You know, I bought this last year from a gal that was going to make a much needed wine cabinet out of it but for whatever reason (probably because the finish was horrible) she changed her mind and put it up for sale. It originally came from the Minneapolis area but she had moved to Wisconsin so that's where I picked it up. I don't have any of the pictures I took before I took it apart to refinish as the computer they were on up and died and they were lost. It's not a big deal, but the finish was pretty bad on it and the top had some big white rings in it from cans or bottles sitting on it. It was in an unheated place for a long time and she said it was in a corncrib when she got it. So, the core-wood has changed some from that and if you look on the left side, you'll see a hump in the veneer. I think there must be a knot or something under there as I could not get that to flatten out. The veneer isn't loose there, it's just a bump. I tried clamping it down and belting it with a hammer and block of hardwood and this was as good as it wanted to get. Before I built up some finish on it and sanded it down, you could really see how the core-wood was pieced together and that's usually what happens to furniture that's been placed in unheated storage or damp for a long time. The lid was really warped badly, but I did manage to get that pretty much sorted out. It was standing up about ½" proud on one corner of the front.
Anyway, it's pretty much done now except I need to put some new domes of silence on the feet and maybe a few other things need tweaking. This is the second from the largest of these machines. I'm refinishing three of these right now and the other two are the two smaller machines. I have to say, it's very well built. Edison must have gotten a good deal on piano varnish and it was really laid on thick on these things. This one had more varnish on it than the two smaller one's did, so it was probably shiner and more of a 'formal' finish than the two smaller machines. The back of the cabinet on this one has mahogany veneer on it, and the two smaller one's are birch. There are just some subtle difference between this one and the two smaller one's. It's really unlikely that most purchasers, or even Edison dealers would have been aware of any of that. Or probably care for that matter. These machines were very dark when they were new. I left one of the areas under the lid alone and just put some clear coat over it so I had a reference point for color. Eduardo did a really nice job on the decal and it looks great. These things are about as much work to refinish as a small piano and I can certainly see why hardly anyone tackles these and refinishes them. Those stupid door hinges are very frustrating to get adjusted and even when everything's put back the way it came apart they will still drive you to distraction. There must be some tricks to those things that I don't understand. So, there are some of my thought's on this monster. I figured you'd like to see a couple of pictures of this thing done as they are actually nice looking when the finish is decent. If the core-wood was not telescoping issues into the face, and if a few other things were a little better on it I probably would have built the lacquer up more and put a piano finish on it. I was just afraid of putting enough finish on it to do that. And it's like they say about "Paint protecting itself from the elements, but exposing it to the critics!" A piano finish will definitely show all the blemishes. I have to say that I really like this thing. This is one style of phonograph that does not wear a bad finish well.
Discussions on Talking Machines & Accessories
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- Victor III
- Posts: 828
- Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 12:24 pm
- Personal Text: A Pathé record...with care will live to speak to your grandchildren when they are as old as you are
- Location: Silver Spring, MD