set as presented for restoration. It's reasonably complete
with all the correct knobs, though the rims of some of these
will require repair where they have suffered from past attempts
at being levered off.
is to be completely re-finished. There are problems with
lifting veneer and missing pieces of veneer at the top.
The tube is
known to be low. At some stage this will have to be taken
to France to be refurbished.
This is the
view looking in at the back. The two chassis still retain
their pre-war magnificence but also show clear signs of
more recent attention...
upper chassis unit, containing all the gear except for the
power supplies, is removed.
the power chassis. There are (were) two mains transformers
- one for the high tension and low tension, and one (to the
left) for the EHT for the tube. This has lost one of its windings!
must have something to with it! Another large, more recent,
mains transformer is found tacked in further forward with
some crooked self-tapping screws.
to come out of the cabinet is the tube. For safety the cabinet
is placed on its face and the two supporting spars are removed
be taken to preserve all the labels, whether on tags or
stuck to the cabinet. The cabinet label on the right clearly
will need replacing. For historical preservation reasons,
the old damaged label will remain hidden behind the new.
The top of
this cabinet is quite badly damaged. There are pieces of
veneer missing and also the main central piece is lifting
at its edge. Complete re-veneering is not necessary or desirable
in a case like this, since the area of damage is relatively
small and maintaining originality of the whole cabinet is
pieces of new veneer can be inserted and the central piece
re-secured with Scotch Glue, the cabinet will have to be
stripped. Care will be necessary to ensure the stripping
process doesn't further damage the existing loose edges
of the veneers.
is also past evidence of a large potted plant! Some bleaching
of stains in the top will likely be necessary - I'll evaluate
the situation after the stripping. Still further on, various
'tricks' will be used to conceal where the new pieces of veneer
abut the old.
the top veneers reveals all is not well with their adherence
to the underneath, in many places. In practice, there is
now little choice but to lift the main veneer and re-stick...
original cellulose finish is now stripped off.
is applied to the problematic area - the top - with an iron
and a thin separator blade used tp part the veneer. This
proves to be in two strips, side-by-side. Since these strips
pass right over and down the entire cabinet we can't remove
then completely but have to curl them back at the top face
only. We can see this particular potted plant has made its
presence known deeper still !
But this doesn't
matter - we'll never be able to see this when the veneer
is replaced. This, in the meantime, has been selectively
bleached to remove the stains.
is warmed up and applied with a brush. This is likely to
have been the original material used to mount the veneers.
veneer is made supple by brushing on water and a weak solution
of Scotch Glue, particularly on its underside.
is placed back onto the cabinet. Once the Scotch Glue has
'taken', it's most important to re-warm it from above (to
soften the glue) then to run over it firmly with a Veneering
Hammer. This acts as a sort of squeegee and pushes the surplus
glue out from the edges. In so doing, the adhesion is improved
and the basic flatness of the veneer established. The process
is then repeated the next morning. It's interesting to reflect
that the use of a more modern adhesive in this tricky operation
would almost certainly have led to disaster!
of events differs somewhat from that found in textbooks
- because here we are re-sticking an old, essentially crinkly
veneer - rather than laying a flat, brand new one.
areas of damage on the side-banding veneers are now cut
out and new pieces of veneer glued in.
The veneers are looking a lot better now and they are properly
bonded to the cabinet, unlike before. The brown marks are
where some (as yet unsanded) Plastic Wood can be seen, either
side of the new pieces inserted into the side-banding.
surfaces are still to be rubbed down and prepared for finishing
- that comes next...
this huge cabinet takes up the best part of a day. I rub
always in the direction of the grain, starting with a medium
paper and finishing on a fine. Well... actually it is
permissible in rare instances to rub across the grain
- when there is a deep scratch to remove that lies across
the grain. However one must always be very careful doing
this; finish off in the direction of the grain to remove
the marks, and be sure not to create a dip on the surface
that would later become very visible under the gloss finish.
Using a block with the paper toward the end of the process
helps ensure general flatness.
is no match for running a sensitive finger over the prepared
surface. This reveals even the slightest ripples or imperfections
in the smoothness and ensures any repaired areas are up
of the several problems with this cabinet includes woodworm
around the lower areas. This will be pressure injected shortly.
Also, at this
stage I roughly fill the larger areas which have been previously
damaged with plastic wood. Here we see a 'wodge' of it along
the bottom of the cabinet. This won't be the most visible
of areas later but it's still important to get this profile
right. Attention to detail makes all the difference to the
the cabinet is being finally prepared to take the new finish,
I'll return and do the detail shaping work.
One of the
requests from the customer is to attend to a the minor matter
that the two bottom skirts - or plinths (call them what
you will) - are of unequal length. It appears one of them
has been rebuilt in the past. This has been done quite well,
but the new one is about ¼ inch longer than the other!
I have to put this right.
plinth comes off without too much trouble. It's held by