|Forum topic by JDCrae||posted 03-03-2015 05:04 PM||1678 views||1 time favorited||25 replies|
03-03-2015 05:04 PM
I am going to be starting a project pretty soon, and while I did an insane amount of research beforehand, I really want to double check my plan to make sure I am on the right track.
A little background – I build hifi speakers, varying from small bookshelf to large towers. Normally, I have constructed my cabs from 3/4MDF and then veneered. I have been pleased with the results I have gotten some with traditional stains, and most recently, a nice set of bedroom speakers finished with aniline dye and natural danish oil on some heavy flaked quartersawn white oak veneers.
But for this next project, the cabs were constructed of 3/4 maple ply, with solid wood curvy maple baffles. I am building these for my brother in law as his birthday present. He is a cellist, and as such, I am trying to replicate a finish similar to an old cello.
In researching finishing techniques for this idea, I quickly decided the traditional violin or cello finishing approach was not going to work. Custom made varnishes recommended have really long dry times and I simply don’t have that ability. Also, the varnishes used for cellos and violins require sun time, and as its winter and my shop is in the basement, that is not really an option either.
From what I had learned in talking with some people about this, the recommended plan was a 4 stage process using transtint aniline dyes. The first would be the amber color. Mixed into a 50/50 mixture of denatured alcohol and lacquer thinner, I would apply the amber dye to the wood, allow to dry, scuff with 400, and reapply. I would do this 3 or 4 times. Next I was told to seal with a dewaxed shellac to seal the amber color in. Next I would mix up some reddish brown dye with the same 50/50 mixture. I would apply coats, sanding in between each. I plan on finishing with General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Urethane Topcoat in Satin finish. The idea was the amber would give the grain that warm amber color, while the reddish brown would color it similar to a cello or violin, popping the curvy maple. Areas that I sanded back down would reveal more of the amber color, giving me a similar finish to that of a violin or cello.
Does this sound like a good course of action to achieve the goal I have in mind? I plan to finish the rest of the cabinets with only the reddish brown dye- and typically the sides of a cello are darker than the face. I also have milled F Scrolls into the front baffle, about 1/16, and plan to dye those black to mimic the F Scrolls found on the front of a cello.
I am excited to get started on this project, and have all the materials needed on hand. Looking to begin finishing next weekend, and this weekend I plan to finish assembly of the cabinets.
Any and all insight is greatly appreciated.