Speaker Refinishing Project

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Feb 6, 2010
Central Texas
I've got a thread going on in the photos section called Shellac Finish on Cherry Veneer. I put it there due to all the photos and it's more about wood finishing than loudspeakers. Still, if you like to build your own like I do, then finishing the cabinet is part of the work.

I'm refinishing a loudspeaker I built many years ago. At the time I didn't know how to do a film finish, much less flatten one and polish it to a soft, satin glow.

Shellac comes in very handy for us. For example, sticking down a crossover using double-sided or foam tape. This doesn't work too well on raw wood due to the dust and porous surface. However, spray or brush some shellac on, wait 30 min or so and your good to go!

Though some will use silicone or construction adhesive to permanently glue down a crossover board, if you ever want to get the crossover out for any reason, it'll be a real bear and you might even break the board trying to pry it out.

Shellac is also good to use to seal the porous surface where the driver edge sits in a countersink. A couple of coats here will seal it, it'll dry very fast and your foam tape will make a much better seal.

It's also great for sealing the edges of any exposed plywood or MDF. You'll get a better finish and shellac won't cause MDF to swell like a water based primer/paint will because it contains no water.
Good luck! I refinish furniture as a hobby, so completely get what a pain it can be. I like deep, rich finishes, so my go-to's tend to be Waterlox, shellac, and lacquer.

I'll also note I agree with you on the dye comment on the other thread. I often use a rubbed on wood dye as my first step, followed by waterlox, followed by a gel stain to darken the grain. Don't even get me started on polyurathane....
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Interesting Note:

Oak Wood - If you put the unfinished oak in an airtight container, with a container of Ammonia, the Oak will darken. If you leave it in even longer, the Oak will get quite dark.
I read that once and tried it. It does work.
Something about the Ammonia reacting with the tanic acid in the Oak.

I made a small oak cabinet with 24 drawers, I wanted a stain that was different than what you'd buy in the store. Then for a finish, I used something like a Danish Oil.
My air-tight container was just a plastic garbage bag with a wooden frame inside so the plastic would not touch the oak.
Thanks. Yes, you would understand! I do like re/finishing. It's amazing to see the wood grain spring to life when an oil or shellac is applied, giving a deep, rich look.

The dye I'm using is Behlen Solar-lux medium-red mahagony (I think. Don't have the label nearby). Behlen has some nice videos on their site about using it.

Fortunately, the flattening is over. All surfaces are now level. Let the finishing begin!
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