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Joel Warren method question

timothy.doran

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Jan 10, 2021
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Hi from Bath England. I have a couple of questions about the Joel Warren cleaning mixture that I hope you can help me with. I have a mantle clock that needs a bit of clean up. The finish is a bit crazed but the veneer is all firmly attached. I'm assuming that it's most likely shellac finish.

Here is the recipe from another thread by fbicknel

I have dealt with this many times. I use a formula that feeds the finish, fills the "gullies" and cleans out the grime. It is applied with 0000 steel wool and wiped clean with a soft cotton cloth. The recipe is: 1 c boiled linseed oil 1 c turpentine 1 c vinegar ( either type ) and 1 tbs alcohol. Over the years I've beefed up the alcohol a little, and added a little lacquer thinner to gently soften the varnish. Applying it with the steel wool gets to the grime and rounds off the edges of the dry finish. You can use a paper towel to wipe away the initial grime though I prefer an old cotton tee shirt or something of that nature. As you wipe away the residue you will begin to see the incredible amount of dirt, and with a little elbow grease how quickly and effectively the finish and color start to come back. You will begin to see that wonderful color start to appear. Using successive applications will really bring out the patina. As you advance through the process you can dispense with the steel wool and use a soft cotton cloth. You'll be filling the "channels' with linseed oil which is one of the fundamental solid elements in the old varnish. CAUTION you must hang the paper towels or soft cloth out to dry over night before throwing away. This stuff is highly combustible and WILL spontaneously do so.
Joel Warren
1. I looked but could not find a sticky or definitive tread for warrens recipe. Is that correct?
2. In England sourcing turps is tricky. Would white spirit do the same thing?
3. Is lacquer really needed?
4. I have access to meths/metholated spirits, is this the stuff to use?

Thanks for your time and help.

Here is a picture of my clock. Ignore the hammerite silver paint, it's part of the charm and on my list of things to do one day. IMG_20201228_134123519_HDR.jpg
 

JTD

Registered User
Sep 27, 2005
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In England sourcing turps is tricky. Would white spirit do the same thing?
I have access to meths/metholated spirits, is this the stuff to use?

Turpentine is easily available from artists' material shops. Or you can buy it on Ebay. Meths would do instead of alcohol, but you can buy IPA (iso-propyl alcohol) from some hardware shops.

JTD