Best way to restore wood/veneer speaker cabinets?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by kray, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. kray

    kray HE>i

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    What's the best way to restore scratches, watermarks, etc from wood/veneer speakers?
     
  2. Skylab

    Skylab Altimeter reading zero Subscriber

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    After reading a bunch of threads here, I settled on Howard's Restor-a-Finish. If there are significant scratches, apply it with 0000 steel wool. It works amazingly well. Follow up with Howard's feed-n-wax. Seriously, almost miraculous.
     
  3. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    I have done the exact same on a set of DCM CX17s. I'll look and see if I have a pic. The speakers are black, but I just used the dark walnut I had bought to restore a chair and it worked great. Definitely fills in the contrast of the scratches which means they are much less noticeable from 2 or 3 feet away.

    Of course, it depends on how bad the scratches and/or water marks are.
     
  4. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    Well, it's not the best pic, and I don't have before and after, but they were in cosmetically bad enough condition that I got them pretty cheap. Half an hour with the Howard's stuff and they look very presentable. I spent about 5 minutes with steel wool, going with the grain, cleaned that off, applied one coat of the Restor-A-Finish, wiped off the excess after about 2 minutes. Repeated that. Applied a coat of the Feed-N-Wax, wiped off the excess after about 5 minutes. Repeated that.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the chair I mentioned. I did the exact same process. I obviously did half the chair but note the white marks that are visible on the untreated portion vs on the treated side and I used the Howards on the worse side.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. kray

    kray HE>i

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    Awesome. Thanks guys this is exactly what I was looking for!
     
  6. jstewa77

    jstewa77 Active Member

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    I recently bought a pair of ebony ns1000's. The Yamaha sales brochure mentions a polyurethane finish. The Howards web page states not to apply UNDER a polyurethane finish.

    Will Howards restore a finish work on TOP of a polyurethane finish?
     
  7. jstewa77

    jstewa77 Active Member

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    No one?
     
  8. kfa888

    kfa888 Addicted Member

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    It is a wax based finisher. You dont want to use it under as it would not stick well and be bad. Over would probably be fine but is really made to go directly on wood that is not sealed. Works fantastic.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    Yeah, you can use it on top of a poly finish. What the warning is about is you wouldn't want to buy brand new, unfinished lumber, apply the Restor-A-Finish, then put poly on top of that.
     
  10. mech986

    mech986 Text ↓ optional Posts:>18,000 Subscriber

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    Howard's works for a lot of finishes and can help with damaged wood. But if you've got some pics of your cabinets, then we can provide some other suggestions to repair imperfections.
     
  11. WaynerN

    WaynerN Super Member

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    I've refinished many pairs of speakers. The first thing I ask myself is how deep the scratches are, and if I think I can sand them out. Almost always, I have sanded them out, but there are some that I just quit on, for fear of hitting the MDF or plywood below. At least for speakers that had an oiled finish.

    These were also speakers that usually had no detail to them other then flat sides, like ARs, Dynacos, Altecs and JBLs. Yours look to maybe have too much detail, and I agree with others that Howards may be the correct direction. I would remove the drivers before starting the whole process to avoid damage to them (chemical or otherwise).

    Good luck, and take your time. They should end up looking almost. if not, good as new.

    Wayner
     
  12. mech986

    mech986 Text ↓ optional Posts:>18,000 Subscriber

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    Did you ever try steam raising the shallower scratches? I've found that to work quite well for speaker veneer and has really helped to cut down on sanding deeply.
     
  13. WaynerN

    WaynerN Super Member

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    When I choose to sand, it only takes a few moments and I'm done. But I like your thinking. I've had tops of speakers that were so badly stained from somebody's plant pots that I've had to re- veneer. While gluing down isn't such a problem, it's matching the older, all ready oiled or stained existing wood. That is where it gets to be a bear-cat.

    Gluing cracked corners can also be tons of laughs (not), but if repairs are needed, there isn't much choice. I did once sand to deep, but it was in a back corner.

    What I don't understand is why people treat their speakers so poorly? Scratched to shit, full of paint, water stained, dinged, dropped, cigarette burns ((or dope), maybe both), and the real interesting thing is pushing in the dust cap on the mid-range or tweeter. Why? Are these the same people that have to pop bubble plastic?

    I give up.

    A little off topic, had to vent, thanks for listening.......

    Wayner
     
  14. kray

    kray HE>i

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    Finally got around to applying Howard's to some B&O speakers I grabbed at an estate sale for $30.

    Applied some Howard's restore and these speakers look amazing now. I applied the Howard's with a 0000 steel wool piece.

    Here's a before:
    [​IMG]

    And after of just the top restored:
    [​IMG]

    Before side:
    [​IMG]

    After of side:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  15. kaplang

    kaplang Works for me ! Subscriber

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    tung oil and 0000 steel wool works well in most case for shallow scratches.
     
  16. CapZark

    CapZark Well-Known Member

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    Answer - kids, teenagers, wives, drunk uncles...
     
  17. doctorolds

    doctorolds AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I am a firm believer in "Howards". If you have any deep nicks or scratches fill them in with walnut colored putty first, not the plain color that sais it is stainable. Sand it afterwards and apply the Howards Restor-A-Finish and the Feed-N-Wax and you will have a a very presentable set of speakers. Sometimes dark water stains can be a pain to remove but that is another topic. I attached a couple pictures of a pair I did. You can see all the after pictures in my album if you like. Good luck!
     

    Attached Files:

  18. polypetalous

    polypetalous Active Member

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    What about bubbles in veneer?

    Can anything be done about some half-dollar to dollar sized bubbles in veneer?

    Needle, inject glue and compress?

    I'm trying to restore some speakers that have ALL the problems! Chunks missing, scratches, pushed in dust caps, rotted surrounds etc.

    Project speakers to say the least!
    The pictures in this thread gives me hope though.

    Ben
     
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  19. LutherG1

    LutherG1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have ordered some walnut Howard's restor for large Advent. I am curious if this tends to be "drippy" and if so how is that controlled. I do not want to remove tweeter but want to make sure it does not drip anywhere where it could hurt something. Also is 0000 wool best tool for spreading? The cabinets have minor scratches but are overall nice. Just got woofers refoamed too. Plan to put this stuff on and then reinstall woofers. Advice? suggestions?
     
  20. 62sunbeam

    62sunbeam Raconteur Subscriber

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    Try using a dry iron. It remelts the glue and flattens the veneer. Wear a pair of gloves or have a roller handy and press any bubbles down after getting them good and hot.

    Good luck


    Eric
     

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