Finish for Etherwave Theremin from kit

Posted: 6/15/2014 3:29:16 AM
krellmusician

From: Hell's Quarter Acre, New England, USA

Joined: 12/7/2013

I'm finally getting around to building an Etherwave Theremin kit I purchased several years ago.  I've installed Thierry's ESPE01 board on the mainboard, and have an Etherwave Plus Field Upgrade on order for it; I figured I'd take advantage of having the board accessible and solderable without having to do any disassembly first.  In the meantime, I'm looking at the case and trying to decide on a suitable finish.  I don't necessarily want a traditional wood-style finish that shows the grain -- though I'm not averse to it either -- but am leaning more towards some sort of enamel or lacquer top cover.

Given the caveats in the manual about finishes, metallic flake paint is out of the question.  But I find myself leaning towards some sort of hammered texture finish.  I know that some of the hammered texture paints use mica flakes to achieve the effect, and that they are not conductive.  But does anyone know of any other argument against hammered finishes?  And if not, are there any paints out there that would fill the bill?  (I note that some hammered finish black paints contain carbon black as pigment, and that is also a no-no.)

Thanks for your time and help.

 

Posted: 6/15/2014 5:33:25 PM
FredM

From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K. ................................... Fred Mundell. ................................... Electronics Engineer. (Primarily Analogue) .. CV Synths 1974-1980 .. Theremin developer 2007 to present .. soon to be Developing / Trading as WaveCrafter.com . ...................................

Joined: 12/7/2007

Hello Krell,

If you look at rounding-off-the-edges this subject has been touched..

Mica flakes will not be a problem - carbon is a potential problem but I suspect that one can get away with a small quantity, particularly when one has a kit and needs to go through the process of tuning the instrument anyway.

It all comes down to the added capacitance any coating will facilitate, and I strongly suspect that this capacitance will be low enough from most non-metallic paints that it can be trimmed away in the tuning process.

Fred.

Posted: 6/15/2014 8:18:52 PM
jurgen

From: The Netherlands

Joined: 7/5/2012

I have painted my theremin in black and let me inform at a good local paint shop. They have asked it to the specialist at the paint factory for a non carbon type.
Okay, maybe i've payed to much for paint, but a good advice is something worth.

After painting let it dry a few days before you think you messed up your instrument.
The water or thinner can can have effect to the capacity.

Posted: 6/16/2014 12:54:01 PM
krellmusician

From: Hell's Quarter Acre, New England, USA

Joined: 12/7/2013

Fred --

Five minutes after I posted, I looked at the "rounding off the edges" thread (since that is also something I've been considering doing) and found the discussion about finishes.  But thanks for pointing it out to me; I wouldn't have made the connection based upon the thread title alone, and it was serendipitous at best to have stumbled on it by myself.

Thanks for your time and help.

Paul

Posted: 6/16/2014 1:58:44 PM
FredM

From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K. ................................... Fred Mundell. ................................... Electronics Engineer. (Primarily Analogue) .. CV Synths 1974-1980 .. Theremin developer 2007 to present .. soon to be Developing / Trading as WaveCrafter.com . ...................................

Joined: 12/7/2007

"Okay, maybe i've payed to much for paint, but a good advice is something worth." - jurgen

Hi jurgen,

It would be real useful to know what paint you used.. Is there any chance you could share the details (brand, type, details) so that others wanting to paint their theremin black can safely go out and buy this paint.. ?

Fred.

 

Posted: 6/19/2014 6:27:58 PM
jurgen

From: The Netherlands

Joined: 7/5/2012

Hi Fred,

You are right. I used: Histor One Zijdeglans lak / Satinée Laque (silk) 6372 zwart (black).
I payed €26,44 for 0,5L
I think Histor is a Dutch brand. It is a brand of ppg Industries.



disclaimer:I thought I messed up my instrument with this paint and recalibrate it, but I didn't gave it time to dry. A few days later I had to recalibrate it again. So based on my experience I can not guarantee this paint is 100% good.

 

 

Posted: 5/20/2015 2:13:26 PM
xoadc

From: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Joined: 4/24/2015

Are there any photo albums or places online to look at examples of different ways people have finished their theremins?

I'm preparing to finish the wood on my Etherwave and am looking for inspiration.

When googling custom Etherwave design, there are some images... mostly different colours of wood stain (all in the natural range)... and then a set of 4 etherwaves with complex geometric patterns drawn on the top.... but I'd like to see more.

Do any of you have photos of how you finished your theremins, or have photos of custom theremin designs (design on the wood) that you would share or point us to?

thanks!

Posted: 5/21/2015 10:34:42 AM
RoyP

From: Scotland

Joined: 9/27/2012

Hi xoadc

I’m not sure if there does exist a repository of all EW designs, funky or otherwise.

Any case designs for the EW that I have seen are, as you have pointed out, natural wood coloured with stains or dyes or painted; red is the brightest that I’ve come across although a few years ago MOOG did a special glow-in-the-dark yellow/green version.

If you wanted natural wood patterns you could always cover the case with veneer and then stain it.

I’ve had a wee look round and have gathered a couple of theremin case design which are out there.

Theremin creations by Francois Chambard.
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/um-project-presents-odd-harmonics-196226


Satenik Hakobyan Ulikhanyan has a white one
http://www.thereminworld.com/photoalbums/view/15274#15278

 
Then there is ‘Art Harrison’s Theremin site which has photos of his various theremin models which have been built by people (you have to click on the relevant theremin model, click ‘accept’, then click on ‘photos’. Mind though that it’s not an EW so not sure how much tolerance there is built in so you could tweek for a different case.
http://www.theremin.us/


Not forgetting the legendary Badgermin…(again not an EW so unsure as to how much tweeking leeway there would be putting the electronics into a different case)
http://www.nervoussquirrel.com/badgermin.html


Let us know how it goesJ

 

Roy

Posted: 7/2/2015 11:38:57 PM
xoadc

From: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Joined: 4/24/2015

little update on the finishing journey....

I've been doing lots of tests and practicing... practicing carving into ash with a dremel tool... a paramedic friend took enough blood from me to start with, and I've done various stain tests with it... applying it into the carved grooves of test designs with different types of brushes, and also with paint markers.

the colour ranges from faint brown (barely distinguishable from the wood's natural grain colour) made with a single coat from a paint brush, to deep maroon made with two coats from a paint marker, to orange (when applied as a stain with a rag), and various shades in between these.  the blood applied into carved grooves with a paint marker is my favourite, but it bleeds out of the carved design via the wood grain... I'm going to see if pre-treating with wood conditioner will prevent that.

 

now the plan is to test in combination with other products:

  - first carve two more test designs
 -  then pre-treat one of those designs with wood conditioner (to see if that prevents the blood from bleeding into the grain) - then stain grooves of both tests with blood using the paint marker
 - then finish with 4 coats of urethane

  - finally, wait a few weeks to check light fastness.

 

once finished, I'll post some photos.

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