Opinion on Wood Repair

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Opinion on Wood Repair

Post by stefanko on Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:21 am

Hello everyone,

I've just joined this forum. It seems like I'm surrounded with very experienced people, so I have a question. I have not so old tube radio Tesla 52A manufactured in Yugoslavia in 1952. It is operational. Minor electric repair is needed. Wooden casing is good, just varnish is cracked. I'm in doubt should I remove all of the varnish and fix the whole wooden case or just preserve the current look with new varnish layer.

What would you prefer between giving it a brand new look or preserving that aged look? What basically gives more value to vintage radios?
(I'm an electrical engineer, not so familiar with casing restoration)

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Re: Opinion on Wood Repair

Post by Greg Davis on Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:08 am

If it's just the varnish that's cracking, and not the veneer splitting, I'd leave it alone.
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Re: Opinion on Wood Repair

Post by stefanko on Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:43 am

Thanks for the reply. There are some areas where varnish is completely removed. This is why I doubt what to do, but personally I would like to keep it the way it is.

https://servimg.com/view/19870725/1

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Re: Opinion on Wood Repair

Post by Greg Davis on Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:31 am

That's a fairly common problem. I doubt that adding varnish to it would produce a better look unless you removed all the old varnish first. If you do that you can end up with something that looks much more consistent and clean.

It's a personal preference, obviously. If you are just itching to see what beauty you can uncover, go for it. I'll bet the result would be very attractive.

I just prefer leaving things with some wear visible so it doesn't look like a reproduction.
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Re: Opinion on Wood Repair

Post by willy3486 on Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:37 pm

One trick I do on some that the finish is somewhat decent is this. I will get GOJO hand cleaner, the kind without pumice. Its the kind that is white, no grit to scratch it. I will rub that on the cabinet and let it sit for a minute or so. I then wipe it off with a rag. After this I follow up with a good furniture paste wax like Johnsons. I have a can of it that is yellow. I have had quite a few that looked really good and before I cleaned it like this I was afraid it would need refinishing. Not perfect but looks a lot better.

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Re: Opinion on Wood Repair

Post by willy3486 on Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:40 pm

This is one I did that to. You don't see it all but hopefully you can get an idea of what it looks like.

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