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 Post subject: Don't want to Strip - How to proceed
PostPosted: Mar Thu 26, 2020 1:20 am 
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Joined: Mar Fri 11, 2016 9:20 pm
Posts: 62
Hey guys. I've got a Firestone Air Chief S-7397-9 that I am restoring. The finish is very fragile, and it's easily scraped off with a fingernail. Would the application of fresh spray lacquer rejuvenate it? My goal is to not have to strip it so I can preserve the silk screen/decal labels on the cabinet. I am willing to strip it though if need be.

Secondly, the dial plastic is pretty dingy but I'm concerned that any attempt to clean it may cause the lettering to come off. Any suggestions there?

The knobs and buttons were all warped and semi-melted looking. Weird. I'm going to model them to the best of my ability and make 3d-printed replicas. It'll be my first opportunity to use that for anything radio related.

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 Post subject: Re: Don't want to Strip - How to proceed
PostPosted: Mar Thu 26, 2020 2:46 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 8950
Location: 13 Critchley Avenue, PO Box 36, Monteith Ont, P0K 1P0
JasonWatkins wrote:
........... Would the application of fresh spray lacquer rejuvenate it? ........



I think this is known as "reflowing". Some people have had good success doing this. I've never tried it. If you are searching for results, use the search term "reflowing".

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Don't want to Strip - How to proceed
PostPosted: Mar Thu 26, 2020 4:15 am 
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Joined: Nov Mon 05, 2007 11:08 pm
Posts: 2999
Location: Calgary Alberta
This is just me talking, but I would strip it, and start over.
You can get decals from Radio daze
https://www.radiodaze.com/reproduction-graphics/

I realize that everyone does not want to do cabinet work,and each to his own, but you are asking for opinions.
There are a lot of guys in the forum who don't do cabinets and that is OK.
I have not tried to reform lacquer and it might work quite well.
Personally I like to refinish cabinets
Dan in Calgary


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 Post subject: Re: Don't want to Strip - How to proceed
PostPosted: Mar Thu 26, 2020 4:25 am 
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Joined: Mar Fri 11, 2016 9:20 pm
Posts: 62
I'll check out reflowing. I had never heard of that before.

I've re-finished several cabinets in the past so it's not out of the question. Traditionally, I used wipe on polyurethane. It's a pain to get smooth but it can be made to look nice with some patience. I got an HVLP sprayer some time back though and have had a lot of luck with lacquer. I actually like it a lot. Now, I have gotten decals and two magnificent phenolic replacement dials from RadioDaze before. I couldn't get those decals to look good to save my life...even with the judicious application of profanity. I'll probably attempt to reflow it and see how it does. I'd have to strip it anyway so it won't hurt to try.


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 Post subject: Re: Don't want to Strip - How to proceed
PostPosted: Mar Thu 26, 2020 5:09 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 15079
Location: S. Dartmouth MA 02748-1225 USA
The finish is dead, if it is re-flowed there may not be complete "smoothout " of the color. Much of the finish color is not stain but a dye in the lacquer. I would not strip nor would I clear lacquer re-flow. I would look to the Howards Restore-a-Finish product. This product is intended to be hand applied containing solvents, retarders (so it will stay fluid enough during application), a base of tinted lacquer. If applied by the instructions and the correct color chosen it will renew the old finish by re-amalgamating and lay down a new surface. Once hardened it can be lightly buffed and clear lacquer applied. The benefits go beyond, the near original color, filler will be preserved. If there was any OEM overspray toning, that that would be blended in, this radio seems to look like that is not the case.

Oh, there is an investment in learning and elbow grease not as easy as sprayon and dry... :roll:

YMMV

Chas

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 Post subject: Re: Don't want to Strip - How to proceed
PostPosted: Mar Thu 26, 2020 8:14 am 
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Joined: Mar Fri 11, 2016 9:20 pm
Posts: 62
That's something else that I have never heard of. They're saying that it's available at my local hardware stores too. I'm not afraid of a little elbow grease. It's just that I've had to strip off decals before and I just hate doing it. My Moto 6y probably has close to 20 very thin coats of diluted poly on it. Buffed with a scotchbrite pad between each one. I just wanted the grain to be filled without visible brush strokes. It's a challenge but it can be done. Not that I claim to have any particular level of talent.


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 Post subject: Re: Don't want to Strip - How to proceed
PostPosted: Mar Thu 26, 2020 4:27 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 15079
Location: S. Dartmouth MA 02748-1225 USA
Practice on furniture scraps first. That, will also confirm the coloring... May be able to re-amalgamate with the product by carefully padding around the decals. If not take razor sharp images, with a digital camera at high resolution, use a 50mm lens, shorter or longer lenses or a cellphone lens with have noticeable distortion. Tripod, inverted and square-on will eliminate parallax. The digital image file can be massaged, repair breaks or correct for other distortions to some degree and used to generate a water slide decal, yes, a decal with metallic are hard to do but there are workarounds...

You may have to get a can of toner, either opaque or transparent. That will depend how damaged the trim sections are. Toner is used for both accent and hiding lesser woods with plain grain.

Essentially, what is happening is the use of furniture repair touch/up techniques. There are online tutorials for such skills...

The issue with "poly" is it has a different curing system. The cross linking that takes place is permanent and no common solvent can break the chains and either bind another coat or easily dissolve it. There-in successive coats lay on top or each other and are not amalgamated to each. Over a long period of time all poly yellows from the effects of UV and unequal shrinkage of each layer. I have seen this on the few household poly surfaces in my home. The windows are now framed in deep orange and the sills are peeling. Even varnish has this problem as it has a similar cross linking system. Older radios used fine furniture finishing techniques.

Another observation, even with re-amalgamating, is while the failed finish is in place, a staining furniture polish like "Old English" was used of a darker color. What will happen is veins of darker color will be in the wood, that are not removable in a normal re-amalgamating and will be sealed in. If that is not objectionable then O.K.

Radio was a center of attraction in the home, warm wood tones and bright glowing grain was the appeal. Over time UV also takes its toll, not only darkening the lacquer, but bleaching the red toning out leaving a greenish tint and oxidizing the wood underneath for a few thousands of an inch. The becomes grayish and no longer sparkles from its grain fiber. A full strip also includes sanding the wood to return color by removing the dead layer. That also means filling the new open pores, staining, sealing the the progressive topcoats and toning.. Result is the beauty is returned as it was using only 2 to 4 top coats depending on the wear surface, sides vs top...

There is one other sneaker, the use of silicone based polish. Silicone will cause "fish-eye" in a project unless retarders are used and the finish stripped down and the wood sanded. FWIK there are retarders in the Howard's product.

YMMV

Chas

_________________
List' & I will Enchant Thine Ear


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