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Old 1st Aug 2019, 9:40 am   #1
PJL
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Default Scrape your radio cabinet

You don't need to wreck your radio with a chemical paint remover. Do what the professional restorers do and use a 'Cabinet Scraper'. Dried out cellulose varnish will scrape off very easily and with a little practice you will not damage the veneer,
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Old 1st Aug 2019, 2:26 pm   #2
newlite4
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Default Re: Scrape your radio cabinet

I use a skarsten scraper, they are well made, but it is hard to obtain replacement blades.
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Old 1st Aug 2019, 2:47 pm   #3
David G4EBT
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Default Re: Scrape your radio cabinet

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Originally Posted by newlite4 View Post
I use a skarsten scraper, they are well made, but it is hard to obtain replacement blades.
Neil
That's a paint-scraper, traditionally used in conjunction with a blowlamp for burning off paint.

A 'cabinet scraper' is a thin hard steel plate on which a burr had to be created using a burnisher:

https://www.axminster.co.uk/bahco-47...SABEgJzAfD_BwE

Here's how the burr is raised so you can use both sides and all edges of the scraper:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOmAWhgdEJA

Veneer is only 0.6mm thick and it's very easy - especially on rounded edges, to rub through it if you resort to using sandpaper.
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Old 1st Aug 2019, 6:44 pm   #4
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Default Re: Scrape your radio cabinet

Quote:
Originally Posted by PJL View Post
You don't need to wreck your radio with a chemical paint remover. Do what the professional restorers do and use a 'Cabinet Scraper'. Dried out cellulose varnish will scrape off very easily and with a little practice you will not damage the veneer,
The problem with this is twofold; that there are some vintage cabinet coatings which have cured to a hardness and are so adherent to the surface that they are totally resistant to scraping without damaging the underlying wood or veneer.

In addition the color of the coating can be obvious in corners and crevices where its difficult to scrape.They only way to remove this properly is with a paint stripper, not mechanically with scraping and especially not with sandpaper.

But the thing is, it has to be a type of benign paint stripper that does not damage wood/veneer or the adhesives that attach that to the surface in the case of a veneered surface.

The attached photos show three restored cabinets, all done with the aid of the correct paint stripper for the task that I have talked about on other threads. No damage at all to the wood or adhesives, no scraper makes either, no "practice" needed to avoid veneer damage.

Sometimes veneer can be quite soft, if it is indented with force it stays that way then marks and lines can be very difficult to hide, especially with a satin or gloss finish. So I would recommend against scraping surfaces, unless the existing old cellulose coat is very suited to it, poorly adherent and very lightly colored.
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 11:31 am   #5
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Default Re: Scrape your radio cabinet

This is from my own personal experience & I'll be the first one to admit I am NO woodworking guru!
On my wooden radio cabinets I have used either Acetone or cellulose thinners (dependent on what type of varnish) with fine wire wool pads (like Brillo but without the soap) & paper towels. Lots of ventilation required! It can be a lot of hard work but very rewarding nonetheless. The "melted" varnish can also fill blemishes too. I did think about the scraping method but felt there was too much chance (in my paws at least) of causing more damage.
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 12:27 pm   #6
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Default Re: Scrape your radio cabinet

I've only tried a cabinet scraper once and have to admit that I made a right mess of the job. The unlucky cabinet had some patches of missing varnish so every time I made a pass with the scraper it took a little bit of varnish off and then gouged out the wood veneer where the varnish wasn't there. Trying to do inside corners and fiddly bits like speaker frets also proved impossible for me to do. It's definitely a skill that I do not possess .

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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 1:46 pm   #7
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Default Re: Scrape your radio cabinet

Cabinet scrapers are designed for levelling large flat sheets of solid timber and are typically used in conjunction with a pair of winding sticks. They are not suitable for use on veneers.

Alan
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Old 3rd Aug 2019, 1:33 am   #8
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Default Re: Scrape your radio cabinet

I was told when I worked with a joiner that cabinet scrapers were for finishing hardwoods instead of sandpaper. As an oak veneer (say) is a hardwood just in a thin section, a scraper should be a good way to remove flaking varnish, and easier to keep flat than sanding to avoid going through the corners. This same joiner used to make me scrapers out of old saw blades - those ones that can't be sharpened because of their hardened teeth.

I used them on my uncle's Bush SUG61 and it came up a treat, with no damage to the veneer as the material removed each pass was so little compared to the varnish layer.

I would have thought for flatting down a large length of timber a jointing plane would be the better option and a lot easier on the thumbs! Perhaps there are larger scrapers than I have used, but I've never been able to take off enough material to consider using them for levelling.
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Old 3rd Aug 2019, 7:13 am   #9
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Default Re: Scrape your radio cabinet

In terms of hand tools a jointer/try plane would indeed be used for coarse levelling of a plank or board and this might be followed up with a jack or smoothing plane. A cabinet scraper is a finishing tool used to obtain a smooth level surface and, in skilled hands, will produce a finer finish than abrasive papers.

Veneers are often little more than 0.5mm thick and in my view trying to remove varnish from them with any kind of dry scraper (cabinet, paint, hacksaw blade etc) is a mug's game. Even if the area is perfectly flat and smooth such attempts are quite likely to end in tears. I wouldn't even contemplate curves and inside corners. Overall a suitable chemical stripper is a far better option.

The one thing about modern 'safer' strippers is that they are usually very effective at removing thin layers of varnish even if they sometimes struggle with multiple layers of old paint. I've recently used the Wickes version successfully on a pair of water stained speaker cabinets.

Alan
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Old 3rd Aug 2019, 8:59 am   #10
Craig Sawyers
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Default Re: Scrape your radio cabinet

The only time that a cabinet scraper comes into its own are woods with interlocking grain, where a regular plane would produce tear-out (like sapele) or are extremely hard (such as ebony or cocobolo).

I would not scrape veneer, unless it was something like a burr with awkward grain direction, and then only gently.

Craig
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Old 3rd Aug 2019, 9:03 am   #11
stevehertz
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Default Re: Scrape your radio cabinet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argus25 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by PJL View Post
You don't need to wreck your radio with a chemical paint remover. Do what the professional restorers do and use a 'Cabinet Scraper'. Dried out cellulose varnish will scrape off very easily and with a little practice you will not damage the veneer,
The problem with this is twofold; that there are some vintage cabinet coatings which have cured to a hardness and are so adherent to the surface that they are totally resistant to scraping without damaging the underlying wood or veneer.

In addition the color of the coating can be obvious in corners and crevices where its difficult to scrape.They only way to remove this properly is with a paint stripper, not mechanically with scraping and especially not with sandpaper.

But the thing is, it has to be a type of benign paint stripper that does not damage wood/veneer or the adhesives that attach that to the surface in the case of a veneered surface.

The attached photos show three restored cabinets, all done with the aid of the correct paint stripper for the task that I have talked about on other threads. No damage at all to the wood or adhesives, no scraper makes either, no "practice" needed to avoid veneer damage.

Sometimes veneer can be quite soft, if it is indented with force it stays that way then marks and lines can be very difficult to hide, especially with a satin or gloss finish. So I would recommend against scraping surfaces, unless the existing old cellulose coat is very suited to it, poorly adherent and very lightly colored.
Exactly. There's no "professional way" of stripping a radio cabinet, it's the method that best suits that particular radio with its shape and finish. For example the Hacker Mayflower that has a very hard finish and nooks, crannies and moulding edges to deal with. To me, scraping has its place in the rather limited role of removing old, cracked, flaky cellulose from flat, easily accessible surfaces.
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Old 5th Sep 2019, 7:28 pm   #12
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Default Re: Scrape your radio cabinet

Iíve recently got my dads old HMV 2010 With Garrard TT and realised upon dismantling it two things.
Firstly itís a mass produced thing made of chipboard and glue, mass produced kind of thing which is fair enough.
Secondly, itís a bit battered and affected by damp in places.

It looks ďokĒ , but a thought occurred , maybe I could buy another piece of nicer furniture and retro fit the TT and speakers etc into that.

Tell me this is a dumb idea please. Do others do this kind of thing ?
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Old 5th Sep 2019, 8:12 pm   #13
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Default Re: Scrape your radio cabinet

How loud do you like to play your music?

Placing the turntable near the speakers is potentially asking for trouble.

Sound vibrations from the speaker can affect the stylus, record and cartridge and create distortion.
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Old 5th Sep 2019, 8:19 pm   #14
Notarfff
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Default Re: Scrape your radio cabinet

Mmmm good point, perhaps I could make my own cab to the same dimensions, but I guess it’d look fairly naff, maybe I should remain purist, it 8smafter lol a 1964 mass produced thing no point pretending otherwise.

I can see me getting another one ....
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Old 6th Sep 2019, 12:27 pm   #15
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Default Re: Scrape your radio cabinet

If you are going to take it out of its case you may as well get a "proper" hi-fi set up. 1970s amplifiers and some turntables and speakers are relatively inexpensive if you avoid the pieces that have a "following" and will sound better than the HMV.

Chipboard and glue is not a bad way of construction in itself it just makes refurbishment a bit more difficult. Most earlier radios and radiograms were made of veneered plywood. You are unlikely to find anything cabinet made of solid wood. Accepting that it will never be hi-fi the HMV should not sound too bad if working correctly.
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