Jump to content

Model Five Restoration and Some Questions


Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

When I went to Boston and bought my AR-91's, I also added a pretty beaten up pair of Model Fives to my collection. I only paid $50 for them which I figure is about right for the shape they were in. These photos are of the worst sides of the cabinets. Not sure what the black on the bottom of one is (mold?). Someone also definitely put a potted plant on top of one.


Between them, both tweeters and woofers are working, but both of the midrange drivers in one cabinet were out. I've ordered and received replacements for those, both made in the same year as my working midrange drivers (1969). I've also ordered npe caps from Dayton Audio and 15w resistors from Madisound. While I wait for parts, I figured I'd share my progress and ask a couple questions.

I spent a day this week working on the cabinets. I started by painting the baffles flat black. I first saw this in the excellent video series by @thr33p4c. In addition to this board, those videos have been a terrific resource. I got uneven results: one cabinet had a little more sheen. I flattened out the sheen using a some #1 steel wool.

Based on a thread I found here, I stripped the old finish using Blue Bear Paint and Urethane Stripper. I had the same experience mentioned in the previous thread: the old finish came off as a sludge using a putty knife. It seemed to me that a significant amount of the previous finish came off using the stripper. I hand-sanded the edges of the cabinets then used an orbital sander for the majority of the work.


There are some corner bashes and small bits of missing veneer on each cabinet. I'm going to try Kwikwood mixed with Mixol 22, again another decision based off the Novalux videos. After that has set, I'm going to apply dark walnut Danish oil. I plan on doing three coats over as many days while I work on the crossovers. While all that is going on, I'll seal the woofers and midrange drivers with The Goop™. Neither of my grills are in good shape, so I'm planning on making new ones, something that would be new for me.

Here's some questions:

- Despite best efforts, I still went through veneer on a couple edges. My plan is to use a small amount of paint on these spots before the danish oil. Does anyone have a recommendation for a paint brand and color for this touch-up work? IMG_3464.thumb.jpeg.f3dfbf19d11f016b6b13d8149c985ec8.jpeg

- What's a recommended grill cloth for these? Is it possible to find a comparable material at a store like Jo-Ann's?

- What is proper positioning for these? I saw the ad in the library said floor or shelf. If placed on the floor, is it better to use stands?

Edited by meta_noia_fot
Added a third question
Link to comment
Share on other sites

White discoloration is moisture that has penetrated into the finish but not into the wood. Black discoloration is moisture that has penetrated through the finish into the wood fibers (iron in the water has chemically reacted with tannins in the wood). White comes off with finish removal. Black can only be removed by bleaching. You can't sand it off, because it's essentially dyed the wood fibers all the way through.

Your best bet for sandthrough is to apply a topcoat finish rather than a penetrating one. Oil finish over touchup will never look the same as the wood, and if you oil first the oil will make the exposed particle board darker and harder to conceal. Apply a light coat of sanding sealer, followed by a first coat of varnish or lacquer, then touch up the sandthrough with paint or color sticks, toner and graining pens, followed by a second coat of varnish or lacquer. 

You will never find one single colored cover that will be a match for your base color. Your best bet is to get a kit containing different shades and some toner, apply a lighter shade to cover and then several light applications of toner until you get a good match, then grain. 

You must apply sealer and a first coat before touchup. You cannot touch up raw wood and get a match when a finish is applied.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...