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Advice on repairing Cornwall speakers with non-typical "waterstain"


gstein
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Brand new to the Klipsch forum.  Thought I would post a few pictures of some Cornwall IIs that I just picked up to see if anyone has advice on refinishing the top on one of the cabinets.  I've refinished several speakers in the past, but the damage on the Cornwall is new to me.  It appears to be a water stain, but every other water stain I've seen on other speaker cabinets typically will create a darker ring, not a lighter ring.


I think what may have happened on the Cornwalls is the water ring removed the several layers of finish (not sure if it was lacquer, shellac, etc.).  Was hoping a Klipsch member might know what finish was used originally on these Birch speakers or if they can tell if the finish was done by the owner after the speakers were purchased?

 

I've read where denatured alcohol can be used, then sanding and refinish but would rather get some feedback from others before attempting any type of wood repair.

 

Other than the water ring, the cabinets and overall speakers are in excellent condition.

 

 

 

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Well, it was definitely an added finish as those came originally as "Birch Raw".  You can also tell from the way they did around the labels.  What it is, though, I can't tell without seeing it up close.  Maybe a shellac?

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Looks to me that whatever made the ring removed the finish that whoever/whenever applied. Light sanding with fine sandpaper (220 or so) and work your way finer (400-600) and refinish. Maybe even go a little darker with the finish.

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1 hour ago, gstein said:

Brand new to the Klipsch forum.  Thought I would post a few pictures of some Cornwall IIs that I just picked up to see if anyone has advice on refinishing the top on one of the cabinets.  I've refinished several speakers in the past, but the damage on the Cornwall is new to me.  It appears to be a water stain, but every other water stain I've seen on other speaker cabinets typically will create a darker ring, not a lighter ring.


I think what may have happened on the Cornwalls is the water ring removed the several layers of finish (not sure if it was lacquer, shellac, etc.).  Was hoping a Klipsch member might know what finish was used originally on these Birch speakers or if they can tell if the finish was done by the owner after the speakers were purchased?

 

I've read where denatured alcohol can be used, then sanding and refinish but would rather get some feedback from others before attempting any type of wood repair.

 

Other than the water ring, the cabinets and overall speakers are in excellent condition.

 

 

 

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3 solutions ------sand  - then re-stain , but the entire speaker wont match the top  very well -  2) use a furniture type repair crayon and fill in the area -  3)  very light wet sanding  around the cup mark   , then a stain correction with a crayon

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Whatever the finish is it must have had 5-6 layers at least applied.  I say this b/c there is a significant ridge where there is no longer finish.  Good news, with all those layers I think it acted as a natural barrier to protect the cabinets all these years. 
 

RandyH - I think I am going to try method 3 first.  I agree that if I take all the finish off it may be hard to match the rest of the cabinet. Hoping I can get the repair done where only under closer inspection can you see the prior ring. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

One last question, when you say crayon, do you mean the stain stick pens (with all the various wood stain colors) you can get at the hardware store?

 

Edit:  Just re-read prior post, got it, furniture wood repair pen.  Thanks.

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1 hour ago, gstein said:

One last question, when you say crayon, do you mean the stain stick pens (with all the various wood stain colors) you can get at the hardware store?

correct , try to get a crayon that is the closest  to the shade of the stain - 

 

Minwax has 2 products that can help 

https://www.minwax.ca/wood-products/maintenance-repair/minwax-blendfil-pencil

https://www.minwax.ca/wood-products/maintenance-repair/minwax-wood-finish-stain-marker

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5 hours ago, gstein said:

One last question, when you say crayon, do you mean the stain stick pens (with all the various wood stain colors) you can get at the hardware store?

 

Edit:  Just re-read prior post, got it, furniture wood repair pen.  Thanks.

Yes, the pens can help camo the repair. Minimal at first may suffice.

Agree that heat likely as created a ridge.

Welcome!

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Cicerogue - after applying a small amount of denatured alcohol to the back of the cabinets, I am almost 100% certain the finish is shellac.  The finish came right off with almost no rubbing required.

 

I have tried a variety of applications and don't really like how any came out.  I used some stain pens but the issue is the area I need to cover is too wide.  If it were just a scratch, no problem, but trying to match a 1/4" wide section is just too noticeable, almost draws your eye more towards the blemish. Quite frankly, I think the original blemish looks better than trying to hide it with some easy fix, so I have removed the stain pen repair at this point.

 

I may try to just shellac the lighter area but also think that the outcome will be similar to my results above.  Need to think if I want to remove the shellac from the entire top of the cabinet.  However, if after re-shellacing, and if the color doesn't match the rest of the cabinet, I just signed my self up for refinishing not just the remaining cabinet but the other speaker cabinet as well.  Ugh!  Best course of action may be to just live with it for a while to see how distracting the blemish is. 

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16 minutes ago, gstein said:

Best course of action may be to just live with it for a while to see how distracting the blemish is. 

You could always cover the tops with cloth or doily type thing. Potted plants that require lots of water work well too so I'm told. 🙃

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Don't give up now!  You have already done the most important step by identifying the finish.  Most people just skip this and proceed right to whatever someone on the internet told them to do.

If you want, I can walk you through the process of learning how to work with shellac.  It is the easiest finish to repair, once you practice a little.  If you try it out on a scrap piece of wood and decide you are not up to it, you will be out less than $30 and a few hours messing around in the garage.  And your speakers will look no worse than they do now.

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On 10/7/2021 at 1:04 PM, jimjimbo said:

Really don't think that's a water stain.  Might actually be a heat ring.  Whatever, yes, wipe with mineral spirits, dry, then light sand and refinish.  Keep us posted please.

Would that be from something like a really hot coffee mug being put on there?

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Cicerogue said:

BTW, that blemish is from a glass of bourbon, scotch or other distilled spirit.  Easy matter to duplicate it on the other speaker, if you prefer.

That's classic. 

 

I hope he goes with the repair, I would love to see how you do this.

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8 hours ago, gstein said:

...after applying a small amount of denatured ... Ugh!  Best course of action may be to just live with it for a while to see how distracting the blemish is. 

Can you try your shellac on a sacrificial piece of similar veneer or wood? That way you can tell whether the shellac will match, without discovering on the speaker itself.

Also, does shellac change color with time? It may match better as it ages.

 

Lastly, how about placing SMOKED GLASS or mirrored tops on both speakers? You'll protect them and the smoked glass/mirrored glass will hide the imperfections. I'm sure there's a glass shop that could hook you up with something nice.

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