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Old 28th Jun 2022, 9:55 pm   #1
murphy512
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Default Heat damaged lacquer on Graets Komtess 611

Hello,
I am repairing this radio for a friend. German 220v radio used for years in the UK, suffered valves damage and cabinet lacquer cracks mainly on top.
The radio is now working and operating at the correct voltage.
I do no want to strip the cabinet, just want to make it look better.
Any suggestions?
Thanks
Aldo
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 5:17 pm   #2
Techman
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Default Re: Heat damaged lacquer on Graets Komtess 611

Quote:
Originally Posted by murphy512 View Post
I do no want to strip the cabinet,
I think you'll have to.

You could use some of that scratch cover stuff of the right tint on those chipped areas and give it a bit of a polish, which would make it look a bit better, but that's about it other than a complete strip down.
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 8:21 pm   #3
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Default Re: Heat damaged lacquer on Graets Komtess 611

I would strip it down if it was mine, but she does not want to spend too much on it.
I had to replace 3 valves and that has pushed the price up already.
The loudspeaker was also faulty, but luckily it seems to be working ok again after spraying it with a lot of Servisol.
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 9:08 pm   #4
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Default Re: Heat damaged lacquer on Graets Komtess 611

Mmmm .....

The veneers look O.K. - but they don't appear to have been stained prior to 'polishing' .... rather, coloured lacquer/varnish has been used ..... and it's the latter that's starting to fail. Per Techman & Murphy512 - ideally you should strip it.

I can however appreciate your reticence!!
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Old 1st Jul 2022, 12:42 am   #5
Maarten
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Default Re: Heat damaged lacquer on Graets Komtess 611

It's probably a synthetic lacquer, but you could try and see if alcohol will work as a solvent so you can polish it out a bit.
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Old 1st Jul 2022, 6:22 am   #6
David G4EBT
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Default Re: Heat damaged lacquer on Graets Komtess 611

I honestly don't think there's anything you can do other than to strip and re-finish it, or leave it well alone.

Anything else will almost certainly make it look worse rather than better.

It's a truism that 'you can't put lipstick on a pig'.
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Old 1st Jul 2022, 4:06 pm   #7
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Default Re: Heat damaged lacquer on Graets Komtess 611

If this has a 'continental' set style urethane finish that has crazed and cracked, it might be very difficult to get this off in any case...

Steve
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Old 1st Jul 2022, 10:28 pm   #8
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Default Re: Heat damaged lacquer on Graets Komtess 611

Its definitely worth trying cellulose thinners on a corner to see if it softens the finish. If it does then you are in with a chance, lightly spray the cabinet with thinners until the varnish softens and flows so that the cracks and heat damaged areas 'heal up'. keep going with several light sprays until you get the required softness and flow. Don't be tempted to drench it all in one go otherwise it will run all over the place. This technique is used by vintage guitar restorers to remove cracks in nitrocellulose finishes with a degree of success.

Given that the alternative is to completely strip and refinish the cabinet you have nothing to loose by trying and everything to gain.

Good luck and please keep us posted.

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Old 2nd Jul 2022, 1:51 am   #9
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Default Re: Heat damaged lacquer on Graets Komtess 611

It's as I said, if you're not going to strip it down and completely re-finish it, then a bodge job with scratch cover and a good polish will make it look a bit better than it is at the moment.

I had an old Murphy about seven years ago that had spent fifty years in a barn and was dog rough and didn't really warrant a full restoration - I only gave a couple of quid for it. After a quick overhaul of the electronics and a clean up, I fettled the badly chipped cabinet with a bit of sanding, scratch cover and a polish and it did sterling service for several years in the kitchen (that model doesn't half belt it out) until the stations that I wanted to listen to stopped transmitting on AM (also the volume control track started to need some serious attention that wasn't going to be easily sorted with switch cleaner), so I took it out of service...maybe it'll get a full restoration one day if I have the time.

You could do the same thing with the one you've got there to make it look a bit better...it's a total bodge I admit, and I could have done it better with a full make over, but it just wasn't worth the effort for me with that set at that particular time.
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Old 5th Jul 2022, 9:57 pm   #10
murphy512
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Default Re: Heat damaged lacquer on Graets Komtess 611

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.
I have now completed the electronic works and the radio is now a good performer with a great sound on FM.
I am still in two minds whether to do a full strip.
The radio belonged to the father of a lady, friend of a friend of mine and she inherited it after her father passed away.
After she heard that I restore valve radio, she asked me if I could restore hers, but did not want to spend too much on it. Unfortunately I had to replace 3 valves as the radio had not been converted to work on 245v and that added a lot to the cost.
I will ask the lady if she is prepared to spend a little more money on the radio as I will have to buy the lacquer or varnish. I am not charging anything for my work despite having spent many hours on it, and it will be more hours for the stripping and re varnishing. I will try some of the suggestions from the forum first.
I not happy about giving the radio back to her not looking good, hopefully she will agree to spend a little more on it.
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