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I recently bought a subwoofer tube for a DIY guitar amp project I'm working on and it is covered with a kind of "carpet" which seems to be glued on to a very dense cardboard.

It looks like the one from here...

Subwoofer

How do I remove the flocking/carpet and glue underneath? Or should I remove the glue at all?

I intend to paint or cover the thing with a thick coat of a very shiny black as well as some modifications so would leaving the glue on make a better surface?

Very new to this so thanks for any help.

  • Link does not work. Could you not just replace the cardboard tube? Without seeing it I figure it might be less effort. – Matt Aug 12 '16 at 2:48
  • Updated the link – kylebellamy Aug 12 '16 at 2:58
  • Pretty sure you are looking to remove flocking – Matt Aug 12 '16 at 3:16
  • Ah that's the term. Never dealt with the stuff before, thanks. – kylebellamy Aug 12 '16 at 3:17
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I got this picture from the same source as the one included in the question. It shows more of the internal detail and gives a better look at the covering. I left it at size large so the detail could more easily be seen.enter image description here

The tube is definitely made of wood, my guess would be either bent plies or straight barrel staves. In any event it looks durable.

The covering looks like it is a woven fabric that is skillfully cut and glued to the barrel. See how it is folded into the opening and reveals some unevenness at the edges where it has been cut to fit the smaller diameter of the inside as compared to the outside of the tube.

My recommendation for removal of the fabric is to use a heat gun that will soften the glue and allow you to peel off the fabric. Easier said than done because the fabric will quite likely tear and require the use of some sort of scraper.

If the glue becomes solid after cooling from the heat treatment you can sand it off. If it remains tacky, you can use some sort of solvent as @matt suggests. You definitely want to remove the glue because if not, you will have a rough, irregular surface that will be telegraphed through your shiny black paint - even if it's a thick layer.

  • This seems a good start option as I left it in my trunk in the Maryland heat and gave the fabric a tug and it started o come loose easily. – kylebellamy Aug 12 '16 at 17:29
  • Given your trunk experience, you might be able to use a hair drier to heat the glue. – Ast Pace Aug 12 '16 at 18:05
  • It seems so obvious from the larger picture now. The inside must be lined with something cause it does not look like real wood from here. – Matt Aug 12 '16 at 21:19
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Your tube is likely made from something like MDF or Medium Density Fiberboard. It is a common engineered wood product that creates a firm and heavy board.

As for the flocking, if you want to remove it, I think the easier solution would be to using some sort of abrasive. Consider something like steel wool or a hand held sander. I caution the use of sanders as they are likely to clog up quickly with stray flocking. If you do use one be sure to clean the paper and change accordingly.

Might have a hard time with the glue using this method but using solvents might be bad choice here and could likely damage the MDF underneath (MDF hates moisture and liquid contact as it makes it swell). That being said many people have had luck just using alcohol, to dissolve the glue, and scrap it of. Sometimes with several passes.

This should leave you with a rough surface when complete. I would suggest wearing eye and mouth protection to keep the smaller particles out of your eyes and lungs.

  • Wish I could check yours as the answer as well because both seem feasible and the info in yours was very helpful. Thanks for the thoughtful response. – kylebellamy Aug 12 '16 at 17:30

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