Cleaning/refinishing old clock

Old 03-21-02, 02:50 PM
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Cleaning/refinishing old clock

I have a very old wood Ingraham clock. It was in the barn laying unprotected for many, many years. There's really no finish on it . . . well, no slick finish anyway. The color is still there but the wood is rough . . . I don't really know how to describe it . . . the wood feels "weathered" sort of like the wood's pores are open.

Two questions -

Q #1 - What would you suggest be used to clean the wood? I'm thinking of just giving it a thorough cleaning & then putting on a coat or two of shellac (I believe that's what recommended for antiques, right?). I've been reading about something called Napatha---should I use that or turpertine (? spelling) or something else?

Q #2 - The door of the clock is glass w/gold designs and a wood trim around it. Will the cleaning solution hurt the glass? I know I can tape it off when applying the shellac but most of the cleaning solutions I read about are thin liquids (i.e,, denatured alcohol, mineral spirits, turpertine, etc.) which run very easily. Any advice for dealing w/this.

Thanks, Peggy Sue
Old 03-22-02, 05:32 PM
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For general cleaning, I use naphtha almost exclusively - it's available at any good paint store. It is flammable - use proper precautions.

Naphtha will not harm any cured finish, including painted and/or gilded glass.

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