Cost to veneer 3-way cabinets? - diyAudio
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Old 14th September 2013, 04:09 AM   #1
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Default Cost to veneer 3-way cabinets?

I've had this project sitting around forever, am trying to finish it. It's a 3 way design called the "Lyra" (there are lots of threads here about it) which is just based on inexpensive Parts Express drivers. i probably have about $600 into it.

i took the cabinets to a local furniture maker, and they quoted me $885 finished or $715 unfinished for veneering the pair. That includes the cost of the rosewood veneer which they say is about $120.

they're about 2 feet tall, and have a radius on the front left/right sides which is about 1-1.5". I also told them i would sand it and fill any gaps before giving it to them.

im not prepared to spend that since these are not $1500 speakers. if their shop rate is $75/hr, that is 5 hours per cabinet. what is reasonable? i dont have time to try to do it myself.

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Last edited by fluckscapacitor; 14th September 2013 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 14th September 2013, 05:25 AM   #2
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Location: MN
Between the shallow driver recesses and the huge size created by the wrap-around, seems like there's a fairly high chance of a small error meaning a large re-do. I'm guessing their quote takes that into account? Maybe you should consider the auto body shop route.
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Old 14th September 2013, 07:44 AM   #3
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IMHO, giving the speakers to a professional to finish them defeats at least partially the purpose of DIY.
I suggest you learn to veneer on something smaller at first or you should be prepared to paint the speakers.
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Old 14th September 2013, 08:33 AM   #4
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Location: Lisbon
choose a dark varnish and apply it , they will look good. Great cabinets , love those 3 way " bookshelf " speakers
Just because im getting bald doesnt mean i cant like hair metal
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Old 17th September 2013, 04:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by giralfino View Post
IMHO, giving the speakers to a professional to finish them defeats at least partially the purpose of DIY.
I suggest you learn to veneer on something smaller at first or you should be prepared to paint the speakers.
unfortunately, just dont have the time. dont even have time for work i get paid to do!
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Old 17th September 2013, 07:18 AM   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2007
There are several YouTube videos demonstrating how to lay DIY Wood Veneer. Typically it is ironed on with a clothes iron.

Here is one example from YouTube of Iron on Veneer. These veneers are also available at the local lumber or building supply store.

Woodworking - Ironing veneer on speaker cabinets - YouTube

You can have real wood veneers or plastic vinyl veneers. The Vinyl is used on most speakers under $1000/pr.

Here are some examples -

Band-It Walnut Veneer 24" x 96" Paper-Backed 260-048

Walnut Vinyl Laminate 2 ft. x 18 ft. 261-626

Real wood is about twice as expensive as fake vinyl wood.

Did you have any ideas for the type of finish? Light? Dark? Black? White? Woodgrain?

A satin or gloss black finish is probably easiest. If you know someone or have someone near you who paints motorcycles or cars, a simple solid color Satin or Gloss finish would be relatively easy.

I mean Earl Schweib will paint any car for about $100, certainly you can get you speakers painted for a reasonable price. Today many prefer high gloss black, but I think I would prefer a Satin final clear lacquer. To each his own.

But, you are limited to solid colors. Unless you want your motorcycle guy to paint Metal Flake or Metallic with flames. Still Hot Rod and Custom Motorcycle colors can look nice. I has a friend who had his bike painter ROOT BEER CANDY over silver metal flake. The Root Beer was a very nice reddish brown color.

You need to mask off the speaker and terminal openings to they don't change size. Though that depends on how thick the final finish is. Though at least one thin coat of a somewhat matching color will allow the openings to blend in better. Those are details that can be worked out with the Painter.

In wood finishes, you could check with someone who does Faux finishes. I've seen Faux wood that look virtually identical to the real thing. Normally these Faux wood finishes don't have a final clear coat, but if done nicely, a final coat of clear gloss or satin finish would dress them up nicely. Those who specialize in Faux finishes are used to doing whole houses, so speaker boxes would not be a big thing.

Next is prep work. To keep the cost to a minimum, the speaker need to be finished very finely. Every edge, dent, imperfection has to be filled and sanded smooth. The better the condition of the boxes when you give them to the finisher, the better the final result.

For example, all edge grain would have to be filled and sanded. End or edge grain can be especially rough.

If you can find a solid color that you think you might like. Then that is the fastest and cheapest way to get them done. Consider "Candy" colors. This is a pallet of paint that is colored but also clear, transparent. This is usually painted over metal flake, and the metal flake will show through the outer coat. Metal flake might be a bit much for speakers, but Metallic or Pearl might work.

Again, it hinges on the general appearance of the base undercoat. Then you paint over it with the "Candy' color of your choice. Likely anyone who paints Hot Rods or Motor Cycles will have sample of this type of paint, or you could look it up on the Internet. In my mind, if you like a brown wood-tone, even though it won't have wood grain, then a Root Beer or similar color over metallic or pearl under coat would look very good.

So, you have options, it is just a matter of what you want for the final result.

A simple Black, White, Red, or whatever solid color paint finish, assuming the box is properly prepped when you deliver it to the painter, is probably the fastest and cheapest.

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