Tolex removing and staining of an amp & cab



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Tolex removing and staining of an amp & cab

Postby Glace_Noire » Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:14 am

I love dark walnut stain finishes on Janice or Emperor cabs so I'm thinking about removing the tolex from my Laney VC30 and Framus 212 cabinet, & then staining them.

I've read mixed thing here and there on the internet about the final results.

I know a hardwood rehousing would be much better but since there are products on the market to stain plywood, and as the plywood in my amp & cab is not cheap looking (i will post some photo), it seems it should look really good

I love the stain of Kosta in the "Let's see your guitar" thread: Image

Is there anyone here who has tried this before?
Do you think that I could achieve something similar on plywood?
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Re: Tolex removing and staining of an amp & cab

Postby JonnyAngle » Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:26 am

If you love to diy, then I say go for it! If you're tryin to save money or increase the value of your amp and cab I would say don't go for it.

the hardest part is removing glue. Once it's hacked off, you need to make it look pretty again
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Re: Tolex removing and staining of an amp & cab

Postby Glace_Noire » Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:47 am

Thank you dude for the advice!
In fact I would do it just in an aesthetic purpose
I'll try to remove the tolex with a sharp spatula and a blow dryer
Will go to find some staining product at my local home depot this weekend
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Re: Tolex removing and staining of an amp & cab

Postby ChannelingHemingway » Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:24 am

Even with the blowdryer you're going to have glue residue, and even if you can't see it at first it'll be very obvious once you start staining . I'd strongly recommend spending the $20-30 for corded 5" orbital sander and doing a few passes up to around 300 grit before applying any kind of finish.


Edited for sandpaper grit. 220-300 for staining, 400ish before clear coating.
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Re: Tolex removing and staining of an amp & cab

Postby kosta » Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:37 am

Yeah, I'll vouch for that. I put some sealer/filler on my guitar after 2 coats of stain, and it kept much staying from getting into the wood afterwards. It was killer for filling pores though. I sanded it a ton and the guitar is really really smooth now. That glue will be tough to get past without a lot of sanding I bet.

Thanks for the kind words about the Mustang!
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Re: Tolex removing and staining of an amp & cab

Postby KaosCill8r » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:00 pm

Maybe softening the glue with some paint thinner might help you scrape it off easier. :idk:
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Re: Tolex removing and staining of an amp & cab

Postby Glace_Noire » Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:04 pm

Thank you guys for the tips! I think I'll dive into this project next weekend armed with an orbital sander
@Kosta: your finish on this Mustang is my ultimate goal! What a beauty! :drool:

So what I've understand is:
-tolex removing
-sanding
-sanding
-a lot of sanding
-multiple layers of stain (do I have to sand between each layers?
-clear lacquer
-light sanding with a thin grit
-final clear lacquer layer

Am I right?
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Re: Tolex removing and staining of an amp & cab

Postby Bon Hoga » Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:15 am

Don't do it, it looks disgusting and it'll ruin the resale value of your gear.
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Re: Tolex removing and staining of an amp & cab

Postby waltdogg » Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:27 am

It really depends on the cab itself if it will come out good or not. Particleboard looks like shit stained, other cabs might be plywood but are boxed jointed instead of finger jointed and have awkward edges that really should be protected with tolex.

I've done this to a Sovtek MIG 100, an old no name 2x15 cab, and my Ampeg 8x10. Luckily all these cabs were old and made from good cuts of wood and were well made and don't need their vinyl covering to hide cheap construction lol. Followed the same process as suggested, strip, sand, treat, sand, stain, sand, stain, and sand.
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Re: Tolex removing and staining of an amp & cab

Postby Glace_Noire » Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:16 am

I have just removed the rear panels of my framus cab to post some photos
It seems to be full plywood but I have no clue how the construction is done under the tolex
Image
Image
Image
Image
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Re: Tolex removing and staining of an amp & cab

Postby waltdogg » Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:25 pm

Looks box jointed instead of finger jointed. The side and top and bottom panels have their adjoining edges cut at 45 degrees and are then glued, maybe nailed together. The outside edge edges sometimes look good, sometimes they don't. If it were finger jointed you'd be able to see groves in the joints every 1/4" where each panel interlocks with "teeth" or "fingers" and glue, no nails. Or 1/4" bumps in the tolex from the outside.
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Re: Tolex removing and staining of an amp & cab

Postby KaosCill8r » Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:32 pm

Maybe an iron on timber veneer would give you a cleaner look to start with, then just stain the veneer. :idk:
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Re: Tolex removing and staining of an amp & cab

Postby ChannelingHemingway » Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:12 pm

It's probably box/butt jointed, but damn if that plywood isn't pretty. Mahogany with a bit of curl, from the looks of it (at least on the face).

I'm something of an enabler, but I say strip the tolex, see what you have to work with, post pictures here if you want a second opinion, and go from there. If it turns out the wood underneath looks like shit you can always re-apply tolex, but in a less boring color. Like dark blue. Because ampegs are hella sexy.

And yes: a light sanding between layers of staining to knock down any grain that rises is probably a good idea. Finally, you don't want to sand through the top layer of the ply.
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Re: Tolex removing and staining of an amp & cab

Postby JonnyAngle » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:51 am

Good luck. I'm glad to see you taking the plunge.
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Re: Tolex removing and staining of an amp & cab

Postby Iommic Pope » Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:02 am

You will sand for days.

But, the best/fastest way to get the tolex and glue off is with a heat gun and a paint scraper.
Paint thinner/a solvent will help the really gank glue, but the heat gun does all the heavy lifting.

Word to the wise, don't burn the wood grain with the heat gun. Yes, it will mark.
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