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 Post subject: What do I do next on this Speaker Cabinet?-- FINISHED--
PostPosted: Sep Fri 28, 2018 9:51 pm 
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Location: N. Palm Bch, Fl.
Last year I got an AK-40 that came with Bosch 612 Speaker from 1928. It took a while, but I got the 40 to work. I didn’t touch the speaker because it looked like it had gold decals that I didn’t want to loose. Radio Daze just made some up for me so I decided to do the speaker cabinet. The original lacquer had little cracks and bubbles all over it and looked almost black. Minwax Furniture Restorer did a great job removing the old crud and finish that was on it Turns out that their not decals, but look like white scrimshaw slivers stuck on or inlayed into the cabinet. Now I’m debating as to what I’ll do next. My first thoughts were a walnut stain, but the more I look at it now, maybe not such a good idea. Keep in mind I am not the cabinet restorer that most of you are. Not even close. The little specks you see on the sides are 1/16” tree branch knots. I think they give it a little class and would the stain cover them and the grain lines up? I have never worked on something this old. So don’t really know what the original cabinet looked like. Your thoughts on what you would do next. Shellac and then stain and then lacquer or continue on to just Satin Lacquer?

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All ideas welcome.
Freeman


Last edited by Freeman on Oct Sat 27, 2018 9:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What do I do next on this Speaker Cabinet?
PostPosted: Sep Fri 28, 2018 10:23 pm 
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Location: Montvale NJ, 07645
Freeman wrote:
Minwax Furniture Restorer did a great job removing the old crud without taking it down to bare wood.

Freeman


I can't tell from the pictures, but you say above that it is not taken down to bare wood? Is the grain filler intact?


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do next on this Speaker Cabinet?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 29, 2018 9:39 pm 
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Today it does look like I'm down to the original wood. When I finished yesterday, it looked like there was stain or some kind of something on there and there maybe. Today I went over it with 320sandpaper and it feels very very smooth so I'm assuming that grain filler was used and still holding. I have seen pictures where it is all one color and others where you can see grain lines. I'm asking because this is the first cabinet this old that I have seen up close and I'm not sure what the norm was back then. Cover it up with stain or let the beauty of old wood come through.

Freeman


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do next on this Speaker Cabinet?
PostPosted: Oct Tue 02, 2018 9:11 am 
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Its a very pretty cabinet.

Wouldn't mix shellac and lacquer myself but go straight to a stain followed by a first lacquer spray (you will know then if the grain filler is still there !!). For the stain I would use an oil based type that can be thinned with Mineral Spirits. Start with a thinned mix of probably walnut. I'd go with 30% stain applied with a lint free cloth (old well washed handkerchief if you have any). Let dry and see what you have. Can always darken with another stronger stain mix.

Spray a lacquer coat and for me that's always Mohawk 70% semi gloss.

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do next on this Speaker Cabinet?
PostPosted: Oct Wed 03, 2018 3:37 pm 
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Over the weekend I decided I wanted the cabinet just a tad darker. My inventory of stain is small, but I tried Minwax Special Walnut on the rear corner. It came out with a reddish tint I didn’t like. Early American darkened it just a little and is the tone or shade I was looking for. I did this over the wood. No shellac. Wiped off after a few seconds. Monday it got it’s first coat of lacquer and your correct. It needs grain filler. I can see little lines better than feel them. I’m going to backup with the Restorer. Re-stain if needed. Then go over it with filler. I checked here and on the Net and am swinging toward the clear filler. It says it allows the grain to come through visually which I like. I’m hoping I can get it at a store down town that caters to the furniture restorer shops we have here.

Freeman


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do next on this Speaker Cabinet?
PostPosted: Oct Wed 10, 2018 10:06 pm 
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This is my first attempt at using grain filler so please bare with me.
I took it back a step with the restorer. The only grain filler they had locally was Oil Base Mahogany and Neutral. I tested the Neutral on a rear corner and it dried white. I hit it with some stain for 5 seconds and it covers the white. Next day I tried mixing some Oil Base Walnut Stain with it on the other corner and that seemed to dry white also. At least I know I can cover it. It now has 2 coatings of filler. The first was with just the oil that comes in the can, which seemed to dry pretty fast. The second time, I mixed in some Mineral Spirits to make it a little slurpy. Each time 320 sandpaper and tack cloth. Now when I run my fingers around there are places as smooth as a baby. It’s not real smooth on the lower sides. Would that be because there isn’t enough filler or it needs a little more sanding?? I’m a little nervous about sanding through the shellac.
Here are a couple of pictures of what I have now. Does this look normal after applying grain filler?? It has been sanded and tacked.

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Freeman


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do next on this Speaker Cabinet?
PostPosted: Oct Thu 11, 2018 8:17 am 
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To me the grain filler still looks too pale. Some like it but me I prefer it darker. I'll add a picture.

Adding the MS was a good idea, its what I do after adding stain to it, if needed: thin seems to work best. Its hard to know how it will look until a lacquer coat. For me, I always grain fill at least three times and then go for the lacquer. Any still unfilled grain can be filled with that by light sanding between coats.

Personally I try to imagine what the radio, or in this case speaker, would have looked like from the factory. For the speaker I don't see it as Steinway, unless you have seen one with the original finish and that's how that is. Most likely it was a lower gloss and then the odd bit of unfilled grain doesn't matter anyway. You wont be looking at it from 6" as you are now, more like 2 feet.

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This is mine and its actually one of my early ones and a little under grain filled but it still looks very pleasing. A friend and long term collector paid it this compliment, " I reckon that's about how it looked when new.

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This one belongs to a friend and its grain filled with just natural filler and no stain. He likes it.

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do next on this Speaker Cabinet?
PostPosted: Oct Thu 11, 2018 10:59 pm 
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Today I decided I needed to finish something. The back access panel only has a few white streaks and I put some stain in that area. It sat for 20 seconds and I wiped it down. The stain didn't adhere to the white filler at all. I thought I had tested the stain before and it worked. I tried it on the back corner if the speaker and the same thing. The Mohawk filler must be hard as a rock with no pours for the stain to grab onto even after the 320 sanding. Now I'm getting real ticked off. MS is used as a thinner for the filler, so I used a cotton swab in a small area until it evaporated. This was done twice and then the stain. It wiped off fine still leaving my ugly white stripes. At least I'm good at something. I'm a pro at screwing things up.
Gary-- I'm at a loss. The only thing I can think of is a week of sanding to get below the filler and then start over with a walnut filler.

Help Freeman


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do next on this Speaker Cabinet?
PostPosted: Oct Fri 12, 2018 2:41 am 
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You can color your filler with stain. Oil based filler requires an ail based stain. It also thins the filler bit, making it easier to get into the grain.

A wash coat of shellac before each step of the refinishing process makes it easier to undo your last step if necessary. That's because the solvent for shellac is alcohol, with isn't a solvent used in anything else in the process. It acts like a barrier protecting what's below it from what is out on top of it.

If you want to start over, you can remove the filler by painting the surface with a good coat of shellac and letting that set up completely. Then ally a methyl chloride based stripper liberally to the surface. Let it sit to do its work. You can place some plastic wrap over it to extend the working time. Just don't let it dry out.

When ready, grab handfuls of clean hamster bedding (from a pet supply store) and scrub the surface. The bedding will absorb the paint remover and the sludge it produced and it's mild abrasiveness will keep the surface clean. Repeat the same process, but using lacquer thinner instead of the remover.

The methyl chloride stripper is recommended because it works by lifting the finish from the bottom up (which is why it's used of things with multiple layers of paint), unlike th milder orange strippers that work from the top down.

Adding a coat of shellac before stripping helps pull the filler and anything else out of the grain.


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do next on this Speaker Cabinet?
PostPosted: Oct Fri 12, 2018 9:24 am 
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Don't try to sand the grain filler away: it will remove too much veneer.

You could just try a scrub using fine steel wool (#0000) dipped in cellulose thinners first. Just try a small area, it might pull out the grain filler. If not you will have to go Alan's route.

Yes! oil based stains are what I use and I mix the stain neat with the oil based grain filler. That way it is dark before application. If you are cautious you can mix just a little and let it dry to rock hard and see that the colour has been fully absorbed before trying it on the cabinet again :). Testing is always to be encouraged with cabinet work. After the grain fillings (normally 3) and sanding off, then I stain the whole cabinet but this time I thin the stain with MS; maybe 30% stain. After drying if I want it darker I can always apply a stronger mix.

Try to think of your set back as just part of learning curve: most of us made mess up's along the way.

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do next on this Speaker Cabinet?
PostPosted: Oct Fri 12, 2018 10:05 pm 
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Thank you both for the input. I may have a chance now. I didn't think of the veneer. Oh Boy that would have really screwed things up. Alan's always preaching Shellac-Shellac-Shellac and I'm so glad I listened to you this time. It got a nice coat before I started the filler. I'm going to try the strippers you talked about and hope it can get under the filler to lift up and out. Yesterday I did mix up some filler with the walnut stain. Both oil base. A lot of sturring needed, but it does come together. Now at least I know how to do that part right.

Freeman


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do next on this Speaker Cabinet?
PostPosted: Oct Sun 14, 2018 9:23 pm 
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It worked. Two afternoons to complete, but done. I decided to go with cellulose thinner first. One slight problem was fingering out what our friend across the pond was talking about. Google said it is lacquer thinner and you have some in the shed, second shelf up.
It was going real slow until I realized if I pickup a little of the old stripper and finish that was stuck on the bottom, it went much faster. My thinking is the thinner softened the filler a little allowing the gunk on the bottom to adhere to it. What ever it was, I’m back to the first two photos above. I’ll start over with some sanding and shellac. This time with the stain and filler I have already mixed. I’ll post some pictures when I finish.

Thanks for the help
Freeman


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do next on this Speaker Cabinet?
PostPosted: Oct Sat 27, 2018 9:34 pm 
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Well it’s taken me a while, but I think almost finished. The stain and filler mix looked good in the cup, but after 24hrs when I sanded it, I got the same white lines again.

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This time I went over the areas with just stain and worked it around to cover the lines and blended it into the good areas. I let everything sit for 2 days and then a coat of shellac. It now has 4 coats of semi gloss lacquer and I’m happy. I’m thinking satin would have been a better choice. I’m going to let it cure for a week or so and then try pumice to knock the sheen down a just little.

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I saw this trick on Youtube. A simple Lazy Susan. A piece of cardboard then the radio on top and I can spin it around as I spray. Goes much faster. $15 at BBB.

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Thank you all for helping me.
Freeman


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do next on this Speaker Cabinet?-- FINISHED--
PostPosted: Oct Sat 27, 2018 10:24 pm 
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Looks good!


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do next on this Speaker Cabinet?-- FINISHED--
PostPosted: Oct Sat 27, 2018 10:28 pm 
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Very nice work, looks great!

Tim


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do next on this Speaker Cabinet?-- FINISHED--
PostPosted: Oct Sat 27, 2018 10:30 pm 
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Very nice, with grain "pop" - just wow!

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"Capacitor Cosmetologist since 1979"
USN Retired 1984-2006 (Avionics/Cal)


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do next on this Speaker Cabinet?-- FINISHED--
PostPosted: Oct Sun 28, 2018 10:07 am 
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Great result, looks really nice. Wouldn't do the pumice myself, looking from here that is. Easier anyway with #0000 WW and Beeswax with the grain of course.

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do next on this Speaker Cabinet?-- FINISHED--
PostPosted: Oct Mon 29, 2018 2:21 pm 
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I didn't think about #0000 to knock the sheen down a little, but what's this beeswax trick? Wouldn't it give the case more of a glossy look?

Not sure I could have pulled this off without the help I received here.
Freeman.


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do next on this Speaker Cabinet?-- FINISHED--
PostPosted: Oct Mon 29, 2018 2:56 pm 
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The beeswax helps to give it a smooth satin finish, not the bright full gloss look I think.

Gary


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