Wood finish used on VCS3 cabinet

Discussing some incredible modules that don't quite fit into the other forum categories.

Moderators: Kent, Joe., luketeaford, lisa

Post Reply
User avatar
sanders
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 738
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:42 pm

Wood finish used on VCS3 cabinet

Post by sanders » Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:43 am

anyone have an opinion, or knowledge of the finish used on VCS3 cabinets? One website says the cabinet is Afromosia, but I've also read various woods were used over the years. But the finish is what I'd most like to find out.

Is it a clear coat, stain, oil, some combination? Informed opinions welcomed.

I want to reproduce the VCS3 look on a cabinet I'm putting together.

pelican
Ultra Wiggler
Posts: 771
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:51 pm

Post by pelican » Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:47 am

The original wood is endangered so idk what they are using now
WTB: Yamaha dx-11 manual

User avatar
sanders
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 738
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:42 pm

Post by sanders » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:06 pm

pelican wrote:The original wood is endangered so idk what they are using now
What I'd like to establish here is not the type of wood they use, but rather the finish they use on the wood.

It may even be something very obvious to anyone with woodworking experience, but I have no woodworking experience, and don't really know a stain from a clear coat from whatever. But their cabinets are beautiful and I'd like to figure it out.
Last edited by sanders on Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.

elmerfudd
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 268
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:35 pm

EMS finish

Post by elmerfudd » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:50 pm

I would assume the finish is the same as used on the Afromosa cabinets for the Pitch Converter and Filter bank. Cleaned mine with laq thinner to remove wax and re coated with Watco Tongue oil. The filterbank had considerable sun bleaching on the top, used Watco Danish Oil that has a dark tint(walnut). Topped that with Tongue oil. Looks factory to me. When using oil, patience is key. Thin coats, ample dry time rub out with fine fiber pad, repeat.
As for wood Sapele is available and a good match.

User avatar
sanders
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 738
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:42 pm

Re: EMS finish

Post by sanders » Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:56 pm

elmerfudd wrote:I would assume the finish is the same as used on the Afromosa cabinets for the Pitch Converter and Filter bank. Cleaned mine with laq thinner to remove wax and re coated with Watco Tongue oil. The filterbank had considerable sun bleaching on the top, used Watco Danish Oil that has a dark tint(walnut). Topped that with Tongue oil. Looks factory to me. When using oil, patience is key. Thin coats, ample dry time rub out with fine fiber pad, repeat.
As for wood Sapele is available and a good match.
thanks very much for this thoughtful reply!; do you suppose someone without experience could reasonably and competently complete this work (assuming all steps are well researched and carefully executed)?

elmerfudd
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 268
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:35 pm

Post by elmerfudd » Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:24 pm

The best experience is doing. If you take your time, the result will be great. Prep the wood well, sand to 150 grit and consider buying a cabinet scraper, it is a rectangular piece of sheet metal that will make the wood shine, even before oil.

pelican
Ultra Wiggler
Posts: 771
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:51 pm

Post by pelican » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:37 am

sanders wrote:
pelican wrote:The original wood is endangered so idk what they are using now
What I'd like to establish here is not the type of wood they use, but rather the finish they use on the wood.

It may even be something very obvious to anyone with woodworking experience, but I have no woodworking experience, and don't really know a stain from a clear coat from whatever. But they're cabinets are beautiful and I'd like to figure it out.
Yes, but my point was different woods are finished differently
WTB: Yamaha dx-11 manual

User avatar
GGW
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 669
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:31 am

Post by GGW » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:49 pm

I'm fairly experienced with wood and finishing, but I've only touched one VCS3, and it was a bit over a year ago. I wasn't specifically paying attention to the finish, but if I reflected back, I would guess varnish. Pure wood oils (tongue, linseed) soak into the wood, while film finishes cover and protect more. You can get a bit of background here:

https://www.woodmagazine.com/materials-guide/finishes/choosing-best-wood-finish

Varnish was originally pine sap and/ or linseed oil, boiled to catalyze it. This is from the famous violin days and many people believe that the sound of the Stradivarius violins was due to a secret varnish recipe. Varnish from the VCS3 era would be a mix of products, unique to each brand. In trying to match varnished surfaces, I have not found pure, old style, varnish. Today the product used is known as polyurethane. This was originally oil based but now there is acrylic as well. The newer acrylic is very clear. The oil based product looks more classic as it has a bit of an amber color shift.

If you are building new, and not trying to match an unknown existing finish, polyurethane is a good looking, durable finish. I would apply it according to the directions on the can. Go with very thin coats, about three should do it. I like to wear a latex glove and rub it on with a cotton cloth. it works well and is cheap to dispose of rather than cleaning brushes. Use the clear/gloss version. If it comes out too shiny for your tastes, buff it with steel wool

This is a pic of a case I made. The wood is roasted maple and the finish is polyurethane.

Image

User avatar
beyourdog
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1861
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:00 pm
Contact:

Post by beyourdog » Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:39 am

The wood has obviously such importance on the sound of a VCS3 and such impact on the vibration of the speaker on the side... :razz:

User avatar
sanders
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 738
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:42 pm

Post by sanders » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:02 pm

Thank you all for these thoughtful replies. I have much to learn and think about, but I now feel much more confident about picking a method to research and carry out.

User avatar
sanders
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 738
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:42 pm

Post by sanders » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:14 pm

GGW wrote:This is a pic of a case I made. The wood is roasted maple and the finish is polyurethane.
Yeah man, this example is really lovely, and very close to what I’d like to end up with. Thanks very much for the info!

Post Reply

Return to “Buchla, EMS & Serge”