View Full Version : One big thumbs up for Howard's Restore-a-Finish


Puddintane
08-19-2010, 01:59 AM
Howard's Restore-a-Finish was recommended to me in another thread I started (see here (http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=316134)). So I decided to give it a shot. Before using it on my New Large Advents (the subject of that other thread), I tested it first on some other speakers: some Pioneer CS-33s and CS-77s. Scratches weren't really the problem on the 33s, just a little ink on one and some crusty residue (from some kind of liquid, I think) on the other. I used 0000 steel wool and it did a great job on the 33s, removing all the ink (with a little extra elbow grease) and the crusty residue.

So today I tried it on the CS-77s. They had numerous significant water marks (they had been used as end tables by the young guy I bought them from). I used the steel wool as the applicator, and they too required a little elbow grease to get the water marks out. But the results were dramatic and, in my opinion, outstanding. I also applied one coat of Howard's Feed-n-Wax to both the 33s and the 77s, and I may try adding another (or more) to see how much a difference it makes.

But I couldn't be happier with the results as they are at this point. I don't know if they match "original color" (whatever that might have been forty years ago!). But I think they look great. And what's better is that this stuff couldn't be any easier to use. For relatively problem-free surfaces, it's literally wipe on and wipe off, and the difference is huge. And for heavy water marks (or other issues), it takes just a bit of extra rubbing to remove them. (The grills on these big Pioneers, what I guess are called "grate" style, are sure to be another story!).

And no, it didn't completely remove the deeper scratches from the wood (after all, there is no sanding involved), but they do even out the color and finish so that small scratches are hardly even noticeable. And it's said by others that while they darken the scratch somewhat at first, they even out a bit after a little time has passed. Here are some before/after pics of the CS-77s.

Here are some before pics showing the obvious water damage.

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k90/Puddintane_2006/Howards%20Restore%20a%20Finish%20test/IMG_7037-1.jpg

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k90/Puddintane_2006/Howards%20Restore%20a%20Finish%20test/IMG_7043-1.jpg

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k90/Puddintane_2006/Howards%20Restore%20a%20Finish%20test/IMG_7044-1.jpg

Here are some taken after just the RAF treatment.

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k90/Puddintane_2006/Howards%20Restore%20a%20Finish%20test/IMG_7051-1.jpg

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k90/Puddintane_2006/Howards%20Restore%20a%20Finish%20test/IMG_7052-1.jpg

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k90/Puddintane_2006/Howards%20Restore%20a%20Finish%20test/IMG_7055-1.jpg

And these are after one application of Feed-n-Wax.

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k90/Puddintane_2006/Howards%20Restore%20a%20Finish%20test/IMG_7082-1.jpg

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k90/Puddintane_2006/Howards%20Restore%20a%20Finish%20test/IMG_7094-1.jpg

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k90/Puddintane_2006/Howards%20Restore%20a%20Finish%20test/IMG_7088-1.jpg

kn8243
08-19-2010, 02:50 AM
Awesome. I'm a huge fan of the howard's product line, didn't know it could do that though...pretty awesome

Gang-Twanger
08-19-2010, 05:11 AM
Awesome. I'm a huge fan of the howard's product line, didn't know it could do that though...pretty awesome

Yeah, seriously. I have GOT to try some of that on my Wharfedales. Judging from what he said, mine should come out awesome. Those look great.

I've seen quite a few restoration jobs (speakers, receivers, etc.) where it looks like they sanded down the wood, put on a stain finish, and then applied some kind of clearcoat. Never looks right, especially on something where the wood's got some mileage. I would think this would work better. Keep it more-original-looking. Certainly no clearcoat.

G-PoNg
08-19-2010, 07:40 AM
Looking good! I wish my camera battery wouldn't have been dead when I used that stuff on my 2AX's. It works great!

mcp1
08-19-2010, 07:44 AM
Wow, those look great. Nice job.
Wish I had taken before pics, but these Dynaco A25's looked very similar to yours...water stains and one speaker had been exposed to the sun for years while partially blocked by something and there was a perfect square of darker wood on the side of the cabinet...RAF is terrific.

BTW...I lightly sanded with 400 grit and applied RAF with 0000 steel wool.

http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/8758/img0215on.jpg

http://img130.imageshack.us/img130/7086/img0213pj.jpg

audiojones
08-19-2010, 07:45 AM
Make that 2 thumbs up for Howards Restore-A-Finish and Feed-N-Wax! that product is amazing and can bring almost any finish back from the dead

arcaidy
08-19-2010, 07:48 AM
I bought some and tried on a late 40's Lesie I have. It is crazy the difference it made. I am a believer now!

markshan
08-19-2010, 08:16 AM
I just used it for the first time yesterday. It was on a pair of KLH Model Twenties (see here (http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=314595)). Mine were in worse shape to begin with, so they didn't come out as nice as the above, but good enough to make me a believer.

SPL db
08-19-2010, 08:19 AM
Nice work! :thmbsp:

Scott

Doug G.
08-19-2010, 02:51 PM
Gorgeous!

Doug

absolve2525
08-19-2010, 08:33 PM
Which stores carry this??

tmad40blue
08-19-2010, 08:39 PM
Which stores carry this??

Your local hardware store (not Home Depot or Lowes) should have it.

jimfet
08-19-2010, 08:40 PM
Looks great.

Urchinn
08-19-2010, 08:47 PM
That is pretty spectacular. I'm buying some tomorrow!

G-PoNg
08-19-2010, 08:50 PM
Your local hardware store (not Home Depot or Lowes) should have it.

Home Depot does have it, my local stores did NOT.

68custom
08-19-2010, 09:14 PM
so does that finish last ? or does it soak in over night? I picked up some seriously beat up a-25s and it would be great if all they need is an application or two of this product. so do these results last?

Puddintane
08-19-2010, 10:47 PM
Your local hardware store (not Home Depot or Lowes) should have it.

Yes, go local if you can. But HD had it, Lowe's didn't.

Puddintane
08-19-2010, 10:54 PM
so does that finish last ? or does it soak in over night? I picked up some seriously beat up a-25s and it would be great if all they need is an application or two of this product. so do these results last?

I don't know how long it lasts. But mine still look awesome today! And they feel nice and smooth with just a hint of reflectivity (as I prefer them to look), but not slick and shiny like a high polish. But I only used one coat of Feed-n-Wax. If by asking, "does it soak in overnight," you mean to ask if the look diminishes, it hasn't on mine. But others can surely answer better as to the long-term results.

Wolverine
08-19-2010, 10:55 PM
Great results! :thmbsp::thmbsp:
I have been schilling for Howard's around here for awhile it has never failed to bring back anything I have tried it on.

Tripqzon
08-19-2010, 11:05 PM
That looks great! I'm definitely going to look into that stuff.

tmad40blue
08-19-2010, 11:24 PM
We used Howard's Restor-a-Finish and Feed-n-Wax on our AR-3a's about two years ago. I would say they've retained about 95% of the treatment.

markshan
08-19-2010, 11:45 PM
Your local hardware store (not Home Depot or Lowes) should have it.

Actually, I got mine at Home Depot.

lensman
08-20-2010, 12:30 AM
That's absolutely amazing! :eek:

Opens up a whole new world of what I'll look at in the thrift store!

Sandy G
08-20-2010, 06:11 AM
I mentioned in another thread about using this wondrous stuff on my parents' 1955 blonde-wood "Hi-Fi", it turned a semi-sow's ear into a silk purse...And while it DOES have a lemony-fruity scent, it doesn't bowl you over w/it. I think its GOOD stuff...Even kinda fun to use, you see yr results Right Now...

tmad40blue
08-20-2010, 06:55 AM
And while it DOES have a lemony-fruity scent, it doesn't bowl you over w/it.

If you think lemons smell like that, I feel sorry for you. Feed-n-Wax gives off a strong orange oil scent. :p:

Sandy G
08-21-2010, 09:06 AM
Yeah, you're right. My bad. Orangy scent. But again, it STILL don't overpower you like stuff like Pledge does, at least not to me, anyhow. And Pledge & Olde English, & all that kinda dry out in a day or 2 & go away...This stuff looks like it'll "Hang" in there for quite awhile...

dnewma04
08-21-2010, 09:09 AM
If you think lemons smell like that, I feel sorry for you. Feed-n-Wax gives off a strong orange oil scent. :p:

If you feel sorry for him over that, I want to offer you my deepest sympathies.

tensleep
08-21-2010, 09:12 AM
I cleaned up a Barzilay console and a pair of Frazier Monte Carlo As with Howard's Restore A Finish and Howard's Feed and Wax. They look great! I have also treated a pair of JBL Studio Monitors with Boiled Linseed Oil/turpentine mix that look great as well. It is time again for their annual treatment. I have also used Watco's Rejuvinating Oil on a Barzilay console and speaker cabinets, as well as a kitchen hutch. All of these different treatments work very well. The Watco's and the linseed treatments are more for maintenance, to me, whereas the Howard's treatments were used to help clean up and cover up some blemishes.

Live_Wire
08-21-2010, 09:18 AM
I think I might try this stuff on my Mach Ones if I can find it in store. Seems here in Canada, most products that work don't seem to be available to us.

sstring
08-21-2010, 12:24 PM
Try Home Hardware in Canada. If they don't have it they will order it for you. Also Windsor Plywood.

relaximus
08-21-2010, 01:00 PM
Since he didn't mention it, here's (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrmMXAk_1Xg) a great instructional video by our own tmad40blue on using Howard's products.

Dave

Arkay
08-21-2010, 01:32 PM
I haven't seen that stuff for sale in Hong Kong, but kept reading good things about it on AK, so both Restore-a-Finish and Feed-n-Wax were among the things I brought back from my last trip to the U.S.. I've used them on a few things, most recently on a cool pre-war Japanese Wheatstone Bridge case that looked dull and battered when I first got it. Now it looks like some priceless antique in a museum! The Restore-a-Finish made it easy to get just the balance I wanted between keeping some of the scratches and "antique" look, and making it look fresh and rich again. The Feed-n-Wax just makes it "glow". I used Feed-n-Wax on some other walnut-cased instruments with patinated brass parts, and I couldn't be happier with the rich, warm look that resulted. I didn't use them on my AR speakers, but I might try re-doing them one day with these products, after seeing the results I've gotten on other things, and those pics! I have yet to be disappointed with anything I've tried these products on, and if I don't find a local supplier, more of the stuff will be on my shopping list again next trip, so I'll never run out. Genuinely good products that do what they are supposed to do, a nice thing to find in this cheap, disposable world! :thmbsp:

jbehr
08-22-2010, 12:16 AM
A lot of antique malls carry the Howard stuff too, and sometimes have more interesting things than Lowes or Home Depot.

Sandy G
08-22-2010, 07:01 AM
A lot of antique malls carry the Howard stuff too, and sometimes have more interesting things than Lowes or Home Depot.

Yeah, IIRC, I got my bottle of it at one of the bigger Aunty-Kew Emporiums locally, on an ever-fruitless chase for a Zenith Stratosphere, or an E.H. Scott Quaranta.....(grin)

brutal
08-22-2010, 09:24 AM
Wow, those look great. Nice job.
Wish I had taken before pics, but these Dynaco A25's looked very similar to yours...water stains and one speaker had been exposed to the sun for years while partially blocked by something and there was a perfect square of darker wood on the side of the cabinet...RAF is terrific.

BTW...I lightly sanded with 400 grit and applied RAF with 0000 steel wool.



I often use a scotchbrite pad with Howards to help clean up any old residues.

I mentioned in another thread about using this wondrous stuff on my parents' 1955 blonde-wood "Hi-Fi", it turned a semi-sow's ear into a silk purse...And while it DOES have a lemony-fruity scent, it doesn't bowl you over w/it. I think its GOOD stuff...Even kinda fun to use, you see yr results Right Now...

Perhaps you used Howards Feed-N-Wax? It has a VERY orange smell.

I cleaned up a Barzilay console and a pair of Frazier Monte Carlo As with Howard's Restore A Finish and Howard's Feed and Wax. They look great! I have also treated a pair of JBL Studio Monitors with Boiled Linseed Oil/turpentine mix that look great as well. It is time again for their annual treatment. I have also used Watco's Rejuvinating Oil on a Barzilay console and speaker cabinets, as well as a kitchen hutch. All of these different treatments work very well. The Watco's and the linseed treatments are more for maintenance, to me, whereas the Howard's treatments were used to help clean up and cover up some blemishes.

^ what he said

Restore-A-Finish for cleanup
Feed-N-Wax for care and feeding
or
Boiled linseed/turpentine mix per JBL formula.

Watco Danish oil for initial finish on anything sanded to bare wood. Watco is a blend of oil and varnish and is a "use at your own risk product". I use it on all my bared to the wood speakers. I put Watco Teak oil (for tighter grain) on my JBL 250Ti's when I got them a few years ago and they couldn't look better.

"WATCO Danish Oil is a unique blend of penetrating oil & varnish hardens in the wood, not on the wood. Watco Danish Oil penetrates deep into wood pores to protect from within and to enhance the natural look and feel of the wood. It creates the rich, warm glow of a traditional hand-rubbed finish. Many projects can be completed in less than an hour - simply brush or wipe on and wipe off. Watco Danish Oil is the choice of fine woodworkers and novices alike."

dr_korb
05-27-2011, 02:07 AM
MMmmmmm......Howard's RAF and Feed'n'Wax. Best $14 I've spent on my stereo gear and speakers. Period.

Horn Head
05-27-2011, 04:34 AM
Yep, good stuff.

Doug G.
05-27-2011, 03:52 PM
I used it on my 1970 Advent Loudspeakers in November and it transformed them from an old, dull finish to basically like new.

They still look great!

Doug

jheu02
05-27-2011, 04:41 PM
I'm restoring a pair of AR-3a's and the cabinets were in decent shape. Was the original finish waxed or oiled? I scrubbed them with paint thinner and 0000 steel wool today (no Howard's on hand) and I'd like to just use the Danish Oil I have on hand if able as I love the finish it leaves, but that's always been with stripped and stained wood.

Anubis
05-27-2011, 04:55 PM
:yikes:WOW! That does it. I'm going to get me some of that! I have a pair of HPM 100s that are not sctrached up, but the cabs look kind of grimey or dry a bit. I was going to go full restore on them, but someone suggested this stuff and perhaps some tung oil first, before going with a more intrusive route.
If this is what this stuff can do with a simple wipe on wipe off at 1 or 2 coats, then OMG:thmbsp::thmbsp::thmbsp:
I'm thinking first some of this stuff than a nice coat of neutral Minwax paste furniture wax for an added layer of protection. (I've used the wax before and it's good stuff) or perhaps the Howard's Feed n Wax.
Too bad it won't help my black Polk 7s.

Jenkster
05-27-2011, 05:22 PM
Out here on The Left Coast, Orchard Supply. I don't leave home without it!:no:

24HACKER
05-27-2011, 05:37 PM
Wow - it has me sold -

westend
05-27-2011, 05:47 PM
I'm restoring a pair of AR-3a's and the cabinets were in decent shape. Was the original finish waxed or oiled? I scrubbed them with paint thinner and 0000 steel wool today (no Howard's on hand) and I'd like to just use the Danish Oil I have on hand if able as I love the finish it leaves, but that's always been with stripped and stained wood.It doesn't matter, now, if the cabinets had wax on the finish because the mineral spirits will have removed any wax. I don't know what kind of finish was on the AR3a but maybe you could try a small test area on the bottom of a cabinet to see if the Danish oil works out. I like using oil finishes, too. The last I used was a refined tung oil, it develops a very good finish but is a lot of work, five coats were needed.

:yikes:WOW! That does it. I'm going to get me some of that! I have a pair of HPM 100s that are not sctrached up, but the cabs look kind of grimey or dry a bit. I was going to go full restore on them, but someone suggested this stuff and perhaps some tung oil first, before going with a more intrusive route.
If this is what this stuff can do with a simple wipe on wipe off at 1 or 2 coats, then OMG:thmbsp::thmbsp::thmbsp:
I'm thinking first some of this stuff than a nice coat of neutral Minwax paste furniture wax for an added layer of protection. (I've used the wax before and it's good stuff) or perhaps the Howard's Feed n Wax.
Too bad it won't help my black Polk 7s.
If you're going to try the Howard's stuff, don't put any finish on the wood before (like tung oil). I always clean the cabinet with mineral spirits before refinishing, I don't paint or apply finish on dirt.
If your speakers are`really in bad shape, you might as well bite the bullet and break out the sandpaper and then finish them with oil or whatever finish you like. Howards RAF is really a great product but it isn't going to remove all the blemishes. I've had my best luck by applying it with a very fine abrasive pad. It seems to blend the old and new finish better.

kfa888
05-27-2011, 06:23 PM
Wow, you guys were not kidding. I read this and thought what the heck and went and got the RAF and Feed. Did up some EPI 150's in coffin cabs that were beat and stained up. Goodwill specials. While they did not come out perfect they are a WAY better than they were and now quite presentable. Her they are before, should have taken some good pick for the before but this is all I had...

Big dark stain across the top of the top one here is nearly gone.

http://motosportz.smugmug.com/Electronics/speakers/DSCF7415/1232035035_nXbEJ-L.jpg

I think with a little more work i could get almost all that darkness out. That stuff is cool.

http://motosportz.smugmug.com/Electronics/speakers/i-KTht7m7/0/L/DSCF8485-L.jpg

Brad Muller
05-27-2011, 09:51 PM
Nice KFA. I have a couple sets of EPI's to try that stuff on. I bet the make the EPI 400's look sweet!:yes:

jheu02
05-27-2011, 10:11 PM
It doesn't matter, now, if the cabinets had wax on the finish because the mineral spirits will have removed any wax. I don't know what kind of finish was on the AR3a but maybe you could try a small test area on the bottom of a cabinet to see if the Danish oil works out. I like using oil finishes, too. The last I used was a refined tung oil, it develops a very good finish but is a lot of work, five coats were needed.


Thanks westend. I'm not too familiar with wax finishes, so didn't know whether the mineral spirits with the steel wool would strip it, if that was indeed the finish. I did go ahead and do a light coat of Special Walnut oil stain, and it didn't bead up. It was fairly tacky when I wiped it off, but it did seem to richen the color of the cabs a bit, so I'm sure a little seeped in to help out that old wood veneer. Very thin, couldn't sand it if I wanted to.

Will post pics to my restoration thread after the oil coat.

westend
05-28-2011, 12:40 AM
Thanks westend. I'm not too familiar with wax finishes, so didn't know whether the mineral spirits with the steel wool would strip it, if that was indeed the finish. I did go ahead and do a light coat of Special Walnut oil stain, and it didn't bead up. It was fairly tacky when I wiped it off, but it did seem to richen the color of the cabs a bit, so I'm sure a little seeped in to help out that old wood veneer. Very thin, couldn't sand it if I wanted to.

Will post pics to my restoration thread after the oil coat.
You're welcome. I'm 100% sure that the AR's had a more robust finish than just wax. In fact, I know of no speaker that had just wax as a finish.

If the Danish oil was absorbed into the wood and you see no flaking or dissolving of a prior finish, you should be good to go. The viscosity or "tackiness" is indicative of the oil drying, no worries. If the first coat of Danish oil doesn't produce a gloss finish and that's what you're after, additional coats of oil or application of paste wax will get you there.

Fortunately, the AR3a predates the use of polyurethane's widespread use as a finish. If the original finish was poly, you would be in for a lot of work. Looking forward to your pictures and restoration thread.

testwork
06-11-2011, 08:10 PM
Another success story.

My Pioneer HPM-100's are mint other than someone at the previous owners household marking them up with a pen.
Picked up some Howards at Home Depot for ~$8.00 and it fixed 'em up just fine!

testwork
06-11-2011, 08:12 PM
Yeah, you're right. My bad. Orangy scent. But again, it STILL don't overpower you like stuff like Pledge does, at least not to me, anyhow. And Pledge & Olde English, & all that kinda dry out in a day or 2 & go away...This stuff looks like it'll "Hang" in there for quite awhile...

I absolutely love the smell of classic Pledge. :thmbsp:

tmccullough
06-11-2011, 09:39 PM
Used both when I was working on my SX-1050. Made the case glow, and was well worth the $16 or whatever. Looking forward to using it on some speakers in the coming months.

Altec Best
06-11-2011, 10:31 PM
Wow that does a Beautiful Job ! Thanks for posting that !

brutal
06-12-2011, 01:49 AM
I absolutely love the smell of classic Pledge. :thmbsp:

Pledge has silicon oil and solvents that will raise the grain on oiled wood finishes. It's really a terrible product to use on wood.

woodj
06-12-2011, 09:47 AM
+1 brutal. I have had furniture ruined by that and it's cousins by other manufacturers. Have had inlays fall out of one piece of furniture.
That kind of stuff almost ruined expensive walnut paneling in the home of someone I worked for. I had them retreat with linseed and mineral spirits, and it survived, albeit slightly diminished in stature.

brutal
06-12-2011, 12:09 PM
Scott's Liquid Gold used to be a client many years ago in another life. Naptha and some secret oils. Not really fond of the stuff for regular care as the Naptha can strip too much of the existing oils, and not aggresive enough like Howards for refinish. If something needs cleaning, I normally just use mineral spirits. JBL's concoction of Gum Turpentine and Boiled Linseed oil is hard to beat, but Watco Danish is a favorite of mine, followed by Howards Feed-N-Wax.

Be careful with Howards around any poly or lacquer surfaces. Benzene, MEK, Toluene, and Xylene are some key ingredients. It's harsh stuff with some colorant in it, but gets the job done on the old beat up cabs. Limit your exposure, use in a well ventilated area, or wear a respirator.

DON73
06-12-2011, 12:43 PM
I'm restoring a pair of AR-3a's and the cabinets were in decent shape. Was the original finish waxed or oiled? I scrubbed them with paint thinner and 0000 steel wool today (no Howard's on hand) and I'd like to just use the Danish Oil I have on hand if able as I love the finish it leaves, but that's always been with stripped and stained wood.





All AR speakers I've seen with a walnut veneer were oil finished. None of them had a polished look to them. I don't know what kind of oil they used but my guess is some mixture of boiled linseed oil and either turpentine or mineral spirits. Turpentine is flammable so extra caution must be taken when using it. I've finished several WWII rifle stocks and I used a mixture of about two parts mineral spirits to one part blo. Any mixture using blo MUST be allowed to dry completely before re coating. Re coating before the blo has completely dried or applying a thick mixture will cause it to gum up and possibly never dry.

Altec Best
06-12-2011, 02:40 PM
Scott's Liquid Gold used to be a client many years ago in another life. Naptha and some secret oils. .


I like the Liquid Gold in certain apps though.

woodj
06-12-2011, 05:09 PM
Liquid Gold, Enddust and Pledge pretty much do the same thing.

woodj
06-12-2011, 05:14 PM
If my "rememberances" are correct (30+ years ago) Liquid Gold is what damaged the paneling.

imready
06-12-2011, 06:18 PM
Howards works great on furniture too! LOL I've been preaching about this stuff for years here on AK. Wood was a living organisim with a constant supply of fluids and nurtriants to keep it living. It requires continuous maintance to retain its beauty after it is harvested. We always have Howard's in stock at my house.
I used Watco on my JBL L150's after a sanding of the top (to remove black water rings) and a light sanding on the remainder of the cabinet. It did not have any problem with the original JBL finish and really spruced them up. I applied Watco satin wax after 3 days .

mech986
01-15-2012, 07:28 AM
Any more good stories about Howard's Restor-A-Finish?

StarMover
01-15-2012, 09:19 PM
I love it. Lowes quit carrying it.

markallen
02-21-2012, 02:27 PM
Any more good stories about Howard's Restor-A-Finish?

Here you go. Found the product locally at Menard's. Here is a comparison on one of a pair of dirty and neglected Realistic speakers. Didn't get all of the rings, but mitigated the bad spots pretty well. Also, based on advise found here at AK, I used the "Golden Oak" color rather than a walnut variety.

similost
02-21-2012, 02:34 PM
Part of the problems with Liquid Gold is it has petroleum oil and Naphtha in it. That causes the wood to actually dry out faster after applying it.

Howards Feed&Wax does not use naphtha and petroleum oils. It uses citrus oils and bee's wax.... much better stuff for wood.

Also, things like pledge are better for cleaning and polishing cars and motorcycles than wood. It leaves a buildup that traps dirt, and doesn't really oil the wood...

ymarko
02-21-2012, 08:01 PM
Any more good stories about Howard's Restor-A-Finish?

Sorry to spoil the party. I do not like using neither Restore-A-Finish, not their Wax.
I honestly tried them several times and I never understand all buzz about them.

1. Restore-A-Finish has absolutely no advantage to me versus conventional speaker finishes. The notion that marks and scratches disappears is a myth. They disappear because of sanding, not because of RAF, the same was as with conventional finishes.
Yes, it does the job, but not better then other finishes.

There's a disadvantage though. My Home Depot has 4 RAFs with different stains (like Dark Walnut, Mahogany, etc.). I do not like it. I don't like applying stained finish. All conventional finishes are clear, while this RAF is dark. This is not right to me.

2. Howard Wax. Looks like a coat of grease and I see no difference after I wipe it off. I try keeping speakers in non-greasy state.

Rockyhill
02-21-2012, 08:08 PM
Sorry to spoil the party. I do not like using neither Restore-A-Finish, not their Wax.
I honestly tried them several times and I never understand all buzz about them.

1. Restore-A-Finish has absolutely no advantage to me versus conventional speaker finishes. The notion that marks and scratches disappears is a myth. They disappear because of sanding, not because of RAF, the same was as with conventional finishes.
Yes, it does the job, but not better then other finishes.

There's a disadvantage though. My Home Depot has 4 RAFs with different stains (like Dark Walnut, Mahogany, etc.). I do not like it. I don't like applying stained finish. All conventional finishes are clear, while this RAF is dark. This is not right to me.

2. Howard Wax. Looks like a coat of grease and I see no difference after I wipe it off. I try keeping speakers in non-greasy state.

Can you tell us what you like? I have had very good results with Howard's products. If you know of better please share.

DENNYDOG
02-21-2012, 08:15 PM
The before and after of the Brazilian Rosewood (yes, real Brazilian Rosewood!) on my Pioneer CS-10's with Howards Restore A Finish and Feed and Wax.

I nominate this thread for a sticky. :yes:

http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4092/5170620805_d21a6404d3_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/10327252@N04/5170620805/)
Pioneer CS-10 027 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/10327252@N04/5170620805/) by dennydog (http://www.flickr.com/people/10327252@N04/), on Flickr

http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4103/5172746767_0226825aba_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/10327252@N04/5172746767/)
Pioneer CS-10 042 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/10327252@N04/5172746767/) by dennydog (http://www.flickr.com/people/10327252@N04/), on Flickr

http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4133/5170620809_5269eec4d9_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/10327252@N04/5170620809/)
Pioneer CS-10 028 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/10327252@N04/5170620809/) by dennydog (http://www.flickr.com/people/10327252@N04/), on Flickr

http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4144/5172940688_c627230a7e_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/10327252@N04/5172940688/)
Pioneer CS-10 037 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/10327252@N04/5172940688/) by dennydog (http://www.flickr.com/people/10327252@N04/), on Flickr

onepixel
02-21-2012, 08:22 PM
Denny, that Brazilian Rosewood sure is pretty, speakers looks awesome too!

kfa888
02-21-2012, 08:23 PM
Love this stuff and use it on everything now. My wife thinks i am addicted :D

before...

http://motosportz.smugmug.com/Electronics/speakers/i-c4n9WKm/0/XL/IMG0158-XL.jpg

10 minutes later...

http://motosportz.smugmug.com/Electronics/speakers/i-CdFBdF4/0/XL/IMG0171-XL.jpg

DENNYDOG
02-21-2012, 08:27 PM
Thanks! After having them for a couple of years now, I finally decided to take the non working midrange in. I just found out it can't be repaired. :tears:

Parts for these are incredibly hard to find.

70WR
02-21-2012, 08:30 PM
lol - just got finished with a treatment of Howard Restor-A-Finish on a Sansui QRX-5500 that I'm giving to a co-worker. Although the wood was already nice, it seem to make it look richer, like it was a little dried out. After BBQ, I'll give it a treatment of Feed'&'Wax.
Just to easy.

Skylab
02-21-2012, 09:11 PM
I'm a convert. I had been using Old English Scratch Remover, but I think Howard's is better. I have used it successfully on a bunch of my vintage Pioneer cases and I definitely think they look better after than and then a good buffing with Howard's Feed'n'Wax, although I admit none of them was in terrible distress.

mjennens
02-21-2012, 09:19 PM
I have a pair of Dynaco A25's I picked up at a thrift store a while back. I had to get tweeters for them and I re-capped them. They are truly a gem in the speaker world, IMHO. The downside to mine... they were beat. Definitely not pretty. The fabric on the grills is OK, but the cabinets were scratched and very faded and... um... ugly.
Well, fellow AK'er MarkAllen and I were visiting and he mentioned that he picked up some old Radio Shack Nova speakers that were in pretty rough shape. He got some Howard Restor-a-Finish and Howard Feed-n-Wax to try to make them somewhat presentable. (A few posts up...he posted earlier today about this.) He was very happy with the results, so he let me use it to see what it might do for my A25's.
All I can say is WOW! What a difference. The scratches are still there, but the finish looks awesome compared to what it was. I spent about 30 minutes on them and they look like different speakers. Very Nice!!!
I will be keeping a supply of these products on hand from now on.

similost
02-21-2012, 09:24 PM
AK should get a little advertising dollars from Howards with all the business we give them word of mouth and testimonial pictures.

ymarko
02-21-2012, 10:54 PM
It's not even funny. Everybody compare Howard Restore-A-Finish versus no-finish-at-all.
It's not even apple to orange comparison. It's apple to no apple.

How about to compare Howard finish versus traditional / conventional oil finishes? I did it several times (several speakers). Howard lost every time (for the reasons mentioned in my earlier post).

Puddintane
02-21-2012, 11:54 PM
It's not even funny. Everybody compare Howard Restore-A-Finish versus no-finish-at-all.
It's not even apple to orange comparison. It's apple to no apple.

How about to compare Howard finish versus traditional / conventional oil finishes? I did it several times (several speakers). Howard lost every time (for the reasons mentioned in my earlier post).

I know for certain this thread was never intended to declare which product is better/best. That was never the point at all. I started this thread because I'd seen RAF recommended many times, and not having any experience with repairing wood finishes on anything, I decided to give it a try. And for me, the results were nothing short of spectacular. I simply wanted to share my experiences with others who might be faced with the same/similar finish problems. My speakers went from looking like totally water-stained crap to looking as good as new to me. So the point (my point) was merely to say that this stuff is super easy to use, and the results are terrific.

No RAF doesn't "remove" scratches or dings or cracks or any other major finish problems. But just look what it does with (as in my case) major water stains and minor blemishes. It recolors and evens out the finish with excellent results.

I've since used it on several other projects, and I'm completely satisfied with what it does. I still give it two big thumbs up!! :thmbsp::thmbsp:

I think a comparison might be very interesting. There may well be something "better." Go ahead and post your results in a new thread. I'm sure others would be interested as well.

Copa1934
02-22-2012, 12:43 AM
I know for certain this thread was never intended to declare which product is better/best. That was never the point at all. I started this thread because I'd seen RAF recommended many times, and not having any experience with repairing wood finishes on anything, I decided to give it a try. And for me, the results were nothing short of spectacular. I simply wanted to share my experiences with others who might be faced with the same/similar finish problems. My speakers went from looking like totally water-stained crap to looking as good as new to me. So the point (my point) was merely to say that this stuff is super easy to use, and the results are terrific.

No RAF doesn't "remove" scratches or dings or cracks or any other major finish problems. But just look what it does with (as in my case) major water stains and minor blemishes. It recolors and evens out the finish with excellent results.

I've since used it on several other projects, and I'm completely satisfied with what it does. I still give it two big thumbs up!! :thmbsp::thmbsp:

I think a comparison might be very interesting. There may well be something "better." Go ahead and post your results in a new thread. I'm sure others would be interested as well.
I say ignore the comments. I'm a woodworker and love hearing about products that work. In this case "work" means it does what it says it does and nothing more. Obviously RAF does the job and obviously quite nicely. I didn't personally get the impression that RAF will save the planet, restore balding heads or cure STD's. Will I try RAF? Don't know, maybe after I've used up my arsenal of other wood care products, which I have too many of, but surely enough for all the speakers I have to redo.

Keep singing the praise, and more importantly showing off the results cause above all else I love love love the looks of vintage speakers. I can't stand vinyl, but I live with it when I have to.

Nice job folks!

lico
02-22-2012, 01:29 AM
Nice pics. RAF can works wonders. My father in law used to rave about it working antiques - think he even became a distributor at one time in the past he liked it so much. That and Deft. If you don't want to spend the time sanding and refinishing, not sure what would work better.

michaelhigh
02-22-2012, 05:53 AM
AK should get a little advertising dollars from Howards with all the business we give them word of mouth and testimonial pictures.

I'm surprised, after rescanning this thread, that I didn't respond sooner, as I bought Restor-A Finsh and the beeswax too. I can vouch for the fact that my A/D/S L420's came back to life brilliantly after winning an auction... I wouldn't have known about this wonder stuff without the many suggestions to try it. The things I do try after hearing about them here have really panned out, in so many cases I couldn't name them all.:banana:

DaveS
02-22-2012, 06:06 AM
All AR speakers part blo.
Any mixture using blo MUST be allowed to dry completely before re coating. Re coating before the blo has completely dried or applying a thick mixture will cause it to gum up and possibly never dry.

I've had best luck with both tung and blo with a tablespoon of Japan Dryer to a tuna can of oil, with more thinner coats, wiping excess
after about 20 mins soak-in/penetrating time, then recoating after dry.
The oil dries faster and seemingly harder with the drying agent. It's in most hardware and similar stores here in the Seattle area. A pint'll last a loong time.

DaveS
02-22-2012, 06:24 AM
I find that RAF does a really amazingly good quick low effort
job.
I also tend to like to go to the original wood surface unless
its an antique with patina rather than just grunge and
dirt and discolouration and the piece has significant
value with its original finish.
If I'm going for the original look and colour of the wood,
I like Formby's Finisher, which actually removes the old
finish with waay less work and mess than HD strippers
like KleenStrip and similar.
I recently tried each on an M&K sub with the pretty
(to me) walnut wood. The RAF came out noticably darker
then the FF. Since I like walnut on the lighter side,
given a choice, I redid the darker side with Finisher,
and the lightness was the same all round.
I like to use the Howard's Orange Oil after RAF/FR, for
added penetration. It darkens slightly, not drastically,
then dries without a noticeable darkening. After a cloth
buffing, I finish with 2/ coats of Wax n feed with a light
buffing of each coat.
I've had great results on the walnut cabinetry on our motorhome
as well.
Wood is so fun.
Gonna try some veneering for the first time on some vinyl
Yamaha NS 50's, which are great to my ears in a plain vanilla
"monitor-ish-sounding" kind of way.

markallen
02-22-2012, 04:44 PM
It's not even funny. Everybody compare Howard Restore-A-Finish versus no-finish-at-all. It's not even apple to orange comparison. It's apple to no apple. How about to compare Howard finish versus traditional / conventional oil finishes? I did it several times (several speakers). Howard lost every time (for the reasons mentioned in my earlier post).

I can't really argue with your premise. I am certain that a properly completed sanding/stripping and refinishing will yield a superior result. But you will invest considerably more time and effort. I see the Howard option as one of "value" versus "best possible results". Considering the time invested, the RaF results are a far better value to me.

With the speakers I wanted to improve, there would still be a couple of damaged corners that would likely take wholesale re-veneering to properly remedy. Even if perfectly restored, the speakers would not be worth such time or material investment. I would wager that most who see them with the RAF results would be adequately impressed with the appearance for minimal effort and product.

You'd also made a comment about the Feed & Wax "greasy" finish. I was concerned about that also, thinking that when I picked the speaker up to place it that I'd leave waxy fingerprints. Nope. Product finished out dry, just as it had a proper finish coat. That's my experience anyway.

similost
02-22-2012, 04:53 PM
Howard's isn't a finish, it's a finish restorer and a wax and wood oil.

Best used on oiled wood. most everything I have in my house made of wood is natural or oiled wood finishes. All my living room, dining room and bedroom is all oiled wood. Some of it from the 30's... and I use Howards on all of it all the time. Some of the wood is new custom made furniture, and I use Howards on it too.... to oil and make shiny. NEVER anything else.. especially Pledge and such.

If your stuff looks oily or greasy after using the feed&wax, then you aren't doing it right...

For all my old furniture, I'll even go as far as leaving the oil on over night, then buffing off in the morning.

Use a good terry cloth towel to remove the majority of what is left, then use a good microfiber rag and hand buff with it... beautiful non greasy shine.

Nashou66
02-22-2012, 10:22 PM
Just did my KLH CB-10"s

Before on one, I had to sand it down a bit first.

http://gallery.me.com/nashou.66/100209/DSCF1843/web.jpg?ver=13299667400001

http://gallery.me.com/nashou.66/100209/DSCF1844/web.jpg?ver=13299667460001


only thing that is wrong , my speakers still had the sticker on them stating the wood finish, So I thought it was all sanded away, you couldn't see it. Till I put on the finish. it wouldn't soak in. no matter how much I sanded it down the finish wouldn't take in those spots.

But I still think they look great now, and the new drivers sound great as well.
http://gallery.me.com/nashou.66/100209/DSCF1846/web.jpg?ver=13299667550001

Nashou

SpyderMike
02-23-2012, 09:04 PM
And yet another example - Dynaco A35s that in the "before" state were never going to find a place in the house. In the "after" state they made the grade!

markd51
02-23-2012, 11:33 PM
Firstly, I'll apologize since I don't have any before of after pics of the use of RAF.

A few years back, I acquired a mint pair of JBL 4430 Studio Monitors. The condition they were in was amazing. No scratches-dings, or any other damage such as water rings, etc. But what I did notice, was it was evident that one of these speakers sat near a window, that one top 1/2 of side of the speaker was a bit "bleached", and lighter in appearance.

While I no doubt could've tried other products, such as stains, Old English Dark Oil to achieve similar results, the Howard's RAF was easy to work with, and seemed to have a quality of letting me apply multiple applications where needed to even the finish.

After a few coats to the bleached area, then, and only then did I begin to then do the rest, and the results that I got have appeared to have totally eliminated this issue.

After the desired results were then achieved, I bought a bottle of Howard's Feed and Wax, and use this periodically to maintain the luster of the finish.

So, I reckon here's another thumb's up for their products. Mark

bluesky
02-24-2012, 12:56 AM
Wow. I will be buying some very soon.

RickeyM
03-15-2012, 04:41 PM
Wow. I will be buying some very soon.

Do that! I'm working on a couple of pairs of speakers now and the results are impressive. I'll post pics when I'm done.

markshan
03-15-2012, 11:13 PM
It's not even funny. Everybody compare Howard Restore-A-Finish versus no-finish-at-all.
It's not even apple to orange comparison. It's apple to no apple.

How about to compare Howard finish versus traditional / conventional oil finishes? I did it several times (several speakers). Howard lost every time (for the reasons mentioned in my earlier post).

Well, duh.

Post #68 mentions a ten minute before and after. Can you strip, sand, stain and seal a cabinet in ten minutes?

Sure, I wouldn't compare it to a "proper" finish, but for what it is, it is brilliant!

RickeyM
03-16-2012, 09:13 AM
Well, duh.

Post #68 mentions a ten minute before and after. Can you strip, sand, stain and seal a cabinet in ten minutes?

Sure, I wouldn't compare it to a "proper" finish, but for what it is, it is brilliant!

Open the window, "go at" the speakers with some RAF and some 0000 steel wool and 20-min later have a much improved looking pair of speakers. All done in the middle of the living room without making a mess at all :thmbsp:

markallen
04-11-2012, 05:28 PM
AK should get a little advertising dollars from Howards with all the business we give them word of mouth and testimonial pictures.

Take a look at the sponsor banners below. As of this writing, it's done.