Vol'ti - v. - to turn over a new leaf; to move forward

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"FL" Khorns 2009
Klipsch Klipschorns Restored by Greg Roberts

A Detailed Photo-essay


I make these photo-essays for several reasons.  First, my customers love seeing the work being done to their speakers day to day.   Obviously these photos showcase my work to potential customers, which helps them to understand the amount of work that goes into a restoration and helps to justify why the costs are so high.  These detailed photos and explanations are also helpful to do-it-yourselfers who are doing their own restoration work.  And, believe it or not, I actually will refer to these essays as a way to refresh my memory when I begin a new restoration.

Download warning!  I like to use large pictures to illustrate my work.

This restoration job was done back when I was doing this as a hobby.   The period of time that it takes to do jobs like this is differnt now that I'm doing this as a business.

These Khorns were shipped up to my shop in Benton, Maine on 5/14/2009.   My customer had Craters and Freighters come get them, crate them up, and ship them to me.   Here's a few pictures of the unpacking.



They were built in 1980.  The stickers are missing from them, but the model would be KBWO (Khorn, B-style cabinets, Walnut, Oil).

The receiver up top is for basic testing of the components to make sure they work.

They were a little rough, but overall not bad at all.  The backs were finished at the factory, and that makes the prep work easier for restoring the backs.  They've already got a couple coats of paint, and the screen is on the back, so just a cleaning and another coat of paint and the backs will be fine.

These have the glued-on edgebanding, which will have to come off, since the adhesion lessens over time.

Three of the four grill frames were broken at the bottom.  I think I can fix them so that the damage is barely noticeable.  The grill cloth is pretty good, but around the bottoms there are broken threads and some damage to the cloth.   But again, I think I can fix them up so that they are 80%.



Next step is to get them disassembled.


I've got 2-1/2 hours in so far.  5/14/09

My customer is sparing no expense on these.  He's having me enclose the back bass horns with wood, I'll be cleaning up and finishing the backs in satin black paint, we're using some very nice veneer, and the upgrades will make this pair of Khorns one of the best sounding ever.

It's 5/29/09 and I've got the shop cleared out for these speakers to be sanded and prepped for veneer.  I should be working on these steadily now for the next few weeks.

The veneer has been chosen.  It's Tineo, or Indian Apple Wood.   Here's a couple of pictures of the veneer before it left the supplier.  They darkened a spot for us to see what it would look like finished.  This is paper-backed veneer from Oakwood Veneer

I've decided to build new grill frames and put new cloth on.  This is really out of necessity since the new grills need to be larger, and they will be attached in a different way.  Because we're putting backs on the bass bins, the overall size of the speaker is going to be 3/4" deeper, and I don't want the edges of those back pieces of plywood to show, so the grills need to be and inch or so wider.  With the backs on there, you won't be able to reach in to secure the wingnuts on the grill frames, so these will be attached with velcro.

Here are the speakers in the shop all disassembled and ready for sanding and prep work.

The veneer edgebanding comes off easily with a heat gun and a putty knife.

The glue comes off easily when it's heated up.

Then a quick sanding on the edge.  I am holding the sander very square and steady as I sand this edge, I don't want any rounding or waviness.

Perfectly square and clean edge on the right, glue still there on the left.   The chip will be repaired with filler.  I'm often asked if all the original veneer needs to come off before re-veneering.  Most of the time the original veneer is sound enough that it does not need to be removed.   I often find small areas that have lifted along the edges or at corners, and I will remove all the loose material and then fill the area.  In this case the edgebanding was not sound and all needed to be removed.

I'm sanding with a random orbit sander and 120grit discs.  Although, I do use 60, 80, or 100 too, depending on how the finish is coming off.  If I were sanding the veneer to restore it, I would never start with 60, probably just keep working with 120 grit.  But since this veneer is getting covered over, I can speed things up with a courser grit and it won't matter how it scratches the veneer.

Pieces sanded, edges cleaned, ready for repairs and filler.

I took the brace off the underside of the tops since these are getting the V-Trac horn upgrade and the brace would be in the way.  I am lightly sanding all the black edges and backs as well.

On some Khorns the bottom trim pieces come off hard.  They are screwed in from the back side before the front of the bass bin is installed, so there's no way to get to the screws.  This trim was plywood, covered with veneer.  I broke the screws off with vise grips and then punched them in with a hammer and nail-set.   As I was punching them in, I was paying attention to see if they were going in easily, and if so, making sure they didn't pop out the back and land in an empty cavity somewhere!   That wouldn't be good to have a rattle from a screw.  The filler used to fill these holes will adhere to the screw inside and keep them from making any noise.

Closing in the backs of Khorn bass bins is a little tricky.  Trickier still if you don't want to reduce the size of the horn.  If I installed 3/4" thick pieces of plywood to close in the backs of the bass horns, and installed them so that they were enclosed within the horn space, that would be a fairly easy installation, and the speakers would still fit back into the corners as normal without any other modifications.   However, that would mean that we took away 3/4" of the horn on each side, all the way up and down, which I think would have a negative affect on the performance of the horn.  So, in order to keep the horn size the same, as if it were sitting in the corner without the backs closed in, I need to install the back pieces back 3/4", or on the outside of the horn.  This will mean that the grills will need to be larger to cover the edges of those back pieces, and the tophat pieces of wood will have to be extended back 3/4" so they fit tight against the wall corners.  This next picture shows some mahogany that I've ripped to 3/4" x 3/4".  I had some mahogany kicking around, and it's a nice wood to work with, as it cuts easily, nails easily, sands easily, like pine, only more stable and a little harder than pine.  I would also use poplar for this if I had any.  These pieces will be attached to the back edges of all the tophat pieces, and the veneer will go right out over them.

In this next picture, I've removed the 1/2" thick original tailpiece and I've put the bottom section of the tophat on top of the bass bin to see how it lines up with the tailpiece braces.  I cut 1/2" off the back of this bottom section to line up with the braces.  Now when I install 3/4" extensions on the back edge, it will line up with the new 3/4" tailpiece that I'll install as part of the back enclosure.

End of the day 5/29/09.  Every piece has had the initial sanding done, all edge banding is off, the trim pieces and tailboards are off the bass bins, and the first edge extension pieces are clamped on the tophat pieces.   I've got a total of 8 hours in so far.

5/30 - I spent only two hours working on the Khorns today, but I got a lot done.  I attached all the mahogany filler extension pieces to the tophat pieces.  I used Gorilla Glue and brad nails.

I also sanded the ones I glued up yesterday.  By the way, these ones are wider than 3/4" because they are reaching back at a 45 degree angle, which to match the 3/4" extensions is about 1-1/32".   I know these extensions look like oak, but they are Philipine mahogany.

I got the first coat of filler on the bass bins and a few other pieces.

I don't know why I take the time to fill and sand the bottoms, nobody ever looks at them!  That's it for today, gotta wait for everything to dry and then I'll get to sanding tomorrow.  10 total hours at this point.

Nope, I'm not done today, just can't get enough!  I put two more hours in and sanded the tophat pieces and put the first coat of filler in.   I used a belt sander with a 50grit belt, which is probably a little too course for this, but with a steady hand it works very quickly to smooth things out.   Warning though, you can do a lot of damage very quickly with a belt sander and 50 grit belt!

After the initial sanding, I trimmed off the overhanging extension pieces with a sliding compound saw.  That was a lot easier than trying to make those small pieces and then nail them on.


Now, really the end of day 5/30 and I've got about 12 hours in on these so far.

5/31/09 - Sunday morning and the weather certainly was not going to cooperate for putting the boat in the water today, so I figured I might as well work!   I had a very productive day.  I only have three pictures to show, but there's a lot of explanation for each.

I continued sanding and prepping the tophat pieces for veneer, and by the end of the day, they were all ready for veneer, including the fronts of the bass bins.  I used a bondo type of filler for the big holes, and for anything on the edge or corners of the pieces, and a lighter weight ZAR wood filler for the nail holes and small cracks.  Both take two coats to completely fill.  I spent more time sanding and prepping where the pieces would be painted than I did where they will be veneered.  Even small scratches will show through paint.

I really didn't have to spend much time prepping these pieces for the veneer, these were in pretty good shape to begin with, at least compared to other Khorns I've restored.  I'm spending a lot more time with the extension pieces and anything to do with closing in the backs.  But everything is ready for veneer now.  I'll get to veneering next week, but first I'm going to build the closed-in backs of the bass bins.  This took a great deal of thought to figure out the best way to do this.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to permanently attach the bottom piece of the tophat to the top of the bass bin, or leave it to be removable.  There were pros and cons to each.   If I permanently attached it, that would mean one less brace needed at the top, which means less wood inside the mouth of the horn, and I also think the whole back structure would have been more structurally sound.  But there were also a few little issues with doing that too.  With that piece fixed in place, that meant that you couldn't easily take the tops off anymore.   The underside of the front lip that hangs over the bass bin would be black paint, while the front edge of that piece and the bass bin would be veneer, which means that taping off and finishing that area would be very difficult.   The edgebanding would be very difficult to install and trim, and the veneer on the front of the bass bin would have to be cut and installed perfectly at the top, because I wouldn't be able to trim the top after it was installed, unless I veneered before I attached the tophat piece, but that would mean building the closed-in backs after veneering, and there's a risk to damaging the veneer.

In the end I decided to leave the bottom part of the tophat separate, the way it was originally.  So in this picture you'll see that the bass bin is upside down, and I've placed the bottom piece of the tophat under the bass bin, and the whole thing is sitting on a turntable so I can easily turn the unit around to work on it.  I carefully located the bass bin on the tophat piece to make sure I had it in exactly the right location, and marked the location with a pencil line.  So I'll use this tophat piece as a template for the closed-in back pieces that need to be made.  I'm not attaching the back pieces to the tophat piece, they are just going to rest on top of it, so when I'm done and I flip the whole thing over, the tophat piece should rest evenly on top of the side pieces.


You'll notice that I've filled in a lot of the holes on the sides of the bass bins because I don't need the angle iron pieces to hold the tops to the bass bins, and I'm changing the size of the woofer chamber covers and the hole locations.   Klipsch used pan head screws for many of the screws holding the bass bin together, and since those stick out, I had to replace any that were in the way of where the braces are going to go with flat head wood screws.  I've sanded the paint off horizontally where the braces will be glued in place and marked a line locating the braces on each side.  There will be four braces per side, one top, one bottom, and two in the middle.  I located the middle ones so they would be on top and bottom of the woofer chamber opening.

I've installed the new tailboards of 3/4" birch plywood.  I purchased a cabinet grade 9-ply from a Canadian manufacturer.  This plywood is not void free, but it is pretty close.  The inner plies are very good material with this plywood.  It is more important to have good quality plies than it is to have a greater number of plies.

The tailboards have 22-1/2 degree angle rip cuts, it's just hard to see it in the pictures.  they will miter up to the side pieces.  The next step though is to make and install the braces.

End of day 5/31/09 - About 20 hours in so far.



Someday I'd like to have a saw that can cut large panels, like the tops of Khorns, or even these templates.  I managed to hack this one out on my 8" Hitachi sliding compound miter saw.  Luckily, they are the same for all four sides, or at least close enough.

Once I had the template made, I cut out 16 pieces by free-handing them through my table saw, cutting within an 1/8" of the marked lines from the template.   Now I can use the router to trim up the new pieces using the template, which is attached to the piece with two screws, and a flush cutting bit.  I used a thin rubber pad under the work area, then four small blocks of wood with "grippers" on each side, under the workpiece to hold it up off the table.  This keep the pieces from sliding around while routing.   Still, I had to hold the piece with one hand and router with the other.
It took about an hour and a half to rough cut the pieces and then trim them up with the router.

So here I'm starting the assembly of the closed-in backs by dry-fitting and screwing the pieces into place.

I'm using two screws for each brace, one on each end.

Here are all the pieces screwed in place.

Here they are all glued up and waiting to be sanded and filled and sanded.   Very rugged, even with the glue still tacky.  I could pick them up by the top two braces and set them on the floor.

This illustrates that the Jubilee or the Jamboree are really about the same size as the Khorn, just a little different shape - a little wider and a little shallower than the Khorn with the backs closed-in.

I'm laying out and cutting the veneer next.  I'm glad these are 9' long sheets.  It gives me the option of just lining up all the pieces to keep the layout the same.  It's not the most efficient use of material, but it's the best layout.  With 8' sheets, I have to shift the tophat pieces to one side and run the angles by each other.  When I do this, I still try to center the grain on the top piece even though it may not line up with the veneer on the front.

Here is one of the sheets of veneer all cut.  Notice that the piece that will be on the front of the Khorn is not at the bottom of the sheet.  That's because it had a better pattern up just a little bit.   There are a couple of really nice elements in the grain in that spot.   So I started with one of the bottoms of the tophat, then did the fronts, and then the tops.  I do the tops right after the fronts so that when you're standing in front of the Khorn, the pattern from the front goes right up onto the top.  There's not enough of the other tophat pieces that show to really make this important, but you do see the top when you get right up to it.

Here is the first batch of veneer and pieces glued up.  I've been asked before, what sequence should be used to install the veneer, and I don't think there's a wrong way.  I prefer to have the front edgebanding cover over the front edges of the veneer.  But I don't think there's anything wrong with having the top veneer overhang the edge of the edgebanding.   It's just a matter of preference.  When I do the bass bins, I will install the edgebanding first so that the front veneer covers over the edges of the edgebanding.

Here's what it looks like when the glue has dried and I'm ready to iron on the veneer.

I carefully lay the veneer over the piece so it overlaps all sides.

Then I iron it on.  I don't use a cloth between the iron and the veneer.   I keep my iron clean, and I don't keep it on there an excessive amount of time.  It takes me about 5 to 7 minutes of ironing on a piece this size.

Once I'm done ironing, I flip the piece over and freehand trim the overlaps that are going with the grain.

Then I flip the piece back over and trim with the veneer trimmer.

Then I clamp a straightedge on the other sides and very carefully line it up where I want the cut to be.  I leave anywhere from 1/16 to 1/8 inch hanging over.

Then sand off the little bit that's hanging over.  I don't have a picture for it, but I first sand the top to clean it up.  I use 180 grit discs and a random orbit sander.  I don't want to sand too much on the first sanding because I'll be sanding again when I trim the edge pieces down after they are installed.  After I sand the top clean, I then use the same disc to flush up the edges.  180 grit works well for this because it's just aggressive enough to take off the veneer overhang, but as soon as it's flush and the sander is against the edge of the piece, it's hard to do any damage at that point.   Still, I try to keep my sander very plumb as I sand these edges.  I use a new disc for each panel and save the old discs for hand sanding and hand detailing later.

I've found Makita sanding discs to be the best.

So here's the bottom piece of one of the tophats with the top veneer in place and sanded.  Next step on this piece is to install the edge banding.

I also put the first coat of filler on the bass bins tonight.

I had about 7" of veneer left on each side of the sheet, and I noticed that if I flipped them around and connected them, they would look pretty good.   Not a perfect match, but very close.   Just big enough to do a pair of Heresy's.

6/9/09 - I've got about 3/4 of the veneer on now.  I've edgebanded several pieces and even have the first coat of paint on some of them.  

I've done several coats of filler now on the bass bins and this is with the last coat on waiting to be sanded.

More veneer on the tophat pieces.

I made the grill frames for the bass bins.  I started with 1/2" birch plywood and cut the angles and overall sizes of the four pieces.   Then I laid out a pattern to cut out the openings.  This pattern matches the layout of the braces inside the bass bins.  Since you can't reach inside to attach the grills, as with stock Khorns, these will simply attach with velcro.

Then I attached two of the grill frames together with six small brad nails and drilled holes on the drill press to give the cutouts rounded corners.

Then I cut out the openings using a cordless circular saw and a jigsaw.

With my random orbit sander I sanded the insides of the openings, the outsides of the frames, and cut all the corners to make all the edges smooth.   This picture is before I sanded them.

Here's what they look like in place.  They are purposely made a little too small because once the cloth is on them and they are spaced out a bit by the velcro tabs, the size should be just right.

Getting ready for the next step, which is to put the veneer on the bass bins and edgebanding on the tophat pieces.

Here's one of the bass bins with the veneer on.  I think these are going to look spectacular!

Edgebanding

This next series of photos goes through the process of edgebanding.   I use pieces of the veneer for edgebanding, by cutting 1" wide strips from the leftover pieces.  When I'm laying out the veneer, I'm thinking about where I'll get the edgebanding from.  The edgebanding has a curve to it from being shipped rolled up, so (not shown) I stacked them up and bent them back curved the other way and taped them to hold them in that position overnight.

That way they lay out flatter.  This pictures shows the bass bin, the veneer for the bass bin, and the edgebanding taped side by side on the bass bin veneer.  I'm using this as a place to glue the edgebanding.  I'm sorry I don't have pictures of the gluing process, it happens too quickly.  I have to keep moving so the glue doesn't set and make a line, so I don't have time to take photos.  I poured some glue on the veneer next to the edgebanding and used my roller to pick up glue and roll on the edgebanding.  As soon as the edgebanding is wet with glue, I move it off the veneer and onto the table, and then immediately put glue on the veneer for the bass bin.

Glue on bass bin.

Glue on veneer for bass bin.

I carefully select the edgebanding pieces for each of the top pieces.   I'm not necessarily matching edgebanding around the sides and fronts of the pieces, but I am making sure that they are similar in color and grain.  I start by ironing on the side pieces of veneer first, then after trimming those, I put the front piece on.

After trimming the top and bottoms of the side pieces of edgebanding, I then trim the tabs sticking out.  I do this freehand with a knife, leaving a 1/16" hanging over, then use a sanding block, sanding in one direction only, to knock off the part sticking out.

Then I put a dab of glue on the end and let it dry before putting the front piece on.

In this picture, the side pieces have been installed and trimmed, and the front piece is installed ready for trimming.

Trimming.

This veneer has been trimming very easily.  All veneers are different, some trim easily, some don't.  The next few pictures shows what happens when you have a difficult piece to trim.  Had I noticed this piece before I glued it on, I might have chosen not to, it was a real pain in the ass.   Thankfully, it's the only one I ran into on the whole project.  It will require some detail work when I finish the piece, to fill in tiny chips.   The photographs make the chips look much worse than they look by eye.   In the end, the customer will have a very hard time finding any imperfections in this piece, without using a bright light and looking very closely.  Woodworking is a series of imperfections brought about by the nature of the wood itself, along with our clumsy tools digging into the wood.  The idea is to be good enough to cover those imperfections to the point where the beauty of the wood misdirects your attention away from the imperfections!

When I trim, I hold my trimmer at an angle so it doesn't take all the veneer off at once.  I like to make several passes, getting closer and closer each time.  I look at the grain of the wood, and trim against it so the blade is cutting in a way that doesn't draw the blade into the grain.  Hard to explain.  By not cutting all off at once, I can get a feel for the grain on the first pass, and if need be, I can turn the trimmer around and trim back the other way.  This picture shows that perfectly.  You'll see how the blade was drawn down into the veneer.  I turned it around and it cut better.  Since I wasn't cutting all of it off on the first pass, I could go back and trim down and get rid of the chips that were caused on the first pass.   Notice how "flakey" this veneer piece is?  Those are the problematic ones.

On this same piece, but down a little farther, even with trimming the proper way, I still had a chip.  Luckily, the chip was sitting on top of the panel, so I glued it back in.  I don't know if you can tell, but this was a very tiny chip, and not easy to glue back in.  At this point, there was still a little that could be trimmed off the edgebanding after I glued the chip back in.

Here it is glued in and sanded.  I used a little bit of the Heatlock glue and then ironed it while it was wet, and it dries and sets the glue.   The little chips will have to be filled with filler.  Again, these are very tiny chips that are being accentuated by the camera.

After trimming the edgebanding, the next step is to sand it flush with the top and bottom of the piece using 180 grit discs.  I sand the back first, and because these were factory painted black (on the backs), the black paint clogs the sanding discs and makes a mess on the veneer.  I use my used discs for this.  Then I wipe down the edgebanding with a solvent to remove the black paint powder.  After I do the bottom, I flip the piece over and sand the top and then the edgebanding.


Here's a corner after sanding the whole piece and edgebanding to 180 grit.   I try not to sand too much at this stage, only enough to clean up the piece and flush up all the edgebanding.  I'm particularly careful about sanding the edgebanding, as it's easy to get the sander on an angle and go through the veneer, or sometimes I'm "chasing' a dark spot that I think is glue, but it's actually a grain line in the veneer!   The finish sanding will be done with 240 grit after the paint is installed, and that's where I'll really do the final detail/sanding work.

I'm not real happy about this, but it's just the way it is.  When sanding small areas like this, the random orbit sander rocks and rolls enough that it will round over the edges, no matter how carefully you hold it.  See the roundness, where it should be perfectly square?  I keep telling myself that it's painted and the back of the speaker and nobody will see it.  This shows why I like to veneer before painting, because the edges of the veneer will get black paint this way.  Plus, imagine if I had painted this and then installed the veneer, how would I be able to trim the veneer flush without damaging the paint?

Edgebanding pieces for the bass bins were cut from the material at each side of the front piece of veneer when I did the initial cutting of the sheet.  This way, the color and grain will flow from the top veneer and over the side edges of the bass bin onto the edgebanding.  In theory.  Because of the trimming of both the edgebanding and the front piece of veneer, it doesn't match up perfectly.


First coat of paint done and sanded ready for second coat.


Special painting shoes.

I don't fool around when I'm painting.  I buy a really nice respirator, and I cover everything!  Yes, I'm smiling.

As you get older, you figure out easier ways to do things.  Mostly out of necessity due to aching back or sore knees!  I can tape up a piece like this, ready for paint, in about 20 minutes, with it elevated, on a turntable, and in my favorite work chair.

6/13/09 - I started on the grill cloth today.  Not my favorite thing, so I'll try and spread it out, doing one each day and then also working on something else.


All of the parts are painted now and ready for the final sanding and detailing before putting a finish on the veneer.  Here's one of the grill frames in place.





One interesting note.  When I'm restoring Khorns, I'm able to move the bass bins around my shop alone, but with the back pieces attached to these, it's much more difficult.  I could probably still do it alone, but I risk possibly damaging them, moving them from my paint room to the shop.  So to avoid that risk, I've been calling my nephew to come over and help me move them.   This is something I have to figure in the cost of enclosing the backs of Khorns, or when working with any of these really big speakers like the Jamborees.

I decided to put oil on these before I spray the lacquer.  I normally just clean the wood up, detail, and then spray lacquer, but with these, I thought they could benefit from the coloring and chatoyance that they oil provides.   He he he, I learned a new word and just had to use it.  Chatoyance, is the affect you get from the wood grain when it exhibits wavy luminous bands and a silky lustre.   Oil will tend to do this when it's wet, not so much after it's dried.  But when you spray the lacquer over the oil, it makes the oil look like it did when it was wet.  I'm also thinking of putting a sanding sealer on these before lacquer.  This will seal the oil and any open grain and allow me to easily sand before the lacquer coat.

The only picture I have of one of the detail steps; putting a slurry of wood putty and oil over the veneer to fill micro-cracks.

What I've done is 'cut' the edges so they aren't so sharp, I've sanded with 240 grit with the random orbit sander, I put oil on where I was going to use filler, where there are joints that are open where the veneer is joined together, or cracks in the veneer itself.  Then I used colored wood filler that I mixed to provide the color I wanted and put that in the joints or cracks and immediately wiped it off with an oily rag with heavy oil.  Then I oiled the whole piece and let the oil sit for ten minutes or so, and then wiped it dry.   This is what it looks like:

My customer and I have been concerned from the begining, about the splotchiness that this particular veneer had in it, but as you can see, the oil turned the splotchiness into this wonderful grain pattern in the sapwood part of the veneer.   I am very pleased with how this veneer is turning out.  The oil really makes the grain pop.  The lacquer will give it the sparkle and hard finish.

Here's another shot later that evening, in different light.

Here are the other pieces drying in the paint room.

About 75 hours total right now.  

6/26/09 - I did just a few tiny touch ups on the veneer with some paint and an artists brush, and then I put a coat of sanding sealer on.  Sanding sealer is an unwaxed shellac, which is a very crude product.  The reason for using it is to seal the surface of the wood with something that is easy to sand smooth to prep for the nicer finish coats to follow.  The problem is, this sanding sealer was NOT easy to sand.

It goes on a lot like brushing lacquer, which is a product I would never recommend using.  You only have seconds, literally, before the product flashes and then if you try to brush over or near it, the brush drags on the product and makes lines.  If it sanded easily, that wouldn't be a big deal, but this stuff gummed up my sanding pads within seconds.  Needless to say, I wish I hadn't put this crap on.

So I spent some time sanding and I even applied more oil, fearing that my sanding might have lightened some areas enough to cause splotches.  As I was applying the oil again, the pieces looked very nice, and the chatoyance of the grain was very evident.

After I saved the finish from the stupid sanding sealer product, I then applied the first coat of lacquer, which went on very smoothly.  But I'm running into some troubles because of the humidity that we're having here right now, and so I'm going to just leave things for now and wait until it dries out here a bit before I continue.  Maybe some day I'll be able to afford to install AC, which will help keep my shop dry during these extended damp periods.

So I'm on hold here for a while.  The good news is that once I get the lacquer on, the only thing left to do is assemble them.  And test them of course!

6/29/09 - Well, I woke up Saturday morning and the rain had stopped and it wasn't as humid, so I sprayed the final finish coat on the first batch of pieces.  Then Sunday morning wasn't bad either, so I sprayed some more.  I'm finally on to the assembly stage now.  I still have more finish to put on so I can't do everything yet, but I'm gaining on it.   The weather up here in the Northeast is terrible right now, raining pretty much every day.

Sometimes it's hard for me to get good pictures in my shop because the lighting conditions are always changing and I get a lot of glare from the windows or the lights.  But this one came out beautifully.  Final coat of satin spray lacquer.  I use Minwax lacquer in a spray can and this is the best brand I've used.

Work to the bass bins.  I put felts on top.

Installed the new Crites woofers and new wiring.

New binding posts for banana jacks.  An easy way to drill the holes for these is to use the dual male banana plug and tap it with a hammer against the wood, and it will make two impressions where the holes need to be drilled for the female posts.

I wish I had attached the woofer doors before I did the side pieces to make the holes for the screws.  It was a bit tricky with a stubby screw driver driving the screws into bare wood.

I put velcro on the backs of the grills.

And also on the sides of the bass bins.

Here's a few pictures of how they're looking right now.  I tried to get pictures with different lighting.





I've got about 92.5 hours total in right now.

7/4/09 - Over the last week I've been busy with a lot of other things, but I've been able to do the final assembly on these speakers.

Here's a picture of the crossover networks.





The components.  Beyma CP-25 tweeters, BMS 4592ND-MID midrange drivers, ALK Universal crossover networks.

I'm putting all new wiring in them.

I like to terminate my wires this way.  Gold plated spade ends with the wire soldered in.

As of right now I've got all the components in and wired up and they are singing!  97.5 hours total right now.  Just a couple more details to do to them, then a really good cleaning, then take photos, and finally crate them up.  I will be running tunes through them overnight for a couple of nights to break them in too.

7/5/09 - I decided to put a couple of resistors in the crossover networks so the tweeters could be attenuated by -3db if necessary.

Here's the hookup NOT attenuated

Here is the hookup -3db attenuated

Here are the finished photographs, including the backs and components.   Keep in mind that the redness comes from the halogen lights, they really aren't that red in normal lighting.

Here's a breakdown of the final hours:

Total hours 103
I didn't mark down the two hours to take the finish photographs, or any of the photographs for that matter.  Nor have I tracked the hours to process the photos or make these webpages.

Basic restoration - Estimated 60 hours  (actual hours 60)
Finish backs - Estimated 15 hours (actual hours 10)
Enclosing the backs - Estimated 12 hours   (actual hours 20)
Grills - Estimated 10 hours   (actual hours 7.5)
Crossovers labor - Estimated 6 hours    (actual hours 4)
New wiring labor - Estimated 3 hours    (actual hours 1.5)

Total estimated hours 106 - Total actual hours 103


The world's finest sounding Khorns?   Probably.   At least in 2009.


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FLKHorns Restoration


Volti Audio - Klipsch Khorn V-Trac Upgrades and Restoration