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265416 Claudio DeLorenzi <claudio@d...> 2018‑03‑14 Re: "Patina" vs. "Crud"
Cleaning machinist boxes

I agree with the stepwise approach proposed, but considering all the damage
and filth on some of these, I would go right to a detergent based cleaner
after wiping down with a solvent.  I happen to like old fashioned
turpentine, since you can use it safely on old shellac as well as old BLO
surfaces.  No one mentioned it, so I thought it might be worth
consideration.   I have used crud kutter as well as the Castrol Degreasing
spray which worked better for me.  If a lot of the old finish is damaged
and flaking, I try to figure out what it was, and proceed accordingly.  I
have tried those citrus based cleaners which don’t really work for me,
although they help deodorize.  I hate that old fermented gym sock smell
found on some of these.
  Sometimes the lacquer thinner/acetone/denatured alcohol is your only
solution for the badly damaged finishes.  I like BLO for all workshop stuff
(you can use it over just about any of the old tyme finishes without
issues, and I will then use shellac to seal the insides of drawers,
followed by a wax rub made from beeswax and turpentine.  It gets rid of the
old mouldy smells of barn finds.  I make sure everything has dried out
properly before starting any additional finishes.  Sometimes the moisture
level on these is really high from being stored in damp basements.
I enjoyed the repair photos- thanks for sharing.

Cheers
Claudio

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