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Old 24th Jul 2022, 2:19 pm   #1
EF80TVVALVE
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Default Dansette rexine - attempting to save part of the original covering

Hi all,

A friend has asked if I can be of assistance in helping to restore a Dansette record player. At first I told him not to bother with it, the condition is very poor and it has been poorly stored too, but we'll see what can be done beforehand. The BSR deck will need replacing as it has corroded badly and the knobs are broke, the record clamping arm bent, no mat etc. All of this is relatively simple compared to the cabinet's condition.

The casing has a red Rexine covering and also a patterned one. The red has suffered quite badly but the sides and front which are finished in the patterned rexine have survived very well. Ideally, to keep the look I'd like to try and remove all of the red and replace it, keeping the original patterned covering in place. The only problem is that the red covering is tucked under this, so it will need to be carefully lifted in order to remove and replace the red Rexine and the re-glued.

Has anybody done a similar job and can offer advice on how this can be achieved. It could be quite a difficult task as a lot of old Rexine doesn't like moisture and the finish can crack and shrink on the fabric if not careful, so things like steam may be out of the option but possibly dampening with cold water to soften up the old glue may work without causing too much damage to the Rexine.

I've attached a photo for reference, just to see the sort of tucking under I discussed further up. In the worst case scenario it'll just have to be completely re-upholstered in red.
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Old 24th Jul 2022, 2:52 pm   #2
newlite4
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Default Re: Dansette rexine - attempting to save part of the original covering

I think I would be inclined to glue back the torn rexine and buff over with red shoe polish. If parts of the red rexine are missing, you could "touch in" with acrylic poster paint. with this method, the original rexine, however tatty, can be left in place.
Neil
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Old 24th Jul 2022, 4:34 pm   #3
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Default Re: Dansette rexine - attempting to save part of the original covering

It all depends on the finish you want. It is possible to lift the old stuff, but it will depend on the glue used. I recovered a Ferrograph as the Rexine was in a poor state, and I didn't like the dour green colour scheme in a modern living room anyway. It came off with a scraper where the glue hadn't already failed.

I decided to redo it in some oilcloth (not real oilcloth, but the stuff sold as wipe-clean table covering) for wear resistance and because I liked the colourway. Some careful cutting and contact adhesive later I was pleased with the result.

Rexine was discontinued because of its nitrocellulose content and flammability. FJ Ratchford make a modern equivalent called leathercloth which will be the best match you're likely to find if you want to redo it but have it look original. I recommend ordering one of their sample books to be sure of colour. They're adhered at the top edge only so you can lay it over your existing cloth to compare.

https://ratchford.co.uk/product-cate.../leathercloth/

Alternatively, red is available as a paper backed option from Retro Specialist, who do cloth for Dansette and other makes.
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Old 24th Jul 2022, 6:16 pm   #4
Audio1950
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Default Re: Dansette rexine - attempting to save part of the original covering

Uncle Bulgarias' suggestion for the paper-backed cloth is a better bet, as Ratchfords' material, excellent though it is, is a lot thicker than the original Dansette covering, and would cause a very pronounced ridge when tucked under the grey on the sides.

Barry
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Old 24th Jul 2022, 7:15 pm   #5
EF80TVVALVE
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Default Re: Dansette rexine - attempting to save part of the original covering

Thanks all for your thoughts so far. Neil, I'd keep it original if possible but the lid in particular has a few large size holes in the fabric, masking with paint would be too obvious as there's too much missing. I was hoping to get away with something like this but seeing it in person has made me re-think my choices.

Uncle Bulgaria and Barry, I have found a leather cloth called arbetex which is very thin cloth backed fabric just like the original stuff. I've ordered a few samples and it should be a good choice. I will have a play around with the covering I intend to lift and see how I get on, hopefully it won't be too difficult.
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Old 24th Jul 2022, 7:51 pm   #6
newlite4
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Default Re: Dansette rexine - attempting to save part of the original covering

Well! I'm absolutely stunned at Uncle Bulgaria's job on that Ferrograph! It's easy to see the reason for replacing the drab grey finish, that new oil cloth had transformed the appearance tremendously. If I felt that I had the skills, there are a number of my items that I would like to improve.
Nice Job!
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 12:04 pm   #7
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Default Re: Dansette rexine - attempting to save part of the original covering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio1950 View Post
Uncle Bulgarias' suggestion for the paper-backed cloth is a better bet, as Ratchfords' material, excellent though it is, is a lot thicker than the original Dansette covering, and would cause a very pronounced ridge when tucked under the grey on the sides.
That's worth knowing. I've not seen Dansette covering in real life. The stuff I took off the Ferrograph was stamped REXINE on the back, and was quite substantial with a cloth backing, though brittle with age. The Ratchford stuff was going to be my go-to match had I not been in the draper's and seen the oilcloth!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EF80TVVALVE View Post
Uncle Bulgaria and Barry, I have found a leather cloth called arbetex which is very thin cloth backed fabric just like the original stuff. I've ordered a few samples and it should be a good choice.
I was going to use some of the black version of that for repairing the interior of my ancient car - from J Hewit, I think. It is still apparently made with nitrocellulose! In the end the leather embossed effect wasn't a close enough match. Good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by newlite4 View Post
Well! I'm absolutely stunned at Uncle Bulgaria's job on that Ferrograph! It's easy to see the reason for replacing the drab grey finish, that new oil cloth had transformed the appearance tremendously. If I felt that I had the skills, there are a number of my items that I would like to improve.
Nice Job!
Neil
Warm glow, Neil. Thanks. It is straightforward Blue Peter work - easy enough if you have a straight edge, and good if you can get the original off in a big enough piece to measure the extra they allowed for overlaps and corners. The worst part on the Ferrograph is the 3D rounded corners which needed careful slitting to sit anywhere near flat on the surface. It seems the original maufacturer had the same problem as there were some dodgy cuts on the Rexine too!

If you have something with a poor covering, there's not really anything to lose by trying, and certainly it's made the Ferrograph more gay & vivacious to have out and in use.
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 1:22 pm   #8
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Default Re: Dansette rexine - attempting to save part of the original covering

Don't quote me on this but I have always liked UBs modern approach taken over the finish used on his Ferrograph ! just shows what you can do to smarten something up.



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Old 25th Jul 2022, 9:24 pm   #9
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Default Re: Dansette rexine - attempting to save part of the original covering

If it weren't for your help, Terry, it would be just a pretty box!

I do still have to align the tape reels properly though...
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