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 Post subject: Another "Refreshing a Finish" Project - Need Advice
PostPosted: Jul Wed 11, 2018 7:57 pm 
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I saw the RCA post about a refresh and I have something similar but I think needs more work. I am doing this work for a friend and he wants it to be restored close to original. I do not want to fully refinish it but would like to keep the original since it is so close to being good. And it has very strong sentimental value and so I believe the original finish should be kept.
I have done multiple consoles with spray lacquer and toner as you may have seen on other posts so I am familiar with that process.

As you see in the photos, there are several places where the finish is fully gone. I have done the full process with GoJo and Howards so this is as good as "the process" will allow. I have also spoken with a friend who is very talented and he may help but I wanted so further comments if folks have some experience. My only thought was to carefully sand the finish smooth and apply a few thin coats of clear over the affected areas after those have been masked off. Some areas may need toner, like the edges around the top? The one photo shows some "holes" or some pitting of the finish. That could be interesting. Maybe only a lacquer stick can fix that?

Ideas appreciated!
Thanks,
Lou

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 Post subject: Re: Another "Refreshing a Finish" Project - Need Advice
PostPosted: Jul Wed 11, 2018 8:18 pm 
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I'm no expert on this, but you might try a stain pen to touch up those areas where the finish has been damaged. I've used Minwax products and had pretty good results.

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 Post subject: Re: Another "Refreshing a Finish" Project - Need Advice
PostPosted: Jul Thu 12, 2018 2:59 am 
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My 'tool kit' has an air brush in it. Your missing finish areas might be too big to tackle with an air brush.... I always try to preserve the original finish and the airbrush has been just the right tool sometimes... Of course if you have done the Go-Jo or Howards treatments you will need to wait a while for that stuff to dry out.

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: Another "Refreshing a Finish" Project - Need Advice
PostPosted: Jul Thu 12, 2018 5:01 am 
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Hy Lou, thought you had moved on from radios to cameras.
Have you explored "French Polishing? Is the ancient way to build a shellac finish and is fairly effective way to repair the kind of problem you have. And shellac is reversible with alcohol (shellac thinner).
I was introduced in a class at the Woodcraft Store some years ago. Read up on the technique.
Overview: You wrap a small wad of cotton cloth inside a square of linseed oil soaked cloth.
You squirt some thinned shellac a little at a time into the wad. Sometimes also squirt a little shellac thinner into the wad too. The shellac is contained by the outer linseed soaked cloth until you squeeze it. It works almost like a felt tip pen works. But never pause this applicator lest it suddenly stick to the surface. It drys fast on the surface and just repeat. Definitely practice on some old scraps to get the feel of it. And always work a new applicator on something else first till it is working properly before turning to the project cabinet.

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 Post subject: Re: Another "Refreshing a Finish" Project - Need Advice
PostPosted: Jul Sat 14, 2018 5:25 pm 
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You could try to first clean it with dewaxer, then use Mohawk toned laquer (clear, not opaque) to touch-up some areas, taking care to not make hot spots. Clear lacquer will mix with old lacquer, especially if you use blush retarder (available in spray cans).

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 Post subject: Re: Another "Refreshing a Finish" Project - Need Advice
PostPosted: Jul Sun 15, 2018 1:19 am 
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Lou:

You might want to PM either fred taylor or larryad, both are ARF member and both are exceptional cabinet restorers.

GL,

Terry


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 Post subject: Re: Another "Refreshing a Finish" Project - Need Advice
PostPosted: Sep Thu 13, 2018 8:36 pm 
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I tried several options on this and spoke at length with the owner. We opted for a full refinish. And yes, I have so far put in 38 hours on stripping the cabinet and sanding all of the little nooks and crannies and have not yet finished. I must be crazy to take this on but I promised I would restore this in memory of a best friend who had died.

My question is what color of toned lacquer to use on these Philco models. This looks a little lighter and "oranger" than my classic Perfect Brown from Mohawk. However, I had tried some other colors on another project and never achieved a Philco color which maybe looks a little like fruitwood??
I finished a Philco 90 a couple of years back with Perfect Brown and it looks pretty good and very similar to the original. See below.

Any votes on which Mohawk lacquer is the best match? And, no, I cannot mix since I do not have a spray setup. I use rattle cans.
Is it possible that the finish is faded or otherwise color shifted and the original was not as orange looking?
Thanks in advance.

Lou

Another view of the Philco 18H for comparison using no flash:

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Philco 90:

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 Post subject: Re: Another "Refreshing a Finish" Project - Need Advice
PostPosted: Sep Fri 14, 2018 7:36 pm 
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Where do you obtain your Mohawk toned lacquer? They have a large range of tones, and one is a Fruitwood.

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 Post subject: Re: Another "Refreshing a Finish" Project - Need Advice
PostPosted: Sep Thu 20, 2018 11:32 am 
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Location: Baguio City, Philippines
38 hours stripping one cabinet? You're doing it wrong, as it should take about an hour with the cabinet you have.

What you need:

Paint remover. CirtiStrip would work perfectly here.
A cheap disposable brush.
Hamster bedding (from a pet store).
Lacquer thinner.
Chemical resistant rubber gloves and eye protection.
Optional: Kitchen Plastic Wrap ("Saranwrap").

Freely slather on a thick layer of the paint remover using the brush. Work quickly and brush as little as possible. Place plastic wrap on top to extend the working time of the remover if you want.

Wait for the remover to do it's job. You should see the surface bubble up as the process continue. Have patience. Plastic wrap will keep the solvents from evaporating quickly and you can let it sit a half hour or more.

Once the finish is liquified, grab handfuls of the hamster bedding and scrub the finish and remover from the wood. If any spots remain, repeat the process.

Once the surface is clean, wipe it down using lacquer thinner. Use more fresh, clean hamster bedding to remove any traces of the lacquer thinner.

You're now ready to start the refinishing process. You don't need to sand anything unless there was damage you need to sand out (like scratches in the wood).

There are a lot of methods to recreate the look of an original finish. This is what works for me: http://antiqueradios.com/features/lacquer.html


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 Post subject: Re: Another "Refreshing a Finish" Project - Need Advice
PostPosted: Sep Fri 21, 2018 4:43 am 
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Even better, use lacquer thinner and 0 or 00 steel wool and some white cotton towels. Citristrip leaves a big mess and the cabinet takes forever to dry after cleaning it with mineral spirits, so I no longer use it unless there is poly or some other such gunk on a cabinet.

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 Post subject: Re: Another "Refreshing a Finish" Project - Need Advice
PostPosted: Sep Fri 21, 2018 10:43 am 
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I disagree. If you use the hamster bedding removal method and a wash with lacquer thinner (not mineral spirits) you're set to go. Dissolving the finish using just lacquer thinner is going to be slow and you're likely to miss spots. Also, using coarse steel wool can damage the wood. Unless you're not dealing with a damaged piece of wood, there is no need for abrasives of any kind.


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 Post subject: Re: Another "Refreshing a Finish" Project - Need Advice
PostPosted: Sep Fri 21, 2018 12:06 pm 
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Thanks to both of you for replying. I know that you both have a great deal of experience on refinishing, even though your techniques are different. Alan, I have tried the stripper method and found it difficult and not complete enough to get all of the old lacquer off. However, I am open to try to understand your experience of the technique being adequate to removing all of the lacquer. In the case of this radio, the lacquer had soaked into the wood a great deal. I had never seen this happen before. The trim wood is ash or poplar or something else along those lines. The porous ends of the wood just were very dark. So I had to sand it down as best I could. I wholeheartedly agree that any method that does not involve sanding would be great since the wood is not modified. Perhaps on my next radio (if there is a next one after this mess!), I will give the stripper method another try.
For now, I will see if I can find a toned lacquer that can match the original Philco intent. I have found that the Mohawk color chart is not so good at producing the color I want. I had used all of the ones with the word "walnut" in them and finally settled on Perfect Brown as the go to one for all of my other work, mostly Zenith, Crosley, and Silvertone. Given my other plans, I will be doing this in October.

Thanks again to all of the commenters,
Lou

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 Post subject: Re: Another "Refreshing a Finish" Project - Need Advice
PostPosted: Sep Sun 23, 2018 11:14 pm 
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You will get it done. There is no one way. I learned about using lacquer thinner (or thinner and acetone) on this site and have been very pleased with it.

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