HELP NEEDED!!! Stripping project...

mpnmatthews

Mike
User
Hey folks, I realize I am in desperate need of help.

I have taken on the project of my life - the restoration of a 1950 Hammond C-2 Organ and it's speaker cabinet.

The restoration calls for a refinish, and the refinish calls for stripping.

I've tried all I know and I realize I'm way over my head. The organ was finished at the factory with tinted lacquer. I sprayed it with Citristrip and let it sit for about 20 hrs. Followed the directions. Very little of the finish came off.

Next day, I sprayed it with Kwik-Strip, thinking that stripper would be stronger. Followed the directions, let it sit for about 2 hours. Kwik-Strip is definitely stronger than Citristrip, and more of the finish came off, but not enough. About 50% of the finish came off.

But now I'm left with a blotchy, splotchy mess. See pics.

Could someone... Anyone... Please help me? Hopefully someone who has some experience with stripping can come to my aid. Would anyone be willing to come to my house and help me finish stripping this thing? I do not have a workshop or a garage but I do have a level driveway and I will pay what's asked... and I'll also supply the drinks. (wink wink!)

I'll follow instructions, like your assistant, and I'll have whatever tools you tell me to get. I'll also get whatever powerful stripping chemical you recommend.

I'm one mile outside of Dunn, in Harnett County.

Who's in? Please help!

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Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
DQ
"I have taken on the project of my life - the restoration of a 1950 Hammond C-2 Organ and it's speaker cabinet.

The restoration calls for a refinish, and the refinish calls for stripping."

Who said that? Did it look really bad before you started down the stripping path?

It may take several applications to remove the finish. Work only in sections and put on the stripper gel, with a paint brush, cover with old rags or towels, and let it sit for about 30-60 minutes. Scrape it off with a paint scraper. It's a messy process.
 

Berta

Board of Directors, Events Director
Berta
Corporate Member
DQ
I have only stripped the finish one time. It is not fun. Do work in sections. Only one section at a time. Do use a wide scraper. Don’t dig. Check to see what you need to use to neutralize the stripper when finished. There is no easy method. Do one part at a time.
 

mdbuntyn

Matt
User
DQ
I've never stripped a piece of furniture, but Freddy Roman (a furniture restorer in the Boston area) swears by Benco strippers. bencosales.com If you reach out to him on instagram (periodcraftsmen) he may give you some advice
 

mpnmatthews

Mike
User
Thanks for the replies and the tips. I'm always appreciative of your valuable input. And I hope I get more!

I think it (the organ) did look really bad before I decided on stripping it. It looked like some solvent had been spilled and dried on one section of the top. The tone cabinet looked great, but it was a different color, and I want to refinish the two cabinets to match each other. See pics of previous condition below.

I've stripped and refinished a table once before and that was a pretty intuitive process, but I DID use the stripping gel applied with a brush. See pic attached.

Do you think this project was much like a table?

No, you don't, because you guys are smart

Anyway, I've come too far to turn back now. And my offer still stands for anyone willing to help... Real money!

Cheers!
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Mike Davis

Board of Directors, President
Mike
Corporate Member
DQ
Due to acquired reactions to chemicals I can't use stripper for the last thirty years or so.
Now if I need to remove a finish I use hand scrapers.
I get a perfectly clean surface with no streaks that the chemicals use to leave.
Less sanding. Not as messy, just vacuum up the chips.
 

redknife

Chris
Corporate Member
DQ
Cool project. A bit of a mess right now but hang in there. I have no great advice on chemical stripping that hasn’t been mentioned.
Are there any local furniture refinishers in your locale that might help with this aspect of the project?
One thought as you proceed is that if you can’t get out of color variation from residual stain, dye can be selectively applied to even out the final appearance. Always use test pieces.
 

Mike Davis

Board of Directors, President
Mike
Corporate Member
DQ
One section at a time means a 12 x 12 or maybe a little larger section on each surface. It looks like you stripped the whole panel ...

The problem there is the stripper has less time to work, more time to dry and you can't pay attention to a large area as well as you can a small area.

By concentrating on a small area you can flood the area with stripper, test to be sure the old finish is dissolved and then quickly scrape off the softened finish before it starts to re-harden.
 

mpnmatthews

Mike
User
Project Update...

Since I made this post, I've made (what I think is) progress on stripping this 1950 C-2 and Tone Cabinet... Any thoughts? See below...8E19906E-101A-453F-9D1D-04356FE65BAF.jpegFBC3960B-2BC8-4F57-93F8-393CA6D4677A.jpegDCB1414D-7000-427C-B362-42B28C060FDA.jpeg858EF1B7-C9E4-46B1-9B6F-185B5B107DAD.jpegEF2948A1-F73F-4EB9-82B5-1E2A54D003C9.jpeg14B15AF5-6DAE-4334-934D-4FCAB7984E89.jpeg
 

DSWalker

David
Corporate Member
DQ

mpnmatthews

Mike
User
Have you tried alcohol or Lacquer thinner to see it either one may be more effective?

I might make that my next step. When the weather warms I plan on sanding the top layer to open the wood and remove any remaining finish, then washing rounds with oxalic acid first to lighten the wood and then TSP to thoroughly clean...

Then I'll be ready to stain. But before sanding I think I will use some lacquer thinner to see if I can completely remove all the finish before sanding.
 

mpnmatthews

Mike
User
There is a place on Hwy 301 in Benson that does this type work. Alkat. They may be able to offer some advice and are right up the road from you. The hand or card scrapers that Mike Davis mentioned might also be a good suggestion, but that is a LOT of scraping.


Thanks, I've heard of them. I'll be sure to contact them or maybe visit to see if they have some advice.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
DQ
In your original post you said that it was finished with lacquer so try lacquer thinner covered with rags and then scrape it off.

It seems that your other strippers haven't done much to help the effort (CitriStrip and KwikStrip).

I don't think that it's a veneer so you might try a good sanding before using more stripper.
 
Last edited:

JimD

Jim
Senior User
DQ
I would use the strippers to get at least most of the material off but also plan on scrapping or sanding before applying the new finish. I am not good at it but scraping would be easier to control. It looks like it is veneered and sanding through that will complicate the project significantly.
 

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