The Baron's Covid Speaker Re-finish Follies

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by B. Scarpia, Sep 15, 2021.

  1. B. Scarpia

    B. Scarpia WatchingYouWatchingMe Thread Starter

    Location:
    WNC
    There I was, vaccinated, unmasked, and getting out to see friends and family when Delta hit. Began to spend too much time facing the front TV/speaker wall and obsessing over the now far too orange color of the 4Pi's shellac finish. So I got stupid.

    Removed the drivers and cleaned off 12 years of wax and grime.
    [​IMG]

    A lesser (and smarter) man would have simply added a coat or three of his favorite known-to-be-browner varnish and called it a day. But not The Baron. No, The Baron decided to overspray with colored lacquer toner to just add a 'soupcon' of red/brown, which, as you can see, turned out to have a look only missing a Disco Ball.
    [​IMG]
    So all day Monday was spent with smelly stripper, card scraper, and sandpaper.
    [​IMG]
    Meanwhile, back at the right channel, 3 coats of Sherwin Williams American Classic Varnish (now labeled Minwax) after cleaning yielded the just a little browner (it looks more brown without the camera flash) result I wanted in the first place.
    [​IMG]
    Now I can only hope an undercoat of the original amber shellac followed by the varnish will yield the same or close-to result on the stripped speaker.
     
    PATB, FalseMetal666, Agitater and 3 others like this.
  2. Davey

    Davey NP: Peter Gregson ~ Patina

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Lot of work, hopefully you get a close match, or you'll have to strip, sand, and finish the right channel, ugh. I imagine we are going for "close enough" at this point :)

    How come the crossover boards are oriented differently in the two speakers?
     
    B. Scarpia likes this.
  3. B. Scarpia

    B. Scarpia WatchingYouWatchingMe Thread Starter

    Location:
    WNC
    So I only hear PAUL IS DEAD in the right channel.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Well if it makes you feel any better, this is exactly how I'd approach the same project.

    I've been an amateur woodworker since I was a teenager and got a paper route so I could purchase a table saw.

    And finishing has always been my Achilles heel.
     
    B. Scarpia likes this.
  5. bhazen

    bhazen Abbey Roadhog

    Location:
    Newport Hills, WA
    What's the speaker make & model?
     
  6. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    vconsumer, B. Scarpia and bhazen like this.
  7. bhazen

    bhazen Abbey Roadhog

    Location:
    Newport Hills, WA
    Ah, thanks. In my haste I missed it.

    Interesting .... they're in Arkansas. Ex-Klipsch people? ...
     
  8. B. Scarpia

    B. Scarpia WatchingYouWatchingMe Thread Starter

    Location:
    WNC
    The owner, Wayne Parham, moved to Arkansas from Tulsa as Walmart became more and more the focus of his IT business. Pi Speakers is a hobby.. Apparently, he doesn't ever sleep.
     
    bhazen likes this.
  9. dmcnelly

    dmcnelly Grammy Award Loser

    Location:
    Michigan
    Maybe it's because I have horrendously tacky taste but that initial cherry red refinish was really doing something for me.
     
  10. F1nut

    F1nut Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Mars Hotel
    Couple of questions/comments.

    What did you use to spray the toner and what brand/color?

    Why are you using varnish?

    If you do not do each cabinet exactly the same the chances of them matching are slim and slim is likely out of town.
     
  11. B. Scarpia

    B. Scarpia WatchingYouWatchingMe Thread Starter

    Location:
    WNC
    Mohawk Classic Toner Brown/Mahogany

    I've used these toners many times in the past to slightly alter color tone, usually for matching in restorations, but never had a result like this.

    A short oil varnish like the S-W American Classic has been my go to for years on my work. Where durability on wood not used as furniture isn't an issue it's the most natural looking finish available, save Tried and true Varnish Oil for special woods like Tropicals which is less durable. Both are easily renewable. I always use amber shellac as an undercoat on New Growth walnut to add a slight red hue to counter the greyness inherent in New Growth. That's a technique I picked up from Jeff Jewitt, a well known conservator and the man behind Quality Wood Finishing Supplies since 1994 - Homestead Finishing Products Homestead Finishes.

    The shellac is now on the stripped cabinet with excellent result; the patina remains and the color tone just right.

    I thank you for your questions.
     
  12. F1nut

    F1nut Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Mars Hotel
    Ok, I'll presume that's the Ultra Classic toner. Good choice as it's dye based verses the Tone Finish, which is pigment based. The thing with any of the rattle can toners is they vary from batch to batch, so if at all possible do a test sample first. At the very least, spray some on a newspaper or similar to get a good idea what color is coming out of the can.

    Lacquer, even the rattle can stuff, is a far better choice than varnish. Shellac as an undercoat actually results in a weaker topcoat unless it is dewaxed.

    You can make new walnut look more like aged walnut by using a weak yellow dye, then apply a 50/50 cut of brown wiping stain. Top coat with lacquer.
     
  13. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    mee too. much nicer except for the dark spot.
     
  14. B. Scarpia

    B. Scarpia WatchingYouWatchingMe Thread Starter

    Location:
    WNC
    I'll give that a try next time out as it would be better to not have waxy shellac under the top coat. Thanks. Can't spray lacquer though, no booth in the Living Room ;-). I use the Toner outdoors sanding after but a sprayed topcoat no way.
     
  15. F1nut

    F1nut Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Mars Hotel
    Living room, eh? No basement or garage? Well, they do sell a pop up spray booth, kind of like a 3 sided tent. That and a fan in the window might do the trick. If you want to use a dewaxed shellac try Seal Coat. It's a 2 lb. cut and comes in clear or amber.
     
  16. B. Scarpia

    B. Scarpia WatchingYouWatchingMe Thread Starter

    Location:
    WNC
    Of course you were right. One cabinet I stripped, gave a single coat of amber shellac and then multi coats of the varnish. The other, with the excuse of being age 74 and even empty the thing weighs 45 lbs., I only varnished over the existing shellac. Both have lost the pumpkin look and nicely brown walnut now but one (the unstripped) is a shade lighter than the other.

    I'm satisfied and pleased to have music from the mains again.
     

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