A while back there were some Edison phonograph threads. Since there seemed to be a lot of folks into them, I was hoping someone could suggest someone who could restore my case. This is something that I just don't know how to do.
IMO, other than re-gluing the failed box joint, I wouldn't do a thing to it, remember what they always say on the antiques roadshow, "leave the original patina!".
Tom, try some Kramers antique improver to clean up your case after you reglue the joints. I use it a lot on old wood, (I use it on my Edison). Don't let anyone touch it with polyurethane or other modern varnishes. If you want someone to do it for you the guy in St Regis Mt is very good at it. He has the antique store there. Good luck, Lloyde
There is little to no serviceable finish left on that case. I would NOT use paste wax on it. That is a pretty desirable early version of the Home Phonograph...not many of them around. The loose panel can be glued back. The original banner (decal) is pretty good, so in my opinion that limits the "refinishing" that should or can, be done.
How does the bed-plate look? Myself, I'd be inclined to keep the patina of the case similar to the patina of the bed-plate (one refinished and the other not, is not a good match for display or use)
You may want to check out Wyatt Markus' site for ideas. Here are a couple of links:
Here's a link to the Antique Phonograph Society, which also has some useful articles:
Nice machine! You're right to go slow in conserving this. Good luck!
The trick is to NOT USE MODERN GLUE ! Track down someone who has / uses old style animal glue.It is made from gelatine obtained from boiling up horse and cow hoofs, skins and various other "yuk" bits.
Those cases were finished with shellac. You clean it with mineral spirits (paint thinner) without harming the shellac.
Just use some yellow carpenter's glue - make sure it stays in the joints and doesn't get on the finish.
Shellac is easily dissolved by alcohol. Even a small amount can destroy any shellac based finish. Paint thinner, lacquer thinner, almost any oil or water based solvent won't harm shellac much (unless soaked until the wood begins to warp). Just do not use any alcohol involved liquid without trying it on a hidden corner first and making sure the finish is not shellac.
Hide glue is available in dry flakes at any good woodworking store or on line. You put some in a small pan .. say an ounce ... then add about three - four ounces of water to begin. Let it sit for about an two hours to absorb the water then heat by putting the small pan with the glue solution in a larger pan of water. Heat the larger pan on the stove. This way you can't burn the glue. If it's too thick add more water "to taste."
Dampen the area that needs to be glued before application. Apply hot glue with a brush and clamp. Wipe off any ooze asap. When the glue cools down ... it will dry and will be very strong. Leave the glue in the pot to dry until next time when all you do is add more water and heat it up.
My advice would to be to leave it alone and don't restore it.
The replacement decals are a very poor substitute for the original signs. I wish I left mine as it was
Alan in Western Australia
Other than using animal-based glue to reattach that panel, I'd leave it alone.
IMHO, completely restored items, whether they be cases or cars, are much less interesting than something showing its age and old finish.
Where's Jerry Van? He's great at restoring old phonographs.
Thanks, this gives me a few ideas.
R.V. Anderson's brother is pretty good at woodworking. Contact him.
An unmolested original suitcase latch Edison is scarce animal.For the love of God,do not have the case 'restored'.
The hot hide glue repair is the best advice; it is what was used originally and it will adhere to the old glue, and it's reversible--it does the least damage. HOt glue is easy to work with once you are used to it. I use a tiny crock pot for my glue pot and a small canning jar to hold the glue. If my house still exists, I could mail you a small amount of the crystals. Hopefully I will be able to go back in tomorrow, but don't know yet--fire is 40% contained.
This whole glue/refinishing discussion appears to be similiar to "what type of oil should I use in my Model T?"
Like some others have suggested I would simply glue the case back together being sure no excess glue is left on the surface and leave it alone otherwise. I have restored 35-40 and.......less is better!
Use some type of wood glue spairingly. Carefully push or pull the joints back together then carefully wipe off the excess.
This isn't that diffulcult to do.
Old cases. trunks, antique wood box's and etc are best just wiped off with a damp rag carefully. Being careful around any lettering or stamping.
Don't varnish it!
I have used pledge, old English, lemon oil and similar products restoring old wooden slot machines, trunks and so on.
Just remember to use them sparingly. Remember that using less is best. And as always everybody has an opinion.
Check with Mike Yeakle, he is the expert on Edisons. I'm sure you know he has more than a few in his collection. If you need his number send me a pm.
Tom, House is OK, so let me know if you'd like a little "baggie of glue" (no, NOT drugs!). Not all glues will bond to old glue, but hot glue will, and while it hasn't yet set, you can wipe the excess off with a damp rag. It takes a "set" quickly too, so you don't have to clamp the joint forever.
David, thanks for the kind offer. I have a friend that is a fiddle maker, so if I go that route I can get some glue from him. Thanks everyone for the ideas. I will dwell on them and then decide what to do.
Your friend sounds like a real source! Fiddle Makers use a very high grade of hot glue. Plus he already has some mixed up, I'll bet!!
Most folks don't know but there is a wide variety of hot hide glues out there, each one developed for a specific purpose--or to meet a budget!
Here is where you'll want to buy a decal. The very best!