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Veneering La Scalas?


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Hi.

 

I've gotten into a restoration project of some 1981 La Scalas. I'm most of the way through the removal of multiple layers of black paint and getting down to the plywood. My plan is to veneer them. I've never veneered before, so I'm learning as much as I can before I start. The outside of the cabinet seems relatively straightforward. However, the inside of the cabinet seems either very advanced or impossible. Outside veneering is easy because you cut oversized, trim off with a blade and sand down to exactly meet the edge of the cabinet. Inside the cabinet, it looks like a different game. It seems you can only cut the veneer pieces once and they must fit exactly with no room for error, which presents two problems that I can think of. First, it seems to me that there's no way I can make perfectly straight lines inside the cabinet where the surfaces join, so it's going to be a mess of variable little gaps all along the inside edges of the cabinets. Second, let's say I somehow could actually do an acceptable job of that, I'm concerned about possible expansion and having it buckle if it does.

 

Any thoughts on these two questions? Thanks for any guidance you can provide!

 

Aaron

 

 

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Hey Arron,

 

A couple of years ago I was in the same spot as you and I chickened out, mainly because of the interior.

I decided to stick with a very Industrial look...

https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/topic/193068-rags-to-riches/#comment-2517434

 

On my previous project, I went with a bit of a hybrid approach and veneered the exterior and painted the

interior with Black Duratex...

https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/topic/193992-jub-peavey-for-sale/#comment-2529585

 

I have seen a few complete veneer jobs here on the forum, but I did not want to tackle those inner folds of the doghouse. :unsure2:

 

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I'm facing the same dilemma. I'll be veneering my La Scalas in the next few weeks.

 

Right now I'm in the midst of veneering my THTLP subwoofers (mostly straight sides with only 1 tricky bit) to get some experience with veneering. I'm using paperbacked Sapelle veneer and will be applying a pure (i.e., clear) Rubio Monocoat finish. I plan to use the same veneer and finish on the La Scalas.

 

Depending on how I make out with the subwoofers, I may:

  • leave the doghouse alone and just try to stain it to be close to the colour of the veneer
  • paint the doghouse black (likely satin black from a rattle can)
  • veneer the easier pieces of the doghouse and paint the rest black

 

Although I've gone through the site for info about veneering La Scalas and have had helpful suggestions from several forum members (including @HPowerwho gave me the tip about Rubio Monocoat) already, I'll be following this thread with interest.

 

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@aaronhirsch  for the veneer inside the cabinet ........rear/sides / V in the dog-house , you''ll need  some Calque paper  or  heavyweight coated paper  in order to make templates ,    and , once the templates are cut to fit , the veneer will match perfectly as it 's replicated  by the size of the  template .

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5 minutes ago, 001 said:

@aaronhirsch  for the veneer inside the cabinet ........rear/sides / V in the dog-house , you''ll need  some Calque paper  or  heavyweight coated paper  in order to make templates ,    and , once the templates are cut to fit , the veneer will match perfectly as it 's replicated  by the size of the  template .

Yeah, that sounds about right. Thanks!

 

So, one more question: what veneering method would work best in this case: considering the task and considering my lack of experience?

 

 

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3 minutes ago, aaronhirsch said:

So, one more question: what veneering method would work best in this case: .

 the veneer must flow up the cabinet , across the top , and down the other side in order to match , to do it right ....

VIP  ......make sure to install the cut veneer in the correct position , otherwise if you install it upside down , then once glued , the veneer will no longer match 

 I usually number my cut  sheets of veneer with  Post-it  colored paper  ,    and I indicate the arrow , up , or down to follow my steps  , and I test each cut  on the speaker before gluing it permanently

1st apply glue to the cabinet ,  then glue the veneer sections .

 

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Posted (edited)

Ah, right. Yes. Should I use paper backed veneer with some kind of glue or a peel-off type with pressure sensitive adhesive? I'm assuming that contact cement is too difficult.

 

Aaron

 

 

Edited by aaronhirsch
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@aaronhirsch   I tend to prefer the non peel off veneer on plywood  , and peel-stick for MDF   I use the same glue on the cabinet and the veneer sections , you simply cant miss , one the glue sets  on the cabinet , you cover up with the veneer ,

 

if you are not comfortable with  veneer    , what you can do is glue some CNC  cut 1/8 or 1/4 inch Birch or whatever type of plywood  to the sides , top and bottom  , that would save you a lot of work  , + the cabinet would not only look brand new , but at  1 inch thick , this eliminates any vibrations , peel stick veneer or paint can be used on the rest of the cab .

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I went the veneer rout on my 1987 La Scala. They were a garage find, everything was scratched, dented and abused. But the cabinets we still tight.

 

I went with 1/2 inch MDF on all exterior sides to provide a clean surface for the veneer. This also totally eliminated any cabinet "ringing" which the older La Scala's are know for.

 

It took 3     4x8 sheets of veneer to cover the exterior and dog house areas  and to get all the grain to flow right  Local Reno cost for veneer was just under $70 a sheet.

 

 

The dog house is the issue, a real pain in the XXXX    If you can live with painted dog house your project will go 50% faster and your alcohol consumption will be less

 

BTW be sure put a bead of glue on all the inside seams of the dog house and get a new sealing for the bottom piece of plywood to make it air tight.

 

Your at a point to consider the following:

 

Consider cutting the top part of your La Scala's off and then adding a new bottom to that portion  ( think current LS design )  to create a second box.

 

Why  the base bin sound is not as directional as the tweeter and squaker are. By having the top two drivers in their own separate box will help in room placement and sound stage as you can put them at any angle needed.

 

I did no do this but would if I ever did another set  This mod is strictly about enhancing room placement flexibility and makes directing the tweeter to listening ear height a lot easier.

 

FYI   the 1/2 mdf takes away that Live Sound of the old La Scala's but gives you a much more refined sound more in tune with today current models

 

Good Luck   just remember the best day is when you get to fire them up again   My first song was Dire Straits     You and Your Friend it will definitely put a smile on your face

 

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What I’ve done over the years with building race cars and show cars and refurbishment of speakers. Get yourself craft paper and blue painters tap and a very good razor knife. And make templates for the insides and the transfer these to your veneers. Then you should have a exact duplicates of what you’re going to need
When you do it like this, your able to use as many cuts of paper and tape to get the exact fit

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