Well, I'm fully addicted to this vintage Polk stuff....:p In additon to my RTA-12's scored last month, I also picked up a pair of monitor 10's for $80 from Craigs List last week. The good news is that they were in great shape except for sticky vinyl, the bad news is that my girlfriend dropped one on the sidewalk on the way to the car, setting a new outdoor record for elapsed time owned until damaged-about 4 minutes.
I know, I know-in hindsight I probably should have put down my beer and helped her! ;) Anyway, one rear corner got damaged, so all the more reason to lose the vinyl siding.
Like many others on this forum, I owned a pair of monitor 10B's back in the 80's and loved them, but sold them when I got into DIY speaker building. I also sold them because I was on an anti-fake-woodgrain campaign around my house in the late 80's which is still in effect today.
So, after verifying that the speakers still work properly (they do) and one listening session, I disassembled them for the re-veneering project. These speakers have SL-2000 tweeters, 6503 mid-woofs and the S/N stickers are on the upper rear corners of the cabinets (instead of on the terminal cups) with date stamps of 1989 on everything. The S/N stickers just say "monitor 10" on them, no "B" or anything and they were rosewood vinyl. I am hoping a monitor 10 expert can identify these as "B's" or series II, etc....
One other observation-these have way more polyfill stuffing in them then my RTA-12C's. One big piece rolled up and stuffed above the brace inside the cabinet behind the tweeter, and another 3-4" thick piece behind the PR in the lower cabinet. My RTA-12's have two sheets of 1" thick or so polyfill behind the PR with nothing around the brace or tweeters.
The first step in veneering was removing the vinyl, and this went easier than I thought it would. On one cabinet the vinyl practically jumped off, coming off easily in sheets and leaving the adhesive behind. My guess is that this cabinet was probably exposed to more sunlight than the other one. The other cabinet required some minor scraping and help from the heat gun. Using the heat gun just ahead of the part you are pulling up seemed to work the best, although too much heat and the vinyl melts. This method removed the adhesive with the vinyl, I think that there is a minor benefit to having the adhesive stay on the cabinets so less veneer glue will be needed later (the veneer glue will be less likely to soak into the particle board) Scraper control is important since you just want to lift the vinyl and not gouge the surface since any imperfections will telegraph through the veneer later.
I already like the look of raw particleboard over the rosewood vinyl...
Next, I cut the rear sides of the cabinet flush with the rear of the cabinet to clean up the damaged corner and used wood filler for a corner rebuild. I carefully raised the table saw blade with the cabinet against the saw fence to remove excess filler to make a hard, square corner. I also flush cut the rear sides with the back of the cabinet because I am contemplating veneering the back also.
The next issue to overcome is the beveled front cabinet edge, which would be somewhat difficult to veneer since there would be lots of veneer edges to deal with and no way to easily trim trim the veneer. I CAREFULLY removed this bevel with the table saw, and this was, by far, the most stressful part of the project. Remember, measure twice (or 4-5 times!) and cut once. See pics for the cabinets with and without the bevel. Since I am planning on using quarter sawn cherry veneer, I fabricated a beveled face frame out of cherry that will be glued in place after veneering. I used a 1/2" plywood spacer under the speaker baffle when cutting on the table saw to protect the grill fasteners form getting damaged.
I briefly contemplated rosewood veneer :p but at $6 a square foot I came to my senses, after all, these are monitor 10's! Cherry veneer is about $1.75 a square foot around here, and quarter sawn cherry is about $1.85/ft2. Between now and this weekend I may change my mind and go with zebrawood or some other exotic comp veneer. Many exotic veneers are available as "comp" veneer which is real wood with a "picture" of ebony, rosewood, etc imprinted on them for around $3/ft2. These are stainable, varnishable, etc. and look very much like the real deal.
I will post additional pics as this project progresses if anyone is interested. Veneering (and possibly finishing) hopefully will take place this coming weekend. I will probably upgrade the x-over and binding posts while they are apart also.