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Friday, 29 August 2014

Repairing a Blickensderfer Typewriter Case

This Blickensderfer typewriter case had suffered some severe water damage on the watch of a previous owner. Blick cases are such beautiful things and I hated seeing it in the terrible state it was in. Every time I look at it, I cringed.
Neglect had caused the thin wood veneer to "bubble", break and lift off the core panels. The top sheet of wood veneer had warped completely away from the front section, above the leather handle strap. As well, the panels had seriously buckled in parts. The back of the case and both front edges nearest the handle were the worst affected. 
Would I do any further damage if I attempted to at least partially restore the case? Well, maybe, but anything would be better than the way it was.
As it turned out, the yawning gaps around the edges and elsewhere could be closed, and the wood veneer reapplied to the straightened core panels, with the use of plastic wood and clips. I should have taken a "before" photo, but didn't think about photographing the process until I was more than halfway through it.
Once the plastic wood had dried and hardened, I was able to sand it back, apply a smooth surface of matching wood putty, and colour it with wax touch-up crayon and a darkening coat of tan boot polish. Then I rubbed in furniture polish to give the whole surface a consistent look, and sealed it all off with a satin stain spray paint. I also carefully took the deep rust off the clasps and handle grips with a wire brush on an electric drill.
So it's back looking pretty presentable, even if the top coat is still drying ... Indeed, compared to what it was like, it now looks absolutely fabulous - these "after" photos don't do it justice. One thing I have been able to do successfully over the years is restore typewriter cases, if not always the machines inside them!
I must have just about every size and shape of wooden Blick case by now - but boy, I wish I had one of these:

2 comments:

schrijfmachine said...

Most of my cases are stored away, so I don't give them too much attention. But this Blickensderfer case is very nice and it deserved being repaired. The result is beuatiful! Well done and thanks for showing.

Richard P said...

This is encouraging. I have one or two Blick cases that need similar work.

I had never seen The Literary Case -- looks fabulous!