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Rosewood Marimba

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#1
bigbonzo

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I purchased a J. C. Deagan Model 52 marimba (circa 1934-1939) earlier this summer. It has rosewood keys. It wasn't stored in the case properly, and as a result, a few of the keys have some minor scratches.

Does anyone know a way to permanently remove the scratches? Old English only eliminates the appearance of the scratches, and only temporarily.

Would the finest steel wool work without affecting the tone and the finish?

Other than the minor scratches, it's a beautiful marimba, in excellent condition.

Edited by bigbonzo, 18 December 2011 - 05:35 PM.

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#2
Kevin_S

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I am not a marimba guy by any stretch, but I would try a quality paste wax like Minwax. Old English, or any other polish, lasts for a very short time because of the high amount of solvents in it. Paste wax lasts considerably longer. I can't say what effect it would have on the sound, but I can't imagine really changing it. Steel wool might work well as far as actually removing the scratches.
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#3
lwebster

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Steel wool, even a very fine grade, is not something I would recommend using on rosewood bars ever, especially vintage rosewood. I would suggest calling or emailing Gilberto Serna at Century Mallet Co. in Chicago. He worked at the Deagan factory as a master tuner when they were still in operation. He now owns Century Mallet, located in the old Deagan building, and does beautiful restoration work on vintage mallet instruments.

Bill Youhass at Fall Creek Marimbas, Artie Lieberman at Mallet Instrument Service, or John Salazar at Salazar Fine Tuning also repair and restore vintage mallet instruments, and will be able to prove you with the information you need.

Sounds like a nice instrument!

Les
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#4
rikkrebs

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I would hit it with a little Liquid Gold very lightly and leave the scratches. Any sanding or staining could result in changing the pitch or tone. I refinished a 4 oct. Leedy marimba last year. It's still in tune, but a little dead to my ears.......then again it was a little dead to start with. We use it in a practice room at the High School where I teach, so it works just fine.

Good Luck
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#5
cworrick

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You might check with the guys at malletshop.com as well to see what they do with all the restoration projects they do.

malletshop.com

:bunny:
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#6
bigbonzo

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Thanks for the advice guys. After talking a friend who's a drum-maker and refurbisher, I decided to leave 'em alone. Or, at least until I can afford to have them professionally done. I wouldn't want to ruin a beautiful piece of work.

Until then, I'll keep them out of the bright lights, so no one can see the scratches. B)

Edited by bigbonzo, 18 December 2011 - 05:36 PM.

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#7
Eric Sooy

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Thanks for the advice guys. After talking a friend who's a drum-maker and refurbisher, I decided to leave 'em alone. Or, at least until I can afford to have them professionally done. I wouldn't want to ruin a beautiful piece of work.

Until then, I'll keep them in out of the bright lights, so no one can see the scratches. B)



Yup, for the most part just leave 'em alone. A little Johnson's paste wax on the tops and sides only.
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#8
Pounder

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Steel wool, even a very fine grade, is not something I would recommend using on rosewood bars ever, especially vintage rosewood. I would suggest calling or emailing Gilberto Serna at Century Mallet Co. in Chicago. He worked at the Deagan factory as a master tuner when they were still in operation. He now owns Century Mallet, located in the old Deagan building, and does beautiful restoration work on vintage mallet instruments.

Bill Youhass at Fall Creek Marimbas, Artie Lieberman at Mallet Instrument Service, or John Salazar at Salazar Fine Tuning also repair and restore vintage mallet instruments, and will be able to prove you with the information you need.

Sounds like a nice instrument!

Les


Talk to Gilberto, he's very nice, I called him and he had parts for my Deagan Commander Vibraharp and he also has all the knowledge you need to keep yourself from screwing the sukkas up.
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#9
bigbonzo

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Step one: Buy stuff.

It's winter, and time for indoor projects. Today I bought Maas Metal Polish, Cape Cod Cloths and Minwax paste wax per recommendations of some generous DFO members.

It's in darn good shape to begin with, so it just needs a good cleaning and polishing. I already cleaned the felt on the frame under the keys, and replaced the insulators and cords.

The hardware is nickel-plated, so it should shine up nice.

I'll post some before pictures as soon as I get a chance.

This is my first such project. It should be a fun experience.

Edited by bigbonzo, 18 December 2011 - 05:28 PM.

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