Originally Posted by 63air
At last I get to redo the woodwork in the "Trotter". This is more pleasure than than redoing a Steinway. The cabinets look deceptively simple but I do appreciate the workmanship, lots of as curves and miters as I found out when rebuilding a couple of them. I do have to say that the finish in '63 wasn't the best (colored lacquer and not much off it) but it makes for easy stripping. At this point I have about 2/3 stripped and should be done with the rest with about another 8 hours of masking and stripping.
After that, a little minor veneer repair , then a '60's color stain job and into the finish . I'd like to do lacquer and be done in a long day of spraying but I worry about the overspray and it's effect on my fridge. So it will be a special varnish mix that I've used in restoring fine antiques. I guess a '63 A/S qualifies as fine antique.
The original finish on your cabinets was likely just an oil finished applied directly to the bare wood. No stain,laquer,poly etc. AS used Watco natural danish oil during the 60's. The great thing about oil finishes is it is just wiped on. And when it starts to look dried out, just wipe on another coat and the woodwork looks like new again. I would stay clear of laquer, stains etc. as they are not as easy to renew, unless you want to change the color. (As an aside, I like Waterlox as opposed to Watco for the finishing oil. It's sold at Woodcraft.)
Remember that any oil finish will amber after a little time. I had rebuilt several of the cabinets in our rig with new walnut and just lightly sanded the remaining cabs. Several months after finishing, I can't tell the difference from the old and new. After the finish cures, take some Johnson's paste wax (it's for wood, not car wax) and wax the cabinets with the grain using #0000 steel wool. Your cabinets will have a buttery smooth feel. Good luck on your refinish job, I know what you mean about it bringing more pleasure than redoing a Steinway... Hey, post some pics and your "secret recipe" if you decide to go that route! --dave