Author Topic: Curtis Mathes Cabinet Question  (Read 1632 times)

Hull Rust

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Curtis Mathes Cabinet Question
« on: January 13, 2016, 05:07:20 PM »

I've no experience with Curtis Mathes, but I've read online about the quality of the cabinet builds.

Saw one today that was very, very rough, and it was a veneer job. For some reason I thought CM didn't (or at least rarely) use veneer. Am I mistaken? Maybe it was used on some models?

The model was 4428 BB, walnut finish.

Anyone here with experience with CM that can shed some light on their cabinets? Thanks in advance for any help.

Pat L

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Re: Curtis Mathes Cabinet Question
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2016, 08:14:53 PM »
I purchased a TOTL Curtis Mathes Royal Dane for my brother. Absolutely huge and gorgeous . It was walnut veneer over heavy particle board. My 1958 Ampex is the same construction. While I prefer veneer over plywood, I wouldn't look at either way of building as more or less quality. The edging on all of our units is solid wood and the panels are always veneered. It's how to build fine cabinets with dimensional stability.

Hull Rust

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Re: Curtis Mathes Cabinet Question
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2016, 08:31:21 PM »

Thanks for the response, Pat.

The one I looked at is not a TOTL and was not taken care of. Ink stains, water rings, you name it. Really going to be a challenge to make it look presentable.

I like the design and I need to get better at refinishing, so maybe a project to get me further down that road. We'll see. Thanks again.

magpie

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Re: Curtis Mathes Cabinet Question
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2016, 08:23:22 AM »
I have a very pretty mid-range CM circa 1960, and it has a combination of finely crafted hardwood legs and perimeter wood along with veneer over heavy particle board for the bottom (invisible) and some of the large/flat decorative bits. Overall, it's a pretty well-crafted piece of furniture, but it's not solid wood.

Hull Rust

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Re: Curtis Mathes Cabinet Question
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2016, 08:02:09 PM »
Went back to look at it again, and ended up with it. It's in really rough shape and not a desirable amp (from what I gather reading online) or record changer, but I'm not in it for much of anything at all.  It's a good project to see if I can get the cabinet back in shape. If I can, then the electronics will get taken care of down the road.

But man, do the record changer and drawer smell. Just awful, didn't hit me until I started taking things apart tonight. I'll let everything air out in the garage until weather allows me to bake the cabinet and drawer out in the sun, probably starting in May, then start working on the cabinet.

TC Chris

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Re: Curtis Mathes Cabinet Question
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2016, 10:17:07 PM »
For the odors, try putting a small dish of household ammonia inside the enclosed spaces.  It works to remove odors from rooms and ought to work for smaller spaces too.  At least when used in larger spaces, there's no real awareness of the ammonia odor.  The other odor-killer is ozone, which is also bad for rubber, so be cautious.  I've got a small ozone generator that came in  bunch of stuff from an auction.  They also made plug-in models for cars that were inexpensive.  Ozone kills mold and odors.  Once when I had a stovetop fire that caused no damage, just a really bad smell throughout the whole house, the insurance co. rented me a big commercial ozone machine.  It really worked.

Chris Campbell

Hull Rust

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Re: Curtis Mathes Cabinet Question
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2016, 11:16:35 PM »

Thank you for the tip, I'll give it a shot.


Larry H

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Re: Curtis Mathes Cabinet Question
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2016, 11:24:12 PM »
I didn't know particle board existed back then.  Nowadays, virtually everything is made with the stuff.
--Larry

Harbourmaster

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Re: Curtis Mathes Cabinet Question
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2016, 03:41:03 PM »
Particleboard was invented during WWII (by a German Luftwaffe Pilot no less!) and started to see commercial use in the early 50's.


I worked for a number of years for a Custom Furniture manufacturer crafting High end furnishings for Country Club homes in Palm Springs, and particle board and MDF were used for most items due to its excellent dimensional stability.
-- Aloha, Ken

No Console Left Behind!

Hull Rust

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Re: Curtis Mathes Cabinet Question
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2016, 07:06:51 PM »

The cabinet is completely apart. One coat of boiled linseed oil on the top so far. Lots of work to do.

Larry H

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Re: Curtis Mathes Cabinet Question
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2016, 07:22:47 PM »
Wow.. I wouldn't think it is necessary to take a complete cabinet apart to strip and refinish it.
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Hull Rust

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Re: Curtis Mathes Cabinet Question
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2016, 07:27:15 PM »

As I stated earlier the smell was something else.

The internal structure had to go. The bottom plate I'm going to sand and shellac to try to mitigate the remaining smell.

It's a project, but I'm hopeful I can get it back in service.

Hull Rust

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Re: Curtis Mathes Cabinet Question
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2016, 07:33:57 PM »

What I'm going to try (assuming I'm successful in removing any remaining odor) is load in KLH 20 speakers. Build them in separate enclosures in place of the original speakers.