Introduction: Don't Trash Those Vintage Speakers Just Yet....bring Them Back to Life!!
I have repaired A LOT of vintage audio.
equipment, and have found a solid method of repairing paper drivers ALMOST back to original. There was a lot of trial and error and mistakes made at first, but i have got it down.
1. Torn speaker (obviously)
2.Acetone or nail polish remover.
3.Nail polish. (preferably clear or match the color of the speaker being fixed)
4.Paint brush. Fine tip.
5.Anything sharp like a toothpick or safety-pin.
6.Toilet paper.(this is the only time single-ply will get the job done.)
Step 1: Prep and Begin....
Before you start, add a few drops of acetone or nail polish remover
to the nail polish. It doesn't need to be as thick and your results will be better. After that is done, inspect the speaker and use paint brush to dust off debris and dirt. Pushing out from the opposite side of the tear, try to even out the material as much as possible. If there are folds or large bumps left over, you will hear them. Next, RIP OFF PIECES OF TP, slightly larger than damaged area and compensate for any folds. DO NOT USE SCISSORS. the ripped edges will fuse when nail polish is applied.
Step 2: Applying the TP and Nail Polish
Place the "patch" over the tear making sure you completely cover the damaged area. Dip the brush in the acetone and then in the nail polish. Apply a decent size glob to each corner of the patch. This will keep the patch from moving from the brush strokes. After the patch is tacked down, repeat that process until the damaged area is completely covered and sealed. Use slow brush strokes and take your time. Any mistakes made will be "loud and clear."
If speakers are going to be visible, add a deluded 2nd coat of color-matching nail polish. The acetone evaporates, but will leave the paper warped if too much is applied, thus compromising your sound reproduction. Along edges of speaker, apply patch carefully and do each fold at a time. If the damaged area is made of thicker paper (cardboard, etc....)you can use paper towels.
Allow the repair to completely dry and harden up. Remember to be easy on the newly repaired speaker(s) and MOST IMPORTANTLY.......
Enjoy your hard work and treat yourself to a victory tune.