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diy Shiva sub

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19 replies to this topic

#1 of 20 OFFLINE   fred garvin

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Posted September 16 2004 - 04:29 AM

i'm putting together a cabinet (specifically the 142.5L vented Shiva Box. I bought the MDF, and will be in the process of cutting all the pieces i need (this should not be a problem). but what is the best way to put it together. should the boards be glued, screwed, both? looking for some insight as to the best way to go about this. thanx in advance for your help.

#2 of 20 OFFLINE   Stephen Hopkins

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Posted September 16 2004 - 08:13 AM

I'm a big fan of glue, clamps, and brad-nails. I usually lay down a bead of clue, clamp the pieces together, then put a brad about every 2".

#3 of 20 OFFLINE   Lee Carbray

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Posted September 16 2004 - 08:24 AM

I used glue and screws for mine without any problems. Make sure to drill a pilot hole as not to split the MDF though. They say you can use just glue and clamps and be fine but i did not have any clams and screws are cheaper. Also consider how you are going to finish the box. If you plan on rounding over the corners the screws might be in the way. You can see my finished result below.
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#4 of 20 OFFLINE   fred garvin

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Posted September 16 2004 - 01:41 PM

so is it safe to say that if i go with glue and screws, clamps will not be nessecary? or should i clamp anyway......if these questions sound stupid, i apologizePosted Image

#5 of 20 OFFLINE   Bryan Michael

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Posted September 16 2004 - 02:56 PM

i used clamps to get the pieceses setup and a tight fit then screwed togher. but you dont want to clamp to tight or you will squeze out all the glue. also when putting pannels togher but togher rub around the screw so you get even coverage of glew.
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#6 of 20 OFFLINE   Adam.Heckman


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Posted September 16 2004 - 11:20 PM

Another echo here... I just made a 15" tempest mid-q sealed. I glued w/ claps, then drilled pilot holes that were 80% the shaft diameter of the screws I used. This is key. The MDF wanted to split otherwise. 5 screws per side. The thing is AMAZINGLY solid. I also caulked the inside of the joints when the glue dried.

#7 of 20 OFFLINE   Kyle Richardson

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Posted September 17 2004 - 12:25 AM

The screws are not needed but use them if it will bring peace of mind. If you do use screws, do as others have said and pre-drill but also use a countersink bit so the screws will sit flush. If you don't, the MDF tends to mushroom around the head as it sinks flush and makes your finishing job a lot tougher because then you need to sand them all down flush again.
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#8 of 20 OFFLINE   RodN


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Posted September 17 2004 - 12:37 AM

You are right Kyle you don't need to screw. The bond with MDF glue will break the MDF before the glue join as it basically soaks into the MDF, and, as it's harder, becomes tougher than just solid MDF. Screws might help keep a job square if the clamping is not done properly but that's about it as screw countersinks are a pain in the ass to hide/cover.

#9 of 20 OFFLINE   Chris Brock

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Posted September 17 2004 - 12:40 AM

I agree, if the pieces are cut out right and you properly assemble and clamp the box and allow the glue to dry then screws serve no purpose. They actually make it harder because of the extra work in preparing the surface for finishing.

#10 of 20 OFFLINE   fred garvin

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Posted September 17 2004 - 02:25 AM

this is some huge help, if nothing else, it gives me some directions. this is my first endeavor into building a sub cabinet (or any cabinet for that matter) so looks will not be paramount, but function is. i'm leaning toward using screws, will use pilot holes as many here suggested. will keep you guys posted. thanx again for the help.

#11 of 20 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted September 17 2004 - 04:39 AM

I used the ol' "glue and clamp" method to construct this subwoofer for a local friend. (I included the link because it has construction photos for a MDF box-type sub.
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#12 of 20 OFFLINE   Cam McFarland

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Posted September 17 2004 - 08:25 AM

No screws in my AA Tempest.....just glue & clamps.

#13 of 20 OFFLINE   MattD


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Posted September 17 2004 - 10:07 AM

Glue and Clamps were used to build this Sub

#14 of 20 OFFLINE   Jack Gilvey

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Posted September 18 2004 - 02:00 AM

Same here...just glue and clamps.

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#15 of 20 OFFLINE   Dean-P


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Posted September 18 2004 - 02:05 AM

If you use screws(which I recommend due to cost of buying all those clamps)use drywall screws about 1 1/2" long. Drill a pilot hole using 1/16". I've used both, wood and drywall, and the drywall didn't break out the mdf. I'm just finishing up my 95L vented shiva and I used the drywall with lots of glue and some clamps just to hold the panels until I got the screws in.
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#16 of 20 OFFLINE   JohnA


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Posted September 18 2004 - 10:14 AM

I used glue and clamps on my sealed DIY Maelstrom subwoofer. Easy and strong. I was told by a cabinet maker that the glue joint is stronger than the MDF (or mechanical fastening). I didn't believe this and was told to do a simple test. Glue up two pieces of MDF into an "L" shape (using clamps). Let it dry overnight. Place one end in a vice and hit the other end with a hammer. Where does it break? When I did this, the MDF fractured and the glue joint survived. I am no expert, but the glue and clamping worked great for me. No issues and no problems overclamping and squeezing out too much glue. Purchasing 6-8 clamps will cost about $150 to $200. I bought six long ones and two shorter ones. These where "Quick-Grip Bar Clamps" -JA
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#17 of 20 OFFLINE   minhG


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Posted September 18 2004 - 12:48 PM

wow $150-$200 for clamps? yikes! those must be nice clamps! if you have a harbor freight nearby you can spend a lot less, probably not as nice but ask yourself how many times you'll need the clamps! i did the screw method because i didn't want to buy anymore clamps, if you have 2-3 that are wide enough, that's enough to hold things in place while you screw it together.

#18 of 20 OFFLINE   Dave Poehlman

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Posted September 18 2004 - 01:18 PM

Posted Image
Glued and screwed.

As others stated, I prefer screws to clamping. The box goes together quicker.

Definitely pre-drill and countersink.

#19 of 20 OFFLINE   JohnA


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Posted September 18 2004 - 02:03 PM

Price of clamps depends on the style, length and quantity. The quick-grip clamps I used where 36" long and can be picked up at Home Depot for around $28 each. I never had a need for them prior to building the enclosure, but have since used then many times. One of those things that you will always use if you have it, not miss it if you don't -JA
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#20 of 20 OFFLINE   Christpher_S


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Posted September 19 2004 - 08:24 AM

If you can borrow one from someone, strongly consider using a plate (biscuit) joiner. Can't be beat, in my opinion, when working with MDF. Great for holding parts in alignment while you apply clamps. With screws, you have to hold everything in alignment while you drill pilot holes, which I find to be a bit of a pain. I used biscuits on my sealed Shiva a month ago and on a baffle, for an IB sub, I built this weekend. Probably too expensive if you will only use it once, but a very nice tool to have for jobs like this. -Chris

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