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Help Teens Rebuild LaScala Speakers


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Hello Folks,

well it's been a busy few weeks here at the Boys & Girls Club. Besides all the other crafts programs we've been running: jewelry, ceramics, pin-hole cameras, printmaking...

we've managed to pull out all the components from our four LaScalas, sand and fill the bottoms, fabricate new hatches and over the weekend I sandblasted (lightly) the dirt and grime from the horns and stripped most of the paint (up to four layers on some surfaces) from the cabinets. The kids also built 1/2 scale models to practice the veneering. Looking at the condition of the boxes we are going to add a layer of 1/4"mdf prior to veneering and then trim with hardwood. We did a test grille in Baltic birch (1/4"), using the cabinet as the template and a straight cutting router bit. Worked very well. Is 1/4" wood thick enough, I've only seen mention of 1/2"? Thanks for all the suggestions, Mark

Brilliant idea to do this!  

 

I will keep my eyes out for good deals on old Heritage or any other diamonds in the rough that could use a redo for future projects for you. I will pass them along as I find them. Keep in mind that most of the KP and KPT speakers have a very nice aftermarket as well, and they can be fixed up with body putty and Duratex. 

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Wow! You've done some really great work... I hope ours end up as sharp looking.

 

We've read a lot of different opinions on the best veneer / glue combinations and are weighing the benefits of each.  The majority of my experience has been with plastic laminates and contact cement.  Thinking I'd be more comfortable using a contact cement with a wood backed veneer... but still open to advice from those with more experienced in this area.

 

Also, looking at one of your grille designs, it looks like you're using 1/4" material.  I was wondering if you think this makes the edge above the tweeter too thin and vulnerable to breaking.  I think I'd like to use a similar thickness for our grilles to keep the solid wood trim pretty shallow (1/2"? depending on the final thickness of the grille). To address the thin grille edge concern we are probably going to add 1/4" MDF sheets to the sides and top of the cabinets allowing extra width on the grille above the tweeters and giving a perfect surface for the veneer.

 

Thanks for sharing your inspiring images.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Folks,

 

just a quick update. We decided to rebuild the La Scalas with all new (or refurbished in the case of the mid-range drivers) parts from Bob Crites. We went with the idea of covering the exterior (top and sides) with 1/4" mdf prior to veneering. We're using walnut veneer with solid walnut trim. We're making grilles using the Klipsch fabric with embedded neodymium magnets (under the veneer) to hold in place. The back, lower bin and upper horn compartment will be black except for the roof of the "dog house" which will also be walnut veneer.

 

My wife and I are off for a vacation in Iceland so we'll be picking up the project in late August.

 

Thanks again for all your support,

-Mark

 

 

 

post-63196-0-71980000-1469126857_thumb.j

Edited by mark heija
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Wow! You've done some really great work... I hope ours end up as sharp looking.

 

We've read a lot of different opinions on the best veneer / glue combinations and are weighing the benefits of each.  The majority of my experience has been with plastic laminates and contact cement.  Thinking I'd be more comfortable using a contact cement with a wood backed veneer... but still open to advice from those with more experienced in this area.

 

Also, looking at one of your grille designs, it looks like you're using 1/4" material.  I was wondering if you think this makes the edge above the tweeter too thin and vulnerable to breaking.  I think I'd like to use a similar thickness for our grilles to keep the solid wood trim pretty shallow (1/2"? depending on the final thickness of the grille). To address the thin grille edge concern we are probably going to add 1/4" MDF sheets to the sides and top of the cabinets allowing extra width on the grille above the tweeters and giving a perfect surface for the veneer.

 

Thanks for sharing your inspiring images.

I used paperback veneer and contact cement with stellar results on my first attempt to veneer. Keep in mind though that once the two pieces touch... it's a done deal! (both surfaces coated with a thin layer of contact cement)

 

http://s1368.photobucket.com/user/MCoffel/library/Klipsch%20Heresy%20Restoration

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  • 8 months later...
  • 2 years later...

Well Hello Folks, It has been a while, In fact...

it's taken years to finally wrap up our four LaScala projects. It really helped that I retired last October (43 years) and became a volunteer with just a few projects to focus on (the sweet life!).

Things couldn't have gone better... a beautiful pair now sit on the stage in our newly remodeled games room.

The second pair we made to sell and pay for the parts for all four... so a bit more attention to detail, i.e. the walnut bead molding toe kick and grills held in place with magnets hidden behind the veneer. I just have the one photo now but will post more photos with details soon. 

Thanks again, you guys got us off on the right foot!

-Mark

LaScalas_Walnut.thumb.jpg.42b7034a8fd93d9c0abe981903390fec.jpg

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We sold this pair which covered parts cost for all four.

Thanks, it was fun and satisfying to see just how perfect we could make them.

Learned a lot about the process and came up with some nice techniques.

Hope to lay out in words and photos the whole three year journey,

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