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Thread: Refinishing Olympus/Apollo Wood Fretwork Grilles

  1. #1
    Junior Member brucewood's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Placerville, CA

    Refinishing Olympus/Apollo Wood Fretwork Grilles

    I have several Olympus and Apollo systems with the wood fret grilles. These grilles are extremely fragile. After 40-50 years the wood grilles show some age. No breakage in the fret work just a dull lackluster finish. The walnut cabinets themselves are still in good condition and are easy to refinish.

    Has any one tried to refinish these grilles? If so I would appreciate any suggestions. Did you sand the surface? Did you restain the wood?

    Thank you for any suggestions.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Hi brucewood!
    I have refinished the fretwork grilles on my (very old) Olympus cabinets much for the same reason as you, along with some minor damage and scratches. I also had the luck to buy new unfinished grilles with two cans of stain for my Apollos, but this is so many years ago it doesn't count anymore. Go ahead and sand your grilles down to the whiteish wood. Place the grille onto an even and straight surface. Use a plane sander with progressively finer paper. When done, check for cracks or bad joints, fix those and then apply a coat of stain. Its a good idea to match the stain to the original colour before you sand it off... After a few mistakes I used an oil-based stain which is slower and more forgiving when you work it into the wood. This also has the advantage that once dried you only need to buff the surface with a panel brush, you'll obtain a nice semi matte finish.

    If you fail, sand it down again. You remove less wood than you think. Good luck!

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