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Old 22nd Sep 2017, 3:04 pm   #1
Dick Glennon
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Default Refurbishing a veneered radio case

Hi,I have a radio case that was in a smoke area for a number of years. Anyone out there able to direct me as to how I might get it looking good again. Regards,Dick
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Old 22nd Sep 2017, 7:11 pm   #2
MurphyNut
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Default Re: Refurbishing a veneered radio case

You might be lucky and find the finish ok under the nicotine, I'd try lightly wiping it with damp cloth. It might take some time and could be a messy job if it's bad, keep washing out the cloth under the tap now and again, you'll be amazed at the orange that will come out.
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Old 22nd Sep 2017, 8:08 pm   #3
Nickthedentist
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Default Re: Refurbishing a veneered radio case

Or try foaming cleanser aerosol spray. Spray it on, leave it a couple of mins to fizz, then rub briskly off with a clean dry rag. Repeat until the foam stays white. Then let it dry out for a couple of days and give it a wipe over with Rustins Scratch Cover.

No skill required and the results are often amazing.
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Old 22nd Sep 2017, 8:17 pm   #4
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Default Re: Refurbishing a veneered radio case

After a lot of experimentation, I use astonish alloy wheel cleaner. Very cheap and effective on nicotine, I even use it on the electronics.
Just spray on, agitate if required, and watch the brown nicotine just roll off, follow with a rinse.

Last edited by Pilot Mariner; 22nd Sep 2017 at 8:23 pm.
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 12:32 am   #5
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Default Re: Refurbishing a veneered radio case

The yellow staining from tobacco smoke is not caused by nicotine which is completely colourless. It is in fact a light tar akin to a rather thick grade of oil. It can generally be removed with a relatively mild solution of detergent (washing up lquid is fine) without the need for pricey proprietry products. White spirit also works well for heavier deposits.

Furniture restorers often use a mixture of white spirit and clear distilled vinegar rubbed in with fine steel wool for removing thick grime of all kinds. This lifts old wax finishes too. Clearly this is a more aggressive approach and requires care plus some degree of refinishing.

Alan
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 11:14 am   #6
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Default Re: Refurbishing a veneered radio case

I prefer to remove all traces of tar/nicotine or whatever it is from my sets, and the only thing I have found that does this effectively is astonish AWC followed by a rinse, even on the chassis and components. Its only 1.00 per bottle and lasts a long time, certainly cheaper than bottles of washing up liquid, white spirit, vinegar etc.

Mark
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 4:35 pm   #7
David G4EBT
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Default Re: Refurbishing a veneered radio case

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajgriff View Post
Furniture restorers often use a mixture of white spirit and clear distilled vinegar rubbed in with fine steel wool for removing thick grime of all kinds. Alan
You need to exercise caution when using wire wool and vinegar as depending on the level of tannin in the actual wood it can significantly darken. Wire wool and vinegar (iron acetate) reacts with tannin and is used extensively as an ebonising solution to darken timber. As oak has a high tannin level, it will turn it black, just as will steel screws when used in oak - not that oak was used much as veneer for radio cabinets. For woods other than oak, where it's desired to darken the wood and the extent of darkening is insufficient (beech, sapele, iroko), tannin is often added to the solution (eg, tea).

These videos show the effect, which is often used to good advantage:

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...47&FORM=VDRVRV

This shows the effect on several types of wood:

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...9&&FORM=VDRVRV

I do quite a lot of woodworking and woodturning, mostly in hardwoods. I never use wire wool for preparation or finishing and I don't know anyone who does.

I often use U-pol pads, as used extensively by bodyshops for flatting down primer etc, which come in two grades: fine, and super-fine:

http://www.u-pol.com/uk/en-uk/produc...finishing-pads

Hope that's of interest.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 11:08 pm   #8
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Default Re: Refurbishing a veneered radio case

Totally agree with everything David has said and I certainly wouldn't advocate using steel wool or vinegar on raw timber/veneers.

The approach described in my previous post is used by furniture restorers and applies to the removal of accumulated dirt on top of the original finish. Care is needed to ensure that the original finish is left undamaged. This is quite possible using fine steel wool and light pressure only.

Hope this clarifies.

Alan
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Old 14th Mar 2018, 2:10 pm   #9
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Default Re: Refurbishing a veneered radio case

equal parts of white vinegar, Methalated spirits, & linseed oil has always worked for me
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Old 20th Mar 2018, 1:47 am   #10
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Default Re: Refurbishing a veneered radio case

I also recommend Astonish alloy wheel cleaner. I've used it on many wooden cabinets and radio chassis to great effect.

Thanks,
Peter
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Old 20th Mar 2018, 4:06 am   #11
stevehertz
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Default Re: Refurbishing a veneered radio case

Astonish. It works.
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Old 20th Mar 2018, 7:30 am   #12
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Default Re: Refurbishing a veneered radio case

Astonished they can sell it openly in a spray bottle.
Main ingredient is sodium hydroxide, caustic soda known as lye. PH of around 12.
It will be harmful to aluminium based alloys. Doesn't do your flesh much good either. Watch your eyes and lungs.
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Old 20th Mar 2018, 8:57 am   #13
stevehertz
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Default Re: Refurbishing a veneered radio case

I used Astonish on a black anodised aluminium housing of a hifi component. First time, 'ok' but I thought it needed a second application. Did so and it did the job, spotless. Problem was, the colour morphed from black to dark ink blue! That was about nine months ago. Now, it has returned to black! That's anodising for you and lucky me. But the moral to the tale is, use Astonish with care. It is VERY effective. Don't leave it on too long and flush it off with LOTS of H2O. It's particularly good on parts that you can dunk in a bowl full of water to remove it and the detritus after application. I personally have no experience of applying it to wooden items but swear by it when used as I have described.
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Old 20th Mar 2018, 9:09 am   #14
Craig Sawyers
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Default Re: Refurbishing a veneered radio case

The magic cleaner used by cabinet makers (at least the one that taught me) is 30% meths, 30% white spirit, 30% Danish oil, 10% vinegar.
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Old 20th Mar 2018, 11:13 pm   #15
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Default Re: Refurbishing a veneered radio case

If Astonish wheel cleaner is largely sodium hydroxide why not buy a 1kg bag of soda crystals for 1? Makes gallons of solution. Has been used for many generations as a degreasing and cleaning agent. I've been using it for years on alloy wheels to say nothing of drains, greasy pans, hobs, car parts etc. Not kind to hands or pure aluminium as has been said.

Craig's 'solution' sounds like the Rolls Royce of furniture restoration fluids and should be ideal for wood veneered radio cabinets.

Alan
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