I had a customer come by my shop with an 1880 Swiss music box.The box itself was pretty sound and the mechanism was completely workable but the finish was real rough. There were inlays and appliques that were missing and the old brass hinges had completely failed. At first I was hesitant to tackle this project because of its value as an antique but he said he wasn’t concerned about resale value. He just wanted it to look good. As far as he was concerned it was worthless like it was. I gave him a price to refinish it but also gave him the name of another person that specializes in antique restoration .He called me back a couple of weeks later and asked me to do it for him. Said that the other guy was not interested because of the inlays and the bird appliques that would need to be repaired and repainted.
Here is a picture of the box before I started.
This is a picture I took of the applique before I stripped the old finish off
I hand sanded and scraped off the old finish until I got it all cleaned down to the bare wood.
I use my dremal tool with the router base to redo all of the grooves for the old inlays and put in all new cherry inlay strips. I then applied 4 coats of black lacquer then hand painted the appliques on the front and top before applying 2 coats of clear. Put on new brass hinges and re-attached the music sheet on the inside cover.
Another challenge completed and another happy customer. Also a good learning experience.
-- Mike --www.midlothianwoodworks.com