Changing rail color?

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SugarMedia

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The store I'm getting my Aeon's from only has the rails in the light oak color. So rather than buying another set of rails I'm thinking about changing the color myself. Does anyone forsee any problems by doing this myself?

I will strip them, restain them in black, and then putt a high gloss satin finish on the them. Seems rather simple, right?
 
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jjqiv

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I stained and Polyerothaned a piece of wood that I used to replace the top glass sheet on the audio rack in my non-logan system and someone came over to my house, looked at it and said I should have used black ink to stain the wood instead of black stain. I would have come out blacker.
 

SugarMedia

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hmmm... very interesting. I'm guessing this is just normal ink, that is commonly used in writing pens, yeah?
 

risabet

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Don't do it Man!

SugarMedia said:
The store I'm getting my Aeon's from only has the rails in the light oak color. So rather than buying another set of rails I'm thinking about changing the color myself. Does anyone forsee any problems by doing this myself?

I will strip them, restain them in black, and then putt a high gloss satin finish on the them. Seems rather simple, right?
Do you know what your doing? The rails are highly visible and this won't be as easy as you think.

What type of stain will you use? Most common stains will require multiple coats to hide the grain of the wood. Water based stains will raise the grain so you need to dampen the unstained rail, let it dry and resand. If you sand the wood too smooth the stain won't penetrate.

If you use a dye stain, which soaks into the wood, you'll still need multiple coats but will probably get better results but you need to use a water-based dye as opposed to alcohol-based which is less light fast than the water-based dyes.

Are the rails solid wood?, doubtful due to the tendency of lumber to warp, if not, be careful not to sand through the veneer, about 1/32 to 1/64" thick. You can't fix this mistake. Any sanding will make the rails smaller and effect their fit on the speakers.

Are you going to use a gloss or a satin finish. Gloss finishes are difficult to apply correctly, require multiple sanding steps and need to be level to have a visibly smooth finish. Satins are usually easier to apply but don't have the shine of a gloss.

I spend many hours in my woodshop and for the amount of work that is involved with getting this correct, I would order the finish I want and wait a while to get it.
 

SugarMedia

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Thanks for the great info Risabet. Now I'm scared.

I'll call ML Corp and see if I can get more info on the Rails. If I recall correctly, I did think they were solid wood.
 

risabet

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Hate refinishing

Refinishing is the most difficult thing in woodworking. Those of us who have the hobby mostly try to avoid it. In my case at all cost.
 

Muad'Dib

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I'm assuming you are thinking of a "piano black" finish? If so, it's a real pain in the ass. That said, if you DO decide to go through with it, I'd be interested in your results as I'm thinking of doing the same thing - I didn't think you can buy custom rails for Aeons ?? Their are a couple ways to do it - you could refinish it over the existing veneer or you could strip the veneer and stain the wood directly.

Regardless of how you do it it's going to involve a LOT of time sanding - i.e.: down to 800+grit paper after every coat - and a lot of coats. I used 8 coats of primer and another 6 coats of gloss on the sub I built - The last picture in my system (#14) shows the sub the best, although it's a little blury.

You're also going to need a compressor and an airbrush/paint spray gun.

As for paint, I used Don Edwards (??) auto paint. I was told that it worked very well for the purpose I needed and I have to agree.

I'm not expert and woodworking is not a hobby of mine so I'll defer to risabet on this if I'm wrong.

-D
 

SugarMedia

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Thanks Muad'Dib,

Here's an article I found on the "piano finish." It's doubtful that I will go through the process of a finish like that, though it is the one I want. I was thinking a simple black, similar to what you find on B&W speakers.

http://www.lungster.com/l/speakers/speakers.html
 

risabet

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SugarMedia said:
Thanks Muad'Dib,

Here's an article I found on the "piano finish." It's doubtful that I will go through the process of a finish like that, though it is the one I want. I was thinking a simple black, similar to what you find on B&W speakers.

http://www.lungster.com/l/speakers/speakers.html
A true "piano" finish is a lacquer not a painted finish. Lacquers require long curing times and hand leveling between coats, a spray gun and booth are a big help also. After 4-7 coats of obnoxious, sticky lacquer and 2-3 days cure timeget out the automotive rubbing compound and the power buffer to get that gloss up to the "Piano"finish. A flat black is a damned bit easier but still a lot of work.
 

lexor

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rails

why don't you just take them off spray paint them black and forget it. no mess no fuss. i used epoxy satin black came out beautiful you would think Martin did it. i am sure that is what they do for the black rails.
 

Muad'Dib

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risabet said:
A true "piano" finish is a lacquer not a painted finish. Lacquers require long curing times and hand leveling between coats, a spray gun and booth are a big help also. After 4-7 coats of obnoxious, sticky lacquer and 2-3 days cure timeget out the automotive rubbing compound and the power buffer to get that gloss up to the "Piano"finish. A flat black is a damned bit easier but still a lot of work.
Lacquer was the word I was lookin for. Thanks :)

Didn't know about the rubbing compound though. Should I bother to do that to mine 3 months after I finished it with the last coat?

-D
 

SteveInNC

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I think that I'd go for enamel paint. Lacquer is no longer available in many places due to high VOC content. You might be able to find a woodworker in your area who could duplicate the profile of your rails and run new ones through a shaper in some other wood. This would keep you from messing up the original oak ones in case you ever sell, and the incremental cost of running several sets of rails after the initial setup would be minimal, so you could have spares in case you messed up, or to try alternative processes (dye, etc.). A custom shaper knife is surprisingly cheap to have made (in the range of $12-25). Check around at any local woodworkers supply/hobbiest places in your area for some potential contacts.
 

Paul Pohopien

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I built my own rails for my Aeirus out of solid maple, so if by chance you're in So. Cal, you can have mine..assuming they fit your speakers.

As far as obtaining that piano black finish, I wouldn't be too afraid, and, if you prime the wood appropriately and follow with a black paint from Autozone, Pep Boys, etc. you have a pretty good chance of having that ultra gloss look.

All the sanding people are mentioning is also spot on. I would also, after a couple days of cure time, follow with a few stages of automotive wax. First use one with a very mild abrasive (usually these are the ones termed "swirl remover") then follow with a nice carnuba paste wax.

Should look great.
 

Kenscollick

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I was not satisfied with the light oak on my prodigys and using a satin black enamel spray painy i obtained very good results.

I would not remove the finish just steel wool them with OOOO and then tack rag to remove any particles and finger oils.

Rember the higher gloss the finish the more any imperfections will show.
 
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