Author Topic: Finishing Follies  (Read 698 times)

TC Chris

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Finishing Follies
« on: October 10, 2016, 05:56:20 PM »
Wow, it's fall already. That means I have to get serious about improving the finish on My '56 Provincial Serenade with its nice cherry finish. I live in the heart of cherry-orchard country where we have a big annual Cherry Festival, so it's an appropriate material. The console lives in the garage, behind the Mustang, on a dolly so I can roll it out when the Mustang is going to hit the road.  Then the 1956 Evinrude Fastwin has to emerge, and the nice Dutch bicycle I rescued from the trash.  The real solution would be a bigger garage or at least more storage space.  But for now, the focus is on getting the cabinet fixed up before it's too cold.

The top of this console is pretty well beat up.  It seems to have spent time in somebody's garage where it was used as a storage surface.  It's scratched & dinged, and there were veneer chips along the edges that I have repaired.  So my plan was to find a can of brushing lacquer and brush on some new finish.  Today I stopped at a big paint store and asked for brushing lacquer.  The lady looked at me like I had asked for pixie dust.  Then she started looking.  And she found a can labelled "brushing lacquer."  Those were the exact words--but it was an aerosol spray can.  So these days brushing lacquer is something you spray on.  I decided to buy it & try it.  I'll report later.

The other problem was that I couldn't make my veneer patches match the existing finish.  First they were way too light.  Then I tried my usual cherry-darkening technique, washing soda dissolved in water.  IT worked as expected except too well.  The patches were now way too dark.  So I sanded lightly and set the project aside.  Today it dawned on me:  orange shellac.  The remains of my can of orange shellac had turned black so it was off to the hardware store for more. Except that they no longer call it "orange" shellac; now it's "amber" shellac. Never mind what they call it,  it solved the problem nicely.  It made the veneer patches match the original pretty well.  It also did a great job of covering up the various scrapes and dings that the device had accumulated over its 60 years. I used a small artist's brush, applied some shellac, and then wiped with a paper towel to remove excess. The scratches disappeared. 

I'll wait for the shellac to dry thoroughly and for a good-weather day (warm, no wind) to try the spray brushing lacquer.

Chris Campbell


Larry H

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Re: Finishing Follies
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2016, 06:26:35 PM »
Howard's restore-a-finish in the same color as the console or phonograph works very well to hide scratches, flea bites, and make the cabinet look really nice again.
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AlexanderMartin

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Re: Finishing Follies
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2016, 09:12:52 PM »
Howards isn't a finish though, it's only temporary. It's better to actually finish the cab then just throw Howards on it.

electra225

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Re: Finishing Follies
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2016, 11:33:02 PM »
I like Restore A Finish on certain projects, such as where the cabinet and wood is nice, but their are flea bites.  Anything much past that and I like to refinish and get it over with.

I also am a fan of shellac.  It is amazing stuff, very forgiving, so I understand your using that.  I really don't like lacquer.  It is easy to use and forgiving, but it is delicate and not the correct product for a Magnavox.  They used a "hand-rubbed oil finish."  Likely shellac and either tung or Danish oil.  I was well-satisfied with polyurethane over shellac on the Magnavox I did recently.  The upside to poly is that it closely resembles the original finish when you get done.  The downside is that it is harder to work and takes a long time to cure compared to lacquer.  It is nearly indestructible if you have pets or kids.  Lacquer dries fast and is easy to work, but it is easily damaged.

Good luck with your project and be sure to post pictures of your progress.
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TC Chris

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Re: Finishing Follies
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2016, 08:53:11 PM »
Today  was a nice warm and windless fall day so I rolled the Mustang out of the garage to get my rowing shell out--went rowing--then as long as the Mustang was out of the way and the day was warm, it was a good time to try my aerosol spray "brushing lacquer" on the 1956 cherry Provincial Serenade.  I masked off the box and the changer compartment then scuffed up the top with fine steel wool.  I sprayed away, two coats.  It turned out pretty well.  Not perfect, because the top was a bit banged up, but it hid all the scratches.  My veneer repairs, colored with the "amber" shellac, are pretty well hidden.  I'll attach two photos--one with flash, one without.  The color looks better without flash but it was low light so it's a bit fuzzy.  Remember that I live in the "Cherry Capital," a town surrounded by cherry orchards (and now vineyards too, and hops farms) so the cherry cabinet is especially appropriate.

Chris Campbell

Motorola Minion

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Re: Finishing Follies
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2016, 02:30:22 PM »
Looks pretty good. Many later cherry consoles, even our cherry hutch and cherry kitchen cabinets have more "red' in the finish.

Your is more of a genuine finish though, about the same color as my '63 Motorola in cherry.
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Dave

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Re: Finishing Follies
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2016, 05:00:36 PM »
Chris,

Nice work, that is a beautiful console.

Regards,

Greg

TC Chris

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Re: Finishing Follies
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2016, 10:14:42 PM »
A reddish cherry is the natural tendency of the wood as it ages.  You can accelerate that effect with the washing soda and water solution, which I tried.  It was too effective--the patches were darker than the original.  I've wondered why this cabinet has stayed light.  No complaint--it's a good looking box.

Chris Campbell