In the discussion of refinishing pianos I remembered a 1928 notebook
from Great Uncle Gus. Uncle Gus was an artist who worked in the
Cleveland area. For a while he did finish work for fine furniture
and millwork. His notebook has various recipes for finishes and a
couple of notes about refinishing.
His process to finish a piano involved some 24 steps and took the
better part of three weeks just to let the various layers of finish
dry. The notebook has this entry --
Polish for old work.
Grain Alcohol 2 oz.
Linseed Oil 6 oz.
Muriatic Acid 1 oz.
Turpentine 4 oz.
Ammonia 1/2 oz.
In other parts of the notebook he mentions 6-ought (000 000)
sandpaper, pumice, rotten stone, and cotton wadding as finishing tools.
In Uncle Gus's day, finish work was done with bare hands and no
protection -- not something I would not recommend today. With all
the safety regulations it's possible today's versions of these products
may be different and this formulation might not work. In any event,
I present it as a reference only.
St. Louis, Missouri