Chris-Craft Mahogany Crystal

Crystal radio in mahogany cabinet by Tom Kipgen

This radio is proving to be one of the most attractive in my entire construction history thus far. The mahogany cabinet’s front/top panel was carefully steamed and bent to shape and then mated to the frame. The sides also were attached to the frame and everything was thoroughly sanded and scraped. Building the dial bezel is a surprisingly complex operation that requires both lathe and milling time to complete. The convex glass is 2 1/8” diameter and houses a CLARION Radio dial from 1936. The speaker grill also demands considerable lathe and milling efforts but adds a great deal to the overall appeal of the radio. All mahogany parts were richly stained, sealed, sanded and then shaded with a deep red mahogany lacquer before being finished with several coats of satin nitro cellulose lacquer. The results remind me of those old Chris-Craft power boats that I lusted for as a kid and still do.

The circuits for the radio comes from Dave Schmarder which uses a unique wiring of the dual gang 330pF variable capacitor which takes the place of a double tuned set. It was matched with a 200µH coil wound with 175/46 Litz on an Amidon FT 114-61 toroid core that performs extremely well. I continue to be amazed at how well these circuits perform with selectivity and tuning being sharp and the sensitivity much better than any crystal set I have ever built.

This radio also includes a small amplifier and speaker that provides more volume than one really needs but it enhances the listening pleasure many times over versus headphones.

Please e-mail me for price and availability. Order: #X-66.


Crystal radio in mahogany cabinet by Tom Kipgen