I've acquired about 20 rollers for a Gem roller organ. They've
not been well preserved so they show signs of mold, discoloration,
etc., which would distract from the appeal of a restored organ.
In addition, the labels are mostly worn off.
I'm thinking of purchasing a bristle-type sanding wheel to try to
clean up the rollers, since this would allow me to get between the
pins without damaging them. I'd use a fairly fine grit (240) to
avoid aggressive removal of material. I'd also clean up the ends
and apply new labels.
I have a couple of questions: does anyone have any experience with
this sort of operation? Are there any pitfalls I should avoid?
Would it make sense to apply some sort of clear finish to preserve
the look once they're cleaned up?
I realize that some people object to making antique items look new,
but I'm more interested in having a working, nice-looking organ and
rollers than in preserving things in their current, run-down state.