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16 replies to this topic

#1 of 17 OFFLINE   Alex_P

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Posted January 12 2004 - 12:49 PM

Hi all,

I'm thinking of building myself a sub. My budget is $450, can't get anything more than that. Currently, I don't have any tools other than a power drill + screwdriver. With that budget, can I build a decent sub? It's going to be for 90/10 movies/music. Room size is 12x15. If it is possible, can you guys tell me what tools to get, and where can I get them cheap? And what plan should I look into? The budget is for both tools and kit. Appreciate any inputs. Thanks

Alex,

#2 of 17 OFFLINE   Wayne Ernst

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Posted January 12 2004 - 01:26 PM

Given your current situation regarding tools, I'd look for something like the Rava. You'll be able to pick it up for $399 + shipping and it will easily compete with subs that cost much more.

Even though I have the capability and tools to build subs, it would cost me over $300 for the Shiva driver, 250 watt power amp, MDF for the cabinet, polyfill and oak veneer - which makes the rava quite a bargain.

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#3 of 17 OFFLINE   Eric Eash

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Posted January 12 2004 - 01:37 PM

start off with a stryke AV12 for $175 here

add a plate amp from partsexpress for $128 here

add some spikes, wire, ports or a passive radiator, and then go to lowes or home depot, get some 3/4" MDF, take some measurements with you for your box and see if the guy getting your wood will cut it for you, buy some screws and wood glue, and presto, you got a sub. there are million different ways to build one, do a few days of searching in this forum, download a program to figure out box volume and tuning. good luck and keep us posted.

eric
"Everybody thinks they have a sense of humor, even if they don't." -favorite movie quote!

Can your sub hit 120db @ 10Hz?...Just wondering.
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#4 of 17 OFFLINE   Wayne Ernst

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Posted January 12 2004 - 01:57 PM

Eric,

But tools are still needed to make the cut-outs in the braces for the cabinet along with a circular hole where the driver will be mounted. This task is kind of hard if one does not have tools.
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#5 of 17 OFFLINE   Mattak

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Posted January 12 2004 - 02:13 PM

Tempest: $125
Wood: $40
Amp: $89
Ports: $26
Glue: $5
Screws: $5
Hole-saw for internal bracing holes: $8
Skill saw: $50
Reciprocating saw: $50
Polyfill: $8

Total: $407

I've seen all these prices recently (although some on sale), so this is a pretty good estimate within your range. This doesn't take into consideration finishing material, but you could go with the truck liner finish some others have and that shouldn't cost very much ($20 maybe? I'm not sure what the liner spray costs).

#6 of 17 OFFLINE   Wayne Ernst

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Posted January 12 2004 - 02:31 PM

Quote:
Hole-saw for internal bracing holes: $8


I'd love to pick one up at this price. Home Depot and Lowes have them for about $14 and up where I live. Posted Image
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#7 of 17 OFFLINE   Mattak

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Posted January 12 2004 - 05:30 PM

I got a kit with 4 or 5 sizes for $8. Yes, they're cheap and not as deep as other expensive ones I've found. Do they work for 3/4" MDF? Definitely Posted Image It's what I used to cut the 24 4" holes in my tempest enclosure. They're from Harbor Freight...not sure if they're nationwide, though.

#8 of 17 OFFLINE   Alex_P

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Posted January 12 2004 - 08:05 PM

Thank you all for a quick response!

Wayne,
I'd like to build the sub instead of buying it. I want to get some tools to later build other speakers as well. I've checked the Rava sub. It does look very impressive. If I can't get the tools + kit for my budget, I'll definitely consider the Rava sub and HSU sub in my to-buy list. Thanks again!

Mattak,

Quote:
Hole-saw for internal bracing holes: $8
Quote:
Skill saw: $50
Quote:
Reciprocating saw: $50

Are all these tools price from Harbor Freight? I'm in Southern California. I don't recall of that name. Thanks for everything.

Eric,
Thank you for the driver/amp info. I will look into it.

Anybody else? Thanks in advance...

Alex,

#9 of 17 OFFLINE   Eric Eash

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Posted January 12 2004 - 11:21 PM

okay, tools? i have the pleasure of being able to go to a professional wood shop with every tool in the book for the mere price of $1.50 an hour so i wasn't thinking about them. one of the many military benefits most people don't know about. to keep the price as low as possible, find one of the best jig-saws you can and find even more patience. also, stock up on some sand paper, 100,150,200,300 grit and maybe some steel wool. that will help with the finishing. to keep it under your budget, i think you'll need to go either sealed or ported, passive radiator is expensive. what are you interested in? HT or music? for mostly music, a sealed box would be the way to go, also is cheaper and easier to design/build. ported will require a big box and some calculations. also, i recommend the thickest MDF possible since it is relatively cheap. if only they sold MDF here in japan, instead the only thing available to me was $90 3/4" plywood. depending on the size of the box, if you get some 1" or thicker MDF, you might not need to worry about bracing, although it never hurts. you can't overbrace, unless there is no room left inside the box. also, i don't recommend mounting you driver flush, as this requires a router and a jig to be done right, where as not mounting it flush only requires a semi-round hole which can easily be accomplished with a jig-saw. clamps are great for glueing the box together, but screws and glue will do just fine if done right and there is no drying time. personally, i like brad nails, my box probably has 500 of them in it, but screws will work great. lastly, i think finishing is one of the most important parts and actually the most fun i've had in building my box. feel free to throw out some more thoughts, which we can build upon. DIY is so much fun.

eric
"Everybody thinks they have a sense of humor, even if they don't." -favorite movie quote!

Can your sub hit 120db @ 10Hz?...Just wondering.
My DIY Sub for sale
My DVDs

#10 of 17 OFFLINE   Dan_Whip

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Posted January 13 2004 - 01:28 AM

Another option is to check out Acoustic Visions. Kyle has subwoofer kits that come with the Shiva, an amp, and the enclosure kit. So all the wood is pre-cut, you just have to assemble it. There are 3 different Shiva kits that would be within your budget. Check it out at http://www.acoustic-....complete_kits/

#11 of 17 OFFLINE   TonyGricar

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Posted January 13 2004 - 02:36 AM

i don't believe home depot or lowes will cut mdf for you, for dust/health reasons. they do sell 2'x4' and 2'x2' pieces of 3/4" mdf. the cost comes out to be approx 1 dollar more expensive, per piece, than a complete 4'x8' sheet. basically, 4 bucks more, total. it's a heck of a lot easier to handle small pieces of the stuff than a full sheet as it's quite heavy and very unwieldly, esp with a table saw.

i actually just returned with 4 pieces of the stuff about an hour ago. building some storage ottomans for the new theater room.

tony

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   Wayne Ernst

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Posted January 13 2004 - 02:54 AM

Quote:
as it's quite heavy and very unwieldly, esp with a table saw.


Tony, when it comes to MDF, I've found that using a table saw for the larger pieces is virtually impossible. Instead, I lay the 4' x 8' sheet down on sawhorses - and use a straight edge along with my Makita circular saw. This does a better job of keeping things under control with the heavy MDF.

I picked up 12 sheets of MDF last week. I just had them use the forklift to get them on the truck. I couldn't believe how heavy they were - from looking at how far the rental truck dipped after receiving the load. Posted Image Posted Image
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#13 of 17 OFFLINE   Mattak

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Posted January 13 2004 - 03:00 AM

Quote:
Are all these tools price from Harbor Freight? I'm in Southern California. I don't recall of that name. Thanks for everything.
Here's there retail store locator: click

A lot of their tools are cheap (in both quality and price), but stuff like the hole saws are so cheap that if you only need the stuff for a couple jobs they're great. I know I saw the skill saw for $50 at Miner's Ace Hardware since my friend bought one Posted Image It was on sale, though.

#14 of 17 OFFLINE   Wayne Ernst

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Posted January 13 2004 - 03:08 AM

Quote:
I know I saw the skill saw for $50 at Miner's Ace Hardware


If I were in the market for a circular saw today, I'd pick up a Ryobi from Home Depot. They have two models: $49 & $59. The Ryobi has a nice aluminum base plate that will ride on the surface of the wood. The Skil saw only has a stamped steel plate - which I tend to prefer less than the nice aluminum ones.

However, aluminum does also have a downfall. On Sunday, my Makita fell off the sawhorse onto the cement floor. The aluminum plate on mine bent a bit. I now have to take it apart and hammer it back into shape. My poor $120 Makita.
Posted Image
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#15 of 17 OFFLINE   Mattak

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Posted January 13 2004 - 07:09 AM

You definitely get what you pay for when it comes to power tools. But for once-in-a-while use they should be fine.

#16 of 17 OFFLINE   Alex_P

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Posted January 13 2004 - 01:27 PM

Mattak,
Thanks for the Harbor Freight store info. I will go check them out. My concern is that if I put too much $$$ on tools, I won't be able to have enuf $$$ for the driver, amp & finishing materials. Thanks again...

Dan_whip,
Thank you for the Shiva Kits info... I will put that into consideration if my budget won't allow me to build a sub. I'd love to build it. It will be fun if I don't mess it up Posted Image Plus I will have the tools for later projects. Thanks again...

To all, my concern is what tools do I really need for the project.

1. Circular/Skill Saw
2. Hole Saw or a Router?
3. Clamps
Since I already have the power drill, I can opt this out. Now only if I can get all those tools for less than $100, the rest of my budget will probably get me decent sub or no??? Regarding the tools, do I need anything else from the list above? Thanks all...

Alex,

#17 of 17 OFFLINE   Wayne Ernst

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Posted January 13 2004 - 02:04 PM

Another thing to consider regarding the purchase of tools. I'm not sure if your local Home Depot has a tool rental section located within it or not. I have a few in my area. If you had one, you could check some prices to see how much it would cost to get them for a weekend. In my experience, they have some good quality tools (DeWalt, etc.) that would be better to work with than a $39 circular saw.

Just my .02
"My reality check ... just bounced"


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