alcohol and restoring bad shellac finishes?

Share your phonograph repair & restoration techniques here
User avatar
Henry
Victor V
Posts: 2586
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:01 am
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

Re: alcohol and restoring bad shellac finishes?

Post by Henry »

Interesting label that names the International Correspondence Schools, Scranton, PA. ICS was the go-to source for folks who wanted to learn a trade (hey, wanna be a locomotive engineer? Here's how!) through home study. Their textbooks make interesting reading today. Their original headquarters building still stands today in Scranton; it's been pointed out to me by a friend who's more familiar with the city than I am.

martinola
Victor III
Posts: 925
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:30 pm

Re: alcohol and restoring bad shellac finishes?

Post by martinola »

Thanks for the good feedback!

Andreas, for the decal area, I lightly brushed-on alcohol just enough for the flaking shellac to re-adhere. I followed-up by adding 1 or 2 thinned coats of clear shellac to give a working surface. I used Testors hobby enamel for the gold and black colors with the smallest brush I could find. I did the gold first, using little bits of blue masking tape to keep me from straying too far. After that was dry, I re-did the tape and drew-in the missing black lines. It was less like painting as it was like stippling with very tiny dots of paint. I used a real strong lamp and a #5 Optivisor magnifier. (I can't stress enough how important it was to have the Optivisor to do this.) I tried to even-out the difference in the gold tones by selectively dabbing-on amber shellac. Anyway, after I got it looking as good as I could, I followed up with many coats of clear shellac (with sanding every 3rd or 4th coat) to give the decal some protection and to fill in the low spots of the finish.

This one was a 4 to 6 week process with lots of cure time between coats. The Model D was in better condition and was more like 2 to 3 weeks with cure time.

-Martin

User avatar
alang
VTLA
Posts: 2984
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:36 am
Personal Text: TMF Moderator
Location: Delaware

Re: alcohol and restoring bad shellac finishes?

Post by alang »

Thanks Martin for the detailed instructions.
Andreas

User avatar
Henry
Victor V
Posts: 2586
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:01 am
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

Re: alcohol and restoring bad shellac finishes?

Post by Henry »

Alcohol restores my finish, too. One part dry vermouth to 12 parts gin; apply as needed....

User avatar
FloridaClay
Victor VI
Posts: 3708
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:14 pm
Location: Merritt Island, FL

Re: alcohol and restoring bad shellac finishes?

Post by FloridaClay »

Henry wrote:Alcohol restores my finish, too. One part dry vermouth to 12 parts gin; apply as needed....
Hey, I like your formula!

Clay
Arthur W. J. G. Ord-Hume's Laws of Collecting
1. Space will expand to accommodate an infinite number of possessions, regardless of their size.
2. Shortage of finance, however dire, will never prevent the acquisition of a desired object, however improbable its cost.

User avatar
Henry
Victor V
Posts: 2586
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:01 am
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

Re: alcohol and restoring bad shellac finishes?

Post by Henry »

If you use it, you'll like anything! :lol:

Of course, you can always omit the vermouth....but not the olive.

martinola
Victor III
Posts: 925
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:30 pm

Re: alcohol and restoring bad shellac finishes?

Post by martinola »

Since the photos disappeared due to the hosting service going kaput (and since there has been a request), here are the photos re-instated:
Post by martinola » Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:43 pm
Hi Clay.
My take on re-amalgamation is that it's worth a try if you don't mind being patient and are willing to experiment. I just finished a re-amalgamation of my Standard Model D that was rather rough and had bad flaking on the lid, back and crank side. The thing is that simply re-flowing a trashed finish isn't usually enough. I've had to add coat after coat of clear shellac in order to "level out" the finish. There's a lot of time that goes into touch-up color matching, filling in low spots, sanding and polishing. The result is essentially the original color and (I think) better than a re-finish.

Std D before side view
Std_D_side_before_detail.jpg
Std D after side view
Std_D_aft_side_med.jpg
Std D wide after front
Std_D_wide_aft_med.jpg
Below are some shots of an earlier re-amalgamation/restoration of my Standard Model C ICS machine. My main goal on this one was to save the decal.

Std C finish and decal before
Std_C_close_before_med.jpg
Std C decal after
Std_C_close_aft.jpg
Std C wide after
Std_C_wide_aft_med.jpg
Anyhow, whatever you do decide to do; good luck! :)

- Martin

Hoodoo
Victor Jr
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2021 4:35 pm

Re: alcohol and restoring bad shellac finishes?

Post by Hoodoo »

Beautiful work!
How did you not remove the decal?
Were the decals applied first at the factory, then shellacked over?

User avatar
Lucius1958
Victor VI
Posts: 3874
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:17 am
Location: Where there's "hamburger ALL OVER the highway"...

Re: alcohol and restoring bad shellac finishes?

Post by Lucius1958 »

Did you touch up the decal by hand? If so, that is excellent work! :D

- Bill

User avatar
Lucius1958
Victor VI
Posts: 3874
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:17 am
Location: Where there's "hamburger ALL OVER the highway"...

Re: alcohol and restoring bad shellac finishes?

Post by Lucius1958 »

Henry wrote: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:16 am Interesting label that names the International Correspondence Schools, Scranton, PA. ICS was the go-to source for folks who wanted to learn a trade (hey, wanna be a locomotive engineer? Here's how!) through home study. Their textbooks make interesting reading today. Their original headquarters building still stands today in Scranton; it's been pointed out to me by a friend who's more familiar with the city than I am.
There was also their other branch, the International Textbook Co. (ITC), also in Scranton: my Standard B has their label.

- Bill

Post Reply