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Thread: How To Questions About Oiled Walnut Finish

  1. #1
    Senior Member gsb001's Avatar
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    How To Questions About Oiled Walnut Finish

    I just sanded the black studio finish off a pair of 4312A’s and they are down to the walnut veneer. Now I want to oil them.

    I searched the forum threads and could not find a posting on how to do this. If anyone has link, please send to me.

    I found and read the JBL “Maintaining JBL Furniture Finishes” pamphlet.
    http://www.lansingheritage.org/html/jbl/reference/general/finish.htm

    It has recipe of three parts boiled linseed oil and one part pure gum turpentine. Is this still the right and preferred way to apply the oiled finish?

    I want to have the walnut finish. Where does the color pigmentation come from? Are there color choices of linseed oil or gum turpentine?

    One more question please. I have a few spots where the veneer was sanded thru / off and the density board is showing. Is there a way to prep the board with primer before oiling to better blend with the veneer? I’m assuming if no prep is done – the board will show much darker.

    Thanks
    Steve

  2. #2
    Senior Member Baron030's Avatar
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    Hi Steve

    An oiled walnut finish does not have any pigments at all.
    It’s just the natural color of the walnut wood showing through it.
    Since, you have sanded through the veneer and exposed the interior wood.
    Your only option may now be to re-veneer the enclosures, for them to really look right.
    There are threads on this site explaining the procedures required to re-veneer an enclosure and some internet sources for the veneer.
    And I do know of one local source for veneer right here in the western suburbs of Chicago and that is Owl Hardwoods. www.owlhardwood.com.

    Baron030

  3. #3
    Senior Member Fred Sanford's Avatar
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    I've just re-oiled all 14 of my black walnut JBL cabs with the recipe from the pamphlet, and they look great. Works for me.

    je

  4. #4
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Basically, you are saying you had speakers that someone painted black over the original wood finish, and now you've removed the black paint and its a nicely grained surface. http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/s...ad.php?t=21877
    I'm assuming the cabinet is a kind of particle board with veneer over it. If you had sanded through the veneer you wouldn't have grain in that spot.

    If its just exposed grain, you just want to oil that, (like Fred said) and over time, the oiled wood develops a patina ... My old L36s were like that - over 30 years a nice tone developed.

    But no Pledge, and no polycoat!!

    Quote Originally Posted by gsb001 View Post
    I just sanded the black studio finish off a pair of 4312A’s and they are down to the walnut veneer. Now I want to oil them.

    I searched the forum threads and could not find a posting on how to do this. If anyone has link, please send to me.

    I found and read the JBL “Maintaining JBL Furniture Finishes” pamphlet.
    http://www.lansingheritage.org/html/jbl/reference/general/finish.htm

    It has recipe of three parts boiled linseed oil and one part pure gum turpentine. Is this still the right and preferred way to apply the oiled finish?

    I want to have the walnut finish. Where does the color pigmentation come from? Are there color choices of linseed oil or gum turpentine?

    One more question please. I have a few spots where the veneer was sanded thru / off and the density board is showing. Is there a way to prep the board with primer before oiling to better blend with the veneer? I’m assuming if no prep is done – the board will show much darker.

    Thanks
    Steve
    2ch: Oppo, JoLida 502CRC, JBL L212, 18ti,240ti; Heath AS101, Von Schweikert VR4
    7.1: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460

  5. #5
    Senior Member sonofagun's Avatar
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    The boiled linseed/turpentine mix is an old recipe - there are many newer commercial oils available under various names: swedish oil, danish oil, watco (brand) and TUNG OIL (the best). These are applied and wiped off same as JBL pamphlet.

    Easiest finish I ever used for walnut (should work on other similiar woods as well) was a coat or two of oil, let soak in, wipe dry/let dry 24 hours at least, then coat with a clear poly finish. When poly's dry use some very fine steel wool dipped in the oil and rub surface to a semi-gloss finish.

    Lemon oil is good for maintaining natural oil finishes.

    When in doubt, always test finishes on sample wood pieces first.

  6. #6
    Senior Member gsb001's Avatar
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    With Picture

    Thanks for the notes guy's. Added picture.

    I'm not going to redo the cabs with new veneer. Area's that rubbed thru will have to do. I was wondering if there was something to prime area to help blend.

    To help fund my next speaker upgrade, I’m fixing and flipping three pair. All are in the same condition. All from a closed restaurant.

    As new they were studio black. Then they were sprayed with a gray / black paint.

    Man was I happy to see the wood. Beautiful finish on these older JBL's.
    Steve
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    Member KCCT82's Avatar
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    Hello gsb001,

    I'm an oil painter so I deal with linseed oil and turpentine everyday. I wouldn't use the old recipe because lead is added to boiled oil to make it dry quicker. Just get the stuff listed above, I used Watco Natural Danish Oil a couple of weeks ago for the first time and it was great.

    One coat was all I put on
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    Keith

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Those Westlake clones are looking very nice!

    I think you will find that in a few months they will need an additional coat, then maybe one more in a few years... but that usually does it.


    Widget

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    Senior Member sonofagun's Avatar
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    For everyone's information: How did you apply the oil finish (cloth or brush) and what did you do afterwards?

  10. #10
    Member KCCT82's Avatar
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    Thanks Widget

    Sonofagun- I basically followed the directions on the can. I applied a thick coat with a bristle brush and just kept applying to places where the oil has sunken in. Apply more after 30min and wait an additional 15min. Wipe everything off with paper towel and check on the piece every 45min or so to wipe off oil that seeps back out of the wood. When oil stops seeping out (took over 24 hours for me) you're done. More oil will seep out when the tempurature is raising so start around 10am and you'll have less to do as the temp drops in the afternoon. I did nothing else after but Mr. Widget said above that you'll need an additonal coat after a few months. For now (10 days), it still looks the way it does in the photo.
    Keith

  11. #11
    Senior Member gsb001's Avatar
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    I oiled them last night. I’ll post after pictures Sun. Going to do a photo shoot – as I need pictures to sell these.

    I used the old fashioned JBL formula. Man, they look great. I just love the look of the dry walnut finish.

    I have two more pairs left to redo. Maybe I’ll try the other oil suggestions.
    Steve

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by KCCT82 View Post
    Hello gsb001,

    I'm an oil painter so I deal with linseed oil and turpentine everyday. I wouldn't use the old recipe because lead is added to boiled oil to make it dry quicker. Just get the stuff listed above, I used Watco Natural Danish Oil a couple of weeks ago for the first time and it was great.

    One coat was all I put on
    Will this work with veneer as well as the solid wood, like on the L-300's?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Doc Mark's Avatar
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    Hey, KCCT82,

    Thanks, very much, for your thoughts on the Watco stuff. One question, please? I saw some stuff at Home Depot today, that was offered by Watco. It was called, "The Original Danish Oil Finish", and it was in medium walnut. Is this the stuff you used, or is there another Watco Danish Oil product out there, of which I should be aware? I have a couple of old JBL cabinets that need lots of help, and thought I'd use a few different products, and see which one I like the best. Then, that product will be used on my "new" L300's! Thanks, very much, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc

    P.S. This Watco product contains varnish, as well as finishing oil. On the back of the can, Watco had this to say: "Watco Danish Oil Finish is a unique blend of penetrating oil & varnish that stains, seals, and protects in one easy step". Is the varnish going to be a problem with the L300's veneers? Is it better to use and "natural" Watco Danish Oil Finish, instead of the medium walnut stuff? Thanks, again!
    Last edited by Doc Mark; 09-09-2008 at 03:53 PM. Reason: forgot something......
    The only thing that can never be taken away from you, is your honor. Cherish it, in yourself, and in others.

  14. #14
    Senior Member gsb001's Avatar
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    good questions doc.

    Thanks KCCT82 for the info. Helpful for me.
    Steve

  15. #15
    Member KCCT82's Avatar
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    Will this work with veneer as well as the solid wood, like on the L-300's?
    Triumph Don- It should work on veneers, the oil doesn't "penetrate" all that deep. I'd say follow instructions and you're done. With the solid wood stuff it keeps sinking in slowly, that's why Mr. Widget suggested another coat later on.

    Doc Mark- Thanks for the PM, I did miss this thread . I've included a picture of the stuff I used. The difference between "medium walnut" and "natural" is only the color. On my horns the wood was quite dark already and I was able to get a nice color with "natural" (no stain mixed in, just yellowish from the oil). The "medium walnut" you saw would work the same way + some tinting strength. It's like staining and varnishing in 1 simple step rather than staining to desire color then varnishing it. Here's a link, I think you'll know what I'm talking about. http://www.rustoleum.com/product.asp...t_id=112&SBL=1
    So it all depends on what color you want on your L300's. I don't have experience with the "colored" oil so I don't know which one will produce a close match to JBL's walnut cabinets.

    gsb001- Glad I can be of help, I don't get a lot of chances with all the experts around here
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    Keith

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