Hi, I’m new here so my first question, hope I’m following the rules. I have a pair of IBL’s in need of some love, anyone know what type of wood or composite they are made from? Also what treatment would you give to freshen them up? Would appreciate helpful answers.
The cabinets are a real wood veneer. What finish are yours?
Thanks for answering, the cabinets are black I think Ash didn’t think they were veneer what would you use to clean revive and polish?
This will be controversial, but I have had remarkably good luck using black shoe cream on fairly significantly scuffed up black ash veneered speakers. Rubbing on a thin coat and then buffing with a soft cloth covers scratches and scuffs and leaves a nice luster.
Obviously a cost/benefit tradeoff, but if you’ve got some really scuffed up speakers, it’s worth a shot.
Black shoe polish also works well on CB or Olive amp cases…
Black ash is a tricky one because the black part is really a paint finish. If it’s particularly bad then your best bet is to rub down the existing finish and then try re-painting with thinned cellulose. However, if you’re unsure or inexperienced here then best don’t do this as it can go very wrong very fast!
I’ve heard that you can “touch in” black ash quite effectively with very black ink (you need true black artists ink here) but never seen this done.
Others have done the black cream shoe polish method (as mentioned above) and had reasonable results.
Really, it depends how bad the cabinets are, what results you’re after, and how far you’re prepared to go to restore them.
I have refinished a few black ash cabinets. I haven’t done IBLs but have refinished SBLs.
I use Black Japan to refinish where possible.
First off, mask of the front panel. Protect your drivers. I make covers out of metal jar lids and tape them on.
Then lightly sand with 1200 grit wet and dry, (in Blighty you may call it something else. It’s a very fine sandpaper). This doesn’t work on deep scratches. For deep marks use 600grit followed by 1200. Beware most veneers are only .6 to .90mm thick. You are not sanding out all the existing polish. Emphasis is on light.
You cannot sand out really deep scratches, you’ll go through the veneer. Consider using a black expoxy filler on really deep scratches. Overfill and sand back. You will see your filler through the Black Japan, (depending on how deeply the veneer has been marked), but it should look better than an unfilled mark.
Then “key” the cabinet with a light,rapid swab of lacquer thinners. This is because most quality speakers are finished with either single or two pack polyurethane lacquer. You have to “key” the old lacquer so the new coating can bond. Apply with a lint free cloth, and basically wipe the veneer. Don’t get this stuff anywhere near your drivers or the plastic parts like speaker terminals.
Apply the Black Japan. It is a spirit based stain/polish so go with thin coats. Very thin. I use a good brush, or spraygun.
This has worked for Kans, Isobariks, LP12 plinths and many other speakers. It only works on real wood (solid or venneer).
Japan Black is not as tough as polyurethane but looks magical.
Experiment with some old veneer first. The Black Japan is a stain and polish, you’ll get a feel for how to build to a great effect.
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