Slowly, cello refurbishment inches to completion. With as much time spent correcting my mistakes (learning 57 ways NOT to mix varnish) as with actual progress forward, months have galloped along. Mindful always of Shakespeare’s words: “Striving to better, oft we mar what’s well”. I’m learning to back away and contemplate. All good things, however, come to an end.
The top and back, after varnish, I treated with a slurry of wool lube and rottenstone. Experimentation with a fine scratch remover formulated for plastics followed. But what is perfect for nitrocellulose lacquer is not right for varnish. There was a better choice for final polishing.
To internet research I turn. Clues point to North Carolina’s Mohawk Finishing Products. The undisputed expert, Phillip Pritchard, Mohawk Finishing Products Technical Service Representative, is again enlisted. Without hesitation he suggests their own Buffer’s Polish. The product is ordered, shipped, and received.
Upon the cello sides stray marks of top removal, scraping of glue, various blemishes and blisters of a 65 year life, are examined, exfoliated, and finally exit before my eyes. Hand-polishing is not easy work, but with effort comes reward. No need to rush as the cello is so close to completion; half today and half tomorrow. Behlen Buffer’s Polish has a nostalgic smell – reminds me of a bowling alley – maybe a similar polish is used on the hardwood lanes to maintain their gloss?
So with the sides looking ship-shape, I try a little elbow grease on the top. Stunning! I may go ahead and remove the strings/bridge/tailpiece and buff the entire top! And why not? Behlen Fingerboard Oil was shipped with the Buffer’s Polish. This mature cello could use some professional refurbishment of her fingerboard. We’ll keep you updated!