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Old 14th Jan 2023, 9:11 am   #1
Markradio
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Unhappy Good finish/dye for decorative cabinet sections Pilot T63

I have inherited quite a sorry Pilot T63 radio. Unfortunately it was used in a workshop in the 80's and treated a little poorly, with much of the finish having come off, or being splatted with white paint/tea/nicotine. It was then stored in the eaves of a loft for about 30 odd years. Other than some slight bowing from being used as a TV stand even before all this (which will just be some of its charm ), all the glass, dial, etc are in good condition though.

Have started sanding it down, but have a question about one of the finishes. There are good pictures on the radio museum:-

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/pilot_t63t_6.html.

The top of the set has two dark strips, which match the bars on the speaker grille (which has fabric behind it). However the two stripes are made from a very pale wood, and the bars are a reddish coloured wood (probably exotic?). From their pictures the colour probably matched the plastics on the front.

Can anyone recommend a good way of finishing these sections? I don't think they were originally dyed, as the remaining finish pretty much scraped off in flakes (lots of it was flaking anyway). At present I'm intending to apply some sanding sealer (maybe with grain fill), and then spray lacquer. I had good results this way with another set.

I'm not averse to dying it if appropriate, or set on getting a particularly original finish. I just want to enjoy this old radio, and the project restoring it. If dying it is a good idea, can anyone recommend a dye which the sanding sealer won't lift back out (I tried a Liberon spirit dye once on another project which didn't turn out well).
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Old 18th Jan 2023, 12:47 pm   #2
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Default Re: Good finish/dye for decorative cabinet sections Pilot T63

The colron water based dyes are ok with sanding sealer. The only trouble is they dont penetrate the wood very well, so any sanding after using the sealer is very risky. I found I was very easily going through the sealer and removing the stain.

It sounds like this was originally painted with a coloured varnish, maybe you could use that and leave out the sanding sealer? As this was previously finished, and sanded back, I wouldnt have thought you'd need the sealer actually?

Best Regards
Adam
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Old 18th Jan 2023, 4:10 pm   #3
Markradio
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Default Re: Good finish/dye for decorative cabinet sections Pilot T63

Thanks Adam,

Do you think something like this would be suitable?
https://intudiy.co.uk/product/dulux-...l-dark-walnut/

It's only a matt finish, but my thinking is I can rub it down and lacquer the whole set at once (is the lacquer likely to react once it's set?). I guess I could alternatively try and find a gloss finish and mask it off/paint it after lacquering the rest. The colour looks pretty good (or as good as I'll probably get).

Thanks,
Mark.
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Old 18th Jan 2023, 4:50 pm   #4
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Default Re: Good finish/dye for decorative cabinet sections Pilot T63

IMHO the only way to be sure about compatibility is to do a test piece first, exactly the same way as the intended article. Absolutely nothing worse than proudly leaving a lovely finish to dry over night and then find the next day it looks like hammerite or a crackle finish because something's reacted.

AFAIK by the 30's the cabinets would've all been sprayed via a compressed air gun on the production line with coloured lacquer, on a turntable. I've never had good results from brushing coloured varnish onto cabinets because it either leaves brush marks or patches of light/dark if you're not a skilled coach painter (I aren't!).

The last 30's wooden radio I refinished I scraped off the old varnish with stripper (it came off as a dark brown gloop) and then stained the bare wood with Rustins oil-based stain, followed by coats of satin clear aerosol lacquer, the first few being gently rubbed down to help fill the grain. (It really needed a few more filler coats in hindsight, but you live and learn).

These supermarket lacquers are great value for money BTW, a nice big can.
I have 2 types, a solvent-smelling one (Baufix from Aldi) and another that smells more oily, branded Parkside (Lidl).
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Last edited by McMurdo; 18th Jan 2023 at 4:52 pm. Reason: edit: might have got both lacquers from lidl, I forget!
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Old 19th Jan 2023, 9:20 am   #5
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Default Re: Good finish/dye for decorative cabinet sections Pilot T63

Quote:
Originally Posted by Markradio View Post
Thanks Adam,

Do you think something like this would be suitable?
https://intudiy.co.uk/product/dulux-...l-dark-walnut/

It's only a matt finish, but my thinking is I can rub it down and lacquer the whole set at once (is the lacquer likely to react once it's set?). I guess I could alternatively try and find a gloss finish and mask it off/paint it after lacquering the rest. The colour looks pretty good (or as good as I'll probably get).

Thanks,
Mark.
Funny you should mention that, I've just used a load of this exact product (same shade) on the wood in my bedroom, among other things!

I also used it on a box for an AM pantry transmitter I built. I lightly sanded it and sprayed car lacquer over it (AutoTek), no issues, worked well.

Its just standard acrylic varnish, which should be fine for modern acrylic lacquers, but probably wouldnt go well with oil based products.

Best Wishes
Adam
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Old 19th Jan 2023, 11:47 am   #6
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Default Re: Good finish/dye for decorative cabinet sections Pilot T63

I've not read all the posts, but to get a good clean edge to different colours it's really best to use different colour lacquers. Applying stain (not coloured lacquer) to bare wood, even if masking tape is used, can lead to the stain 'bleeding' over the line. I'm not saying that it can't be done, but that's the difficulty, bleeding.
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Old 19th Jan 2023, 9:52 pm   #7
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Default Re: Good finish/dye for decorative cabinet sections Pilot T63

Some really great comments, thanks

Psychman, what was the colour like? The original finish was definitely not black, but not far off. I guess it might have darkened with age though, and anything close would probably do.

Excellent point Stevehertz, I guess an alternative would be to mask off the light areas and spray with something dark, before spray lacquering the whole set. I have found this (which was mentioned on an old thread on here without any conclusion), but not sure it's dark enough. Any recommendations?

https://www.homecareessentials.co.uk...dark-oak-400ml

I could get both and have a bit of an experiment. There are some ridges I could get some card into to try and stop bleeding, but would need to go careful/small brush.
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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 8:04 am   #8
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Default Re: Good finish/dye for decorative cabinet sections Pilot T63

2 coats on light wood is dark but not near black. 3 coats and itís a lot closer to black. I found 2 was the minimum, as 1 coat on light wood just looked rubbish!

The little box I painted for my transmitter, I did 3 or so coats and it ended up darker than I wanted. Iíll try and get a picture
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