I finally had a moment to return to the basement haven and work on my Sholes Visible restoration a bit more. Since 1994 I've followed the advice in Paul Lippman's American Typewriters: A Collector's Encyclopedia: I use Soft Scrub (a gentle liquid abrasive), diluted with water, applying a thin layer of it to the typewriter surface with a fingertip or a damp, clean, cotton rag. On a century-old, neglected typewriter like this, don't be surprised if you have to wipe it with Soft Scrub literally 50 times. Keep going until your rag isn't coming up brown anymore. Then you can polish it with Renaissance Wax and Pledge.
Here's the restored front guide panel. Not like new -- imagine gold and blue pinstripes around the diagonal areas -- but pretty good. An area where paint chipped off on the upper right has been disguised with permanent black marker.
As for the back of the panel, here's what it looked like earlier in the summer, and I assumed it was copper or brass.
Now I see that after a little rubbing with fine steel wool, the coppery color starts to come off. It's just residue from a dirty, greasy century. The plate is actually steel. I also noticed that the letter B has been stamped in the bottom center.
In other news, thanks to Davide in Italy for typing an Italian translation of the Typewriter Insurgency Manifesto. It's now on the Manifesto site along with Fernando Antunes' Portuguese translation. Other translations are welcome ...