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Jeff_C

Tidy-up of teak veneer cabinets

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My AR-16 cabinets are in very good condition, just a few very minor marks, but they have lost some of their original lustre. The wood looks dry. About 25 years ago or so I did wipe some teak oil over them and that seemed to work quite well.

I have seen comments about "BLO" in other restoration threads but I have no idea what that is. Can someone please explain what it is?

This pledge restorer is readily available in our local stores. Has anyone any experience with this stuff?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pledge-Scratch-Colour-Restorer-Revitalise/dp/B006R52L9A

I see lots of recommendations for the Howards Restore a Finish, but that is not available over here in the UK, but if it is the best for the job I could order from the USA.

Here is a picture of the speakers. I think the flash on the camera makes them look more lustrous than they really are.

post-153250-0-44100100-1409816784_thumb.

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BLO is abbreviation for boiled linseed oil. In old days every painter boiled their own BLO, but now it is available from hardware stores and does not cost too much. Try to get best quality one, as cost is not too much anyway.

BLO will cure faster if you add something like 30-50% turpentine (genuine distilled from pine oil) to BLO you are using. I rubbed first layer of BLO to clean AR3aImproved cabs with steel wool. This removed quite much dirt. As there were many layers of old BLO that turned the cabs to quite yellowish, I decided to sand old BLO off the cabs and rub new BLO directly to clean veneer. This removed yellowness and made teak look nicer, at least to me. This is of course personal opinion.

I have made many mistakes with BLO , but it seems to me that you should rub fist layer with steel wool. After 10-15 minutes rub off all remaining oil from wood with clean (white) lint free cotton rag, this will lift dirt even from "clean" wood. You should be careful with steel wool, as it can damage wood grain especially near edges of cabinet. After this let cabs dry thoroughly, you can feel when BLO is dry and cab edges seems to be last places to become dry. You can add second layer of BLO with cotton rag, remove all remaining BLO after 10-15 mins with rag and and let dry thoroughly. Sand dry second layer with 400-600 grit wet sandpaper. I wet sanded as paper will not clog this way.

Third layer can be applied like second was done. This may produce desired finish or more layers might be needed. How you rub the last layer will change luster of finish... but remember there are no short cuts, BLO must be dry before applying next layer or it will take 20-50 times more to cure BLO.

I have used BLO as AR recommended BLO for refinishing and it is widely available. It is easy to work with, only drawback is self flammability of BLO and pine turpentine. Other products can be good, or even better but ingredients like silicone do not look good to me.

Best Regards

Kimmo

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I've refinished all of my cabs by cleaning sanding, a minimum of 2 coats of BLO, let dry completely between coats and then a coat of wax. I did do one pair with Howard's restore a finish and really wasn't impressed.

I used a general purpose cleaner called Spray 9, I don't know if you can get it where you are. You want a cleaner that is good at breaking down the oil and dirt. I applied the spray 9 and then gave it a good scrub with a soft scouring pad, like for cleaning pots and pans, then reapplied spray 9 . The oil and dirt will be running off the cab so make sure you have something covering anything underneath that you don't want stained when you are done. I also had the drivers facing up with a towel over them. Right after the second coat of Spray 9 wipe down with a damp cloth until the cab is clean. Do not let the cleaner dry on the cab. This whole process takes less then 10 minute per cab. After it is completely wiped down let them dry. I usually left them over night. Then you can sand them if you want or not. I've done it both ways. Then apply the BLO with a cloth and let dry between coats. A couple of hours at least, longer is better. A quick scuff with 400 grit sand paper and apply the next coat. DO NOT USE STEEL WOOL IF YOU ARE DOING THIS WITH THE DRIVERS STILL IN THE CABS.

Hope this helps. Harry

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Thanks for your views iso and HarryM. I now wish that I had had full confidence in my restoration of these speakers last December. I should have treated the cabinets at that time. But this was my first restoration and I was more focused on whether I could manage a re-foam job.

I think I will need to take the drivers out to clean and treat the veneered front face of the speakers (see attached picture taken after recapping). I do not think I can get away with just covering them. I will see if I can source the BLO, turps, something like spray 9, and I would prefer to work with pan scourers rather than steel wool.

Being a bit reticent about taking on this job, I was rather hoping some members were going to give glowing approval to the Pledge Restorer, it does not look like that is going to happen.

post-153250-0-17791200-1409901373_thumb.

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Your cabs don't look near as bad as the ones that I refinished. My 9 and 90 cabs were pretty good, they were dirty but no major scratches. I just used BLO on them. Put the BLO on a cloth and give them a good rub with the grain. Let them dry for a couple of hours and then apply a second coat, this time a bit heavier but just wipe it on and leave it for 20 minutes or so and then rub them again to even out the BLO. Let them dry and you're done.They may clean up good. If you don't think it's good enough then you can still do it the other way after.

Harry

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I should have treated the cabinets at that time.

Handling cabs without drive units is easier, as you have reasoned It seems that I have not refurbished anything within week, sometimes it takes years to complete rebuild. I suppose that I have some projects that will never be completed. This is not problem to me, as I am not doing this to earn money. I like to talk about these issues, gather information and find solutions that will work for me and retain originality of project within reason. It seems that doing things is most important to me. When project has been finished, it has been done.

As HarryM said... you can first try if BLO rub is enough for you. This will not take too much time...

Best Regards

Kimmo

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Thanks again HarryM. As I said in my OP the cabinets are in very good condition (I have looked after them from new), but the wood looks dried out, and they could probably do with a clean to get rid of air pollutants from the surface.

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Handling cabs without drive units is easier, as you have reasoned It seems that I have not refurbished anything within week, sometimes it takes years to complete rebuild. I suppose that I have some projects that will never be completed. This is not problem to me, as I am not doing this to earn money. I like to talk about these issues, gather information and find solutions that will work for me and retain originality of project within reason. It seems that doing things is most important to me. When project has been finished, it has been done.

As HarryM said... you can first try if BLO rub is enough for you. This will not take too much time...

Best Regards

Kimmo

Hi Kimmo

You obviously have a passion in the restoration projects you undertake. For me this was a bit different. They were my own speakers bought new. My main concern was to get them working again, and I suppose I did rush to get the drive units back in the cabinets so I could listen to them again as soon as I could. Boy that moment was sweet and a revelation at how well they sounded. I had been without these speakers for 20 years. You can see the full story in my restoration thread here :-

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.Board/index.php?showtopic=8040&hl=

I am not (yet) a natural restoration hobbyist, but if I happened to see a pair of AR9 (or anything else AR) in my locaI charity shop for sensible money I could become a convert. I would have to consider moving house to accommade AR9 though.

I admire all the enthusiasts on these pages who carefully undertake their restoration projects, and the help they willingly give to others in their projects. Long may it continue. These speakers deserve the longevity we strive to give them.

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I'm like you Jeff or worse. When I got the 9's home I hooked them up, listened to them, said wow they sound like crap. I had the first one all tore apart before I went to bed that night. I went out first thing the next morning, picked up the caps for them, installed the caps in the first one, reinstalled the correct drivers, plugged up the holes from the previous owners mods, hooked it back up and said that's better and then did the second one. I got them home 9pm on Saturday and was listening to the pair by Sunday evening or so, comparing them to the 90's. I thought they sounded the same at lower volumes but at higher volumes the bass from the 9's would rattle the house. I thought, wow I did a good job, they sound awesome. I started working on them after driving for 1000 km to get them and bring them home. I wish I was much more patient but I get way to excited to listen to them. I do go into withdrawals after though. LOL

Harry

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Hard to have the correct patience with these efforts for sure. I can't imagine doing this pre-internet for access to finding what is available to help with the effort.

The oil work on the cabs is a long process when done thoroughly with several days between applications and up to 7 applications to get that deep finish. Or if you are able to just scratch the surface with a couple applications, you are in luck and well ahead of the game. Steel wool is our friend! I am on week #3 on a piece of furniture with pure tung oil.

If the drivers are back in, you could cut out a thick piece of cardboard that matches eh grille and tape it on to help provide a little protection during the cab work I guess. Thin plywood all the better for that matter if you have some around.

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You are spot on David about pre-internet. It was because of the internet that I first realised that my speakers could be repaired. It was 3 years ago when I came across this website where people talked of routinely refoaming speakers like shelling peas. Panic then set in because I had removed the woofers years previously and could not find them. I almost believed that my partner had made me throw them away. She hates my "junk" left lying around. Luckily I found them at my mother's house. I should have trusted my better judgement not to have thrown away anything to do with these speakers. I know I have put away the AR-16 badges but cannot remember where. They will turn up one day.

That's a great tip about using thick cardboard or something similar to cover the drivers.

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If the drivers are back in, you could cut out a thick piece of cardboard that matches eh grille and tape it on to help provide a little protection during the cab work I guess. Thin plywood all the better for that matter if you have some around.

Steel wool is our friend!

When steel wool is in the mix, protecting the drivers is essential, as the magnets will draw steel fibers to the surface of cones and domes. I've seen more than a few tweeters with "steel wool" stuck to them. It is potentially a greater problem for the old AR tweeters, which have somewhat exposed voice coil gaps.

Roy

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When steel wool is in the mix, protecting the drivers is essential, as the magnets will draw steel fibers to the surface of cones and domes. I've seen more than a few tweeters with "steel wool" stuck to them. It is potentially a greater problem for the old AR tweeters, which have somewhat exposed voice coil gaps.

Roy

Or look for non-magnetic bronze wool.

http://www.rockler.com/bronze-wool?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=&utm_content=pla&utm_campaign=PL&sid=V9146&gclid=Cj0KEQjwvqWgBRChnMjQ7u7UzOUBEiQAooXvYVP5Ma2nYZOKepcb3zmAEt919pzVgJrMNtpTO_Tj3FQaAiYb8P8HAQ

-Kent

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Thanks for those tips Roy and Kent. When Harry first mentioned the pan scourers (mildly abrasive synthetic cloth?) I always preferred the idea of working with those rather than steel wool.

Even though Harry shouted his message not to use steel wool (thanks Harry) with the drivers in place, the reason eluded me. So thanks for mentioning "magnets" Roy.

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Sorry about that Jeff, I sometimes forget that people don't know what I'm thinking. It's also very easy for me to think way faster then I type. Not that I'm a fast thinker, just a really slow typer. LOL

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"Boiled linseed oil" hasn't been boiled since Medieval times, when it was mixed with lead oxide and heated to give it polymerizing characteristics. The stuff they sell as BLO today is mostly raw linseed oil mixed small amounts of stand oil (linseed oil heat treated but not actually boiled) and other chemical dryers.

Those green kitchen scrubbers contain dyes that may transfer into raw wood or finishes. You can find nonmetallic wood finishing pads at most woodworking stores that won't leach color.

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Thanks for those tips genek. I remember as kids (here in the UK) we used to use raw linseed oil to harden our willow cricket bats and give them a longer life. No one seems to bother with that treatment these days.

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The stuff they sell as BLO today is mostly raw linseed oil mixed small amounts of stand oil (linseed oil heat treated but not actually boiled) and other chemical dryers.

This is typical for these days. Many dark colored woods are used to make walnut veneer. There are 100 different tree varieties that are referred as mahogany, even they are not related to mahogany anyhow.

Best Regards

Kimmo

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