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View Full Version : Choosing the right walnut veneer and finish method.



Goldjazz
02-25-2019, 02:36 AM
So I need to re-veneer a pair of 4350's. I've sourced some American Walnut. Luckily I have a pair of 4343's in factory walnut to compare with to get the finish right.

However the veneer I've sourced when compared to my original 4343 veneer is more grey/brown while the 4343's are redder, see attached pic.

I've read that walnut used in the 70's may have been more red because it was air dried instead of kiln dried (as it tends to be today). I've also read that Walnut will get lighter and redder with age. I've also read that you can add a bit of dye or stain to make the walnut more red. I asked this question on a woodworking forum and they warned me off the dye/stain idea and they think it'll just lighten up take on a more honey colour as per the 4343s.

So at this stage I'm inclined to not stain and just finish as per the JBL spec i.e. 3 parts boiled linseed oil, 1 part pure gum turpentine.

http://www.lansingheritage.org/images/jbl/reference/general/finish/page02.jpg

Just checking if anyone has crossed this bridge before and has had success.

DES-1
02-25-2019, 05:02 AM
This thread may help: http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?16200-JBL-cabinet-staining-finishing-veneer&highlight=Watco+Danish+Oil

My cabinet guy used the Watco natural and the results are what I was after: http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?40825-4345-Hybrid-Build&highlight=

SEAWOLF97
02-25-2019, 08:13 AM
when I've had this problem, just turn the cabs upside down so to experiment on the unseen bottoms and try different stains.

Be sure to label the samples.

(I always seemed to end up using "Mandarin Teak" tung seal on walnut , kind of a slightly reddish overcast)

except on my teak 250Ti's. Used an Aussie product "Organ Oil" ...beeswax with a citrus cleaner, lay it on, buff in with 000 steel wool, buff out with rag. Removed years of dirt, brightened them up and now they kinda glow. ;)

brutal
02-25-2019, 04:33 PM
This thread may help: http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?16200-JBL-cabinet-staining-finishing-veneer&highlight=Watco+Danish+Oil

My cabinet guy used the Watco natural and the results are what I was after: http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?40825-4345-Hybrid-Build&highlight=

Just be aware that Watco has polymer resins in it that harden in the wood fibers.

I've used it to refinish rough cabs after a light sanding, not sure I would use it on virgin wood. Definitely keep it away from any 250Ti's!

DES-1
02-25-2019, 06:18 PM
Just be aware that Watco has polymer resins in it that harden in the wood fibers.

I've used it to refinish rough cabs after a light sanding, not sure I would use it on virgin wood. Definitely keep it away from any 250Ti's!

That's hardly a bad thing. To the contrary, it might extend the life of the veneer on some of the ancient JBL's that had marginal quality to begin with.

Pellets
02-27-2019, 07:59 AM
Goldjazz - is the walnut you've purchased American Walnut or American Black Walnut? I had the same experience when I bought some walnut veneered plywood which turned out to be European. More grey and plain in appearance than the American Black veneer.
There are some oil based stains available but its difficult to make a dark wood lighter if at all possible. A year ago I planned to do some re-veneering on my Olympuses and was advised by an American woodworking expert to purchase American Black walnut veneer from a company in the US. Take a look at their homepage on the below address to see if the veneer they sell resembles your 4343 boxes.

http://www.veneer-factory-outlet.com (http://www.veneer-factory-outlet.com/)

Best regards/Pellets

Drugolf
02-28-2019, 06:42 AM
With something this valuable and if going to the trouble of re-veneering I personally would stain and lacquer them.
You can do some sample stain applications on your leftover veneer pieces. Find a better than average paint and finish store in you area and they will help with that.
As far as lacquer, I'm not talking rattle can applications but a legit booth spray finish. you may have a local furniture refinish shop nearby that if all the prep is done etc, they may not charge much to apply the lacquer, and you can choose the tint. If after you do the veneering you are struggling getting them the more red color, dyes are probably your best bet and those shops can dial in that very well.

And most of the issue these days with trying to find veneer that matches our old speakers is the wood is coming from completely different forests that are different in age etc. Plus the variety differences on top of it all. Almost gotta ignore what was and just pick something anew based on it's own merits.

SEAWOLF97
02-28-2019, 08:22 AM
That's hardly a bad thing. To the contrary, it might extend the life of the veneer on some of the ancient JBL's that had marginal quality to begin with.


Have to question that statement.

owned ancient JBL's from the 60's, 70's, 80''s , 90's and have NEVER seen a single one* "that had marginal quality to begin with" . The entire L series and Ti series had VERY nice veneer "to begin with" . In the seventies, almost all manufactures used veneer that I wish was still in use now

*exceptions : 4410, L80T - spaghetti wood, L7 ugly black (but good veneer under the bad color choice)

DES-1
03-01-2019, 05:33 AM
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Have to question that statement.

owned ancient JBL's from the 60's, 70's, 80''s , 90's and have NEVER seen a single one* "that had marginal quality to begin with" . The entire L series and Ti series had VERY nice veneer "to begin with" . In the seventies, almost all manufactures used veneer that I wish was still in use now

*exceptions : 4410, L80T - spaghetti wood, L7 ugly black (but good veneer under the bad color choice)

Well, you've seen tons more of them than me so I'll retract "marginal". Speakers do live a harder life than decent furniture so maybe that solely accounts for present day condition/deterioration. Was trying to make the point that any way you can keep these old beasts looking good and functional isn't bad. Obviously if you worship your JBL's you might disagree on methods and finishes.

SEAWOLF97
03-01-2019, 08:39 AM
Well, you've seen tons more of them than me so I'll retract "marginal". Speakers do live a harder life than decent furniture so maybe that solely accounts for present day condition/deterioration.

In my case: Our furniture gets used, bumped into by the vacuum (luckily it's solid teak and pretty hard) , but SHE knows enough to respect MY speakers. They don't ever move and are in the same condition as when they were installed.

I've also included her when going to purchase furniture or speakers and she's well aware that the speakers were more expensive (by a little) than the handmade Asian teak/marble/mother of pearl set. Having her there on the buying experience makes her an accomplice and now has emotionally invested in the purchases too. ;)

brutal
03-02-2019, 12:01 AM
In my case: Our furniture gets used, bumped into by the vacuum (luckily it's solid teak and pretty hard) , but SHE knows enough to respect MY speakers. They don't ever move and are in the same condition as when they were installed.

I've also included her when going to purchase furniture or speakers and she's well aware that the speakers were more expensive (by a little) than the handmade Asian teak/marble/mother of pearl set. Having her there on the buying experience makes her an accomplice and now has emotionally invested in the purchases too. ;)

You brought a Roomba furniture shopping?




:D