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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I hope you don't mind the queries of a noob but I'm interested in refinishing my hifi speakers and would appreciate some advice. I have a pair of Mission 770s which I really love and which still function very well. However, the enclosures are a bit shabby (they were like that when I bought them) and I would like to improve them if possible. I have no idea what kind of wood they are made from but I believe they have a veneer. Is it possible for a novice to refinish such a material? Indeed, is it even possible for these enclosures to be restored at all? I have included pics of the speakers below.

The speakers also have a few little holes from where I guess brackets were mounted and I plan to fill these. Ideally, the refinished enclosures will be close to the natural colour of the wood. One other thing I'm concerned about is whether a finishing oil or wax could potentially stain the plastic baffle of the speakers (in the event of some getting on there somehow). Hopefully if that happened it could just be wiped off but I don't want to take any risks.

Thanks for reading. Apologies if I've asked some stupid questions.

Cheers,
Rob
 

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Old School
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You would probably benefit by stripping off the finish with an MC (methylene chloride) based stripper. If you need to sand the veneer, you may sand through the veneer. By the time you do all that, you could just re-veneer the boxes and start off new, with the color and finish of your choice.







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(clever wood pun here)
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It looks like the veneer may be chipped some anyway, so redoing the veneer might be best. As for getting stain or finish on other areas, just plan ahead and mask them off just like if you were painting.

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where's my table saw?
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I wouldn't bother stripping them

The stripper is a powerful solvent and may harm anything plastic. Just sand them using an aggressive grit like 60 or 50, so the adhesive for the new "veneer" will attach well.

There are several other options if you want, you can keep the wood, or go to a plastic laminate in color, wood, metallic, or all most anything.
Wood veneers: http://certainlywood.com/
Plastic laminates: Formica, Wilsonart, Pionite, etc.
 

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Registered
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Hello all,

I hope you don't mind the queries of a noob but I'm interested in refinishing my hifi speakers and would appreciate some advice. I have a pair of Mission 770s which I really love and which still function very well. However, the enclosures are a bit shabby (they were like that when I bought them) and I would like to improve them if possible. I have no idea what kind of wood they are made from but I believe they have a veneer. Is it possible for a novice to refinish such a material? Indeed, is it even possible for these enclosures to be restored at all? I have included pics of the speakers below.

The speakers also have a few little holes from where I guess brackets were mounted and I plan to fill these. Ideally, the refinished enclosures will be close to the natural colour of the wood. One other thing I'm concerned about is whether a finishing oil or wax could potentially stain the plastic baffle of the speakers (in the event of some getting on there somehow). Hopefully if that happened it could just be wiped off but I don't want to take any risks.

Thanks for reading. Apologies if I've asked some stupid questions.

Cheers,
Rob
do you have any tool's do do wood working ? if not you are struck with removing the finish, if you just do sanding you have a job doing that and may sand thro the veneer , as far as reveneering , if you havent do any that will be a job also, i have done lot' of that, your best bet is to strip off the finish and get all the old finish off, now if it isn's the color you want , stain and let it dry and than , if you don't have any spray equiptment, than poly will be your next thing, with out tool's you are limited to what you can do, good luck
 

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Rick Mosher
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I don't think it such a big deal, they're 2 speaker boxes not an entire kitchen or something. First thing is to mask the front of the speakers off using a low tack tape and masking paper so no dust or finish gets on the speakers. (Don't tape to the speakers :p )

I would sand the old finish off ( doesn't look like there is much on there anyway). Nothing coarser than 180. It will take a while and if the veneer begins to change color after the finish is off, STOP. At that point you are sanding through the veneer which you do NOT want to do. If you know how to use a card scraper that would be even better for removing the old finish but an electric orbital sander or even just a hand sanding block will get the job done. Just take your time, don't rush. Most people mess up by getting n a hurry and reaching for that 80 grit sandpaper and next thing you know you have a REAL disaster on your hands.

I wouldn't recommend re-veneering the cabinets especially since you haven't ever done that before. The best you could do would be to contact cement some veneer on there and frankly that isn't the proper way to do it.

Get everything down to bare wood if possible, any missing veneer can be repaired with a
. (done between the sealer and top coat steps and will also take care of the holes) You will know when you have sanded enough if you wet the surface with mineral spirits (paint thinner) and everything is the same color and the thinner dries evenly. If there is still some finish on some areas it will stay wet much longer.

For finish, I doubt you have any spray equipment so I would recommend spray cans. Not just any spray cans though, I would order 3 cans of pre-catalyzed lacquer and 2 cans of sealer from Mohawk.

Sounds like you don't need stain but when you wet the veneer down that will be the color if you apply clear coat so decide then if you like it or not. Mohawk also sells stain so that could be ordered at the same time.

Once you get all the finish off re-post and we will help you with the finish.
 

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Old School
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I wouldn't recommend re-veneering the cabinets especially since you haven't ever done that before. The best you could do would be to contact cement some veneer on there and frankly that isn't the proper way to do it.
Paper backed veneer and contact cement is not hard to do and a very common method (recommended by veneer manufacturers). Or, in lieu of contact cement and paper backed veneer, a PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) veneer (peel and stick) can be used. Can't get more simple than that.






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Old School
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It's simple but it just doesn't hold up that well. I would never do veneer work if it wasn't hard glued in either a hot press or a vacuum bag. There are a lot of people doing veneer with contact cement but I don't and never will. :icon_smile:
When you say it doesn't hold up well, do you mean it doesn't hold up well for you? Maybe it's your technique, or your materials. Contact cement with paper backed veneer is an accepted choice for fabrication. I've used it extensively over the years without problems.

If you've had problems with that method, discussing the details might reveal exactly what could be the basis for your opinion. We wouldn't want to dissuade members from using those materials and methods.






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Rick Mosher
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Contact cement never dries, it allows the wood veneer to move separately from the substrate even with paper or foil backed veneers. I have worked for some of the very best veneer shops in the country and not a single one of them would touch the stuff (except for plastic laminate which is what it's for). Any shop I have worked for that used it always had problems with bubbles or edges lifting. A proper veneer job using a urea formaldehyde glue in either a hot press or a vacuum bag will not lift or bubble. In a pinch if I was doing a small repair on a job site I might use yellow glue on both surfaces, let it dry and then iron it together. It is not about the technique, I know how to use contact cement. It is just not the proper method for veneer work IMHO.

I am not trying to dissuade anyone from anything. Feel free to experiment and let us know how it works for you. I know many people who use it and haven't had problems, just not any large quality commercial shops or me. :icon_smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Lovely stuff, thanks guys.

What I think I'll do is carefully sand a small section of the back of one of the cabinets with some fine grit paper to see what results I get, then I'll re-evaluate if necessary.

I'm actually in the middle of sanding our lounge in preparation for painting so am getting a bit sick of the sight of sandpaper. But on the bright side, once the lounge is done I'll be able to move the speakers back in - hopefully in slightly nicer condition (hence this thread).

And in response to some of the posts above, I have no experience in this area. I do have a few tools but no fine woodworking tools.
 
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