I have been having a debate through PM's that I think would benefit from public discussion.
The primary question applies to OLD machines. Machines which have the potential to have historical value or at least historical uniqueness.
The 1st question is "When is it appropriate to wipe the slate clean and completely redo a machine?"
The 2nd question is "How can you preserve what is there without giving up on a "shiny cool machine?"
MY perspective (Green as grass) is the sequence of consideration is
The reply that I got from Glenn was: (with his OK to re-post)
" I believe in restoration and not completely making a piece new. There are times when the thing is so far gone you have no choice but to completely re-do the whole thing. We in the antique business say the less you do the better. This is to retain the value of the item, but now I am into these old machines and real value is little I want my machines to look pretty again so I make no excuses for redoing some of them. If you need to repaint decals that are missing and paint on the bed then by all means redo it completely."
Others that I have ask this question to have answered in a very similar way.
A large portion of the discussion is about what CAN be done also. If you have the ability to do something well, you are are likely to be willing to go for it than if you "might be able"
I asked Glenn specifically "Using your methods, is it possible to "repair" the finish and/or add missing paint in the process?"
the answer was
" Yes you can. After the areas are made rust free you can apply auto glazing compound to level the area or build up the finish with black lacquer ( the original finish is japanned). You do this by using aniline dye mixed with shellac(making very black paint with shellac as a base) until level then you can french polish with shellac to give the sheen they are noted far. I have done this myself but it takes time each step takes at least 24 hours to dry before another coat can be applied. You can speed the process with black lacquer and then use the shellac french polish to complete the look. Then you can rub the new areas down to match the old finish that is left. "
Other people have different beliefs and different methods available, so we though it would be worthwhile to post it to the general discussion