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Curved Overnight Sensations in Rootwood Veneer

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  • Curved Overnight Sensations in Rootwood Veneer

    Here is a project that I've been working on for a month or so. It's finally far enough along to look pretty enough to post up.

    It's a re-jigged Overnight Sensation for a curved cabinet. I went taller and not quite as deep.
    I'm building these with the thought in mind of giving them to a friend at work -- a fact which has helped encourage me to keep working on them instead of taking too many siestas.

    Click image for larger version

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    Pretty simple construction, 1/2" on the top/bottom and front/back. One 1/4" MDF brace to keep the sides straight when the 3 layers of 1/8" HDF gets bonded to the sides.

    I'm planning on doing a nice video on how to make curved cabinets like this on my 'ZAP' YouTube channel in the coming weeks.

    These have hidden-magnet grills and I'll do a video on that as well.

    The veneer is something called 'Rootwood' which I found on Aliexpress. It's just wild looking, I really like the way the grain gets wavy - I haven't seen that before. It's really thin, and had to trouble bending around the 1/4" roundover I put on the front. Front/sides are done in one piece... using the Heatlock Iron-on method.

    Click image for larger version

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    I'll put a few more pictures up here when I get closer to completion.

    The world is changing, and not necessarily for the better. I hope you guys are hanging in there.
    TomZ
    Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
    *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

  • #2
    Lovely.

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow! Tom,

      Those look great!

      Looking forward to the videos . . .

      Comment


      • #4
        Buying veneer on the Chinese site... who woulda thought? The veneer is so cool! Do you think it's a real wood, or is it some sort of manufactured veneer?
        Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

        Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
        Twitter: @undefinition1

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tomzarbo View Post
          ... It's really thin, and had to trouble bending around the 1/4" roundover I put on the front. F
          1) I love these crazy veneers you are finding
          2) I think you meant "no" in the quote above, but wanted to point it out as that is an important clarification if you want to go back and edit.

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          • #6
            They're not coming out too bad, thanks guys. It's been a little while since I've curved a cabinet like this, so I was a little nervous that it would work out okay. But thankfully, building curved-sided cabinets is just like falling off a bike -- you never forget how to bleed. That's how that saying goes, right?

            I have pulled the trigger on a few AliExpress veneers over the past few years, one out of three came with damage... that one was wrapped with just a few circles of craft paper... I mentioned this to the seller of this batch of veneer, and he mentioned he would make sure it was wrapped better, which it was. The slow boat from China is a pretty bumpy ride it seems.

            The specs said it was "Rootwood" and was a natural veneer... but I have to say that I doubt that. There are ever-so-slightly raised portions of some of the dark/light areas similar to the 'reconstituted' or man-made 'Striped Ebony' veneer that I purchased from VeneerSupplies.com a few years ago, which leads me to believe that it's man-made as well. I don't care though, it's really stunning to look at in person.

            I've done a few tests on scraps with lacquer as well as rub-on Minwax poly and they both were accepted by the veneer just fine. That's a relief. I'm leaning towards Lacquer though as it just looks so beautiful on this veneer.

            It's super thin, like 3 sheets of paper thin, which means don't get any glue on the wood side or you may sand through trying to remove it if it dries on. No problems so far, but just a caveat.

            I LOVE how flexible it is though... and the 'fleece' backing they put on is basically invisible, but yet still allows for enough stability to take the iron-on process with no cracking. I think fleece backing is my new favorite.

            TomZ
            Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
            *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

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            • #7
              I am excited about this project!
              Id love to see a link to the veneer and/or the vendor even though its slow boat delivery.

              Comment


              • #8
                Lovely looking speakers, good job and thanks for sharing.

                The Veneer looks similar to the SaiRaiFo stuff I have used which, as you say, is reconstituted and comes is many different natural looking and un-natural grains. I just uses tight bond II put onto the speaker with a foam pad and then clamped the veneer down onto it, worked very well with minimal glue run, then cut off the excess with a craft knife and sanded the corners flat. One of the benefits is that each sheet is pretty much the same so you can make two matching speakers if you wanted.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by bassman_soundking View Post
                  I am excited about this project!
                  Id love to see a link to the veneer and/or the vendor even though its slow boat delivery.
                  Thanks! I'm hoping to make some progress this weekend.
                  You have a PM

                  Originally posted by Ugg10 View Post
                  Lovely looking speakers, good job and thanks for sharing.

                  The Veneer looks similar to the SaiRaiFo stuff I have used which, as you say, is reconstituted and comes is many different natural looking and un-natural grains. I just uses tight bond II put onto the speaker with a foam pad and then clamped the veneer down onto it, worked very well with minimal glue run, then cut off the excess with a craft knife and sanded the corners flat. One of the benefits is that each sheet is pretty much the same so you can make two matching speakers if you wanted.
                  I think you're right, must be reconstituted. I have used Titebond II on this type of veneer before on my Epique small cube sub build... roll on, clamp, and let dry. It worked great. I was curious this time on if the 'fleece' backing was strong enough to hold things together during the iron-on process. It was, no issues at all. Of course, being very thin, maybe the veneer absorbs differently than thicker stuff. But either way, glue-and-clamp, or glue-and-iron... it seems to be pretty good stuff. And this veneer at least was fine accepting poly or lacquer directly.

                  TomZ
                  Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                  *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think I'm finished with the finish.

                    Click image for larger version

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                    Not perfect, but it looks a lot better than in these pics for some reason.
                    I did not 'fill' the veneer. The little 'grain detents' are there to shine through. It looks pretty cool in real life.
                    It darkened up a lot after applying lacquer, but you can still clearly see the grain in real life.

                    Here is a contrast pic with the unfinished veneer...

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                    I spent most of a day getting the driver recesses and openings done. I'm slow with that stuff, always have been.

                    Two sessions with the lacquer spray cans. The first one had a bit of fuzzies in it. Sprayed that on Sunday, probably 5-6 quick coats... then let it set for a day. Then Monday morning I sanded smooth with 320 grit, and then hit them again with another 5-6 coats. I'm pretty happy with this.

                    Now I can cover the grills and start work on the crossovers.
                    More to come...

                    TomZ
                    Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                    *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

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                    • #11
                      These are tuning out really nice!

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                      • #12
                        I really love the proportions of the cabinets. So different from the squat, boxy affair that most OS's and other small TM's tend to be. These are tall and light in comparison. Nicely done.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bassman_soundking View Post
                          These are tuning out really nice!
                          Thanks a lot. I'm hopeful I can polish out any little imperfections that got into the clear. I should be able to.

                          Originally posted by lunchmoney View Post
                          I really love the proportions of the cabinets. So different from the squat, boxy affair that most OS's and other small TM's tend to be. These are tall and light in comparison. Nicely done.
                          Thanks. Since I wanted to keep the same baffle width as designed, I had to go taller to keep the same volume as the rear narrowed. This is what it ended up being the best compromise of those factors.
                          I mean, yeah, I meant to do that.

                          But I agree, they do happen to have kind of snazzy proportions!

                          TomZ
                          Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                          *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            These look great Tom! Love the veneer!
                            Constructions: Dayton+SB 2-Way v1 | Dayton+SB 2-Way v2 | Fabios (SB Monitors)
                            Refurbs: KLH 2 | Rega Ela Mk1

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                            • #15
                              Thanks DeZZar.

                              Grills are done, pretty painless actually.

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                              The little recess is just enough to get the cloth glued in with hot glue and then I used an Xacto knife to cut in that groove and remove the excess. Worked like a charm!

                              Crossovers this week/weekend!

                              TomZ
                              Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                              *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

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