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  1. #1
    Registered user. Dick Feldman's Avatar
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    Sep 2000
    Colorado, usa

    Default Cleaning a wood case

    Another product that I have used is Orange hand cleaner. I think it is best to use the stuff without the grit. You should be able to find it in your local auto parts store or a discounter.
    Make sure that you try it on a place that is not visible to make sure the cleaner does not destroy the original finish.
    Dick Feldman
    Berthoud, Colorado

  2. #2
    Stephen Arnold

    Default Cleaning a wood case (By: Dick Feldman)

    I've had very good luck with a cleaning recipe that appeared in Yankee magazine several years ago: combine equal parts white vinegar, mineral oil (the laxative) and turpentine. Shake and apply with a soft cloth. Because the ingredients separate quickly, you really need to shake the mixture often and well. Following is another cleaner/polish I have in my recipe files. I came across it in an older British antique clock book but I have never tried it: ½ pint boiled linseed oil, ½ pint cider vinegar, ½ pint turpentine and 1 tablespoon methyl hydrate (aka wood alcohol, methanol or methyl alcohol). Combine, shake and apply with a soft cloth. NOTE: Used on its own, methanol will dissolve shellac and I'm uncertain how the entire mixture would affect that property. Like anything else, I always test in small/hidden areas and apply gentle but thorough amounts of elbow grease

  3. #3
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Aug 2000
    Calgary, Alberta
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    Default Cleaning a wood case (By: Dick Feldman)


    Another recipe I have found to work wonders is much like the one Stephen has given.

    1/3 by volume each of cider vinegar, turpentine, and boiled linseed oil to make a pint, plus one tablespoon of methyl hydrate. Recommended as a cleaner, but not to replace a good quality furniture wax.

    Shake well before using.

    Doug S.

  4. #4

    Default Cleaning a wood case (By: Dick Feldman)

    I have had excellent results with Go Jo hand cleaner w/lanolin, if you can find it. My container was a large one that I bought years ago and am still using it. You put it on with 4/0 steel wool, rubbing slightly. Before it drys, wipe off with a paper towel. Repeat if necessary. You will be amazed. Off comes the grime, tobacco smoke etc. and then buff with soft cloth.You will be left with a soft shine, with NO harm to any type of finish.

  5. #5
    Registered user.
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    The Bronx, NYC

    Default Cleaning a wood case (By: Dick Feldman)

    I can't comment on Go Jo hand cleaner w/lanolin as I've never used it and I don't know what's in it, but the problem with linseed oil is that
    1) it never really dries and dust collects on it for years and 2) linseed oil tends to darken quite a bit over time, especially in the presence of higher levels of light.

    All those old receipes were developed years ago before a real understanding of the effects of linseed oil (and other "home-made goops") were really understood. (I'm an antique furniture conservator who spent quite a bit of time at the Smithsonian Institute's Conservation Analytical Laboratory, Furniture Conservation Program.)

    You can safely clean a lot of oily dirt and grime by first using a bit of mild soap and de-ionized or distilled water. Use a DAMP cloth and be sure that you rinse off all of the soap and be sure to dry the wood thoroughly. After the surface has dried completely, a good past wax can be used sparingly to clean other oily accretions. The solvents in the wax will do wonders. Be sure that you use a thin coat of wax and carefully buff off any excess. Be carefull that you don't catch any loose pieces of veneer as you'll break them off and possibly create a lot of damage.

    When working with any antique, always remember that the first consideration should be to "do no harm!"


    [This message was edited by Steven Johnstone-Mosher on December 18, 2002 at 18:19.]

  6. #6

    Default Cleaning a wood case (By: Dick Feldman)

    I have used the lanolin based hand cleaner, with Scotchbrite pads, or 4/0 steel wool. It works. It removes the dirt, wax, polish, etc., above the finish, leaving the finish intact. It left the case a bit shiny and a a tad bit tacky, for a few months. I assume I should have cleaned it with mineral spirits after I finished polishing the case. But I would think any good oil would work in the place of the hand cleaner. The hand cleaner is just a solvent to soften the finish, and the pads remove the surface. You do need to know when to stop.

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