DIY, Home Cinema

Sometimes you need to go back a bit…

Although I was pleased with my first attempt at veneering, the final finish was too dark.

I’d put an oak tint onto the veneer, which was fine. But then I used another product by the same manufacturer which was an ‘oak-coloured’ wax. But it left the finish far too dark.

So I sanded it down with some steel wool (coarse at first, then 0000), and removed it.

Then I added a few coats of clear wax, buffing in-between, and using 0000 steel wool before the final (for now) buff. I’ll probably coat it again in a few days or a week or so.

I’m much happier with it now.

And yesterday, I bought my first router (woodworking router, not wifi!) and various ‘bits’ and bobs. I’m going to enjoy this new hobby – I’ve got quite a few projects in mind.

Here’s a few photos of the old (darker) finish and the new finish. I’ve also updated the gallery on my last post to show it too.

DIY, Home Cinema

An adventure into veneering (and why I ‘hate’ sub-woofers)

I’ll just come out and say it. I hate sub-woofers.

Well, ok maybe that’s a bit strong. I hate global poverty, inequality and corruption.

But let’s put it this way, I’ve never been ‘in’ to them. They make loud bass. And?

My home cinema system is 5.1 (I did have 7.1 in a previous house with a bigger living room but to be honest I don’t miss the rear pair at all). I love films, but really I’m more into hi-fi than home cinema.

So, I do have a sub-woofer, I just don’t care much for it or them in general.

Maybe it’s a catch-22 situation. Because I don’t care for them, I’ve never bought a good one. So because I’ve only had cheap ones, I don’t ‘get them’? Maybe it’s because I have decent front speakers?

I’ve had my sub for years. It’s a Gale Storm 10 – ie, a cheap ugly big black box.

The ONLY reason I’d buy a better sub is for aesthetics (total opposite of hi-fi where I’d put up with ugly speakers if they sounded better).

Some subs are lovely – well, as lovely as a big box can be. But they tend to cost a fair bit and I just can’t bring myself to spend that sort of money on a bass speaker.

I’ve got lots of goodies in transit from the UK at the moment, due next week, including my Thorens TD-150 MKII turntable (and the rest of my hi-fi equipment and best speakers, so I can finally stop the torture of having to use my home cinema system for music… #firstworldproblem).

It’s a beautiful turntable but I really want to make a new plinth (case) for it. I’ve been wanting to do it for a couple of years. For stability it would be veneered plywood.

My woodworking skills are basic but I’m trying to learn. There is a carpenter literally up the road, so I might just get him to do it for me from my plans, but maybe I’ll try first.

Anyway, yesterday I had an idea. Why not veneer my sub? It would be good practice for the turntable project and (hopefully) I end up with a better looking sub.

So I bought a roll of oak veneer (30 euro), some oak tint and some wax. The veneer is glue-backed and ‘just’ needs to be ironed on.

Last night I stripped the black coating off the sub (using an iron to soften it, a blade to get started and then basically pulled it off in strips).

And today I’ve spent the day in the garage learning lots of things I didn’t know this morning.

The results? Not perfect but I’m pretty pleased. If you look closely there are some small problems with it. And I ended up using the worst piece of veneer on the front (doh). But I think it looks 10 times better than the black sub I had yesterday and it’s taught me some lessons that can help me decide whether to try the turntable plinth myself or not – and give me a better chance of doing a decent job with it if I do.

What do you think of the transformation?

Oh, and now I just need to find the power supply for it… (Seriously).

UPDATE 19th April 2015: I’ve stripped the dark colour back and refinished it, it looks much better now I think.