Need to fix my sub cabinet finish. w/ pics

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Hyun K, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. Hyun K

    Hyun K Stunt Coordinator

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    My diy sub project was in its finishing stages but I ran into a road block... the stain came out uneven. I thought I had sanded everything pretty even and the wood veneer is birch so I didn't think it needed pre-stain conditioner.

    I figure I can sand it all off and try again. Or maybe apply another layer of veneer and start all over.

    Any tips or suggestions?

    I'm obviously not an expert woodworker so I would appreciate any help you guys can give.

    Here are some pics

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    thanks in advance.
     
  2. stephanX

    stephanX Stunt Coordinator

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    i actually kinda...*gasp* like it, it gives the 3d effect[​IMG] if it wasnt for the stuff at the sides, id keep it. Also what driver are you using(just out of curiosity).
     
  3. Allen Ross

    Allen Ross Supporting Actor

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    looks like glue on the sides, but i also kina like, gives it that worn in look.


    and if memory serves me correct, i think you want to use a conditioner before you stain birch, but i could be wrong
     
  4. Jordan_Brulotte

    Jordan_Brulotte Stunt Coordinator

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    I also like the finish the way it is. If the edge can be fixed I think it would look great!

    Due to my lack of skill with veneer, I chose to go with an arborite finish on my tempest.
     
  5. Rob Formica

    Rob Formica Stunt Coordinator

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    You are correct if you want an even finish... since birch is a wood which varies quite a bit in porosity.

    To even it out, I'd recommend a light sanding first to open the pours and even up what you got before adding more stain. Leaving the stain on longer (ie; not wiping it till dry) will make it darker and uniform. A lot of wood shops will spray on the stain on woods like Birch.
    Rob
     
  6. Hyun K

    Hyun K Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks guys. I actually kinda like how it looks too... but I'm not sure if I'm just saying that to myself to avoid additional work or if I really like it. My wife definitely does not like it so we'll see.

    I posted on a wood working forum and they advised that I try sanding and using a waterbased aniline dye. So I'm going to give that a shot.

    So FYI for those that will be using birch veneer on your projects, use dye, not a stain.

    Stephan, the sub is using an AV15 with 2 18" PR's.
     
  7. John E Janowitz

    John E Janowitz Second Unit

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    A dye usually goes on much more even than a stain will. The difference is that stain will sit in the grain, the dye will avoid the grain. If you actually want it nice and dark the combination between the two should work well.

    As far as making it look good, give it a light sanding. Stain sits on the surface, except for where the grain is a little low, so it should come off fairly easily. You can then still hit it with a coat of the prestain conditioner. If you use a water based stain, make sure it's a water based preconditioner. If it's oil base, use the oil based preconditioner. I've seen people try to mix the two and it's not pretty. Follow the directions on the prestain, let it dry, give it a real light sanding like it says, then apply your coat of stain over it.

    Also, can you send me some pics of this project once you're done for the gallery?

    John
     
  8. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

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    Hyun,

    Also, be careful with the sanding. Nothing powered. I thought I'de never be so careless as to sand all the way through, but its very easy to do and once your through the wood, its all over- reveneer the only option
     
  9. Hyun K

    Hyun K Stunt Coordinator

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    I already stain both subs so I have to "repair" both. Stupid me.. [​IMG]

    But... I am "testing" my fixes on one sub only and will consider this a learning experience. I already removed the stain on the other sub (not pictured) with a 80 grit belt sander. I was careful not to go all the way through. I still have to sand it down with finer grits.. then I plan on applying the dye... then coat with a nice lacquer finish. If I have to reveneer, I have no problems doing that. Maybe I'll do a nice birds eye or something like that. On the other sub (pictured) I'm going to try to sandout the glue and reapply to stain and just stick with the "weathered" look. We'll see.

    John, I'd be happy to send you some pics... but don't expect a nice finish. I am a big time amateur.
     
  10. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    I would advise dye also. I've given up on stain - never have had an even application of stain - I just hate it. I've done black aniline dye, but had to mix a very heavy concentration of it to dye deep and even. Also, if you're determined to use stain, I believe all woods benefit from pre-stain conditioning, from thick, high solids filler for open-pore species, to brush-on pre-stain conditioner for tight-grained species.
     
  11. James B Martin

    James B Martin Auditioning

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    The problem I've had with using a conditioner first is that although the color evens out - it usually ends up too light. Stain has pigment which settles in voids and pores in the wood grain and as such can vary in color depending on the wood. Leaving it on longer only helps a little. Filling the pores with conditioner first means less places for the stain to settle.
    Dye more or less is absorbed by the wood and is therefore not affected as much by variation in the wood grain.

    What you can do if you can't get the color dark enough is use something like Minwax Polyshades - which is finish with the stain mixed in. Then you can put as many coats on as it takes to get the color where you want it. I usually would put a couple of coats of clear or satin finish over it when I'm done since the I don't think the Polyshades gives that great a finish by itself.

    Good Luck with the re-finish.
     
  12. Hyun K

    Hyun K Stunt Coordinator

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    James, you are correct. Using a conditioner makes the stain lighter.

    For the heck of it, I tried the conditioner, then stain. (figured I can just dye over it if it screws up) The stain came out very nice.. but it was lighter than I wanted. But I think I'm going to keep it... it looks very nice.

    Does anyone have experience applying lacquer? I don't have spray equipment and saw that it comes in 2 other forms.. spray can and brushing lacquer.

    What do you guys recommend? Any tips?
     
  13. Owen Bartley

    Owen Bartley Second Unit

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    I actually think it looks great that way (except for the bits on the side). I think it would look fantastic under a few coats of gloss!
     
  14. Hyun K

    Hyun K Stunt Coordinator

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    The subs are finally done. I was able to sand off the finish with a belt and orbital sander. There are some small spaces where I went through the veneer but are tough to see. I ended up using a pre-conditioner, then ebony stain, topped with several coats of lacquer. Overall, I'm very happy with my first attempt at a DIY sub. I'm also amazed by the sound. It's very articulate and fast with lots of punch and slam. I am coming from an SVS 20-39 CS-plus, and there is no comparison.

    Here are some pics:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Hyun K

    Hyun K Stunt Coordinator

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Allen Ross

    Allen Ross Supporting Actor

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    very nice, I really like the dark stain.
     
  17. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Hyun,

    Those subs look great ! [​IMG]
     
  18. Jordan_Brulotte

    Jordan_Brulotte Stunt Coordinator

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    They looks great! The texture and grain of the veneer is really pronounced. Great results.
     
  19. Chris Bates

    Chris Bates Stunt Coordinator

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    Gel stain would solve the unevenness problem.
     
  20. stephanX

    stephanX Stunt Coordinator

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    Thats quite the impressive set up! Looks very nice too. I wish i had the woodworking skills(or the patience) to do something like that. I hope those subs deliver many years of enjoyable use! By the way, just a little curiosity, does the PR move less than the driver becuase of larger surface area? more than the driver becuase or momentum? same as driver becuase of internal pressure?
     

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