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Coytee

Who / How were finishes decided?

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In days of old, who said "Hmmm...  these Klipschorns (Cornwalls, Belle's...)  might look good in Rosewood, Macassar Ebony..."  or some wild & crazy finish....  "furthermore, those various finishes might match up nicely with these various colors of grill cloth"

 

I get that PWK designed the Khorn but was he the aesthetics artist too, deciding what finishes would be available and what cloth choices would match them?

 

Memory tells me that the customer decided on the wood finish however, it was the factory that had to state what was available.

 

How about today?  Is that what Roy gets to do while hiding in his office eating Blueberries & talking about the Bass that got away??

 

 

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Great question @Coytee, I'm curious about this as well. I think some of the wood finishes look amazing like the new museum edition speakers and grills. Hopefully the Historian @JRH can give us the low down on these questions.

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Or, he'll simply think those guys from TN are a bunch of morons....  maybe flip us the bird as he is wont to do...

 

Seems he's got a reputation for doing things like that at the most inopportune moments...

 

:mellow2:

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I believe that in the early years, the veneered panels were limited to PRIMARILY black walnut and mahogany...then oak was added....then in the late 1960's or early 1970's, rosewood, ebony, etc. were added according to availability and customer request...but things changed later on (1990's??)and many of those fancy fine veneers were scratched off the list leaving Walnut, Oak, and Cherry veneers in order for the "powers at the time" to be "politically-correct" due to deforestation in areas those fine veneers came from and the cost incurred in getting them.  PWK himself was very fond of Black Walnut for veneers...since so much of the fine furniture in those early days was made from it....and his affinity for Black walnut gunstocks.  Most shooters of his day tend to have an affinity for American Black Walnut.

As for the finishes actually used over the years, the furniture lacquers have changed over time due to EPA restrictions...and the oils used for oil finishes have probably changed for the same reasons....not even sure any oil finishes are currently available as an option anymore.

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Coytee, I'll try to keep the bird at bay (for the moment).  In the early days PWK was in charge of all aspects including finishes and veneers.  However, he did solicit opinions from staff, dealers, and friends.  Early 1950's veneers primarily included mahogany, walnut, prima vera, and raw gum! W/o an exhaustive deep dive into the logbooks (a royal PITA) it seems that oak did not surface until the late 60's.  The promotion of "exotics" came well after the employment of Bob Moers in 1961 as the "marketing brains" behind the "technical genius". 

 

Obviously one-offs occurred from the beginning.  One could send in a Western Electric 555 to be incorporated into their Klipschorn!

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On 4/10/2019 at 9:53 AM, JRH said:

Early 1950's veneers primarily included mahogany, walnut, prima vera, and raw gum!  The promotion of "exotics" came well after the employment of Bob Moers in 1961 as the "marketing brains" behind the "technical genius". 

 

Obviously one-offs occurred from the beginning.  One could send in a Western Electric 555 to be incorporated into their Klipschorn!

RAW GUM! Now that's a real surprise!  I bet that stuff was REALLY FUN to get a good long-lasting finish on!  I don't even want to attempt to think about how much it loads-up sandpaper!

 

The "marketing brain" came up with that "Persian nut wood"/"Rambling Rose" scheme, too!  I always thought it was some of the most butt-ugly stuff to ever come thru the plant, myself...BUTT, to each his own....

 

I have always believed that some speakers veneered with pecan crotch-wood would be really beautiful!  Pretty expensive stuff , though.

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Nice tidbits....thank you both!

 

For your helpful info, you are both credited with 2.594 "birds" to let fly at me anytime you wish.  

 

:emotion-21:

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On 4/20/2019 at 4:16 AM, HDBRbuilder said:

RAW GUM! Now that's a real surprise!  I bet that stuff was REALLY FUN to get a good long-lasting finish on!  I don't even want to attempt to think about how much it loads-up sandpaper!

 

The "marketing brain" came up with that "Persian nut wood"/"Rambling Rose" scheme, too!  I always thought it was some of the most butt-ugly stuff to ever come thru the plant, myself...BUTT, to each his own....

 

I have always believed that some speakers veneered with pecan crotch-wood would be really beautiful!  Pretty expensive stuff , though.


Pecan Crotchwood!! That was my Madagascar Sky Boa's fave Launch Tree! 😉

John Kuthe...

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