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JBL L112 Refinishing

Discussion in 'The Lansing Legacy' started by JohnnyLou, Apr 27, 2018.

  1. JohnnyLou

    JohnnyLou New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Found a pair of JBL L112 speakers at the curb last Monday! The only reason they were thrown out (assuming) was that the woofers needed re-foaming. Apparently the owners were not familiar with that possibility. I've got them dropped off for that service now.

    Anyway, the cabinets are in good shape except for the top of one. The picture shows what it looks like after rubbing with a rag with mineral spirits on it and photographing while damp. I don't think it will "just buff out"!!!! I think sanding is in order.

    After reading a bunch of threads here and elsewhere, I was going to do the "wet rag and iron" method to try to reduce the low spots. Then I was going to use 220 and then 400 grit sandpaper followed by some type of refinishing oil. Not worried about the last step or product first.

    Was wondering if that procedure sounds okay and how much veneer I have to work with in terms of sanding.
     

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  2. tarior

    tarior Dirty pool, old man? Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,496
    Location:
    Kelso, Washington
    What a lucky find.
    Your procedure should be fine. JBL used fairly thick, high-quality veneers back in the day.
     
  3. donprice

    donprice Wound up workin' at a gas station.... Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,311
    Go for it!
     
  4. JohnnyLou

    JohnnyLou New Member

    Messages:
    4
    I was just wondering about the sanding part because people have warned that the veneer can be quite thin but I think it depends on the model. Not really sure how to know when to stop sanding!!

    As to the find. I drove by the speakers on my way out of my subdivision and I figured it wasn't worth looking at them. But on my way home the garbage had still not been picked up and I decided to stop and look. I figured, "might as well take 'em home and scope 'em out".
     
    mech986 likes this.
  5. tarior

    tarior Dirty pool, old man? Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,496
    Location:
    Kelso, Washington
    It's like finding $500 laying on the ground.
     
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  6. lattiboy

    lattiboy AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    578
    Try $1200... I sold a pair this summer.
     

     

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  7. tarior

    tarior Dirty pool, old man? Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,496
    Location:
    Kelso, Washington
    That's after they're all fixed up, and probably a little exceptional. But, they don't seem to be declining in price.
     
  8. toddalin

    toddalin Super Member

    Messages:
    2,190
    In Los Angeles, to get $1,200 for a pair of L112s, they would have to be mint with hang tags and all..., and you would have to be lucky to find a buyer looking for just that. These typically go for $400-$600/pr for nice examples.

    I paid $50 for my pair from the original owner and she threw in a beveled glass top (60" x 18") for a nice "Parsons table" that I made from it. Of course one of the cabinets had "planter water marks" and my wife repainted them in a faux finish.
     
  9. lattiboy

    lattiboy AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    578
    I know this isn't dollars and sense, but this is one speaker that's ALL over the place. Sometimes it stuggles to sell for $700, sometimes it closes close to 2k. A complete mystery to me. Admittedly, Seattle is kind of a hotbed for audio stuff with a lot of buyers from Asia spending time here.
     
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  10. KingBubba

    KingBubba "Too Much Stuff"

    Messages:
    9,540
    Location:
    Brooksville, Fl.
    My L36s were fairly scratched up when I got them. I had to sand also. I started with 200 grit and the oak veneer was so hard it did almost nothing. I ended up using 80 grit with very light pressure, and then I worked my way up until I used coarse steel wool with all drivers removed. I gave it a light coat of light oak stain and surfaced it with tung oil diluted with orange oil 50/50. They came out beautiful.
     
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  11. JohnnyLou

    JohnnyLou New Member

    Messages:
    4
    So this picture is after multiple rounds of using a hot iron and damp cotton cloth AND sanding one time with 220 grit. This is another "wet" picture with mineral spirits applied. I'm not sure I see a huge improvement over the "before doing anything" picture above.

    Is there any way to gauge how much you can sand before you go oops, too deep? IMG_0272.JPG
     

     

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  12. Zonker92

    Zonker92 All shiny and chrome Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,080
    Location:
    Central CA
    JBL veneer is pretty thick, in my experience.* I'd use a sanding block and hand-sand with the grain using 220 or 280 grit until you see the natural wood color emerging. Apply very little pressure to the corners and edges and try to get a nice uniform color. Do all four sides, starting on the bottom to get the hang of it.

    *This may invite bad luck to say, but I have yet to go through any veneer on any of the many JBLs I've sanded.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  13. lifer70

    lifer70 What? Subscriber

    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    Just be careful around the edges. That's where I've had problems. You can put more pressure on an edge and remove more material than the centers. I'll work the wood out to about an inch then carefully work that inch till satisfied.
     
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  14. donprice

    donprice Wound up workin' at a gas station.... Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,311
    Try working on the bottom first to get a feel for it. Might have the worst scratches and the easiest place to hide a mistake.

    Good luck!
     
    malden likes this.
  15. JohnnyLou

    JohnnyLou New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Here's the non-damaged top after two coats of Watco Danish Oil (Light Walnut) and then the damaged/sanded speaker after three coats of same. Obviously I didn't get enough sanding done. I think I'm going to go after it with 150 grit to get those bad marks out. Here's hoping I won't be too aggressive. That's the shadow of my head in the picture, nothing funky with the finish.
     

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