Making DIY MDF look good

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robert Silge, Jan 26, 2001.

  1. Robert Silge

    Robert Silge Agent

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    Wow, that's a lot of acronyms. I'm going to build some front speakers this summer, and was wondering what the recomendations are for making the MDF look good. I tried to paint the first MDF I worked with (a flexy rack) and it looked horrible. Any good techniques out there, or alternatives to paint?
    Also, how do you apply the screens to the front? With the downfiring sub I made, no need, but now I want some removable means of slightly protecting my cones.
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    -Rob
    My meager collection:
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  2. Jeff Rosz

    Jeff Rosz Second Unit

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    there are lots of options for covering the mdf...veneers, laminates, paint. lots of posts here about that topic. for the grills check out the parts express page....click on "speaker building" in the left side menu.
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    *why build one when you can build two for twice the price*
    jeff
     
  3. Robert Silge

    Robert Silge Agent

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    Do you prepare the MDF in any way before you stain it? It is nice and smooth, so I guess it would take it pretty well. I've just never stained anything without grain before. I guess that's where the veneer would come in, but I'm looking to minimize work here (I'm lazy, odd that I like DIY then, no?).
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    -Rob
    My meager collection:
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  4. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Newbie at building chiming in! [​IMG]
    Robert, you can get a plastic wannabe wood veneer [​IMG] with glue applied to the surface, and you just iron that stuff onto the MDF. That way you get something that resembles wood from fairly close up, but of course its not as nice as using an actual veneer. It's very easy to use though, you can even trim the edges with a knife or something and then do the final polish with really fine sandpaper. I used it some time back on some other furniture I built due to laziness and it looks pretty good; the difficult part is getting the edges to look good.
    That's probably the easiest way to get a "wood look" to the speakers. That stuff is even available in "black ash" if you want black speakers.
    As for grills, you can buy two piece fasteners where you attach one part to the speaker (creating a hole, basically) and have a pin attached to the grill. Not sure where you can get those, but I know they exist, saw them in the parts catalog of a place in Sweden that sells stuff aimed at the DIY crowd.
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    /Kimmo [​IMG]

    "Don't tell me; we're about to go over a huge waterfall?"
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  5. Bob_Wilson

    Bob_Wilson Agent

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    Robert,
     
  6. Robert Silge

    Robert Silge Agent

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    Why is that better than MDF? I thought MDF was preferred specifically because of its acoustic properties. I want these to be as good as possible, so I'm open to your suggestion and the logic behind it. You'll have to be pretty convincing though, because I still have almost an entire 4x8 sheet of MDF left over from my last project.
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    -Rob
    "People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid."
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  7. Brett Robert

    Brett Robert Agent

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    Get a piece and try diffrent things. just a couple coats of polyurathane looks good if you like a light finish. You will run into trouble if you have any end grain though. You would have to do all mitered joints.
     

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