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lakecat

Many 3a's like this one?

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Recently got this later 70's cabinet minus drivers with intent to make decent again. I was surprised to find double swipes in pots and noticed mid had back wired set up and tweeter was front wired.

Anyone see this before? Walnut is coming real purdy on this cab. Was pretty scratched up...but used my tricks to get it decent...

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Guess no one has seen this version...:) All done and here it is in all it's beautiful walnut glory. Wish I had the other but was destroyed. Love the look of the original grill.

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On 9/21/2016 at 2:43 PM, lakecat said:

Was pretty scratched up...but used my tricks to get it decent...

Looks beautiful! Sharing any secrets?

-Kent

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9 hours ago, JKent said:

Looks beautiful! Sharing any secrets?

-Kent

Good morning Kent. Probably nothing you don't know.. :). It was pretty scratched up...so I took a wet towel and a steam iron and went over the cab hard. After getting finish absorbed into towel, I went over the cab with just iron...steaming the wood real well.

I then let the cab dry for a day. Next...I took a utility blade which is thicker than a razor blade and scrapped the cab clean of all residual finish...always scrapping in grain direction. I used several blades to get this done.

Next...I used 400 grit sandpaper on orbital sander to get the wood very smooth and wiped down with tack cloth. Stained with Howards Restore in walnut. (love this better than stain for veneer) One coat of poly sprayed and then sanded again with 400 to smooth any raised grain....then sprayed two more coats of satin poly.

Quickest way I have found to get scratched up cabs looking nice without spending a great amount of time on it. 

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Well, maybe techniques we all know of but I'll admit I've never done it exactly that way. Expertly done, Cat!

I haven't used the steam iron as much as I probably should. It's a great technique. And although I've used razor blades, I never thought of the utility blades but that's a great idea! As an aside, I've never used poly on speakers or radios. but I did discover a wipe-on poly I kinda like. For things like radio cabs or old amp cabs I like gloss lacquer. Just a different approach.

-Kent

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I used satin lacquer on those 3's I recently done. It was the first time using it...and it some time to get it right. Eight coats on those 3's!...but smooth as glass. But...was a lot of work.

I had a custom kitchen and bath business for thirty years so poly was the main stay. Lacquer is too fragile for those uses.....so I used and like poly. Keep it waxed and it will last years. My oak cabinets in my kitchen are almost thirty years old now...and still look new...:)

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That looks amazing!  What brand of wax do you use if you don't mind my asking?

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19 minutes ago, Pete B said:

That looks amazing!  What brand of wax do you use if you don't mind my asking?

Hi Pete....the speaker isn't waxed yet as I wait for a few days so poly can cure. I use a car paste wax on my cabs. Currently using a bottle of Turtle brand paste wax. 

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As a general tip, what type do you use on your kitchen cabinets - the same stuff?

Mine are due for some wax.

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Good to see you too Frank, always enjoyed your AR madness.  I know its normal

since I happen to collect a lot of stuff also.

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Excellent work, lakecat. Never seen an AR 3a with front wired tweeter and back wired midrange . Did I noticed Sprague caps? Probably one of the latest , at the end of production? Cheers, Adriano

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Thank you Sonnar. I not seen this before also and why I brought it up here. The serial number is over 90,000 so later model. Sprague cap for tweeter and Chicago caps for mid and woofer. They still spec'd out when measured but decided to change the Chicago's.

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On 9/25/2016 at 9:26 AM, lakecat said:

Good morning Kent. Probably nothing you don't know.. :). It was pretty scratched up...so I took a wet towel and a steam iron and went over the cab hard. After getting finish absorbed into towel, I went over the cab with just iron...steaming the wood real well.

I then let the cab dry for a day. Next...I took a utility blade which is thicker than a razor blade and scrapped the cab clean of all residual finish...always scrapping in grain direction. I used several blades to get this done.

Next...I used 400 grit sandpaper on orbital sander to get the wood very smooth and wiped down with tack cloth. Stained with Howards Restore in walnut. (love this better than stain for veneer) One coat of poly sprayed and then sanded again with 400 to smooth any raised grain....then sprayed two more coats of satin poly.

Quickest way I have found to get scratched up cabs looking nice without spending a great amount of time on it. 

 

Those are great-looking cabinets lakecat, the color seems very close to the original AR oiled walnut.

Regarding your experience with the Howard's Restore product - the manufacturer apparently advises against using a clear-coat finish, and the Wax Depot site indicates that Howard's Restore will not allow a poly topcoat to dry.

I'd like to give this product a try - can you tell us how you achieved your excellent topcoat, and how it's working out?

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Hi AR..... well....the poly dries just fine over Howards. I do give it time to dry (over a day) before I do the first coat of poly. First coat is done lightly....then a second coat within an hour. It has to dry for 72 hours before I can lightly steel wool the poly, completely wipe down with tack cloth, and then spray final coat. That dries for 3-4 days also before I add a coat of paste wax.

I have been doing it for three years now with no problems so I don't know why they have this info. Good luck!

PS...the poly is Minwax satin poly in the spray cans.

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The thing about Howard's is that it doesn't remove old finish the way a stripper or refinisher would. So it's not so much whether a new finish is compatible with the Howard's as it is whether it's compatible with whatever the old finish was. If old speakers just have the original BSO, then putting a new finish on after Howard's shouldn't be a problem, but if someone has come along in the past and put something else on all bets are off. That's probably why they recommend against using it as a prefinish treatment.

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This is good information - thanks a lot, guys.

I've had success with the Minwax spray poly over oil stain in the past, but Howard's proscription against applying a clear coat made me think twice.

I'm going to test the Walnut Restor for color, and then go forward with the Minwax poly for 3 or 4 coats.

 

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Got great news yesterday. The original seller told me that the match to this speaker was destroyed and I have been having a heck of a time trying to find a match to this speaker...being in the 90,000 serial range. I guess he found the match....of course needing much work....and asked if I wanted it. Jumped on it and should be here later this week....hurray!!

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Great job lakecat.  I've been using the iron more and more with good results.  For those of you that haven't tried it yet, I think it is a trust thing with it and once you do it a couple times, hesitation diminishes.

Cool to hear you will be getting it's mate.

The poly just makes sense really.  If you are going to have to apply layers of stuff in a refinishing process, and you are not too committed to "original" in this area, what not go with something a bit more resilient over time.  What about yellowing over time?

 

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1 hour ago, DavidDru said:

Great job lakecat.  I've been using the iron more and more with good results.  For those of you that haven't tried it yet, I think it is a trust thing with it and once you do it a couple times, hesitation diminishes.

Cool to hear you will be getting it's mate.

Yeah, kudos ... I will have to try the iron technique ;)

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Thanks guys...surprised really...and like the first one....drivers are gone. What I do like in the later ones like these are the pots. They have double swipes and look like they will last a long time.

David.....glad you are using the iron method. What are you using it on? Poly is a whole new animal. You are thinking of varnish of old. I wax  to keep uv rays off of them but unless they are in direct sunlight, they will be fine.

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I had the other 3a put away in office since I have been doing this matched one that I got later. First time I have had them together today as I am going over everything before I put final coat of poly on the more recent one......and I look at tags on back.....and I'll be damn...they are sequential!!! Serial numbers in the 92K range and they are sequential....it just gets better.....:)   And these are coming out really...really nice.

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