Thursday, January 23, 2014

Has this happened to you?

Bumper damage on nearly new car
This is the rear passenger side bumper on a 1-year old up-market car. You can see how scuffed it is after having been nudged by another car in a parking lot.

Well, here is the story. I was at a meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia and parked out front of the building where the meeting was held, not on the street, mind you but in a private parking lot. The spaces were pretty tight and I thought about the possibility of a door ding or something relatively minor. I have a thing about door dings and I am always, well, usually careful about where I park.

The meeting lasted into the late afternoon and upon coming out of the building I noticed that my bumper was damaged. "Heck", I said (well not exactly "heck"). As I got around to the driver's door I noticed a note tucked into the window frame. On it it said "hey, I rubbed on the side of your car. I don't think I did any damage but just in case AM" (name protected) with a telephone number at the bottom of the note.

The damage you see in the photo occurred that very day. The arrows indicate where the paint was gouged, presumably by the other car's bumper. Although it does not look like much the estimate was over $400 because plastic in the gouges had to be built up. It is also a 2 stage paint job; base coat and clear coat which made for something which looks pretty minor quite expensive.

We emailed and telephoned back and forth about logistics, estimates etc. I got a couple of estimates and we agreed on the repair. AM believes in Karma and felt very strongly that the damage should be repaired. Tonight the person called to tell me that the garage had been contacted and arrangements made for the bill to be paid. In the end the bumper was repaired and no money came out of my pocket. I wished the person well, thanked her and said that someday the gesture will be repaid in kind.

AM restored my faith in human nature.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Stromberg Carlson stripping - the next phase

Stripped Stromberg Carlson console radio
Well, It was hard work getting the gluing and clamping done for the Stromberg Carlson console radio (circa 1946); I had to do it in 6 stages.

The stripping was interesting because I had to be really careful with the fumes from the Circa 1850 stripper and the lacquer thinner. I therefore had to restrict my work time to about 20-30 minutes per day so that the fumes would not overcome me. It worked out well because I had an electric fan blowing on me while I was working and that seems to push the fumes away from me very effectively.

As you can see the radio has been stripped. The next phase is the steel wool rubdown. I will use #0000 steel wool dipped in lacquer thinner to take any residual lacquer off the finish and to more-or-less sand it to a smooth finish. I will continue with the steel wool for the next few days until the whole cabinet is done.

Next, I will move onto the staining phase which will involve using both dark and light walnut to bring it to its original finish, or something very close to it; dark walnut for the trim and light walnut for the veneered surfaces.

Then comes the grill cloth replacement which hopefully will be a period design, new decals for the front panel and remounting the radio itself. Putting new decals can be tricky because it means putting on several coats of lacquer spray, mounting the decals and then lacquer spraying over them once they are dry.

The fun is just beginning.