MiniMoog Refinishing Log - Do's & Don'ts

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Z
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MiniMoog Refinishing Log - Do's & Don'ts

Post by Z » Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:25 pm

I picked up a Mini back in the summer that was painted black by the seller's previous owner. The paint job wasn't too bad and I thought I'd keep it that way, but I bought a Buffer Board kit form eBay seller marriedwithpatchcoards which is supposed to keep the synth in tune better. I took the Mini (along with a few other synths) to Audio Electronics in Dallas to have the kit installed. I asked them to remove the electronics from the wood chassis and I will refinish it since I have some furniture refinishing experience.
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I decided to use a heat gun to bubble the paint and scrape off with a puddy knife. I chose this route because I wanted to keep the mess to a minimum.

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I probably should have just used acetone because the heat gun did burn and bruised the wood a little. I then used 0000 steel wool and lacquer thinner to get the rest of the paint off the wood. You can now see the burns.

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I have other photos that I took of the electonics removed from the chassis if you want to see them. I did not want to overload this post with large photos wasting bandwidth, but you can check out all the photos in my Photobucket:
http://s187.photobucket.com/albums/x30/ ... estoration

Next, I will add walnut stain and satin lacquer before I give the chassis back to Audio Electonics. I'll post updates as I progress.

Z
Last edited by Z on Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by smallsynth » Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:42 pm

looking nice.

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Post by Yoozer » Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:59 pm

Why didn't you just rebuild it with a better quality wood, if I may ask? The black is a nice idea, though, but it works only when it's flawless, IMHO.
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Post by Z » Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:56 am

Yoozer wrote:Why didn't you just rebuild it with a better quality wood, if I may ask? The black is a nice idea, though, but it works only when it's flawless, IMHO.
My woodworking skills are limited. Plus, the walnut parts that were not painted on the inside looked nice. The black didn't look too bad, but I figured Id do the refinish since I was having the tech take it aprt to install the buffer board.

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Post by hfinn » Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:37 am

Yeah, I would've just used the old fashioned method of sanding and more sanding...

Looking nice though!

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Post by otto » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:20 am

it'll look cool w some slight imperfections. Like a vintage synth should.
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Post by 7Hz » Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:30 am

I can't beleive you say you have furniture refinishing experience with one breath, then you take a damn heat gun to vintage walnut! What were you thinking?

Heatguns are OK if you are stripping a door to repaint it, but on wood you are going to refinish natural, it's a massive mistake. What a shame :-( Remind me not to let you loose on any of my antique furniture! 'Oh yeh, a 6" nail is perfect to repair that small chip.'
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Post by JJQ » Wed Nov 07, 2007 12:20 pm

Looking foreward to se the pictures when your finished with the woodwork. A friend of mine brougt his mini-wood to a proffesional but it was quite expensive.
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Post by Bitexion » Wed Nov 07, 2007 12:31 pm

Stop bitching about it, if he uses a dark laquer it will hardly be noticeable anyways.

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Post by Z » Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:50 pm

7Hz wrote:I can't beleive you say you have furniture refinishing experience with one breath, then you take a damn heat gun to vintage walnut! What were you thinking?
I did say SOME experience and that was over 15 years ago. I had never stripped paint before, only lacquer. I saw the heat gun technique used on a 1920's oak fireplace mantle that had been painted.

I did start with the rear of the chassis to get the feel for the heat gun. The only major wood burns are on the rear and left side. I think I'll take some fine sandpaper to it to see if the burns will lighten any. I don't plan to stain it too dark, but I do like what Otto said about it looking "vintage" with some slight imperfections.

This MINI certainly won't be a "collector's" piece. One of the previous owners engraved their name & licence number in the back of synth's electronic box. The piece of wood that goes in front of the mod wheels has a chunk missing from it, too. This has certainly been a learning experience.

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Post by 7Hz » Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:14 pm

Cool, sorry for bitching at ya :wink:

Still, I think that a lot of the wood looks heat affected now. The burns on the back and side are quite bad, I would guess you have to use a bit more than light sandpaper to get them out! You'll have to shave down the whole length of wood, otherwise you'll get a dip where you sanded out the burn.

There comes a point where I think losses need to be cut. You should seriously consider giving the work to someone that knows how to do it, if you want a wood finish, otherwise, it will look like sh*t with varnish on top, not 'old and with character'. You may as well take it outside, cover it in lighter fluid, and set fire to it if you are going for that effect.

Otherwise, I would think you are better either getting someone to give it a proper black laquer piano finish, or consider getting a new case.
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Post by Z » Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:37 pm

No, that's cool. I probably shouln't have used a 30+ year old synth as my guinea pig for paint stripping. I'll try sanding a bit before I apply the stain. I'm optimistic...

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Post by 7Hz » Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:45 pm

If your optimistic, you cannot be grasping the reality of the situation :wink: :lol:

Use a sanding block, and sand the whole surface, Perhaps even a very light plane would be in order (but don't do this yourself if you don't have the skills / good tools).

Best of luck!
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Post by minime123 » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:12 pm

another example of how we shouldnt use vintage synths as guinea pigs. you should have found a worthless old piece of junk furniture to experiment with first.

good luck with this project and keep us posted. it would be quite ironic if you end up just painting it black again to cover up the damage done! ;)
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Post by crow » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:50 pm

Z wrote:No, that's cool. I probably shouln't have used a 30+ year old synth as my guinea pig for paint stripping. I'll try sanding a bit before I apply the stain. I'm optimistic...

Z
Ahhh dinnae worry. At least you are honest with it. I have restored many vintage Lambrettas and Vespas and i dont give a f**k if the paint looks as it did 40-50 years back. Mine still looked lovely and performed much better. They were also used till they needed another rebuid or even two.
better than having the correct voltage/petrol f**k mix stickers on them.

Post it when your finished. Look forward to it. :idea: :idea:
...and ah just thought, cuntin well hit it!
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