Refinishing Your Phonograph
by Horst Weggler
To refinish your phonograph or gramophone you don't have to be an expert.
Very satisfactory results can be obtained by following these
10 easy steps.
Remove the motor and all hardware from your cabinet, making careful note of type and
size of screws and their location for re-assembling.
Cover your work area with several layers of newspaper and apply a generous amount of Polystrippa to your cabinet
(follow directions on your product).
Scrape it off with
a scraper or putty knife and be careful not to gouge the wood.
The application of
your stripper and the scraping might have to be repeated several times to clean the
old finish completely off.
Use a medium coarse steel wool pad to clean out mouldings
and hard to get at places.
Satisfied with your stripping, use another steel wool pad and wipe your piece
Then let it dry out completely.
Loose mouldings and joints should be glued and clamped now.
Nail holes and small
cracks can be filled with plastic wood filler or Puttystick.
Ignore small dents and
they will give your piece character.
Sand with fine sandpaper to complete smoothness.
Vacuum off dust and grit and wipe
with tack cloth to ensure a dust-free cabinet.
Now you are ready for staining.
Very good results can be obtained by using #Flecto
Ink in glass jars available in Home Hardware stores.
I've been using No 12 for oak
cabinets to give them a warm, brown honey colour, very close to the aged look of old
Apply with brush or rag and hand rub with your palm and fingers.
This ink will
not darken or change colour when drying so you can adjust the shade by using more or
less of your ink.
When dry, use No 11 black ink to antique your cabinet, usually brushing a small amount
along corners and edges and wiping or feathering it out toward the middle of your
This is one of your most important steps of refinishing and will give your
cabinet beauty and character.
Let dry approximately
48 hours before applying a thin coat of lacquer or varnish.
Gentle sanding with b/o or finer grade sandpaper smooths out any high spots caused
by dust specks,
and scuffs the glossy surface for proper adhesion of the next finish
For best results, use a rubber sanding block.
Repeat this step to desired
level smooth finish.
Rub with 8-0 waterproof sandpaper used wet.
Or use 6-0 garnet
followed by 3-0 steel wool.
Re-assemble your phonograph cleaning and lubricating all parts carefully.
need new screws for lost or missing ones, you can darken them by using gun-blue available in Sporting good stores.
As your final step your phonograph can be rubbed up with pumice and oil, or 6-0 steel
wool followed by two well-buffed coats of wax.