Alternatives to a router?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by NickSo, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    I am currently brainstorming the idea of building an enclosure for my SVS driver i currently have in a small box from my old subwoofer that i swapped.

    I have some tools at hand (Circular Saw, Jig Saw, Power Drill, Sander, a Rotary tool), but no router.

    Ive heard the jigsaw can be used to cut holes, but how round will they be? will i have to do alot of sanding to get it to round out?
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    You have to weigh the money you 'saved' by not buying a router/bit, with the time/energy spent using the wrong tool to accomplish the same task (without the desired result in roundness).

    I recommend buying/borrowing a router if at all possible.
     
  3. Jeremy Stockwell

    Jeremy Stockwell Supporting Actor

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    Nick,

    I cut all of my driver/port holes for my DIY Tempest sub using a jigsaw. Worked well enough for me. Minimal sanding, but everything is on the bottom plate (nothing visible unless you're crawling on the floor by the sub), so I didn't worry too much about perfection.

    I'd say go for it.

    JKS
     
  4. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    A jigsaw/sabre saw will cut the holes for the drivers and also the holes in the bracing for the cabinet. As far as how "accurate" the holes are, you have to consider a few things:

    1) How good is the jigsaw / sabre saw? I've been using a $20 Craftsman jigsaw for the past 20 years. The plate would always vibrate and throw my cuts off. Plus, the darned thing only had two speeds. Just the other day, I purchased a variable speed jigsaw by Bosch. Wow - that tool is awesome, and quite accurate, too. Having the variable speed feature allows me to exhibit wonderful control over the hole I'm cutting.

    2) For the 2nd thing to consider, the accuracy of a hole also depends on how good you are at staying on the line when cutting. The more you veer off the course of the line when cutting, the more sanding that you'll have to do later.

    In my experience, sure, a good jigsaw is important. However, taking your time is also critical. I'd rather take an extra 10 minutes when cutting a hole to ensure it is pretty accurate - rather then spending 30 minutes later with sandpaper trying to fix the cutting mistakes.
     
  5. Chris Brock

    Chris Brock Second Unit

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    a jig saw shoudl work great. i actually to this day use a jig saw. when i need to cut a hole i find out the radius of the hole i need to cut. then i find a small strip of wood and measure a line on that strip that is the same length as the radius. i then drill 2 small hole at each end of the line. then i place 1 of the holes at the center of the are i want to cut out and i take a small nail and drive it trhoguh to hole about half way into the wood. i then get a pencil and put the tip in the other hole. then all i have to do is make a complete circle with the piece of wood and the pencil makes a perfect cirle. then i just follow the line with the jig saw.
     
  6. Aaron Gilbert

    Aaron Gilbert Second Unit

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    I have used a jigsaw to make speaker holes for almost 15 years, though not the same one. [​IMG] They work great if you have a circle cutting attachment, and are certainly manageable even if you do not, if you take your time. My Crafstman weak-but-will-not-die jigsaw finally started ceasing to cut accurately earlier this year, so I got another one (Black and Decker JS600K, very nice). Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a circle cutting attachment, so it looks like I will need to make one for either it or my router (too cheap to buy the Jasper jig).

    Now that I am forced to make aa circle cutter, I'll probably do it for the router, and use my jig saw for irregular cutouts and other quick cuts here and there.

    It's amazing how fast a jigsaw will cut through material when you use the Bosch progressor blades on a high amp (4.0+) orbital type.

    Aaron Gilbert
     
  7. MattD

    MattD Stunt Coordinator

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    I used a jig-saw and it worked fine for making the speaker hole.
     
  8. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    One thing comes to mind when using a jig saw for making speaker cut-outs. If your jig saw has a place for a bracket, you could buy some flat metal (steel or aluminum) at Home Depot / Lowes and construct a guide that could be utilized for perfect holes.

    Cut one end of the metal to fit into the slot where the guide would normally go. Measure the diameter of your required hole, cut it in half and drill a hole at that measurement on the piece of metal on the end opposite your saw.

    This is one thing I need to do with my Bosch.
     
  9. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    The jig-saw's my dad's and its quite old (maybe 10 yrs old?). Ill prolly give it a try someday with some scrap peice of wood and see how it handles. Im pretty sure i'll have to buy a new blade for it though. Ill just have to be more patient and cutting more slowly.

    Yeah, i considered it (im takin economics this semester, so i know all about oppertunity cost and all [​IMG] ), but since i'd be doing this in the summer, and time wouldn't be a huge factor, i could take my time and make some nice cuts if the jigsaw worked.

    Thanks for the info guys! Prepare for more question in the next couple months [​IMG]

    PS: What was the software called that has a database of all sorts of drivers, and it shows what dimensions the box and the port should be to tune it to a specific frequency?
     
  10. Eric Eash

    Eric Eash Second Unit

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    winISD pro is what i use. works great. i also used a jigsaw for my box, but i wish i would've bought the jasper jig. a jigsaw will work fine as long as you has some patience. another thing to keep in mind, if you plan on doing a down-firing, or wouldn't mind the look of a driver that is not flush mounted, a jig saw would be perfect cause the hole won't have to be perfect. if you plan on doing a flush mount, i strongly recommend a router and a jasper jig.

    eric
     
  11. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    wouldnt a non-flush mounted one leak air? How would you make it airtight?

    by non-flush, do you mean that the hole isnt perfectly round? or not exactly the hole-size of the driver?
     
  12. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    I'm a jigsaw user too. Go to the school supply section at the grocery store and get a $.79 drawing compass.

    My tip on cutting with a jigsaw is it's better to undercut the hole than to overcut it. So, I try to keep on the inside of my line as much as possible. Then I follow up with a rasp file to get the hole out to the line and make a perfect circle. Works every time.

    I also use WinISD. I mean, hey.. what's the sense in this hobby if you're not going to save money? [​IMG]
     
  13. Tom Rosback

    Tom Rosback Stunt Coordinator

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    I used a table saw and a jigsaw to build a cabinet for my Tumult driver. A few construction photos here:

    http://home.mn.rr.com/hometheater/tumult.htm

    By sandwiching 3/4" MDF to make a 1 1/2" thick cabinet, I got all the advantages of rabbet joinery without using a router.

    While I do have a router, it's too cold to work outside, and I didn't want to use it inside the house because the dust it makes is terrible.

    So, jigsaw away! With a jig, of course. No other dances will do.
     
  14. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Okay, im completely braindead right now from studying (or lack thereof), but what is a jig? Is it the thing you attatch to the center of the circle, and the jigsaw, which lets you cut in a circle? Are those sold at HD too? And are they particular to the brand of saw?

    I was just thinking of drawing a circle, then just putting the jigsaw to it, leaving about 1/4" leeway to the line, and just file/sand the rest down to size.
     
  15. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Nick,

    Yes, a jig is a device that can be attached to a router or jig saw allowing you to cut more accurate circles. However, you might be hard pressed to find such a device at Lowes or Home Depot. I know Sears makes a jig for their routers - I bought one a few weeks back, but realized that it would not fit my 14-year-old B&D router without some adjusting. The price of that jig was $20.

    You shouldn't need to cut a hole a whole 1/4" smaller. You could try 1/8" and just file the rest. Filing 1/4" down could take some time.
     
  16. Eric Eash

    Eric Eash Second Unit

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    i agree that 1/4" would take forever. i have been thinking of a way to explain flush mount, instead, here are some links to some pics at acoustic-visions site;
    not flush mounted
    not flush mounted
    flush mounted
    flush mounted

    if you flush mount and don't do a bottom-firing, people will see the cutout, if you don't flush mount it, the cutout will be hidden underneath the driver. but don't let any of this deter you from doing what you want, if you have the determination and patience, it will turn out beautifully. but if you don't plan on flush mounting, there is no need for a jig or router. just my .02.

    eric
     
  17. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Ah, i get what you mean by flushmoutning.

    Yeah, i wasnt planning on flushmounting, its currently not flushmonted on the old sub box anyhow. It will be down-firing as well.

    thanks alot for takin the time to find the examples, really appreciate it.
     
  18. Eric Eash

    Eric Eash Second Unit

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    no problem. i was having such a hard time trying to write down an explanation for the two.

    eric
     
  19. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    If you have a RotoZip you can cut perfectly round holes in
    MDF super easy. I have a Ryobi rotary tool 18v Cordless and
    it has a Circle Attatchment that lets me do circles up to
    like 13" OD. Just throw in a new RotoZip bit and zip it
    cuts it out easy and precision.

    But I also have a router and that does a super fine job
    when you want to do flush mounts without using multiple
    layers and multiple hole sizes.

    Example of the hole cut with a Rotary Tool (Not to be
    confused with the Dremel..)

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Joseph Sabato

    Joseph Sabato Stunt Coordinator

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    I also have a rotozip tool (the Advantage saw) and recently used the circle cutting fixture for it to cut a hole for a Tempest; ended up with a perfect circle.
     

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