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 Cabinet restoration
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 20:23:38 on 8 August 2010.
New2radio's Gravatar
 Location: Brisbane, QLD
 Member since 5 January 2009
 Member #: 410
 Postcount: 61

I'm wondering how fellow aussies here do an authentic cabinet restoration, when the original finish is too far gone to save?
Nitrocellulose Lacquer seems to have been used mostly from the late 20's through to the 50's, but any sort of "lacquer" seems impossible to get- at least here in Qld.
Every hardware/paint shop I've asked has presented me with a tin of polyurathane!
I knew a french polisher who used spraying lacquer made by Wattyl, but it was only available in 20 litre drums, which I assume would cost MANY hundreds of dollars & is probably only available to the "trade". 20 litres seems like a lifetime supply too.

I use a lot of shellac for gramophones & other antique funiture, but it never looks quite right on earlier radios & radiograms. I've also found it very difficult to achieve a satifactory two-tone finish like was popular in the late 20's & early 30s, using shellac.
I'm currently working on stripping a cabinet that someone did with a satin polyurathane, which actually didn't look too bad, but given the reputation of poly in the antiques world, I'm a bit reluctant to use it. And again, it may prove problematic where tinting is concerned?
I've also considered trying blonde (clear) shellac, but dont want to invest the time & energy into using it, only to find I'm not happy with the results & feel like stripping it again, as I do with orange shellac.

So, if anyone has any recommendations &/or advise on obtaining a more authentic look for these earlier cabinets, I'm all ears Smile


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 22:26:54 on 8 August 2010.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 3788

Most old radio's were indeed done with Nitrocellulose.

Nitro cellullose is wonderfully unstable. Never drop a tin of it, especially from height. At this stage I would say the old finish would need to be stripped, Metho is one thing that attacks it. Seek advice as there ar other, perhaps better chemicals (not paint stripper)

I am in the proceess of getting the inards of a National Orthosonic (Neutrodyne) where the dry cell battery left in it, dissolved (chemical fact) the base plate and caused other damage such that it had to have several areas re-veneered. Total dismantle & re-assemble of the coffin. Plus chemical treatment to clear the still corrosively active Battery electrolyte.

There is a source in Albury NSW which I can get the name of for Nitrocellulose. You will probably need 30%.

We were lucky with this set as there is a furniture restorer here that has it on tap. Quick cheque book spray job on the repaired coffin.

There was no cost effective, point buying the stuff when you could get a professional job with, no waste & no hassle. Which is what happened.

You will still need to stain the wood if required & get it right before hitting it with the Nitro. The good thing about Nitrocellulose is that it melts into the previous coat and that does wonders for getting a good result.

I have photo's of the result.

Marc


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 09:25:05 on 9 August 2010.
New2radio's Gravatar
 Location: Brisbane, QLD
 Member since 5 January 2009
 Member #: 410
 Postcount: 61

I have a friend in Albury, so if you could give me the contact details, I could probably get him to pick some up for me. He's a collector too, so would probably appreciate the information as well.
I dont have any spray equiptment, as I do all my shellacing by hand, but if the proper lacquer is available, it will be worth while investing in a compressor & gun I think.
I've got half a dozen or so uprights & radiograms, and the spray equiptment will probably only cost as much as one professional restoration. There's plenty of other old furniture here I can practise on first too.

Do you know if they also have ready mixed toning lacquer, or the dyes/stains to mix your own?


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 10:33:23 on 9 August 2010.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 3788

The stains I believe are the common pigment types.

You need to start with a sanding type Nitro first then the finish. This is why the furniture restorer guy was so damn cost effective. I say that, already having the the Industrial equipment to spray with.

The guy that is restoring the Coffin is supposed to turn up today to do some work on a Cheiftan portable Batt / AC.

I will get some info from him & get back to you.

Marc


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 09:50:25 on 10 August 2010.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 3788

Info: PPG Coatings

This is a Muti National specialising in Professional & Industrial coatings. They may be trade but its a start.

Ie Start at the top & work down.


105 Boronia St. North Albury. 2640 ppg.com.au for the International website.

I have a contact but will not post here. I have already had one self opiniated scitzoprenic Moron send seven emails (the same) with two different names (both sent me one), about his website (now blocked) today.

Marc


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 17:44:52 on 12 August 2010.
New2radio's Gravatar
 Location: Brisbane, QLD
 Member since 5 January 2009
 Member #: 410
 Postcount: 61

Thank you very much Marc for the information.
I'll visit their website & send an email to find out all the details.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 18:31:45 on 12 August 2010.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 5566

I think PPG is where I got my last lot of clear shellac from though I heard a rumour they are going to stop making it. I suppose there'd be little requirement in the market for products like that now though it is good to hear they do make nitrocellulose lacquer. I may enquire about this myself soon.

On the subject of nitrocellulose, I am told that it must be sprayed on. Brushing will not apparently yield good results. Jarring and stirring the lacquer will also cause excessive air bubbles.

Marc, did those abusive e-mails you received come through this website? I'm hoping not though if they did I will try to assist if asked.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
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