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 Removing old Varnish
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 8:14:38 PM on 22 April 2016.
Tallar Carl's avatar
 Location: Latham, ACT
 Member since 21 February 2015
 Member #: 1705
 Postcount: 902

Ok guys I am now slowly working on the cabinet of the AWA 608T can you please tell me the name of the best varnish remover . I am sanding it back but I think I need to use varnish stripper to get a better result. Its a long term project but I want to make the best of it.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 8:27:19 PM on 22 April 2016.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 4398

I've always used standard paint stripper to remove lacquer and similar finishes, namely Selleys Kwikstrip. You will find that unless the original finish is pretty bad then two or three goes at it will be required before the bulk of it is gone.


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Brad.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 11:59:16 AM on 23 April 2016.
Redxm's avatar
 Location: Tamworth, NSW
 Member since 6 April 2012
 Member #: 1126
 Postcount: 401

Yes, paint stripper is the go. Sanding is too risky with the fine veneers used.
I neutralise the stripped cabinet with vinegar when done.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 8:18:08 PM on 27 April 2016.
Tallar Carl's avatar
 Location: Latham, ACT
 Member since 21 February 2015
 Member #: 1705
 Postcount: 902

A Haa the vinegar would probably save a bit of heart ache. I have done a little filling where the veneer was broken off. I am tempted to use a detail sander just to get it flattened out perfectly but wont be going over board. I have it half sanded and looks ok. It's all been hand sanded so far and I will be French polishing it which should be a better than original finish.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 2:43:01 AM on 19 July 2016.
Tallar Carl's avatar
 Location: Latham, ACT
 Member since 21 February 2015
 Member #: 1705
 Postcount: 902

Ok guys it seems I will have another little project restoring a 1920s coffin cabinet. The veneer on the lid is damaged and I will be attempting to remove it and put new veneer on it. How do you guys remove old veneer.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 12:19:16 PM on 19 July 2016.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 2747

A lot of that early so called varnish may actually be a Nitrocellulose based lacquer. I did get a HMV refinished with it, & it was posted at one point. It often goes brownish & cracks.

It is good in that it actually melts into the previous coat & levels well. It is attacked by Methylated spirit so keep it away when doing cleaning.

Marc


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 4:26:04 PM on 19 July 2016.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 4398

Carl, I don't suppose you were the lucky bugger that got this?

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/262523306007

I was gunna bid on it but my phone app, which is suppose to warn me fifteen minutes prior to an auction closing, gave me a ten second warning today. Sad

If I'd have got this, I'd be renewing all the veneer too. The top definitely needs doing and I'd do the front panel too, to cover the excess hole on the left.

If this is your radio you will probably find that much of the veneer on top will just peel off. Any that stays can be removed with a wet towel and steam iron on the cotton setting - ie: lots of steam.


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Brad.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 7:04:40 PM on 19 July 2016.
Tallar Carl's avatar
 Location: Latham, ACT
 Member since 21 February 2015
 Member #: 1705
 Postcount: 902

Yep thats the one Brad lol. This one will be a extremely long process but I reckon its worth the effort. I will send pictures shortly.

AWA 1920s TRF Receiver
AWA 1920s TRF Receiver
AWA 1920s TRF Receiver
AWA 1920s TRF Receiver
AWA 1920s TRF Receiver
AWA 1920s TRF Receiver


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 9:15:13 PM on 19 July 2016.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
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This is one radio that should be refinished using original methods. This radio is regarded as a true classic. I'd be seeking advice from a radio historian on the best way to go here. This is definitely not a candidate for Estapol. Many 1920s radios were finished with beeswax though others has nitrocellulose lacquer as Marc mentioned.

Going by the look of this cabinet, I'd say the latter was used. But yes, check with an expert on early AWA gear.


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Brad.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 1:14:15 AM on 20 July 2016.
Tallar Carl's avatar
 Location: Latham, ACT
 Member since 21 February 2015
 Member #: 1705
 Postcount: 902

So with the escutcheons how would I polish them up. Are they Brass.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 9:08:54 AM on 20 July 2016.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 4398

If they are pressed metal then most likely copper, maybe plated with another metal. If they are cast then brass.

If the metal looks in good order then a gentle rub with Brasso may do the trick. If they are pressed metal and the metal is very thin I'd leave them as is to avoid damage.


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Brad.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 1:59:12 PM on 20 July 2016.
STC830's avatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 558

Looking at the photo of the rear of the escutcheon, it does look like sheet metal, given the indentations behind the front highlights. It also looks like the copper pressing has been given an "antiquing" finish to make it look like bronze, and then given a light polish to make the highlights show up . Iron sulphide solution can be used for this, available in craft shops, but might be difficult to do as good a job at home . If it is in good condition it may be best to eave it as is, with a gentle clean.

Edit: I was confusing the above escutcheon photos for those in this eBay listing:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Vintage-Valve-Radio-Essanay-Escutcheon-Parts-for-Wood-Console-Radios-Lot-21-/162142523203?hash=item25c0728f43:g:q0QAAOSwRJ9XhHyk

Nevertheless if the rear looks like the eBay listing then it is a pressing.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 9:58:17 PM on 20 July 2016.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 4398

Photos uploaded to Post 8.


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Brad.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 10:26:21 PM on 22 July 2016.
Maven's avatar
 Location: Canberra, ACT
 Member since 23 August 2012
 Member #: 1208
 Postcount: 581

Nitrocellulose lacquer is very hard to find these days. One reason is that it is considered dangerous due to the solvents in it.

I needed to find some to repair wooden trim in an old car. About the only source now is guitar repair shops - especially those that specialise in "vintage" electric guitars that all were originally done in nitro, before the development of modern epoxies and polyurethanes. An internet search engine might reveal a source.

If you strip and re-finish your radio with modern polyurethane lacquer, you will probably end up with a heavier gloss than the original. Nitro-cellulose tends to be closer to a satin, semi-matt finish, something like beeswax on vintage furniture. Also, where the wooden cabinet is functioning as a resonator for the speaker, a glossier harder finish will change the sound, emphasizing more treble. (This may escape the more mature ears among us, as higher frequencies are already beyond our ken).

Adding to Brad's warning about keeping metho away from nitro lacquer, I would also add be careful with turps which can turn the surface cloudy.

There is a way to patch over small areas where lacquer has flaked, if the veneer is still sound. You can use lacquer thinners (not paint thinners) with a fine paintbrush to re-flow areas of the old nitro lacquer. This dissolves some of the surface lacquer, softens flaky bits that can be carefully brushed back onto the surface, and then heals up the cracks in underlying lacquer to some degree so they can become almost invisible. You also end up with a brush full of diluted nitro lacquer than can be brushed over the flake holes and bare patches. I have adequately covered some areas of bare veneer that way, after a number of coats.

Thinned nitro can take several days to dry fully, but you can keep working at it by brushing lightly with more thinners till you are satisfied with the surface.

One precaution on that - before you start, the area should be cleaned thoroughly with detergent or diluted vinegar, so that you don't get too much grime from the old lacquer forming lumps in the melted lacquer. In cleaning it, don't rub so hard that you lose even more lacquer flakes.

Maven


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 15 · Written at 3:05:05 PM on 29 May 2017.
Tallar Carl's avatar
 Location: Latham, ACT
 Member since 21 February 2015
 Member #: 1705
 Postcount: 902

Well People I managed to make some progress with this one. I would love to be able to say that I did it myself but I'm not that good lol. It was done by "The Traditional furniture restorer" in Canberra and Queenbeyan. I have sent some photos.

AWA 608T Table Radio
AWA 608T Table Radio
AWA 608T Table Radio
AWA 608T Table Radio
AWA 608T Table Radio


 
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