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  1. Noticed an unusual speaker at an antique market so I searched the make & model - Pickering 180L. Turns out there's a couple on Ebay for 10x the asking price - working or not, it's worth a shot. Google searched and found a small amount of history on it and I was intrigued and happy to carry on with sprucing this one up. First thing, connect and see if it works. Ohm meter shows 7 ohms +- so that's good. Connect to amp and it's producing sound... not too bad with low-res satellite radio as a source. Time to open it up. Whole lotta wood screws holding in the rear panel (with variable bass port mechanism - type of folded horn enclosure with an adjustable port) and once it's off it reveals a properly old Electro Voice SP-8-B driver and what looks like untouched wiring, including the paint seals on the + & - terminals. Removing the speaker I find a production date on the front pads of the speaker showing Oct 24, 1950 - fairly early model, with a whizzer cone driver. The back is also tagged with a 'Pickering' stencil so it looks like it's all original. At this point I decide it's probably worth cleaning up the cabinet which has the look of 60+ years of cigarette smoke tinting the colour. There's also a horrible stain on the front of the speaker cloth - most worrying thing to deal with since that cloth probably impossible to replace. Some patient work with a clean toothbrush and the most gentle cleaner I could find to start with - water. It worked like a charm, leading me to suspect it was probably a coffee stain. Sanded down the surfaces, carefully pulled the trim and then started to removed at least one very rough layer of random brush strokes (shellac?) to make it more difficult. There were also some dents, scratches and what looks like evidence of this being used a sawhorse at one time, on the top. All came together nicely when the mahogany stain was applied. Even the saw cut has been minimised to a point where it's not too noticeable. Just wanted to keep the look close to original. Satin varnish finished it off properly. It's all together now and I'm merely waiting for the right moment to present it for admission to the living room.
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