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Old 20th Oct 2016, 4:39 pm   #1
stevehertz
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Default Re-veneering a hifi receiver

This Realistic receiver came complete with some kind of black stain or paint over the top and also on the front of the side panels to a lesser extent. I considered all my options along the lines of sanding down and re polishing. The biggest problem is that the top is glued to the sides of the cabinet. Normally with this kind of cabinet the sides and top are separate pieces. As this cabinet is one piece, I am unable to do any meaningful, with the grain, sanding on that badly stained top panel, enough to get down to fresh wood, if at all. I didn't want to see remnants of that black stain after lots of hard work stripping etc - even if that was possible. I could have tried to have matched in a new piece of veneer on top but it would never have been a perfect match. Not just that but I want this, a top line receiver to look good, so I have decided to re veneer it. I've veneered speakers in the dark and distant past including thin 1/4" front edges that required very careful, painstaking concentration in order to get it right and not look 'home made'.

As yet the veneer is ordered, awaiting arrival. I'm a big fan of rosewood so that's what I'm going to use. The photo attached is the one from the veneer company, so I doubt if it will exactly the same but I'm sure it will be nicely figured. Updates in due course.
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 5:19 pm   #2
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Default Re: Re-veneering a hifi receiver

Looking forward to seeing the completed results Steve, the sort of thing I'd love to do. I wish there was a night school that taught this.
I spotted this on eBay myself, had no idea that Tandy kit was becoming so valuable! Hard to believe that it is now 16 years since most of the shops closed.
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 7:02 pm   #3
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Default Re: Re-veneering a hifi receiver

Just about anything is collected by somebody... 25 years ago, nobody wanted the 'All Dry' portable radios from the 1950s/1960s, I bought a few as I found them interesting. Now there are others who think likewise...

As regards veneering, I've never done it, but I find I learn more by trying than be being taught. Particularly for something like that where there is no real danger if you make a mess of it. If I was going to learn, I'd buy a few battered not-very-valuable items and have go. If I make a mess, sand it off and try again.
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 7:18 pm   #4
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Default Re: Re-veneering a hifi receiver

Use traditional hide glue, then all you need to do is remelt the glue with a domestic iron and peel it off.

It's actually a lot trickier than that, but this is an example of what it looks like
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 7:21 pm   #5
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Default Re: Re-veneering a hifi receiver

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reelman View Post
Looking forward to seeing the completed results Steve, the sort of thing I'd love to do. I wish there was a night school that taught this.
I spotted this on eBay myself, had no idea that Tandy kit was becoming so valuable! Hard to believe that it is now 16 years since most of the shops closed.
Peter
Peter I think everyone who was around in the 70s including myself had the view that Tandy/Realistic stuff was rubbish. Now, both time and people digging around for information have told us that it was often very good kit. The hifi stuff was made in Japan or Korea by the same people making Pioneer, Sanyo and Hitachi kit, to name a few. There's lots of stuff on the internet about it, especially in America where I think more people embraced the Realistic brand rather than look down their noses at it. My present 'thing' is large 70s receivers and having worked on several now, I can honestly say that the build quality of this one is excellent. Interestingly, it has a very large toroidal transformer similar to the one used in a particularly sought after large Pioneer receiver. Apparently, back in the day, Pioneer objected to this and the next year the Realistic model sported a conventional transformer!
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 7:25 pm   #6
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Default Re: Re-veneering a hifi receiver

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Originally Posted by Craig Sawyers View Post
Use traditional hide glue, then all you need to do is remelt the glue with a domestic iron and peel it off.

Love your work, but I don't understand your point above - why would you want to peel it off? I already use hide glue in my guitar repairs but for this I will be using a dedicated veneer glue. I won't ever be wanting to take it off once it's on!
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 8:41 pm   #7
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Default Re: Re-veneering a hifi receiver

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Sawyers View Post
Use traditional hide glue, then all you need to do is remelt the glue with a domestic iron and peel it off.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevehertz View Post
Love your work, but I don't understand your point above - why would you want to peel it off? I already use hide glue in my guitar repairs but for this I will be using a dedicated veneer glue. I won't ever be wanting to take it off once it's on!
I think Craig may have been suggesting an alternative approach to that described by Tony in post #3:
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…if you make a mess of it… sand it off and try again.
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Old 21st Oct 2016, 9:21 am   #8
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Default Re: Re-veneering a hifi receiver

Yes - but it is tricky to hot hide glue.

Only two tools: A domestic iron (cheapest from Argos £14) and a veneer hammer, which is actually used as a squeegee to press the veneer down. You can buy these; I made mine. Pics attached (there is a rounded brass strip underneath). Two buckets of water, hot and cold, and a wet rag and dry rag.

1. Roughen the surface to be veneered. An old saw dragged across the surface to make a crosshatch.

2. Prepare the veneer to make it flexible. Soak veneer with water and use the iron to force hot water into veneer. Turn over and repeat. Keep going until it "gives up" and becomes really flexible, like a sheet of thin card. For highly figured and fragile veneers that is a whole lot of witchery involved using various preparations and pressure (youtube is good for this) as alternatives to water and iron. You need to do all this even if you are going to use regular veneer glue.

3. Hide glue should be at about 50C and have the consistency and colour of thinnish honey. I don't have a recipe that is foolproof. I have a temperature controlled bath in which I put water, then a jamjar with the glue in it. That way you don't make up more than you will use on a medium size job, and you can rest the lid on to prevent water loss through evaporation. But a pan of hot water and jam jar works just as well.

4. Dampen the surface to be veneered with the wet rag, and brush on hide glue.

5. Lay on nicely flexible damp veneer (cut it with a stanley knife or scalpel to be a cm or two bigger than you need; you trim flush later), and push into the glue with the veneer hammer.

6. Dampen the surface of the veneer, and use the iron to heat the surface, and while the glue has re-melted use the hammer again to expel excess glue around the edges.

7. Tap the surface all over with a fingernail - areas that are stuck perfectly go tick tick tick. Any bits that aren't stuck go thock thock. Wet those areas, heat with iron and push down with hammer.

8. Drink coffee to celebrate a job well done.

9. If it looks awful for whatever reason, soak the surface, remelt the glue with the iron and peel off the veneer.
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Old 21st Oct 2016, 7:02 pm   #9
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Default Re: Re-veneering a hifi receiver

I've had a couple of twin-pot glue 'kettles' for donkey's years for hide glue - a small one and a larger one - which I heat up on a thermostatic electric hotplate, but frankly, for most people doing the occasional job veneering a flat panel, using hide glue is a bit of a faff and if the veneer you use has an open grain, the hide glue all to easily comes through to the surface and you get it on the veneer hammer and start to get into a bit of a mess. Even more so if you use an electric iron! The smell of it - to sensitive souls with sensitive nostrils - is an unpleasant reminder of what it's made from, and hence, not really a product to use if there are vegetarians in the family.

BTW, they're called 'hammers' because cabinet makers in days gone by traditionally used their conventional hammers to smooth the veneer down, but later they developed the now standard veneer 'hammer', which is a misleading term as it's really a 'squeegee' - not a hammer. Easy enough to make - the two that I knocked up are shown below.

Lately I've tended to use 'Titebond' 'cold press veneer glue', which is much more convenient to use than hide glue and isn't expensive. There's a short video at this link:

http://www.axminster.co.uk/titebond-...eneer-ax836045

There are lots of youtube videos on veneering, and some cover the use of PVA glue, whereby you coat the veneer and the panel with PVA, then let it dry, lay it in place and iron it on with an electric iron, which melts the PVA. Incidentally, when veneering large panels it's the norm to veneer both sides to balance the veneers and prevent warping, but on small panels of the type we're likely to encounter on radio cabinets, that not an issue.

Hope that's of interest.

Good luck with the cabinet.
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Old 21st Oct 2016, 7:15 pm   #10
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Default Re: Re-veneering a hifi receiver

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Lately I've tended to use 'Titebond' 'cold press veneer glue', which is much more convenient to use than hide glue and isn't expensive.
That's what I'd already decided to use David. And a roller to press it all down firmly.
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Old 22nd Oct 2016, 7:11 am   #11
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Default Re: Re-veneering a hifi receiver

I recently did the sides of a Rockola jukebox with maple veneer using pva.Rollered it on both surfaces and let it dry before fixing then used an iron to finish.Worked very well.
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Old 22nd Oct 2016, 8:30 am   #12
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Default Re: Re-veneering a hifi receiver

If the cabinet can be emptied, the other very good alternative is hydrographic dipping.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrographics_(printing)
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Old 22nd Oct 2016, 9:44 am   #13
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Default Re: Re-veneering a hifi receiver

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Originally Posted by David G4EBT View Post
Lately I've tended to use 'Titebond' 'cold press veneer glue', which is much more convenient to use than hide glue and isn't expensive. There's a short video at this link:

http://www.axminster.co.uk/titebond-...eneer-ax836045
That is very interesting, particularly if you are doing something relatively small and can knock up some cauls. I'll give it a bash next time I'm doing something like that.

I can see there might be problems if you want to do something more adventurous, like having a veneer join or doing stringing or veneering curved or complex shapes (which is where hide glue really comes into its own). There are youtube videos where people use white glue to do everything, but it does not seem like a relaxing process at all, involving taking everything out of the caul before the glue has quite set to trim edges and then put back in the caul.
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Old 22nd Oct 2016, 9:58 am   #14
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Default Re: Re-veneering a hifi receiver

The most difficult part might be might be the ridge on the side/top interface on that cabinet.

EDIT: Might be easier to knock up a new cabinet, three lumps of MDF, veneer inside of side cheeks and top before screwing together.

Lawrence.

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Old 22nd Oct 2016, 1:59 pm   #15
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Default Re: Re-veneering a hifi receiver

It's not simply three lumps of MDF, it's quite complex. In any case, the existing cabinet is original and apart from applying new veneer I want to keep it that way.

But veneering it is not going to be easy. Firstly, the middle section has to slot into a channel in the chassis front panel, so veneering on top of what is already there will make it too thick. I may have to reduce the thickness of the top panel by removing a layer of veneer from the plywood - not easy given its 'in situ' status. Similarly, I cannot veneer the inside faces of the side panels as that will make the inside measurement of the whole assembly smaller, so it would then not slip over the receiver chassis. I will 'colour' those inside panels to match the lacquered new veneer; you see next to nothing of the inside faces of the side panels anyway.

I'm working it all out in my head, and I'll get there I'm sure.
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Old 22nd Oct 2016, 2:05 pm   #16
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Default Re: Re-veneering a hifi receiver

Good luck with it all anyways, last time I did any veneering we used a vacuum bag but that was for nice big runs.

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Old 22nd Oct 2016, 5:09 pm   #17
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Default Re: Re-veneering a hifi receiver

Thanks Lawrence.
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 1:02 pm   #18
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Default Re: Re-veneering a hifi receiver

The veneer and my glue and roller have arrived. I'm really please with the veneer, both in the figuring and the quality ie not split, nicely cut, constant width etc.
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Old 15th Nov 2016, 3:06 pm   #19
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Default Re: Re-veneering a hifi receiver

Things are moving along - a little.

The problem: I am unable to re veneer the inside faces of the cabinet side cheeks as that would thicken them inwards (the outside faces are obviously not a problem) and the cabinet would no longer drop/slide into place over the chassis sides. So, I have to stain and lacquer those inside areas to match, as best as I can, the new veneer once it too is lacquered. I may add that the amount of the inner side panels that will be visible is minimal, just a very narrow strip along the top and also down the inner faces of the side panels adjacent to the receiver front panel. So that works in my favour; even though I will do my best to attain a match, a 'reasonable' match should be sufficient. The other thing is, the original veneer is quite plain, one colour, whereas my new figured rosewood has many variations in colour, so that again works in my favour, I don't have to find the perfect, one colour match, but something that fits inbetween a range of hues.

So, I just cut a spare strip of veneer and lacquered it. It didn't make a great deal of difference, but as expected, the lacquered version is darker, particularly the areas that were already darker. I can now sand down those cabinet inner panels - not so easy along the cabinet top where this edge is but a couple of millimetres! - but in way that makes it less critical, less will be seen - and then apply stain and lacquer to match the lacquered (new) veneer. I can experiment getting the correct colour stain/lacquer on the greater areas of the side panels as they will not be seen when the cabinet is in place.
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Old 28th Nov 2016, 5:44 pm   #20
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Default Re: Re-veneering a hifi receiver

I started the veneering today. Being a nice dry sunny day it was ideal to lay out the veneer and plan where I was going to cut the various pieces from. I've cut out the two large side pieces and the top. The strips will not be a problem, I'll cut those out when the other pieces are in place and sanded level with the surrounding chipboard. I cut the pieces slightly oversize to allow for fine fettling using a scalpel and sandpaper afterwards. At the moment just one side piece is glued in place. As I speak it's still under compression courtesy of six house bricks. Tomorrow I'll trim that side off and veneer the other side. The Titebond 'Cold press for veneer' glue seemed to work well. It's quite thick and tacky, and is a stone in colour, it's not just a white wood glue.
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