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View Full Version : L100s just like new, well almost



Wilsonj
03-20-2005, 05:37 AM
I just finished the restoration of a set of JBL L100s that I bought in 1978. They have survived 15 moves and 3 wives. So I thought it only fitting to clean them up a bit. Iím sorry I donít have any before pics. I was pretty far into this project when I stumbled across this group. You guys have been a great help. Thanks a lot. The cabinets were not in too bad of shape. I did the usual abrading and steaming of dents. The veneer is pretty thick and I was able to remove all surface defects. I did have to replace one side of a walnut grille frame that was partly missing. I then masked off the cabinets and foilcals and painted the fronts and backs with flat black topped of with a clear coat of semi-gloss.

Wilsonj
03-20-2005, 05:41 AM
The sanded veneer was given a wash coat of thinned 50/50 polyurethane and mineral spirits. That old veneer sure is pretty.

Wilsonj
03-20-2005, 05:44 AM
For a top coat I used a mixture of tong oil and polyurethane burnished in with 320 grit paper. This gave the veneer that original JBL oil finish look.

Wilsonj
03-20-2005, 05:47 AM
I just could not put in the woofers with the yellowed aquaplase after seeing what Steve Gonzales did. I followed Steveís directions and they came out like new.

Wilsonj
03-20-2005, 05:52 AM
When I tried to clean the old foam rings off the LE25s I managed to break the leads to the tweeters. These had to be sent out to be fixed and when they came back they had new foam.http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/images/smilies/smile.gif

Wilsonj
03-20-2005, 05:55 AM
Here they are all put back together and finished.

Wilsonj
03-20-2005, 05:58 AM
Now if they only had Quadrex Grilles. Hint Sonofagun.

Wilsonj
03-20-2005, 06:01 AM
Grille cloth will have to do for now. Thanks again for all the help I got from reading countless threads. By the way they seem to sound better now that they look better.

Earl K
03-20-2005, 06:38 AM
Wow, Gorgeous ! :applaud:

Robh3606
03-20-2005, 06:52 AM
Those look better than new:bouncy:


Rob:applaud:

hwirt
03-20-2005, 07:04 AM
Brings back memories of my old L100's. Looks good as new.

57BELAIRE
03-20-2005, 08:19 AM
OUTSTANDING!!!!!

I can't think of a better way to apply one's talents than the preservation of our beloved vintage JBL's.

I'm particularly interested in your steaming method to remove dents.

I have a pair of L300's that were strapped to a pallet during a relocation and one small area on the rounded top next to the glass was indented. I was told that if you put a damp washcloth on the area and pressed down with a steam iron the dent would swell and smooth out. I didn't want to try it until I knew for a fact that was how it was done.

One look at your gorgeous L100's tells me you know what you're doing...any suggestions would be much appreciated. :applaud:

rbh

Wilsonj
03-20-2005, 09:44 AM
OUTSTANDING!!!!!


I'm particularly interested in your steaming method to remove dents.

I was told that if you put a damp washcloth on the area and pressed down with a steam iron the dent would swell and smooth out.
rbh

You got it. Make sure the washcloth is clean, use distilled water and don't expect it to swell out all at once. Depending on the dent you may have to work at it. Remember to keep the cloth rather wet. Don't let it dry out. You can also pre-wet the area to get things started.

Good luck

Alexander
03-20-2005, 09:47 AM
Jim,

Beautiful work! Your craftsmanship really shows with this outstanding restoration of a beloved classic...Andrew

pmakres1
03-20-2005, 10:10 AM
Jim,
Very nice indeed!! :applaud: This brings back very fond memories for me too. I sold my L100's in 1982 so I could buy my L220's. Although it was necessary at the time, I still miss them anyway! Another thing I noticed, you have those stands just like I had with my L100's. The only difference is, mine had JBL logos on the front of the stands. Otherwise, identical. Your L100's also look to be of the same approximate era as mine, from looking at the driver arrangement and network control plate on the front. I'm still trying to find another pair of those stands, I have a pair of 4313B's in my Florida room system that need stands. I should have held onto those stands at least! I'm not sure but the L100 was perhaps a better system than the 4313B...they only have a 10" woofer so I'm using them with a PB12 sub with pretty decent results.
My pair of 4313B's were pretty gouged up when I got them and I too had very good luck restoring the cabinets-like yours, the veneer was pretty thick so they were pretty workable. Aside from some very minor corner dents you'd never know the cabinets were once in rough shape. I used similar tecniques as you did, with steaming out the gouges, etc.

Very nice work Jim...I could look at these all day! :applaud:

Best regards,

Peter Makres

Wilsonj
03-20-2005, 10:33 AM
Another thing I noticed, you have those stands just like I had with my L100's. The only difference is, mine had JBL logos on the front of the stands. Otherwise, identical. Your L100's also look to be of the same approximate era as mine, from looking at the driver arrangement and network control plate on the front. I'm still trying to find another pair of those stands,


Peter thanks for the kind words. The stands donít have the JBL logo because I made (copied) these. I do believe I saw a set of plans somewhere on this site. I made mine from just looking at a picture of them. I also added felt dots on top and bumpers or spikes on the bottom. My set are L100A late. They have the 123A-3 woofer.

pmakres1
03-20-2005, 10:41 AM
Jim,
Thanks for the tip! It crossed my mind by the missing logo that perhaps you made (copied them)...but they looked so good I thought they had to be the originals (maybe the logo was worn so it was sanded off?)...once again an excellent job! I remember that pamphlet too that you show...If you can think of where you saw the plans let me know...but I'll take a look around for it. I see you have spikes in your stands too...and the felt pads a good idea too!
Great job!! :applaud:

Best regards,

Peter

pmakres1
03-20-2005, 10:42 AM
Jim,
Yes I believe mine were the L100A's as well...

Peter

pmakres1
03-20-2005, 10:51 AM
Jim,
I found the plans for the stands! Posted by Donald right??

Thanks again for the tip...this forum is great!!

Peter

Steve Gonzales
04-29-2005, 10:29 PM
Superb! A belated congrats for a job WELL DONE!!! :applaud: I totally missed this post back in MARCH.

LE15-Thumper
04-29-2005, 11:01 PM
The sanded veneer was given a wash coat of thinned 50/50 polyurethane and mineral spirits. That old veneer sure is pretty.

What is the exact purpose of this step ?

Mr. Widget
04-30-2005, 12:41 AM
They have survived 15 moves and 3 wives.

Well after a bit of minor surgery your speakers look great... how are you holding up?


Widget

John
04-30-2005, 09:59 AM
By the way they seem to sound better now that they look better.[/QUOTE]

Just like after you detail your ride, it seems to run better even thou you did not touch the drivetrain!!!!:bouncy:

dblaxter
04-30-2005, 10:32 AM
what a superb job on the L100's ,now can you tell us how to get to that nice shop to maybe use some of that fine equipment :applaud: :applaud: :D ,

Wilsonj
04-30-2005, 03:07 PM
What is the exact purpose of this step ?

First off there are many ways to finish or refinish wood. Some to me seem to work better than others. This is just my opinion and someone else may have their opinion. Who is to say what is correct or the best way to do it.

After sanding and steaming out all dents I like to seal the wood, both the veneer and any areas that may no longer have veneer. Like corners, edges, etc. Thinning the polyurethane with mineral spirits will penetrate and seal the wood fibers with very little surface buildup. This will let me touch up those areas with out veneer say with a brown marker with out the adjacent veneer soaking up the pigment from the marker. A light sanding say with #280 or #320 abrasive paper and your ready for your top coats. I like to use a mixture of tong oil and polyurethane burnished (sanded) in with 320 grit paper. Oil alone will sink into the wood and after a while will leave the wood with a dry look. Polyurethane alone will have surface build up to some degree. Later if dented it may even separate (peal) from the wood surface.

Again this is just what works for me and I recognize there are many other ways that will also give good results.

Wilsonj
04-30-2005, 03:13 PM
Well after a bit of minor surgery your speakers look great... how are you holding up?


Widget

They say third times a charm. She realizes that she's not the only love of my life. I also love JBL.:)

Steve Gonzales
04-30-2005, 03:18 PM
I do some resto work too and I always enjoy seeing the different methods and techniques. What matters to me is the end result, however you reach it, right?. FANTASTIC RESTORATION WORK, WELL DONE! :applaud:

BTW: Do you notice any ill effects from the whitening? woofer control? weak bass now? ANY sonic effects?

Wilsonj
04-30-2005, 03:56 PM
BTW: Do you notice any ill effects from the whitening? woofer control? weak bass now? ANY sonic effects?

They where down for awhile so I was not able to give a direct comparison. I must say after refinishing I did not notice any lack of bass or any difference at all.

I have also listened to a patched woofer and was not able to tell the difference from the one that was not patched. The patch Iím sure changed the mass more than the primer did.

Donald
04-30-2005, 08:02 PM
Jim,

You cheat. You appear to have a full, working shop. :-)

pmakres1
04-30-2005, 08:21 PM
Jim,

You cheat. You appear to have a full, working shop. :-)

yeah, no fair!! :D

DMMD
04-30-2005, 09:39 PM
Cheat?

Hmm... sort of like all those out there who stumble across pairs of control monitors for $100. Lucky bastards come in all shapes and sizes.

If you got the tools... use 'em right? They just make the talent already apparent go farther.

NICE WORK! :applaud:

RickL166
05-02-2005, 02:32 AM
WOW!!!Wilson, that is outstanding work!!!! :applaud:

JBLnsince1959
05-02-2005, 04:02 PM
:thmbsup:

very, very nice job. I'm jealous...great shop, talent, and know how...

job well done. :applaud:

lgvenable
05-02-2005, 04:45 PM
I'm in the process of refurbing my l-100's which have small marks as well.
One potential way to add water and swell the wood is to use meoh (methanol) with about 50% water added. I'll be trying this on a small piece of walnut veneer (not my L-100's or my 4312's) first.

I've been in product development in a paper mill for years, and this is the method we use to swell our paper calender rolls. It should not affect the adhesives <like acetone or some other active solvent might> (ie mek etc). The methanol is a non solvent for the adhesives on the veneer back, as is the water
.
Just an FYI, I'll have tested and proven the method shortly.

The only real problem you would have was if the wood was stained, as the solvent would tend to chromatograph the wood stain to the peripheral edges of the application spot. Seeing as how these are unstained veneers, that should not present a problem. Methanol is also ideal as it has a very high evaporation rate.

pure methanol should be available at your local Walgreen's.:D

Wilsonj
05-02-2005, 04:58 PM
No fair, you have a full working shop. You cheat.



Yes I do work in a full working shop. And I will take these comments as compliments. But to set the record straight a shop has very little to do with refinishing cabinets regardless as to how well it is equipped. If youír making cabinets from scratch a full working shop would indeed be a benefit. But to refinish cabinets all you need is a bench and some common items that you can pick up at Home Depot. The photo below shows my arsenal of tools and supplies to refinish cabinets. The rest is elbow grease and patience.

lgvenable
05-02-2005, 05:04 PM
what thread sis you find the L100 stand plans in. I'd like to build a couple of sets..

Wilsonj
05-02-2005, 05:04 PM
I'm in the process of refurbing my l-100's which have small marks as well.
One potential way to add water and swell the wood is to use meoh (methanol) with about 50% water added. I'll be trying this on a small piece of walnut veneer (not my L-100's or my 4312's) first.



Please let us know your results. Steaming out the dents and scratches can take up alot of time. a faster/better way would be great.

Wilsonj
05-02-2005, 05:38 PM
what thread sis you find the L100 stand plans in. I'd like to build a couple of sets..

Do a search, the post was from Donald

Mr. Widget
05-02-2005, 06:10 PM
That looks suspiciously like a school shop...:)

Nice 88's! I love the the way those look, well worth the effort!

Widget

Mr. Widget
05-02-2005, 06:15 PM
pure methanol should be available at your local Walgreen's.:D

Are you sure you mean pure methanol?

Methanol is quite toxic... even the fumes. Typically people use denatured alcohol which is ethanol with just a bit of methanol in it to make it poisonous and therefore not drinkable. Even denatured alcohol's fumes are bad for you due to it's methanol content... I would avoid pure methanol.

Widget

B&KMan
05-02-2005, 06:23 PM
BRAVO !!!

BRAVO!!!

Really high level artist cabinet maker...

In french the spťcial word for this great "ťbiniterie"

really better level to factory.

:applaud: :applaud: :applaud:

briang
05-02-2005, 06:39 PM
Are you sure you mean pure methanol?

Methanol is quite toxic... even the fumes. Typically people use denatured alcohol which is ethanol with just a bit of methanol in it to make it poisonous and therefore not drinkable. Even denatured alcohol's fumes are bad for you due to it's methanol content... I would avoid pure methanol.

Widget

I'll add that one catastophic hazard of Methanol (MeOH), is that it burns flameless! That's right, you can not see the flame of burning methanol. Not to mention drinking large concentrations of MeOH can blind a person permanently.

This is not to say one should not use MeOH as a solvent, just be very cautious with its use around any potential igntion source and be sure when using MeOH, you do so in a well ventilated area (like you would any solvent).

Whopee! I used my degree today.:bouncy:

Wilsonj
05-02-2005, 06:50 PM
That looks suspiciously like a school shop...http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/images/smilies/smile.gif

Nice 88's! I love the the way those look, well worth the effort!

Widget



Yes itís true I have helped a few young men and woman to appreciate the qualities of fine woodworking.
The Novaís are another post soon to follow.

Steve Gonzales
05-02-2005, 06:58 PM
Don't forget about us old farts! :D

Mojo
05-05-2005, 04:11 PM
Truly amazing work! :applaud: How many hours would you say you had invested in this?

Wilsonj
05-05-2005, 04:40 PM
Truly amazing work! http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/images/smilies/applaud.gif How many hours would you say you had invested in this?

I don't think anybody wants to start counting hours unless it's a business. You work on it, you take a break, you work some more, things have to dry, you take a break, you do something over, etc. etc. At some point in time you run out of things to do and you're done. Well maybe for awhile.

johnaec
05-05-2005, 05:34 PM
Hey WilsonJ - are you connected with Jorma's Fur Peace Ranch, (in avatar)? I once did FOH at a gig of his many years ago. He and Jack Cassidy are doing a Hot Tuna gig out here in a couple weeks. Incredible Guitar!

John

Wilsonj
05-05-2005, 06:23 PM
Hey WilsonJ - are you connected with Jorma's Fur Peace Ranch, (in avatar)? I once did FOH at a gig of his many years ago. He and Jack Cassidy are doing a Hot Tuna gig out here in a couple weeks. Incredible Guitar!

John

No connection other than I really like to crank up the JBL's to Jorma and Jack / Hot Tuna.

lgvenable
05-06-2005, 09:26 PM
I'll add that one catastophic hazard of Methanol (MeOH), is that it burns flameless! That's right, you can not see the flame of burning methanol. Not to mention drinking large concentrations of MeOH can blind a person permanently.
:bouncy:

As a child , I remember some drunks drinking wood alcohol (meoh) and ending up blind or dead. that said:

To All:

In a properly ventilated area, with latex gloves, its soooo easy to swell the veneer. I assumed everyone would have the proper respect for solvents and treat them accordingly.

However on the tech side, while yes you have to be careful, I used methanol-water (about 10% water/90% meoh) and light swipes to swell the wood grain prior to sanding this week.

It worked so well I lightly swelled all sides, then sanded with various grades of wet/dry sandpaper. It made for a set of beautiful enclosures. It really brought out the burling in my speaker enclosures. If its not your gig, so be it; but I've been a polymer chemist for 27 years; and it worked for me. I have no fear of solvents; as I use them all the time in a GMP environment. You just have to avoid dangerous vapor concentrations/conditions.

In a previous life I had used tung oil on my L100's. Here I've had to use "lab blend", which contains a lot of acetone. I can post the mix later. It too with slight added amounts of water can swell the wood easily . However, a "neat" (undiluted) application easily stripped the tung oil and all surface finishes--waxes etc, with a little elbow grease. It quickly dries without damaging the veneer adhesion; literally in a matter of seconds. Prior to solvent re-application, I waited 30 to 45 minutes to avoid any chance of delamination. Here I used gloves specifically recommended for acetone, and did the work in my ventilated garage door up, side door open. The acetone-lab blend when applied removed ~90% of the water stain I had on the top of 1 enclosure, light sanding got the rest. Perfect job on my wife's 20 year old water stain!!

While some (on the forum) might recommend against it; it worked beautifully for me. A caveat..my L-100s were in immaculate condition except for minor scratches. They have no veneer damage or lifting after ~32 years. After treatment I sanded with 220/320/ 400/600/0000 steel wool. The L-100s were then smooth and ready for Watco.

On the top edges and side edges, I clamped 2" ash stringers (after felt lining the wood surface that went against the box (3M 77). The felt lined surfaces went against the box, and lined up with the top edges. In that way, the sanding block did not creep over the edge and sand (ie round over) the veneer edges.

Worked for me; just remember If you're a smoker..not while you've got the solvents out.

In writing this post, prior to knocking it; remember the paint removers you've used in the past. Far more nasty; as this doesn't require methylene chloride like they use.:D

BTW, the amount of time per speaker enclosure from swell to sand 220/320/400/600/ 0000 steel wool? <2.5 hours per enclosure to completely scratch free; ready-to-stain. The Watco oil finish will take much longer to get an even, fully saturated application. Great results seen on an enclosure in one evening!

Good luck

Wilsonj
05-07-2005, 10:22 AM
While some (on the forum) might recommend against it; it worked beautifully for me. A caveat..my L-100s were in immaculate condition except for minor scratches. They have no veneer damage or lifting after ~32 years.

How do you think This would work on large dents and major scratches?

lgvenable
05-10-2005, 07:15 PM
Should work very well, and much quicker than steaming it for sure, The reason it works better is MEOH, which lowers the surface tension of the wood surface, allowing the mixture to wet the wood quicker. The natural resins in the walnut veneer act as sizing agents, preventing water from rapidly wetting the wood cellular structure. You can use larger amounts of water to increase the swelling speed, and perhaps even the iron method (if needed) to help accelerate the swelling. It did'nt have any ill effects on my L-100's.
I could test it on a piece of walnut stock. Check back early next week, and I'll post the results ( too much work this week, plus a college grad to attend this wkend),
larry

shakes
05-15-2005, 08:05 PM
I think you missed a spot...:D Too nice, there has to be a spot somewhere:banghead: . Oh well, great job...nice pics too.:applaud:

Steelyfan
06-05-2005, 02:43 PM
In a previous life I had used tung oil on my L100's. Here I've had to use "lab blend", which contains a lot of acetone. I can post the mix later. It too with slight added amounts of water can swell the wood easily . However, a "neat" (undiluted) application easily stripped the tung oil and all surface finishes--waxes etc, with a little elbow grease. It quickly dries without damaging the veneer adhesion; literally in a matter of seconds. Prior to solvent re-application, I waited 30 to 45 minutes to avoid any chance of delamination. Here I used gloves specifically recommended for acetone, and did the work in my ventilated garage door up, side door open. The acetone-lab blend when applied removed ~90% of the water stain I had on the top of 1 enclosure, light sanding got the rest. Hello Lgvenable, can you share with us the recipe of your
Acetone mix ? Im I right when concluding that "elbow grease" is in fact slang for
manual work?