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Author Topic: Victorian Boombox Mk. II brainstorming  (Read 1966 times)
J. Wilhelm
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« on: April 02, 2019, 06:05:24 am »

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?


I just purchased this inexpensive PC sound system. I'm not expecting much from it, but it has a nice bass sound and 25 W, which is good enough for a tabletop device.

I was inspired by a lot of steamy lamp accessories at my local shops lately, like these LED filament bulbs from GE, which often are paired with equally steamy lamp bases, in this case the sconce base in the picture above.


I had already though about tiny lampshades as horns. The trick is keeping the items inexpensive and believable for their purpose. I know I'll never ever find horns as nice as those Aluminium lamp /sconces I used on the original Boombox. But I'm going to give it a whirl, to see if I can make it inexpensive and aesthetically pleasing

The purpose of the unit is to be sold, in identical copies, like the headphones I just made. So the plan is to bring the Boombox into the present with Bluetooth and make it much lighter and inexpensive. Gone are the days of the iPod dock. The quality of sound will not be anywhere close to the old 2000-Era Altec Lansing subwoofer system. But on the other side it will not be the monster the Mk I is at over 30lbs of weight. I may also try my hand at using a power inverter and battery. The last version was a mains powered only device on account of the very large and complex multi voltage transformer.

I don't know. We'll see. I saw this brand new unit for $30, and I couldn't resist to buy it.
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2019, 06:13:03 am »

Interesting concept - will be watching this project!
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2019, 09:31:59 am »

Interesting concept - will be watching this project!

I was also mesmerized by the LED bulbs (which are dimmable down to a nice red glow. They look like giant vacuum tubes. . Seems to me I could incorporate one or two of them somewhere.

The colour scheme strongly suggests black and brass. I've never worked that palette before (I've done black and copper), but the trick is to accentuate the Victorian side.

I need inspiration. Any black and brass ideas out there? For some reason all that black is reminding me of a locomotive.
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Miranda.T
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2019, 07:23:43 pm »

Looks like a great new project! I've some lamp shades similar to the one in your picture in the loft, and had been idilly wondering if they would work as sound horns, so I'll be very intersted to see how yours comes out. Black and brass sounds very upmarket; I don't know if it's something I've seen but it puts me in mind of the Romaniv dynasty, and althought anything associated with them would be black and gold, brass would give a similar visual impact.

With anticipation of further posts,

Yours,
Miranda.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2019, 08:55:26 pm »

Looks like a great new project! I've some lamp shades similar to the one in your picture in the loft, and had been idilly wondering if they would work as sound horns, so I'll be very intersted to see how yours comes out.
*snip*

The alternative is to use glass shades! And they come in really nice shapes and colors. The problem is they tend to be very heavy.

It could either be an easy or a difficult colour scheme depending on how you see it. Naturally you can just add a bunch of brass. But I need to get inspired, and I don't just want to leave in (entirely) in black Formica. It's way better than white Formica, though. And I'm very pleased to see that even for small systems like this they're still making the woofer box out of particle board!  That is very important to make strong attachments. You can screw anything to it, and it's super strong.





« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 09:38:18 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2019, 09:43:52 pm »

Black and brass sounds very upmarket; I don't know if it's something I've seen but it puts me in mind of the Romaniv dynasty, and althought anything associated with them would be black and gold, brass would give a similar visual impact.

With anticipation of further posts,

Yours,
Miranda.

Anyone remember this?



Perhaps add a 3rd colour? Burgundy with gold pin stripes over black
I can get burgundy lamp shades and burgundy felt


Add some touches, like gilded lettering, numbers and such


And I have also the black and white Fleur de Lis felt for "interior" and such...

I could gild wood moulding and use as piping aroud flat or stamped burgundy felt, the same way I used brown moulding and brown felt on the Vicky MkI. I go that $10 fancy gold paint that I purchased for the Pickelhaube's spike. It's just sitting there doing nothing.


Palette Sample in Black, Antique Gold and Oxblood

« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 10:31:32 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2019, 03:47:03 am »

If you are looking for a little embellishment, you can't go past the old Singer sewing machines and their gold (brass) on black decoration.
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2019, 05:42:45 am »

If you are looking for a little embellishment, you can't go past the old Singer sewing machines and their gold (brass) on black decoration.

Yes, indeed! My roommate has an antique Singer sewing machine right here at home. It's in fully working condition as his mother in rural Arkansas used it to make clothes for the children. My grandmother had a slightly newer Art Déco era Singer machine.
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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2019, 08:51:07 pm »

So late last night I got my first go at making the speakers for this boombox. The satellite speakers, unfortunately are to big and awkwardly shaped to use in this project. Unlike the Vicky Box Mk I, the satellite dishes can't be fit within the horns. So I set out to reverse engineer them.


At first, I started tearing one of the speakers apart, and I thought to myself that was the toughest little plastic box I had ever encountered in my life. Good enough to be a money safe, the designers in Switzerland made sure that their speaker enclosures were very rigid (as they should) to avoid having a "boxy" sound. The idea is that the speaker enclosure material should be very dense (not in this case - just ABS plastic), and very rigid. That is why particle board is used to make old-school speakers and subwoofers. The denser and more rigid, the more acoustic energy can be stopped and reflected back where it's needed as opposed to having the box vibrate and act like a violin or a guitar where the wood enclosure also generates sound.

Alas, I must be losing too many brain cells, because on the first teardown I found that there were 4 more screws hidden under the circular bezel of the speaker  Roll Eyes  Much to my dismay (not really) I found out that these speakers are not really Port Bass Reflex. The hole and horn are just for show and the manufacturer cleverly made a placebo horn and port duct, totally isolated from the internal speaker enclosure (I hate dishonesty - it's not even needed!  Angry ). Luckily, the port on the subwoofer unit is NOT fake, as I can see it made from carboard and I can see the back of the particle board inside the enclosure - the bass coming from the center unit is very nice, for such a small subwoofer driver - obviously it was tuned as Helmholtz resonator  with a 1/2 wave port (the way we learn it in acoustics class as part of fluid mechanics science) = Bass Reflex system (the way that it's understood in practice in the audio industry - there is a set of two languages when it comes to acoustics - mostly due to the complexity of real life vs. theory). The small woofer driver which is facing to the table or the floor, is totally exposed however, it will need a grill or something to protect it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acoustic_resonance

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmholtz_resonance

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acoustic_suspension

Anyhow the little satellite speaker boxes are simple acoustic suspension enclosures. That makes my life easier. I set to measure the volume of the speaker enclosure by filling it with water, and using a measuring cup. The volume of the speaker is 350cc minus the fake port horn cylinder  Roll Eyes, for a total of about 316cc total volume. It should be easy to find a cylindrical enclosure to subsitute for that volume, though that will cost me money...

The ideal choice is PVC cap fittings in either standard 2.5 inches or 3 inches. The PVC material is very dense and heavy, ideal for a speaker enclosure. For a 3-inch size (actual internal diameter 3.500 inches), the cap depth needed is only 2 inches. The cap is 3 inches deep. If I use 2.5 inch PVC caps that should be about 8cm. Some compromise will be needed, so I'll go to my local hardware shop to play with plastic pipes after work today.

« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 09:26:43 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2019, 12:34:48 am »

So having paid a visit to my local hardware shop, I found out that 2-1/2" sized PVC pipes are are not found. Looking at the 3" size caps, I liked the density of the plastic, but see that they're expensive at nearly $5 per cap. One alternative, is to use electrical ceiling boxes. What I liked about the elctrical boxes I found is that they already are rated by internal volume, and thay have lids. For $5 you can buy two boxes with lids.

The one shown was rated at 20CU (cubic inches) while my calculations required 19.X CU to match the volume of the original speaker enclosure. I'm taking a bit of risk here, because the plastic is thinner and lighter - I'd much prefer the thick, heavy PVC, and I also have to seal a series of perforations/tabs, meant for electrical wire access.




The reason for changing the shape should be obvious. There are two ways to use the enclosures. A compact method where you insert the cylindrical speaker into the "horn" and another one where you attach it externally to the neck of the horn. The latter is historically more accurate noting PA speaker horns throught history. But while I like the traditional method, that makes the "horns" way too large for the central woofer unit.




I prefer the more compact form, even if the horns are just for decoration. I ended up doing the same for the original boomboox, except those units were already compact so I didn't have to discard the original satellite enclosures. I will have to cover or paint that ugly blue box. Also thet "horn" may well be red, or made of glass. The shades I can get at my local shop are oxblood red on the ouside and champagne on the inside! Or I can get all-black. Unfortunately the golden shade I show is about to be discontinued, so that is an issue for me. I need to only use items I can purchase repeatedly.

I need to figure the attachment methods. These are lamp parts, so there is a plethora of methods and hardware. and it's best to stick to lamp harware. One cool idea is to take advantage of the ceramic sockets, and make the bell/speaker assemply removable by way of screwing like a light bulb!


The ugly blue plastic box is best dealt with by glueing coloured felt over it with Latex construction glue, either red and/or black, and that doubles as a grill cover for the driver unit. I would just punch holes or one large hole on the blue plastic lid for the driver, and cover it with the felt.

It turns out that Latex can be spread very smoothly and will evaporate water for a cure by way of the felt. The bond is extremely strong over plastic surfaces such as the Formica and the ABS plastics. That is the way I built the entire Mk.I - I was covering white formica with felt  The glue is also strong enough to hold the entire speaker encluse, but not in this cloth "bell." I will need to figure something out (the jury is still out, I could end up using glass shades, depending on what I can find).

The alternative is to look for some bezels of sort while at the hardware shop. I could even have a wire mesh if I wanted to, or some ornate "grill" over it found at a hobby shop (laser cut wood embellishments abound). Depends on what I can find. This is where creativity counts the most. I do worry, though, that in the future I may not be able to get some components easily, so I have to be careful to chooose for maximum repeatability...
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 12:57:01 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2019, 02:26:45 am »

Oh, cool! This is what you were referring to. Looks great so far.


Sidenote, if you're using latex it would be wise to be VERY CLEAR in your listings that the product contains latex, and that ANY other products created in the same workspace were created in a workshop that handles latex! This is a very dangerous allergy for some of us and people deserve to have full disclosure before they decide whether to buy. This is one product where I would never have thought to ask the maker if it contained latex.

Smooth-on company sells high quality liquid silicon that you might be able to use instead. The type called 'body double' is listed on their website as latex-free and you could inquire about the others, if making your products allergy-friendly becomes a priority. Or maybe you could try some other kind of non-latex glue?

I worked for a haunted house for awhile and could not use the latex masks or be anywhere near them or the people who wore them so I researched this awhile back to see what could be done to make the switch. It's a very common allergy and the rationale was that customers with allergies might come in at any moment and a law suit just wouldn't be worth it....

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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2019, 07:28:30 am »

Indeed it is Mme. Inverness. As well as the headphones in this page among other products:
http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,50261.0.html

There are substitutes for the latex glue, but the alternatives are arguably more toxic, with complex hydrocarbon solvents (eg "Liquid Nails"). Definitely not something I would handle with my bare hands. It's basically a choice between death by allergy or death by cancer... Not a nice choice like "Cake or Death" as Mr. Eddie Izzard would say...
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2019, 08:12:42 am »

The jury is still out on these blue electrical boxes. I have the nagging feeling that I can do better and ensure I'll be able to continue making these items in the future.

It occurred to me that it'd be a very good idea to have the speakers be removable by way of a light bulb style plug. It turns out there is such a thing. Old fashioned electrical fuses still use the same type of screw as standard GE styled lightbulbs. I got myself a pack of 3 fuses, and they're basically a hollow cylinder with heavy duty brass contacts and a plastic window to see the state of the fuse.

I can solder wire leads to the brass contacts and sink wood screws (or machine screws) in the plug with epoxy. That would create a very strong type screw plug that could hold the entire speaker in place. The lightbulb socket is of the very solid ceramic type screwed to a stiff threaded lamp pipe, you know the standard variety. The idea is that the main structural component is the plug directly attached to the speaker container, and the lamp shade just glued to the speaker enclosure.

I had the experience with the previous Boombox that the sconces could be unscrewed from the sides, and there was a standard phono plug embedded into a flexible spiral pipe (standard lamp parts) which would go into a jack on one side of the subwoofer enclosure. Very good system, but the phono jacks did get stressed over time and the contacts became loose and scratchy (you need to wiggle the phono plug a little to ensure contact). That left me thinking that an even stronger more brute force approach is needed, and yet the ceramic light socket is a a perfect strong 2-pole connector. Why not? It's already wired too. When unpacking, the customer would see the two speakers ready to screw into the sconce base. Very simple and very strong.


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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2019, 08:16:01 pm »

(snip)
Not a nice choice like "Cake or Death" as Mr. Eddie Izzard would say...


Hehe, "cake or death"  my husband is always quoting that....
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 10:00:56 pm by Rose Inverness » Logged
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2019, 06:49:41 pm »

I've been researching, and it looks like I'll switch away from the Carlon blue electrical boxes. They're a bit too wide for the lamp shades, and I'd like the speaker enclusre to reach all the way back to the ceramic socket if I can. I also need the lamp shade to hold onto something solid, and it's easier if it can attach to the PVC.  I'm going to try to make the speaker enclosures out of 2" pipe fittings instead. There is a sharp price drop from 3 inch to 2 inch material (I guess driven by demand), and it's something you can find anywhere. That translates to an enclosure with a diameter of about 2.3 in and a length of 4.3 in. The material is much more rigid and it can be cold welded with PVC cement.
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« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2019, 09:30:25 am »

So I've changed my mind. I will not only not use the Carlon boxes, but I will forgo the light bulb style screw socket altogether. The reason is that I was successful at making a tight PVC enclosure with 2 inch water pipe components:



The cylinder is made from a PVC cap, a coupler, a segment of pipe to join the pieces together and a pipe reducer/adapter, which ended up being perfect to mound the speaker driver I can even screw it to the front. It is very dense and heavy, still it was not perfectly airtight until I treated it like a standard water pipe installation with plenty of glue. The ugly blue streak is excess PVC cement used to make sure that the joints are airtight. It will be sanded off later.

I found these Oxblood/Champagne coloured shades. They're a bit more expensive, but will look great in the final product.


The cylindrical speaker is ideal to hold the lamp shade with minor modifications. However, the speakers will be very heavy due to the PVC, and I don't think the light bulb socket will do well holding the weight of the speaker. To make the system stronger I will revert back to the Mk. I Boombox detachable speaker system and fix  the PVC speaker cylinder directly to the sconce by way of the lamp threaded rod, which is very solid. The electrical connection will have to be done by way of phono plug. I can hide the cable underneath the felt, or some such.









I really need to get these speakers our of the way so I can move forward with the electrical installation and decoration.  This is an unwanted complicationp that could not be avoided, as the original speaker boxes were too awkward to install.

Let's see what this next week will bring...

Cheers,

JW
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Miranda.T
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« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2019, 06:38:09 pm »

Deeply elegant, devilishly clever - please carry on!

Yours,
Miranda.
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« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2019, 11:20:33 pm »

Absolutely the inspired bees knees...Yes, do press on!
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« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2019, 10:03:47 pm »

Absolutely the inspired bees knees...Yes, do press on!

Deeply elegant, devilishly clever - please carry on!

Yours,
Miranda.

Thank you dear Miranda, and Deimos!

I'll try to mount the PVC enclosures to tha lamp fittings today. *Sigh* it's an exercise in flimsyness, as the material the sconces are made of is very thin. Specifically the base of the sconce is made of very thin plate metal, and today I accidentally bent one the bases, at the root of the "pipe" that holds the lamp socket - Not a big deal; I put it straight together again, but it highlights the issues you face when working with store bough material (no wonder the sconces were so cheap  Roll Eyes). The old boombox had the same issue with the horns, but because the sconce base was oval it had a lot more strength than this flat plate arrrangement.

One solution is to epoxy or screw a wooden plate inside the hollow base, to give it structural rigidity. It's easy enough to buy a flat piece of stock wood or metal and drill holes to it, matching the holes on the sconce base. Ot just choose a really large metal washer, like fencing parts. Another issue will be to angle those pipes and fix them so that they don't rotate down with the weight of the speakers - basically the issue is strengthening the installation so the booombox survives accidental bumps, transportation, etc. I think I will take advantage of the wooden block, and screw two metal pegs that will serve as supports for the pipes (ie, something to hold the "arms" of the boombox).

I could also, entirely substitute the sconce bases with 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch decorative wood plates from my hobby shop. The kind that have been finished with a router - this would allow me to make those "oxblood and gold frames" in one single step. I was thinking of doing that yesterday, but noticed that the hobby shop only had very few individual plates (I need to make sure I can buy them repeatedly). I will have to buy them in bulk:



I like the last set...

I think a good technique would be to buy Rostoleum metal finish (not hammered) - in brass colour to match the details on the sconces, and whether we are talking of the wood plates above of the sconce bases, go ahead ans spray the whole piece with gold Rustoleum. That is a strong epoxy paint that will serve to seal the wood and prime it for the next layer. Then cover the routed edges with masking tape to only reveal the top surface that by now has been completely sealed, and then spray paint that surface with oxblood paint. I'm unsure whether to leave it in matte/satin finish (eg red-rose finish) or do a glossy finish. I could use a stencil number "7" and spray over it, covering the brass paint, so I can just lift the stencil and reveal the number below, perfectly matching the color on the edges of the plate.

It's not that I want to be generic, but I'm thinking that time is money, and so it helps me to spend as little time as possible when making these finishing touches. The wood plates can simply be screwed onto the formica/particle board enclosure. Spraying in layers over pre-made wood plates and folding the procedural steps one into another may cost me a few dollars more in supplies, but saves me a lot of time in the end. If I can't buy the parts at a brick and moratar shop, then I need to ensure I can buy online in bulk.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2019, 11:53:05 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2019, 08:15:52 am »

Colour Test.

I've applied a number of paint coats to a pair of wood plaques and the two sconce bases. At the shop "Red Cherry" seemed to match the lamp shades best. But at home it doesn't quite look good to me. The paint was opaque enough to cover the underlying color (no need for an undercoat), but never gets to match the felt ("Cranberry-apple" - see bottom of picture) which I think comes closest to the red of the shades. I will spend a bit more money on a Burgundy. If I'm going to be off, I prefer that the color be darker rather than lighter.





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« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2019, 10:17:45 am »

FWIW, I have learned from people who do a lot of interior painting, and also from my own experience, that rather than try to match colors (especially of dissimilar materials), it is better to go for complementary and/or contrasting colors.
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« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2019, 12:48:49 pm »

FWIW, I have learned from people who do a lot of interior painting, and also from my own experience, that rather than try to match colors (especially of dissimilar materials), it is better to go for complementary and/or contrasting colors.
My technique in dealing with that is to use layers of colors and vary textures. Black, brown, khaki, beige, white, for example. Then apply the contrast within that palette, but tying the colors elsewhere.

Here I'm trying to use three colours, but I'm dissatisfied with the shade I get when I try to match textures and colours.

I'm thinking right now that I want to know how red I can get with wood stain. The wood plate on top somehow looks wrong. I'm so used to exploiting the wood grain in my wares. The colour on the sconce base still needs to follow as shown, but I want that colour darker. And if possible honed to a glossy finish (easier to do on metal)

The matte finish is also playing tricks in my mind. It looks plain Fire Engine red to me. My 21st century brain tells me that it's too flat. Lacking is the 3 dimensionality and multi hue variation we are used to in metallic candy colours. The lamp shades give you that, because they're made with a silk like fiber. The photos don't do justice to that effect, but in person the shades are very metallic. They give you a very wide range of red colours, depending on how the light hits them from roserred to dark burgundy. The apple cranberry felt looks much better, and though it is still flat, there is a faint metallic sheen to it (acrylic Lfibers) and then there is the texture of the felt.

In Victorian times there wasn't much of a choice in the matter. The paint has no depth. One way to deal with it is to use very dark colours, possibly fading the colours. That takes good amount of labour. The modern way is metallic fleck and clear coat techniques.

The other option that was available and often used since antiquity is to make use of natural materials which are translucent and have texture to provide depth. Wood fibers can produce depth under a layer of lacquer. I'm going to buy the burgundy spray to finish the sconce plates as planned (there's no choice there), but I will probably avoid using the wooden plaques with the currentsset of paint. Oh shoot! I have to go buy a second set of plates.

I'm going to try to get a deep cherry red in wood finish. I haven't developeda darkccherry finish in... Ok let me put it to you this way, I was building a console for my stereo in High-school during finals week. That was 32 years ago.

I did, however do a deep polish finish on a wooden button / finial for the Pickelhaube last year. It was in maple finish.
Minwax stain under several coats of polyurethane will do that. Or lacquer over water based stain.
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« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2019, 03:12:35 am »

Colour Test.

I've applied a number of paint coats to a pair of wood plaques and the two sconce bases. At the shop "Red Cherry" seemed to match the lamp shades best. But at home it doesn't quite look good to me. The paint was opaque enough to cover the underlying color (no need for an undercoat), but never gets to match the felt ("Cranberry-apple" - see bottom of picture) which I think comes closest to the red of the shades. I will spend a bit more money on a Burgundy. If I'm going to be off, I prefer that the color be darker rather than lighter.






Agree about going darker rather than lighter on the wood pieces. I always bring a swatch to the store with me (for you, swatch= shade/felt bit).
The fabrics (felt and shade) coordinate so well. Given the difference in the sheen of the fabrics, they seem to be a perfect color match. Well done; ability to color-match well is fairly rare.

Acrylic lacquer (Golden brand, f.eks), with a small amount of an acrylic color mixed in (brown, rusty red, or whatever shade you're hoping to push those wood plates closer to) can layer up nicely to add shine and not just depth of color but change the overall hue slightly. It would potentially save a lot of paint. I'd try a test sample on another bit of wood first: adding the cherry red to the wood, checking that the sample and wood plates look the same when the paint is fully dry, then mixing up a bit of acrylic lacquer with for example an oxblood hue, a chocolate hue, and a burgundy hue. If your sample piece of wood is wide enough you can not only test each separately but also layer them Together. If you blend the acrylic lacquer and color unevenly you may get some swirly woodlike variations! Added bonuses of laziness  Wink

Btw, the amount of color I'm talking about mixing in with the lacquer is MINISCULE. Ridiculously so. Test it out but I recommend adding color with intense caution if you end up trying this. Happy painting  Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2019, 09:05:30 pm »

I like where you're going with the wooden plaques added to the speaker case.

To my eye, the colors look like a close match (maybe my rods/cones might suck, but not colorblind)

The wood does look painted red, vs. stained red.  Gives me the feeling of modern old-timey rather than actual old-timey.  I think you're lamenting the same thing.

Couple of ideas:
how hard is it to paint a faux wood grain?
If you can't match the colors of the wood to lampshades, can you paint the lampshades with the same color?
what do you think of a metal trim around the edge of the thinner bevel on the plaques?

Other questions are:
how does it sound using the lampshade as a cone?  Since it's fabric, I'd think it absorbs rather than projects...


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« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2019, 11:55:04 pm »

Colour Test.

I've applied a number of paint coats to a pair of wood plaques and the two sconce bases. At the shop "Red Cherry" seemed to match the lamp shades best. But at home it doesn't quite look good to me. The paint was opaque enough to cover the underlying color (no need for an undercoat), but never gets to match the felt ("Cranberry-apple" - see bottom of picture) which I think comes closest to the red of the shades. I will spend a bit more money on a Burgundy. If I'm going to be off, I prefer that the color be darker rather than lighter.






Agree about going darker rather than lighter on the wood pieces. I always bring a swatch to the store with me (for you, swatch= shade/felt bit).
The fabrics (felt and shade) coordinate so well. Given the difference in the sheen of the fabrics, they seem to be a perfect color match. Well done; ability to color-match well is fairly rare.

Acrylic lacquer (Golden brand, f.eks), with a small amount of an acrylic color mixed in (brown, rusty red, or whatever shade you're hoping to push those wood plates closer to) can layer up nicely to add shine and not just depth of color but change the overall hue slightly. It would potentially save a lot of paint. I'd try a test sample on another bit of wood first: adding the cherry red to the wood, checking that the sample and wood plates look the same when the paint is fully dry, then mixing up a bit of acrylic lacquer with for example an oxblood hue, a chocolate hue, and a burgundy hue. If your sample piece of wood is wide enough you can not only test each separately but also layer them Together. If you blend the acrylic lacquer and color unevenly you may get some swirly woodlike variations! Added bonuses of laziness  Wink

Btw, the amount of color I'm talking about mixing in with the lacquer is MINISCULE. Ridiculously so. Test it out but I recommend adding color with intense caution if you end up trying this. Happy painting  Smiley

I'm increasingly thinking of removing the wood plates altogether for being too bulky. They are not needed technically, and it's was a shortcut to making gilded wood frames with felt in the middle, actually. I just thought that felt is difficult because it gets dusty over time, etc. What is absolutely necessary is that I correct the finish on the sconce bases, which are already painted in bright cherry red; they do need to be darker, and they're kind of stopping my progress.

I did think about adding a extra layers of paint, as you suggest. The other solution is to add a mist of black spray and dust the red, fading from the edges into the center of the plate. There is also "red-tint" translucent spray availbale. I have much to think about tonight. Truth be told, we have the clearcoat modern technique available... I might want to try a tint layer and then a clear layer on top.

I like where you're going with the wooden plaques added to the speaker case.

To my eye, the colors look like a close match (maybe my rods/cones might suck, but not colorblind)

The wood does look painted red, vs. stained red.  Gives me the feeling of modern ultimate rather than actual ultimate.  I think you're lamenting the same thing.

Couple of ideas:
how hard is it to paint a faux wood grain?
If you can't match the colors of the wood to lampshades, can you paint the lampshades with the same color?
what do you think of a metal trim around the edge of the thinner bevel on the plaques?

Other questions are:
how does it sound using the lampshade as a cone?  Since it's fabric, I'd think it absorbs rather than projects...


There are stamps you can use to paint wood grain streaks...

Different people will perceive colours differently. For me, the difference is one of tone, as well as variation in hue. You definitely don't want to ruin the silk-red lamp shades though! That's the nicest red you'll ever get!

The horns as shown would in any case be non-fuctional.* You need a lot of mass to stop and direct sound; the fabric is very thin, pliable, and hence basically transparent to sound, which is basically pressure waves in air.

~~~ The thought just ocurred to me that if I wanted the same depth as the lamp shades and the lamp shades are "silken" that perhaps I could use printed silk fabric to make panel inserts?


*They could be rendered functional, but you'd have to make them from a rigid heavier material and would be much thinner at the neck and longer and very flared at the end, like a trumpet or a Victrola horn. You'd have to tune the shape to the frequency response of the sound source. The horn is an "impedance matching" device, that takes mid-range sound energy (eg human voice registers) and pumps it into low end frequencies for sound sources that are very poor in the lower registers, like early records and cylinders, and old-time electrical speakers
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