Completed the majority of the woodworking. I have a few worts to fix before finishing.
I promise I'll get back to relevant content in the future. Just on an audio sabbatical.
OK, here's something Audio.
I started re-covering my friends LINN Subwoofer in a cherry veneer. He has two. I am working on matching the orange brown flat lacquer finish on his other LINN speakers. They are cherry too.
Both subs will have the same grain pattern on the same faces as each pieces is a consecutive slices from the same log.
Since the layup is very straightforward and the sub would not fit in my bag, I had the veneer backed with a PSA peel-n-stick adhesive. That stuff is very tough. You had best lay it down right the first time.
That said the process is pretty easy. What you see took yesterday afternoon. Masking, sanding, cut, apply, and trim. Cost for veneer and backing $220. Add stain and finish.
If anyone is interested in more details on how to recover your speakers send me a PM.
I think I'll post in-process photos of the second sub.
You only need a couple tools and steady hands. Bosch trim router ($99) and a flush cut spiral "down cut" router bit ($35). Both on Amazon.
Here's a great tip on staining wood and veneer.
Often species like cherry and maple will blotch the stain, masking the grain with nondescript patches. The cherry veneer I used was very susceptible to blotching.
Charles Neil's "Pre-Color Conditioner" is amazing at controlling this. However, veneers being only 1/32 thick have an additional challenge as to not oversaturate the stain and put the dried conditioner back into solution. If this happens and you are too aggressive wiping or brushing you'll pull the combined mix off the veneer. Not good. The benefits far outweigh the potential problems and if you know this going into a project you'll be fine.
I used General Finishes Water Based Dye/Stain. They are great. You get a much deeper color than oil based stains.
The result was a crystal clear stained grain pattern.
Charles is a Hoot !
I'm working up some design ideas for the equipment rack/shelf/cabinet.
One idea is to combine Marc Spagnolo's stool design into an "open front door" cabinet (image is video capture) perhaps with a mica or Japanese paper backing.
I sand the raw veneer with 320g. Very lightly as the veneer is 1/32" thick.
I applied Charles Neil's Pre-Color Conditioner. Two coats following the directions.
I shot a mixture of General Finishes Water Based Dye, orange and light brown.
Shot the entire sub then lightly wiped down with a cloth rag.
I used General Finishes Enduro water based Sanding Sealer and water based lacquer.
I lightly sand between coats of SS with 320g. I use 600g for the top coats.
If I want a satin or semi-gloss finish I apply two coats of "gloss" first, then finish with satin or semi-gloss.
Wait two weeks then rub it out with 1000-1500g and soapy water.
Below is the second sub waiting for the satin finish.
You want to sand the "core" surface so the glue has more surface area to adhere to. If the existing veneer is loose tack it down with Gorilla Glue. Bondo repairs as needed. I didn't need Bondo and I didn't prime. Sand the existing veneer or paint and clean the dust with air / rag / then lightly with a tack cloth.
Cutting the pieces:
Cut the piece of veneer with an overhang no greater than 1/4". Less is better. This is because a 1/4" flush trim bit will get clogged by the glue if the excess exceeds the bit diameter. I had a 1/4” bit in a Bosch Colt but switched to a 1/2" bit in my Festool 1400 because I had to stop and clean the 1/4” bit often. The trade off is router control. The Colt is nimble. I did have a table widener on my OF 1400 that helped a lot. 1/4” trim bits are more common and cost a little less. Plus they are better for tight corners. I suppose if you let the glue dry before cutting it wouldn't be a problem, but it would take 5 days to complete cutting. Be sure to get a down cut "bearing" bit. Whiteside has great bits at a good price. The spiral bits are nice, however I have an Amana 1/2" down cut non spiral bit that worked nicely and I found it for $20.
Applying the veneer:
You don't get a second chance to position the PSA veneer. It sticks immediately. If you pull it away it will tear / crack the veneer. (Trust me). Index the center of each side of the speaker with a mark. Do the same with the piece of veneer for positioning. I had the speaker up on a bench and applied the veneer to a vertical surface. Same for the top. Turn the speaker on it's side to apply the top.
To apply a panel pull the backing paper down 1" to 2" exposing the glue and lightly crease the paper. Position and set the top edge of the piece. Next reach behind and pull the paper all the way off but hold the piece out by the edges until all the paper is off. Using a stiff plastic scraper with dull corners set the piece top to bottom Down The Center. Scrape from the middle out, center left then center right, until you reach the bottom. This worked very well for me and takes the drama out of setting a piece.
I bought a 25 piece box of Mirka “MirlonTotal” sanding pads. I thought they were pricey at $24. However they are larger than the 3M foam pads and those cost a lot more. 3M has a lesser grade for a buck a pad. That said…. These pads are amazing. One pad lasted for 5 between coat sandings of one speaker…… and it’s still going strong. I doesn’t clog either. They are a totally redesigned Brillo type pad.
I did NOT sand the raw veneer. Don't know what I was thinking when I posted. The Charles Neil Pre-Color Conditioner is magic, especially with water based dyes. Works with oils as well. I tried a 1 1/2 lb cut of shellac. It didn't come close to producing the color and consistency.
As Always: There are numerous spelling and grammatical error in this post. Sorry about dat.
I hope Ya'll find these posts interesting / helpful. I see that the read count keeps going up.....so I guess it's so.
Audio wise I just don't have much to add. I love my DG 300B, my Gungnir, and I love my LCD2's.
This will be static for a long time. I don't have a burning desire to build other components.
As such the thread will stay quirky.
Thanks for reading.