A few days ago I decided to stop at a flea market whilst I was heading to the Republic of San Marino. Here in Italy flea markets are quite uncommon and oftentimes one can only find plain rubbish on sale. At one of the stands I immediately recognised what was clearly an HMV mod. 102 in brown colour so I asked the vendor if I could inspect it and after opening the lid I was astonished - it was a deluxe mod. 102 in red leather and gilded fittings. Apparently the exterior had been completely painted in brown, most probably a pitiful attempt to improve and hide the usual scuffs and wear of unrestored machines. Nevertheless while trying to hide my excitement I did not miss the chance to play fool and point out the "curious difference of color" and the "strange holes" (some screws and other parts are missing) and I managed to make a really good deal!
The following must be addressed in order to restore the gramophone properly:
- 1. Remove the brown paint while at the same time not destroy the red leather underneath
2. Assess the condition of the leather, cleaning it and restore it (probably using white spirit and leather cream to soften it and remove scuffs and marks)
3. Polish the leather (neutral or dying polish in accordance to final evaluation)
4. Clean all the gilded fittings
5. Overhaul as per usual the motor and other mechanical parts
6. Find missing parts
I did manage to find a way to remove the paint without damaging the thin red leather. Water, alcohol, acetone have virtually no effect on the paint layer so paint stripper is the only option available - I tried it on a concealed part where the original red leather was untouched and surprisingly it happens to be quite resistant to chemicals (it did not suffer alterations in color nor in structure).
Does anyone know how to properly restore the gilded fittings? Being a Mod. 102 they have been sprayed with gild satin varnish (unlike some older HMV models that were equipped with gold plated fittings) so I am not sure if metal polish will affect the finish.
The following is a list of the missing components:
- 1. Tone arm clip
2. Four upper bolts (two held in place the tone arm clip)
3. Four motorboard wooden screws
4. Four motor bolts (and washers)
5. One tonearm bolt
5. Winding handle wooden pommel and retaining clip
6. Turntable retaining clip
7. Gilded HMV soundbox (probably 5A or 5B considering the automatic brake rather than the universal brake)
If anyone is in possession of these gilded components (more common nickel or chrome screws are fine too) and is willing to sell them please PM me.
More updates will come once point 1. will be completed.