View Full Version : Finish Care for 1950's JBL Cabinets

12-07-2008, 06:05 PM
On Friday I hauled home a two top loader Hartsfields -- one 1957 and one 1954 or so.:bouncy: They were in the same home since new but over time accumulated a fair amount of grime in the finish. They're both Mahogany with what looks like a shellac or lacquer finish. I'd like to clean these up and take care of the finish and have a couple of questions. What kind of finish is it (shellac, varnish, etc?) What's the best way to clean the finish on these? Once it's cleaned up, what's the best way to preserve it -- wax? Thanks! With the top removed, here's what the later one looked like before I cleaned it up under the hood. The second picture shows the finish on the speakers.

12-07-2008, 06:11 PM
What do you mean by take care of the finish? Do you mean refinishing or are you wanting to clean these up? You could have an experienced finisher use a French Polish method.

12-07-2008, 07:00 PM
I mean clean the existing finish as much as possible and then maybe wax it for protection and to get a bit of gloss. Somewhere down the line, I might take them to a refinisher and have some veneer chips replaced and have the cabinet totally refinished. But right now I'm just looking at cleaning and maximizing the originally.

12-07-2008, 11:52 PM
flaxseed oil looks greatand offers some protetion. it's the only oil that i know of that hardens out a bit.

just rub it on the cabinet with your hands (your body temp will warm the oil) and than leave it for a couple of minutes en and rub it out with a dust free cloth witch doesn't leave anything behind.

do this a few times a year and they will continue to look great

12-08-2008, 12:09 PM
Until your ready just use furniture wax.
The varnish will have to removed, then wood repaired and re varnished. John

12-08-2008, 12:32 PM
Just use a good grade furniture paste wax.

And please don"t refinish them.:banghead:

That patina is almost impossible to duplicate so please leave them original.


Sell them to me first.:D Before refinishing.


12-08-2008, 09:15 PM
Thanks everyone! I'll give it shot and will definitely stay away from refinishing for now. My hunch is they'd probably retain more value with the original finish even with the flaws. The only reason I was thinking about refinishing is that of all the old speakers I've dragged home, these are the first that my wife looked at and volunteered to let me bring in the house. :) (I usually sneak them into the basement under the cover of night).