Previous installments in this restoration saga have shown how I remove rust with Evapo-Rust, remove dirt using Soft Scrub and remove hardened old grease from bare metal with steel wool. But a more challenging job faces me, a challenge you'll often have to deal with if you're restoring a typewriter that's over a century old.
Early typewriter factories usually applied varnish over their black paint, to create a deep shine. (I originally used the term "lacquer" here, but consulted Paul Lippman's American Typewriters: A Collector's Encyclopedia, where he writes that the underlying color is lacquer, applied in several layers, but the top surface is varnish.)
The varnish has often yellowed and cracked, creating a very ugly surface.
I haven't found a perfect solution, but Soft Scrub is helpful again. Here's the paper table of the Sholes Visible; I've rubbed the bottom half with Soft Scrub until most of the yellowed old varnish is gone.
Here's a closeup; you can see the cracks in the varnish, and you may also notice that there are still fine cracks in the cleaner, blacker surface below. The Soft Scrub has removed the bumpier, brittler, yellower level of varnish, but you still won't have a perfectly smooth and glossy surface. Applying polish such as Renaissance Wax will improve the appearance.
When removing varnish, you want to avoid removing decals and pinstripes (you can see in the photo above that the pinstripes were applied to the black paint and then the varnish was applied over the pinstripes). This is easier said than done. The best approach is the tedious one—applying the Soft Scrub with something like a Q-Tip, carefully working around the edges of the decorations you want to preserve, and applying Soft Scrub directly to the decorations only if it's really necessary to get the varnish off them.
Working around the edges of that "Sholes" decal (which was applied crooked at the factory) is going to be a job of many hours!