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frayle
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BMCo machines - what kind of finish to the wood?

Postby frayle » Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:08 pm

Hi.
I am currently restoring a 1930s BMCo 'The Favourite' allwin. Does anyone know whether the original finish to the oak cabinet was a simple waxed one, or some kind of satin lacquer or varnish?

Thanks.

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gameswat
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Re: BMCo machines - what kind of finish to the wood?

Postby gameswat » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:40 am

Yes all mine have had a lacquered or varnished finish to them. Hard to tell what though when they're so old? BMCO are high quality all over as far as I'm concerned so the finish is always very nice.

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pennymachines
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Re: BMCo machines - what kind of finish to the wood?

Postby pennymachines » Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:42 pm

As Gameswat says, without chemical analysis we can only guess, but my favoured finish for these is several coats of shellac, either brushed or applied with a rubber and finished with wax rubbed in with fine wire wool and polished. Shellac is available in different colours (garnet or button etc), produces an attractive 'natural' finish which is easy to repair, and is, of course, a period material.

Contemporary paperwork sometimes references wood finishes, for example, Jentzsch & Meerz advertising describes cabinets as "highly polished" and "piano finished", Bryan's Trickler is, "Oak, French polished to a smooth natural light colour", Hawtins allwin fronts are "highly polished" and so too, according to Bolland's catalogue, are BMCo allwins.

They would have been much shinier than we're used to, but probably not the almost mirror gloss which can be achieved with a French polish.

The BMCo Little Mickey below, currently on eBay, gives a good idea of the original colour and finish.
LittleMickey-s.jpg

frayle
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Re: BMCo machines - what kind of finish to the wood?

Postby frayle » Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:30 pm

Many thanks to both, very useful. I shall endeavour to find a suitable varnish with perhaps a low satin sheen. Don't think they should be in any way glossy'.

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gameswat
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Re: BMCo machines - what kind of finish to the wood?

Postby gameswat » Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:39 pm

frayle wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:30 pm
I shall endeavour to find a suitable varnish with perhaps a low satin sheen. Don't think they should be in any way glossy'.
I prefer to dull down all my finishes with very fine #0000 steel wool, this gives a nice aged worn look. I do this after each layer of shellac which loses finish on the high points around coin chutes etc and where hands rest. Then after more layers you end up with a slightly irregular finish. I never sieve the shellac which leaves lots of small impurities and these also build up thicker in the crevices after each steel wool rub which leaves nice darker corners. A final polish with furniture oil or wax etc will bring up a light sheen and this shows off all the fine scratches done by the steel wool, as well as all the imperfections existing in the wood. Don't get me started on people who sand the wood and think they've somehow improved it!!!@#$%&* :o :!?!: !OMFG!


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