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Bryans Retreeva help

Postby polaris » Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:29 pm

Picked up a Retreeva in need of some surgery. I think personally I may consider making a new case. I would love to hear anyone's thought on keeping the case and refurbishing and any ideas as to how to go about it. There is some worm which always worries me mainly because I know little about it or how to treat.

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Re: bryans retreeva help

Postby treefrog » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:10 pm

Wow that hard work has really achieved a find, well done. Onnly wish I had the stamina.

In terms of woodworm, if signs of activity, e.g. fresh wood piles near the holes, just apply copious amounts of brush on treatment. I would do at least 3 times and allow to properly soak in. Cabinet certainly looks recoverable and looks like someone has started to strip. So I would complete that, fill the holes and finish with new stain/varnish. Well done.

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Re: bryans retreeva help

Postby badpenny » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:43 pm

Nice project.
I would always try to save the original case no matter what the machine.
If I were lucky enough to be offered a Retreeva and the case was a new one, I'd expect the price to be lower and would have to give it lots of coats of thinking about before deciding.

Woodworm is nasty but needn't be the death of a wooden object. There are lots of decent enough products these days that not only kill woodworm but guard it against future infestations.
Firstly if it's so bad that bits have crumbled off or you're worried that if you grip it firmly you could crush the wood then I'd share your concern. The worry is not only that your latest toy is being eaten alive but that the worm then gets fed up with the flavour of Reetreva and decides to hop across the room and check out your Great Aunt's table or your next nearest machine.
So if the worm is still alive you need to isolate that machine keeping it away from anything else wooden, not just furniture and machines of course, think doors and skirting boards too.
The other problem with it is if it got into the case of your Retreeva how sure are you that it's not also in the playfield? Because if you have to replace that as well the only original thing about your machine is going to be a mass of ball-bearings, some castings and a bucket load of rods and levers etc.

The test for active woodworm is to check for very fine wood powder left from their munching.
However you need to identify between years old sawdust and recent stuff.

I suggest you tap the machine all over with with the back of a hand brush and sweep as much of it to the bottom of the case then vacuum it all out. Then leave it for a few weeks or at least a month. Then tap it all again, if you see significant piles of fresh dust usually light in colour then chances are it's still infested. If it's only the odd sprinkling and/or dark in colour then it's likely you didn't clear it all the first time, wait another few weeks and try again.
If you're happy that the case and playfield's structure and rigidity aren't compromised regarding strength then buy the best woodworm curative you can afford and follow the instructions. They're nasty chemicals and you shouldn't inhale, ingest or be within 50 miles of it so maybe best to get your children to do it.
One of my favourite ways to apply it and also a good way to ensure you get well into the wood is to use a syringe. It also shocks you to realise just how far the little blighters get. Squirting a Hyperdeemic Noodle full into a hole at the bottom results in it squirting out all over the place from every level of the structure.

Interestingly they seem to live longer and prosper (Spock?) in plywood rather than quality woods like oak. I was told they love the glue used in the manufacture of plywood.

Best of luck


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Re: bryans retreeva help

Postby polaris » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:37 pm

Thanks for the info. I just bought a load of woodworm killer. Thankfully there appears to be no evidence of any on the door or playfield. I have another OW machine with signs also. I thought I might give it a couple of coats then wrap it in cling film (I'm not even sure if it would make a difference) and leave for a while. It will probably be a long time before I get 'round to doing anything with it anyway (not the quickest - still not finished an easy project I started about a year ago) :woops: Got these two with it, so plenty to be getting on with.


Re: bryans retreeva help

Postby jingle » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:30 pm

My mate does stripping for a job
No not is nob out :tut
Paint stripping :lol:
He has a big bath for dipping a lot of gear in at once
Leaves it in a day or 2
He recons no worm will survive that
But illegal in most county's
But not in Cheshire were I live
So check your local door stripping bizness
You could be in luck ,but ask if they have the tub and are not doing it by hand
With nitromorse

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Re: Bryans Retreeva help

Postby polaris » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:11 pm

Recently noticed that this had been lying around for close on six years which prompted me to tackle restoration. Cabinet although looked intact was actually couple layers of ply filled with dust so decided on new cabinet.

Now trying out red and black crackle and although the test piece looked great cabinet didn’t fare too well. Going to redo and think there are lessons learned which may lead to a better finish.

This was sample.

Although it’s a lot of work think if get it right very worthwhile.


Cabinet was primed, painted with red gloss, coat of Elmer wood glue and top coat of Montana black crackle.

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Re: Bryans Retreeva help

Postby gameswat » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:32 pm

Very nice job Polaris. I also had trouble replicating my first attempt at the crackle when I restored mine. Pics are somewhere on this site years ago.

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Re: Bryans Retreeva help

Postby bryans fan » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:40 am


Looking good!

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Re: Bryans Retreeva help

Postby special when lit » Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:50 pm

Looks great.

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