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Thread: Refinishing Walnut-Veneered Speaker

  1. #1
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    St Louis, MO, USA.
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    Refinishing Walnut-Veneered Speaker

    I just acquired a second set of Advent speakers, and the finish needs a little help. It's a warm walnut w/ low gloss but definitely more than just oil, maybe a varnish. The top of one has some black water stain (looks like a plant sat on top of it) and the bottom of the other had something on it that ate into the finish, and some adhesive like from old packing tape. On that one (the bottom) it was pretty bad, and I used a mild solvent and a fingernail to get rid of the adhesive; about half of it has the finish removed, and although a little of the color came up on the rags, the overall color is still pretty uniform.

    So the question is, where to go from here? I'd like to avoid a complete refinish. I'm thinking about stripper to get rid of the finish on the two bad panels, but how easy is it to keep from going over the edge and messing up the side panels? Any chance of screwing up the veneer itself? Then on the top that has the black water marks, what will get rid of them? The veneer looks pretty thin.

    For a new finish to match what's there, maybe Watco's natural Danish Oil?

    Anybody have experience w/ restoring these speakers?

    Thanks!

    --Dave

  2. #2
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    This stuff works pretty good and is made for your specific situation
    http://www.howardproducts.com/restora.htm

    They sell it at HD and Ace around here.
    Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. - Thomas Edison

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Slick View Post
    This stuff works pretty good and is made for your specific situation
    http://www.howardproducts.com/restora.htm
    Thanks, I'll give it a try. I'm thinking the black marks, though, have gotten beyond the finish and might need more extreme measures. Cross your fingers!

    --Dave

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveStL View Post
    I just acquired a second set of Advent speakers, ...

    Anybody have experience w/ restoring these speakers?

    Thanks!

    --Dave
    before messing withth cabinets, are the woofer surrounds OK and the tweeters good? That's the two most commone problems wih old Advnet speakers. I have four, but they're in the Vinyl-clad unitilty cabinets, nothte walnut veneer.
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LCHIEN View Post
    before messing withth cabinets, are the woofer surrounds OK and the tweeters good? That's the two most commone problems wih old Advnet speakers. I have four, but they're in the Vinyl-clad unitilty cabinets, nothte walnut veneer.
    I was thinking the same thing. The surrounds tend to rot after several years and need replacing. If so, you should be able to find replacement surround kits online....~ $30.

  6. #6
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    Can't offer anything on refinishing them, but good score on the Advents. What a great speaker. Henry Kloss did himself proud when he designed them. I have a pair of walnuts and a pair of the small ones. After 35 + years, they still sound great. Wish I could find another pair of walnuts.

    Good luck on the refinish. Hope they turn out ok.
    Joe
    "All things are difficult before they are easy"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LCHIEN View Post
    before messing withth cabinets, are the woofer surrounds OK and the tweeters good? That's the two most commone problems wih old Advnet speakers. I have four, but they're in the Vinyl-clad unitilty cabinets, nothte walnut veneer.
    These have new foam and the tweeters are good--hooked them up last night and they sound great. Grills were ugly, but I found a good pair on ebay; should be here shortly. The "new" grills are actually from NLAs but all I needed was the cloth, may leave the newer badging.

    The other pair are 1s, similar woofer but different tweeter and xover, smaller box. I have a pair of the orange tweeters coming--going to stack, and want to see which sounds better in the combination. I found the new-to-me LAs when taking in the woofers for the 1s. I'll try refoaming some junk speakers at some point before doing it on a good pair.

    Did you make any kind of brackets to stack yours? Any cushioning between the top and bottom speakers?

    Quote Originally Posted by jhart View Post
    Can't offer anything on refinishing them, but good score on the Advents. What a great speaker. Henry Kloss did himself proud when he designed them. I have a pair of walnuts and a pair of the small ones. After 35 + years, they still sound great. Wish I could find another pair of walnuts.
    I saw some on ebay when looking for the grill cloth. Kind of heavy for shipping....

    --Dave

  8. #8
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    I don't think a stripper is going to cut it. Strippers are good for taking off the varnish, but less good for getting at the stain. You will likely get blotchy or intermittently stained results. Then you're into sanding and running the risk of going through the veneer.

    Why not think about applying a new veneer? You'd get a consistent result and a fresh look.

    LOML would love it if I'd re-veneer my walnut Klipsch speakers (sorry, I'm not and Advent guy). I, OTOH, love the walnut. It's a discussioni that may last longer than either she or I.

    JR

  9. #9
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    I have no experiece with the Restore-A- Finish product and I wonder how well it will work where the existing finish is gone. I would be interested to know the results if you try it.

    Black water marks indicate water has worked its way through the existing finish and has penetrated the bare wood. That normally means the existing finish will need to be removed, so that the black marks can be bleached and then stained to retore the original color.

    You might try bleaching out the black stains before you remove the existing finish. This will help to isolate the bleech to black stained areas where the finish is already gone. Try household bleech or another wood bleech like oxclyic acid if household bleech does not work.

    A product like Formbys wood refinisher will remove the existing finish without damaging the veneer. You could try it or the restore a finish stuff after you have tried to bleech the out the black stains. You may need to apply stain to the bleeched area to get a color match.

    I would be inclined to redo the finish on all sides rather than trying to match the renewed finish one side with the original finish on the other sides.

  10. #10
    Try oxalic acid on the stains after you strip the panels. You can mask them with 3M green masking tape, that's works well. If you can't find oxalic acid, it's a main ingredient in several deck cleaners but unless you have a deck that's a lot o bleach. After the old cleans up, I'd use Watco walnut oil.
    DP

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