for DX-60, HW-100/101, HW-16, HR-10, HG-10, HP-23 cabinets (and likely some others), plus the front panel for the SB series.

    73 de Steve KE4oh
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016
  2. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    It's definitely not Apache green - it's SB "Dark Green". The guy I buy my paint from only makes SB light and dark green, and Collins gray. But in person, it looks very very nice - probably doesn't show as well in a photo I suppose. It's entirely adequate to the purpose, and vastly better than the scratched up scuffed up surface that it was before. And given the DX-60b, HG-10b, and the HR-10b will all be the exact same shade, it's totally fine by me.

    I do admire your "purist view" of cabinet colors - always have. But sometimes, ya just gotta do what can do and call it a good day :)

    Glen, K9STH

    Thanks Jim!

    I can hardly wait to see the rigs back in the boxes - but alas, life experience has learned me NEVER to put stuff in a newly painted box for at least a week, so that's what I shall do.

    Be watching for the SB-650 thread to kick back in full gear soon - I have about 90% of the new replacement parts. Only a very few parts will be reused. All new chips, sockets, caps, resistors, diodes, transistors, plus new X and Y safety caps... only mechanical stuff, Nixie tubes, transformer, 2 "precision resistors" (with really funky values that would be very difficult to replace, and both test perfect) will be reused.

    But anyway, the SB-650 box got special care today. It's the only one that I wet-sanded between coats, since it's a solid panel - I really wanted the finish to be very smooth but still reflect some of the hammertone of the coat under the green. It came out very nice IMO.

    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016
    N7ANN likes this.
  3. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Thank you Steve! I'm glad my project inspired others!

    I agree 100%. I absolutely agree it looks PERFECT on a DX-60b/HG-10b/HR-10b no question, despite not being "official Apache green". And I also agree that Mike sells a wonderful product - as we both now know, the results speak for themselves. No clogs, unevenness, drips (as long as you remember to do the inverted valve clean thing often), and it works "to the last drop".

    Nice job Steve!!

    N7ANN and AF6LJ like this.
  4. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    looks great
  5. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Brian - one of these boxes will soon house your SB-640 LMO :) (still pending restoration)

    N7ANN and AF6LJ like this.
  6. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    EXACTLY. In this case, it's not a safety or operational issue; it's an appearance issue. And since YOU'RE the only one who's going to be looking at it, YOU'RE the only one who needs to be pleased. :)
    W7UUU and AF6LJ like this.
  7. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    No problem on the color! In fact, I have several Heath units that should have the Apache green but do not including my RX-1 Mohawk and TX-1 Apache. Some day, I need to paint them the correct color.

    Here is a photo of the HR-10 that I used to own. The HR-10B had the same color cabinet but was a wrinkle finish instead of the smooth finish. The paint is original.


    By the way, although I have not verified that it works, it is said that if an amplifier is added to the oscillator ("VFO"), that the 10-meter sensitivity will be increased considerably. For 10-meter operation, the injection frequency is actually doubled and, as such, it is at a much lower level than for the other 4-bands.

    Glen, K9STH
    W7UUU likes this.
  8. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Earth Invasion of the Heathkit cabinets..!!!


    You know, I find the sun does a better job of baking the paint on than my oven does.

    Not sure why exactly, but it seems the sun is more "natural" and provides heat in a more evenly distributed manner.

    Ovens are kinda risky because if you're not careful it can cause hot spots and will bubble up the paint job ruining the project.

    My automobile makes a good oven. Sometimes I put parts on a piece of cardboard pizza box and let them cook in the back window. Results are always amazing. Much better than sticking them inside the oven.

    The paint always ends up hardening up really nice and the finish turns out perfectly every time.

    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016
    AF6LJ likes this.
  9. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am thinking the UV-A may have something to do with it.
  10. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Could be. :)

    The metal parts become pretty hot too and stay that way for a long time.

    After several hours baking in the rear window of the car, the paint finish is practically indestructible. I'm sure UV exposure has something to do with it.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016
    AF6LJ likes this.

Share This Page