What's everyone's favorite veneer finish for a light color wood? Techniques?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Wes Nance, Jan 31, 2002.

  1. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,

    The Thunder 12.3 sub project starts next week! The drivers and PR's came in yesterday and look great. I've got most everything planned out, and am looking ahead for finishing ideas.

    It's basically a box higher and deeper than it is wide, 15.5"x18"deep x22"high. I think I'm going to round over the top on the right and left edges, but not the front and back.

    I was planning to paint the back, where the amp plate will be with textured truck bed black paint, and veneer the rest of it, possibly rolling one piece of veneer for the whole sides and top, with a separate piece for the front. (If I use 3/8" roundover bit, will that be smooth enough of a radius for the veneer not to crack?)

    So anyway, I'm thinking about a lighter colored, but still affordable veneer, probably not oak. Maybe maple?

    Any ideas/experience/advice?

    Thanks

    Wes
     
  2. I Have tons and tons of maple veneer. I really like it with Minwax "Golden Oak" stain. The venner has some figure and curl to it and this stain brings it out nicely.
     
  3. Kevin Deacon

    Kevin Deacon Second Unit

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    I just finished the Audax A652' s and I used a 1/2" roundover on the sides. The paper backed veneer went around very well so I think you may be Ok with the 3/8". I paid $60.00 for a piece of 4'x8' Flat cut Maple. The Curly Maple was around $200.00 and up. You may be able to get half sheets as well which will be cheaper. The flat cut maple looks awesome with about 6 coats of tung oil ( no stain). The more coats you use the shinier it gets, to a point. The tung oil gives a superior finish as compared to polyurethane, varnish, or lacquer, plus it is super-hard and therefore very durable. Not that you'll be throwing the sub around, but I'm sure someone (like my wife does to me) will decorate it with a vase of flowers or something.
     
  4. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    Kevin,

    At the tapeease web site, the 2 maple choices are quarter, and figured. What do you mean by flat cut?

    Thanks,

    Wes
     
  5. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    I think I would put tung oil at the end of that list. There are few finishes as durable as Poly. Looks wise, tung oil is a very nice, subtle finish, but overall, I'll take lacquer anyday, mostly for clarity, especially for light woods.

    White ash is a very nice light wood with attractive grain pattern, similar to oak. It takes stain very well. White birch is another, similar to maple.

    Flat cut is like plain sliced veneer. It looks like edge glued boards. They are usually SMN (Sequence Matched and Numbered) which means the slices of veneer were taken off the log and assembled onto the backer sheet in sequence.

    If you use 10 mil veneer, you should be able to bend it around a 3/8" radius. When you apply it, dampen the face right at the bend to soften the wood fibers.

    Pete
     
  6. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    Wes, I love the idea of veneering roundovers, I think it looks great. Sounds like this one's going to be stunning, as well as "rockin'". [​IMG]
     
  7. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Wes, maybe Anthony will sell you a piece of his maple big enough for your cabinet. I use 1/2" radius bits because I like the looks better than smaller radiuses. BTW, for full-range speaker cabinets, I use a minimum 1" radius. AS smoeone said, If you do use 3/8" radius, 10-mil backed veneer should work. Make sure you apply enough contact cement to the roundovers. I use Danish oil for looks. For best protection, Polyurethane is it. I haven't used lacquer, but the best lacquer finishes seem to be sprayed on and that involves equipment and cleanup, etc.
     
  8. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    I'm partial to maple for light colored veneer. I've got a whole sheet of NBL Maple just waiting for me to do something with! Maybe I'll finish the AV1's with it!

    Brian
     
  9. JerryD

    JerryD Extra

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    I've done all my speakers and subs in maple and love it. Some sets I have finished with tung oil. It gives the deepest glowing finish because it penetrates the wood deeper than most finishes. I don't think it is as hard or durable as poly finishes... probably more suscepible to water marks from glasses being set on it. You can make it extremely smooth to the touch by rubbing it with regular notebook paper. The color however tends to turn just a little yellow or gold with age. It is very easy to apply. Just wipe it on with a cloth or use a sponge brush.

    Lacquers give a more clear finish letting the natural color of the wood come through. It is harder to work with though.

    My all-time favorite finish for light wood is no longer available. It was a combination of lacquer and sanding sealer called Clear Lac from Behr. You could brush it on and sand it with extra fine sand paper between coats to build up a totally leveled finish, then polish it with automotive rubbing compound. The result was exquisitely smooth. I've not tried yet, but I hope I can duplicate it some day by finding a compatible lacquer and sanding sealer to mix.

    Polys tend to be the hardest and most durable, but they can be hard to get to a smooth finish whether you are brushing or spraying. They can also tend to yellow slightly.

    I like to do roundovers by gluing a solid 3/4 inch by 3/4 inch piece of maple into the corners and using a 5/8 roundover bit. If you cut the corner piece the right direction you can get really beautiful birdseye patterns in the rounded edges. With a solid piece in the corners a bevel or chamfer instead of a roundover can also look great. Maple is a very pleasant hardwood to work with. Have fun.
     
  10. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all the ideas! Very helpful.

    Remind me where the best places to buy veneer are on the web, as locally I'm kind of limited.

    I know about tapeease, but that's about it. ..

    Thanks

    Wes
     
  11. SalMaglie

    SalMaglie Stunt Coordinator

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    Well if you don't mind having to edge join pieces together, ebay is a good place to get veneer cheap. I ended up with a little over 100 sq ft of quartersawn beech veneer for about $40. Of course 100 sq ft is more than most people will use, but then I also make furniture for a hobby so the beech will get used in other projects. Ebay also has smaller lots for cheaper if 100 sq ft scares you off.
    As far as finishes go, I don't like poly-urine-stain at all and avoid it except for exterior applications. You'll have a hard time fixing a scratch using that stuff. Most of the time I use Tried&True Danish oil followed by a few coats of shellac, and then some paste wax after the shellac has cured. If you want a clearer coat, use super blond shellac. On the beech I'll use some kusmi buttonlac which is kind of in between a blond and a orange. It's real easy to apply using a pad with some cotton stuffing inside a piece of t-shirt. I just put a little mineral oil in the cotton so the shellac flows easy, charge the rubber/pad with a 2 lb cut of shellac and off I go. It dries fast so you can get down 3 or 4 coats in no time. Then I just let it cure for a few days and rub it out with some 0000 steel wool. Two coats of wax get put on and I'm done.
    Shellac is also easy to repair since it'll dissolve in the agent you use to mix with(usually denatured alcohol).For all your finishing needs and questions, I highly recommend a visit to Homestead Finishing . Jeff Jewitt is the propietor there and he's one of the best authorities around on finishing. I have one of his books, and he often writes articles for Fine Woodworking magazine. There's a forum at homesteadfinishing.com where he'll answer just about any question you might have.
    If you're interested in shellac and want to know all about it, go to www.shellac.net where there's a ton of information. Whatever you choose, good luck with your finish, and remember...always try finishes out on a scrap before applying to the completed project.
     
  12. Dan Wesnor

    Dan Wesnor Second Unit

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    Here is a sub I just finished yesterday with some curly maple, sanded through 600 grit and finished with one coat of boiled linseed oil. I used to use tung, but I like the linseed oil much better. The sheet was $130 for 4x8, and is very nice. If you order soon you might get a sheet from the same filch.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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