I've used pure lemon oil furniture polish for years with no detrimental effects to the speakers and it keeps the wood veneer moisturized and clean.
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I agree with Elizabeth. Coming from a wood working background, I know there are others that are going to respsond with all kinds of oils and furniture polishes. I HIGHLY advise against this. A cotton T-shirt will do just fine. Oils and polishes are likely to ruin the finish put on by the manufacturer.
I've been building and selling custom furniture of all types for a living for over forty years and have yet to have a problem using lemon oil, especially on veneers. Veneers can start to split when they get too dry regardless of the finish on them. I have veneered pieces more than forty years old with the original finishes that have been wiped down regularly that show no noticable change in the appearance of the finish. I would be more worried about getting the lemon oil on the cones and surrounds of the speakers.
This is an area I have been fanatical about,since buying my Avalon Ascents some years ago.They have a gorgeous olivewood finish that cannot be had,due to deforestation .I used to collect Martin guitars,and even with their stunning gloss finishes Martin had no problem with polish,so long as it was their polish in use.
What I have done(I did have a bit of woodworking experience,years ago)was to find the finest furniture polish available.I was very careful about the ingredients.It seems that natural oils is a GOOd thing,in that it will not penetrate a good finish.It will help protect against what is called "finish checking".Even if some were to meander into some grain,it most likely would moisten,slightly,and help keep it from aging.Just wipe thoroughly(leave no residue).We have all seen this.Just look at the grain pattern on an old piece of furniture.If it's a long grain hardwood,you will most likely see a slight seperation(actually a splitting)at many of the grains.This is normal,yet can be GREATLY reduced by the regular use of one of the better products.I use Weimans furniture cream.Damn expensive,and available commercially.Truthfully,my speakers really Do look exactly as they did after unpacking.Knock on wood.I told you I was a fanatic!Sorry!I buff,with this before every seasonal change.
Also make sure you have a good humidity level in the room.You can always get a digital humidifier to run,if you don't have one in your main heating system.This is important.
Also,a soft flannel cloth is actually better than a cotton shirt.Cotton is more abrasive than flannel.Cut up some old P.J.s!!Heh,heh!!
I too am a custom furniture builder. If the right adhesive and finish are used, there should be no splitting. Finishes from 40 years ago are not as good as today's finishes. There should be absolutely no need to wipe it down with anything other than a dry cloth.
The simply fact is, if the lemon oil is penetrating the wood itself, the finish is not doing it's job.
Horton,can't say I disagree with you.Actually Avalon claims that nothing is necessary.
However,and I'm most likely a bit over the top here,yet my 15 yr old Ascents look EXACTLY like "hour one",with all the crap floating around in the air,as well as household pollutants,it seems like "not too big a stretch" to give a nice protective coating once every 3 months ago.A good cardio workout as well. -:)
As a professional restorer/conservator I concur with S7horton's comments on this matter. Moisture has no place in solid or wood veneer. In fact, one reason that clear coat finishes are applied in the first place is to keep moisture out. Clear coat finishes do not soak in oils or waxes either, all of that stuff stays on top of the finish. The best thing one can do to keep your wood items looking new is to keep them away from sunlight and heat. Dusting with a clean, soft slightly damp cloth as all that is needed.
As for lemon oil products, they are an oily petroleum distillate with a lemon scent added. They will add a temporary shine, but that's it.
BTW,Horton,as wood ages,it tends to dry out,and can change it'e properties(I'm not trying to be smug,and am sure you know this).No finish/coating can stop this.Slow it down,slightly,but not stop it.The tiny seperations I mentioned are common even in todays finishes.They actually look like the grain,yet are what is known as "finish checking".This is what the finer polish type treatments claim to help diminish,and slow.Some may,some may not.
Ok now y'all have me wondering. For years I have used Armor All on most of my wood furniture with only good results.
More recently, I've been told that this is bad. Can any one out there help me. OK I have never owned anything made of any exotic wood. But I have used Armor All for like thirty years.
Jpounds,try --email@example.com out the last "0",from my original post.Not 70680!We do have a nice chat in front of us.
As for the wood/finish issue,BOY would I love to NOT have to buff,or polish.It takes me about an hour per speaker(told you I was nuts).I just cannot get away from the thought of not having to do anything to the finish.It's worked for these years,to a fairthywell.Maybe seeing all those nice Wilson finishes,as well as some other low maintenance designs has (probably so)made me a bit paranoid,but I paid a load for these speakers,new,and want them to keep that "new" look.I guess I do this out of habit,yet I'm a bit fanatical with these speakers,as they have really proven to be "VALID CLASSICS",and have not really been improved upon much,IMO.Just the easy load,alone,puts them above the newer Avalons(just my opinion),not to mention what the sealed inclosure does for midbass articulation!
Also,I would definitely be interested if any of you guys who are experienced furniture finishers/wood restorers could E-mail me some phone numbers/addresses.If I move my premises,in a year or two as planned,I may consider putting a different veneer/finish on these,to accomodate the "little lady",should I have to give up my dedicated room.Drats!!
Best to all!!
All polishes and waxes are a joke if you think they are going to feed the finish, moisturize the wood, save the finish from checking, protect the finish from water, solvents, oxidation, light, heat or chemicals. They can not and do not do any of those things.
What polishes and waxes will do is help with scratch resistance, will add a temporary shine, can leave a pleasant scent in the room, can aid in dusting and will take money out of your wallet to feed the million dollar polish/wax industry.
Armor All on furniture!?! That's a first for me and I thought I'd heard/seen it all.
as wood ages,it tends to dry out,and can change it'e propertiesNot quite. Wood (we're not talking about green wood, here) reaches an equilibrium with its environment. Furniture wood in someone's home in Seattle will have higher moisture content than the same wood in a home in Santa Fe. The wood will be equally functional and long lasting in both cases. It's when wood goes through cycles of picking up moisture and expanding and then drying out and shrinking, because it lives in a climate with widely varying weather conditions, that one gets problems. Preventing the wood from being subjected to this cycle is one of the main purposes of a good finish.
Sirspeedy, I'm sure the loving care you give your speakers is worthwhile, but I believe you are repairing the finish itself (a la your comments about finish checking), not the wood underneath. Unless the finish was poor to begin with, the wood underneath is fine, as it is protected from the elements, as it were. Finishes are subjected to the elements, however, and olde-style finishes do age, lose moisture and resiliency. Modern finishes are pretty darn inert and only need to be kept clean. I'm in agreement with S7horton and Merganser. (I do think that an application of real Carnauba wax is useful some places; no furniture oils or polishes for me, though.)
Thanks,so much for this wonderful information.You fine gentleman have made some fine points,and I believe you have saved my knees from wearing out prematurely.Unless there is a polish for them,I'll lower my number of polish/buff cycles.
So,can I assume that,in lieu of having my stuff in a dedicated room,with a yearly humidity averaging 50%,and a consistent room temp,that I really don't need to do anything other than keeping all clean?
Thanks for all!