Alternative veneers

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by ChrisArmour, Oct 29, 2003.

  1. ChrisArmour

    ChrisArmour Stunt Coordinator

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    It always seems that the majority of manufacturers use the same old veneers for their speakers. When I order my cabs, I want to use something different and rare. I am considering Ziricote, I love the way it looks and am wondering if anybody has ever seen it used on a speaker before. For that matter, what are some of the rarest veneers you guys have seen or used for a speaker application. Here's a link for a Ziricote sample,
    http://www.veneerselector.com/veneer...&Veneer=SPA207
     
  2. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    That pic was so dark I couldn't hardly see the grain. It looked like a pic of rosewood taken without enough light. Anyway, my favorite exotic that I've used on several speakers is Rosewood. I've also built a pair of 6-ft towers for a designer who wanted them veneered in Padauk. I want to do some cabinets in one or more of these: Anegre, Block Mottled Makore and Sapele. Gorgeous 3D-like grain figure!
     
  3. Lee Carbray

    Lee Carbray Second Unit

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    Manufacturers use the same old veneer because everybody knows that speakers sound better in black ash[​IMG]

    I guess I have not used it yet and I am not sure how rare it is, but I am going to use some walnut veneer on my Shiva when I get around to it. For now the veneer looks great rolled up in the closet.
     
  4. Dave Milne

    Dave Milne Supporting Actor

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    OK, I'll admit that my last 20 or so speaker projects were either walnut veneer or gloss automotive paint finish. No imagination :b I guess I just got used to the bitter smell of walnut dust in the shop...

    I have thought about doing some speakers in Bubinga, though. Very highly figured grain pattern.

    Hank,
    Rosewood is gorgeous, but pricey in my area, especially if you add some solids for corners, trim, bases, etc.
     
  5. Juan Castillo

    Juan Castillo Second Unit

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    None of the "Nekkid" speaker clan gonna sound off on this one? I could have sworn there were a few of you out there.
     
  6. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    Wee donn needno steenken veneer! [​IMG]

    NSAA

    (Nekkid Speaker Association of America)
     
  7. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Pete: shame, shame, shame, boy.[​IMG] Yes, rosewood is pricey, but you're building not only speakers that sound great, but furniture that will look georgous if you use quality veneer. Your speakers will be on display for everyone to see for years, so why not do a quality veneer finish? I've never used solid corners, not even cheap oak. I round over the front vertical edges of nearly all my cabinets and wrap veneer around one side, the front and then the other side.
     
  8. Shade Watson

    Shade Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    I am currently finishing my twin EBS shivas in ribbon sapele. I will try to take some pictures soon.
     
  9. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    YES!!
     
  10. ChrisArmour

    ChrisArmour Stunt Coordinator

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    Have any of you ever tried or even seen Carbon Fiber sheeting used as a speaker CAB veneer?
     
  11. Chris Keen

    Chris Keen Stunt Coordinator

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    Are you talking about real Carbon Fiber? You'd better have at least a decent ability to work with fiberglass if that's the case, and understand resins and such. I don't know what the point of it would be. There used to be a vinyl manufacturer that made a carbon fiber looking sheet that was used a lot in automotive stuff for looks. I'm sure someone out there has something like this that could be used with contact cement. I think CF has it's place and can look cool in certain environments, but on speakers, IMHO I think you could find numerous ways to make better looking speakers.
     
  12. Jason_Me

    Jason_Me Stunt Coordinator

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    The biggest problem I see with using carbon fiber is trying to cure it in your garage or wood shop, and buying the right equipment to do the job ($$$).
     
  13. ChrisArmour

    ChrisArmour Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not talking about doing this myself, I have probably about zero ability to pull something like this off. I was curious if anybody has ever seen real carbon fiber used as a veneer, and not just CF panels glued to a speaker, actual CF wrapped and epoxied over the cabinetry. I'm curious as to how it looked on the speaker. Here's an example of the type of finish that I am talking about, I think it may look good on a speaker, in the right environment. It would definately be unique, and probably add to the structural stiffness of the cabinet.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. ChrisArmour

    ChrisArmour Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's another example of some colored CF sheets.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Chris, a carbon fiber veneer itself would be strong, but not necessarily help acoustically. It might be more resonant than MDF - might "ring" more. Better check into that if you're serious about using it. And, it might be more expensive than a beautiful exotic wood veneer.
     
  16. RichardHOS

    RichardHOS Second Unit

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    Actually wrapping a cabinet in carbon fiber, whether pre-preg, wet layup, or infused, means that you would traditionally have peel-ply (or other release film) in contact with the carbon and a vacuum bag outside that to produce a good laminate without a lot of porosity, delaminations, dry spots, etc. The best bet would probably be a wet layup with no bagging at all, but keeping the cloth in good contact with the cabinet would then be tricky.

    The point being that the surface finish will not be smooth and flat. If you managed to keep the weave looking nice and straight you could apply umpteen coats of expoxy or lacquer and sand/rub/buff the finish back to a flat and smooth sheen, but that would be a tremdous amount of work and I seriously doubt you'd ever get the surface very flat, even if you got a decent surface finish. I've taken this route before, and trust me... lots of work and the finished product was still not as good as I had wanted.

    A great looking carbon fiber finish typically is the result of being against a nice mold. I don't see any easy way to accomplish that when wrapping a cabinet. The easiest solution would be to use preformed sheets that were properly molded and finished as you would a wood veneer... bonding them to the cabinet after they were cured. You wouldn't be able to wrap though, so the finished look might not bet that impressive. If you kept their use to isolated flat areas, it might look pretty good.
     
  17. Allen Ross

    Allen Ross Supporting Actor

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    how about milling the carbon fiber would it splinter with a router?

    also what about doing a miter cut and normal gluing sheets onto the cab, so you wouldn't have to round it over.
     
  18. RichardHOS

    RichardHOS Second Unit

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    You can mill carbon fiber (if you wear appropriate respiratory protection), but you won't get anything approaching the desired look. That "carbon fiber look" comes from the top lamina of cloth being very flat and straight, with a nice flat and smooth coating of resin or lacquer over that. If you mill into a sheet or block you will almost certainly expose parts of various laminas, and it would look pretty hideous.
     

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