Friday, June 27, 2008

Another Restoration Project

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We are getting into the full heat of summer here in Alabama. The days are clear and hot. There has not a drop of rain for the past few weeks. It appears we will have a continuation of the drought that has plagued this area for the past few years.

Tuesday I started to dismantle the Edison “Schubert” phonograph to start on the cabinet restoration. It is such a cheaply made piece of furniture when compared to the machines Edison produced just some 15 years earlier. The finish is “brown mahogany”. Typical of the finish and color of the 1927 era, this translates to a muddy brown that pretty much obscures any wood grain showing through. The grain of the wood is boring, so there is not really much of a loss. About the only interesting aspect of the finish is the two tone effect on the doors. Still with all these faults I’m against stripping off the original finish. The interior finish is in good condition with decals and markings that should never be removed. A refinish job would result in a smooth finish and shine, but the wood would still be ugly. I will keep the original crackled varnish finish: once it is cleaned and rubbed out it should have a bit of gloss.

Perhaps the best gauge as to the grimy condition of this machine is the paper label that attaches to the record slots. A cursory cleaning with an art gum eraser removed most of the grime. The paper is pretty fragile so the cleaned portion is about as far is I’m willing to go.

Looking at the inside of the cabinet: The felt on the turntable cleaned up to where it looks pretty presentable. Again you are always ahead to keep things original. The paper record guide goes on the left side where it holds down dividers that separate the stored records.

View of the machine with the left door “rubbed out”.

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