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Re-finishing Ebonised Ends


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Has anybody any recommendations on re-finishing ebonised ends (on a Wheatstone Aeola).. Mine has worn off locally where the heels af the hands touch (or damaged by sweat) It is still shiny but you can see the grain. Also, any suggestions re polishing the ends (ebony)?

Edited by Paul Read
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Paul, In the world of antique restoration the only way to refinish is not to refinish. The only acceptable course is to French Polish the area to preserve the wood. If one polishes with the addition of mineral oil the finish will be more resistant to water. Some of the "restorers" will tell you to overspray with nitro, which is OK if you don't "care". Take the instrument to a professional. As the procedure is not simple. Good Luck, Al W.

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If you are thinking of 'local' repairs to worn areas, then please don't.

 

Unless you are skilled at putting 'umpty' layers of french polish on, then take it to an antique furniture restorer, take out the action box felt bushes, and expect to have to ream out the key holes and re-bush the action box ends. Don't let them sand off too much wood from around the key holes as these are tapered with a very short parallel section at the outer end of the hole.

 

You then have the decision to take about re-polishing the veneered and ebonised action box frame edges to match.

 

If you want to do its yourself get pre-made up spirit black to re apply the stain, after having removed the old finish and re-flatted the worn and chipped woodwork. Then use ebony 'flavoured' black french polish let down with methelated spirits to build up the full depth of the polish, may be in excess of a dozen coats, flatting back every so often. Apply with a cloth 'rubber' not a brush. Finsh with superfine 'OOOO' grade wire wool and wax

 

I can give you material suppliers if you are UK based

 

Or just see the character of the instrument, and leave well enough alone.

 

Dave

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...the concertina I have where somebody put black paint over the amboyna woodwork.
you just spoiled my breakfast!

 

Fear not. First of all, it's a metal-ended duet, and so it's only the veneer on the framing bits and the handles. Secondly, the paint didn't soak in (I noticed the amboyna where the paint was worn), and I'm going to have it properly restored.

 

Now enjoy your breakfast. :)

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QUOTE

...the concertina I have where somebody put black paint over the amboyna woodwork.

 

you just spoiled my breakfast!

 

 

 

Fear not. First of all, it's a metal-ended duet, and so it's only the veneer on the framing bits and the handles. Secondly, the paint didn't soak in (I noticed the amboyna where the paint was worn), and I'm going to have it properly restored.

 

Now enjoy your breakfast.

 

Jim:

 

Can't, 'She who must be obeyed' has me on a volume control programme, nothing to do with weight you understand. Its just my clothes seem to have shrunk a little around the middle.

 

Dave

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JL, even if the instrument were not metal ended, a restoration would be possible and without any sanding whatever. No wood fiber loss, or at least "very" minimal. Restoration technique is pretty darn advanced these days Acetone, a jewlers loup and a scalpel will do wonders. Where there's a wallet there's a way. XXOOO AW

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  • 16 years later...
On 9/26/2003 at 5:20 PM, d.elliott said:

If you are thinking of 'local' repairs to worn areas, then please don't.

 

Unless you are skilled at putting 'umpty' layers of french polish on, then take it to an antique furniture restorer, take out the action box felt bushes, and expect to have to ream out the key holes and re-bush the action box ends. Don't let them sand off too much wood from around the key holes as these are tapered with a very short parallel section at the outer end of the hole.

 

You then have the decision to take about re-polishing the veneered and ebonised action box frame edges to match.

 

If you want to do its yourself get pre-made up spirit black to re apply the stain, after having removed the old finish and re-flatted the worn and chipped woodwork. Then use ebony 'flavoured' black french polish let down with methelated spirits to build up the full depth of the polish, may be in excess of a dozen coats, flatting back every so often. Apply with a cloth 'rubber' not a brush. Finsh with superfine 'OOOO' grade wire wool and wax

 

I can give you material suppliers if you are UK based

 

Or just see the character of the instrument, and leave well enough alone.

 

Dave

Alternatively you might want to finish to a shiny gloss rather than a waxed sheen.  In this case you will polish the layers of shellac with a cloth rubber with a little methylated spirits. 

This is my preferred finish.

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