You know how one thing leads to another, and pretty soon you've remodeled your whole house? Well that's what happened to my brother-in-law and his wife Lenora. It started with wanting to put in a wood stove, well then you have to have a hearth, then the walls look a little drab so now you paint the whole house (different great colors), and now the decor is all wrong...well you get it. In the midst of all this, they moved around some of their furniture and her Sonora phonograph didn't fit where it was anymore. Lenora asked if I wanted it, and as great as it is (now!) I just don't have room for it. I could tell she really didn't want to part with it so I said "how about if I fix it up to match your piano so you can put it next to it?"
This poor old thing had seen better days. The top looked like someone had tried to glue a zebra pattern on it, there were gouges on the doors, the veneer was pealing up, and the legs had cracks in them. All of the silver and brass was tarnished, and the wood was so black in spots that it looked like it had been in a fire. But what the heck, my husband and I like a good challenge.
I started by taping plastic wrap over the decals, then my husband took out the arm, record folders and records (Benny Goodman, and Bing Crosby no less), and I taped up the rest of the insides and stripped it. Then we sanded....and sanded...and sanded some more. My husband glued and filled so much I started to nickname him Elmer. We stained it dark walnut to match Lenora's piano and finished it with polyurethane. My husband buffed out all of the silver and brass and cleaned up some of the record jackets (that's what is on top in the final picture). In the end I think it turned out gorgeous. Now I know many of you would have painted it, and that was my first thought, but sometimes these old pieces are really worth the time to refinish to their original beauty.