Korg Maxi-Korg 800DV / Univox K3 part 5: The wood I

Wood. Seems incongruous on a piece of sophisticated electronics. I offer a few reasons why: It’s a Japanese thing – the harmony achieved balancing the electronics and metal with the wood; it’s a vestigial thing – from the days when a keyboard meant a piano forte; it’s a manufacturing thing – in 197* plastics were not so hot and a wood case was just easier to not mess up. Being practical I am going to say it’s a combination of the three.

So what about wood anyway? The smoke cleared enough that I was comfortable going outside to do some sort of work after nearly a week of awful smoke from all the fires here in California. I grabbed the wood chunks that go at either end of the keyboard (that I bet the last guy who owned this keyboard called cup holders), some sandpaper and some restore a finish and headed outside.

The cup rings are sad, but part of the patina that allowed me to buy this for not an unreasonable amount of money. I needed to sand these because the moisture had the finish lifting. Putting restor-a-finish on them would have made them look, but not feel better.

Dealing with wood for synthesizers has been something I have enjoyed. Usually some sandpaper and care brought to bear on any scuffed up wood thing yields a nice result. That is more or less how this project went down.

1″ thick Luan plywood. pretty nice stuff. There is a veneer on the leading edge.

It’s all very straight forward, you sand carefully with 150 then 220 – carefully meaning you avoid cutting the edges too much or applying too much pressure and going through the veneer or original finish.

I could’ve done a better job, but I’m happy with the result – only a tiny bit of burn through on the corner of the sanded piece.
Sanding wood is relaxing and goes pretty quick if you have all the tools you need on hand.
Refinished side came out good – my intuition that the walnut restor-a-finish would match the original pretty well was not misguided. That dark spot is going to be trouble.
Yep, that dark spot was trouble. What to do. Live with it? For now I suppose. There is a guy up the road that sells aged walnut planks for a good price. I may go see what he has – especially considering one of the cheeks is badly damaged. These are a little too red for my liking anyway.

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