Need ideas for child-safe speaker stands

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by TedS, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. TedS

    TedS Agent

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    I want to build some speakers (MBOW1s), but first I want to ensure that they and an 8-month old can safely coexist. I'm thinking of making the standard MDF/PVC/MDF platform stands and filling them with sand. This seems like it should be very stable, but what still concerns me is how to keep the speakers on the stand. As our little girl gets bigger and starts to walk, I'm worried about her pushing or pulling the speaker off of the stand and onto herself[​IMG] .

    Has anyone else dealt with this issue? Are the platform stands stable enough? How do you make sure the speakers can't fall off? Any other ideas?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    Ted
     
  2. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    You could bolt the speakers to the stands. That still won't ensure that she doesn't pull the whole thing over on top of herself though unless you can really make it sturdy. The stands will be somewhat top heavy with the speakers on top so I'd definitely make them fillable regardless of what design you go with.
     
  3. Bob Bartlett

    Bob Bartlett Stunt Coordinator

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    Use poster putty or blue-tac on the bottom of the speakers. I use this and I can barely rip the speaker of the stand myself. I am also using it on the bottom of my speaker stands, but I have wood floors. They don't move an inch and I have a 18 month old who likes to tug on the speaker wires.
     
  4. TedS

    TedS Agent

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    Brian: I'm trying to picture how I would bolt the speaker to the stand. Would you run through holes through the stand and then thread the bolts into the bottom of the speakers? I certainly agree about filling the stands. How much do you think would be enough- 30 lbs? 50 lbs?

    Bob: It's good to hear from someone in a similar situation! Pulling on speaker wires is one of the scenarios that I am afraid of. I also have wood floors, so the blue-tac idea may work. Does it leave a stain or anything on the wood? What type of stands do you use? Are they filled with anything, or is the blue-tac alone enough to keep everything stable?

    Thanks again for your input! Anyone else?
     
  5. Joe Hsu

    Joe Hsu Supporting Actor

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    One idea that I had for my next pair of stands would be to make a type of "feet" that would surround the speaker where it meets the stand. The inside would be a 90° angle (so it goes up flush against a corner of the speaker), and then it'd be carved out of a hemisphere of wood. hard to describe, but basically any set of feet so that the speakers can't move on the horizontal plane...this should be enough until you have to worry about the speaker moving vertically. after that, it's up to you. [​IMG]
     
  6. GregAV

    GregAV Agent

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    You might consider using small "L" shaped brackets/hardware bolted to the stands only.

    Another would be to Google for museum wax/putty.

    Greg
     
  7. TedS

    TedS Agent

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    Joe and Greg: Those are good ideas. I think I understand what you mean, Joe (with the hemisphere of wood). I'm picturing the top half of globe with a rectangular cut-out going down a certain depth. Is that what you mean? That might look nice, too, while Greg's version may be simpler to implement.

    Thanks for the ideas! Any more out there?
     
  8. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Ted,

    The speakers will probably weigh a good 15 lbs. each. We build stands using 6" rectangular MDF columns and they probably weigh another 20 lbs. each. So if you can fill them up with sand or kitty litter or something I'd imagine that you'd be fine. I'd just fill them up as much as they can go. If that doesn't hold them then your kids need to be playing linebacker or something![​IMG]

    Oh, and yes, you'd have through holes on the base plate of the stand and then thread bolts into threaded inserts placed in the bottom of the speaker cabinets.
     
  9. Bob Bartlett

    Bob Bartlett Stunt Coordinator

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    TEDS,

    I have diy speaker stands with the mdf,pvc,mdf. They are filled with sand, and are quite heavy. I have had no problem with the posterputty leaving marks on the floor.
     
  10. TedS

    TedS Agent

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    Brian: Ah, I see now- use inserts. What type do you recommend? I guess the threaded hole would pass all the way through the wall into the interior of the speaker cabinet? Or is there a kind that would only pass part-way through the wall, leaving the interior space undisturbed? I guess I'm just wondering what, if any, impact putting a threaded insert would have on the speaker cabinet structural integrity/sound.

    To all: Thanks for all the responses! I'm getting some good ideas from you folks![​IMG] Let me know if you've got any more!

    Ted
     
  11. TedS

    TedS Agent

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    OK, I'm getting a plan in my head:
    1. Build the mdf/pvc/mdf platform stands and fill with sand.
    2. Try the blue-tac/poster putty solution since this is the simplest. If it's stable enough, I'm done. If not, go to 3.
    3. Add L-brackets or some other type of "feet" to restrain speaker movement in the horizontal plane. Again, if this works, I'm done. Otherwise...
    4. Go with threaded inserts in the speaker box and rigidly bolt the box to the stand. This should be the most robust way of mounting.[/list=1]

      This allows me to try the simpler methods before committing to making modifications to the speaker cabinets. If that is what is necessary for safety, though, that's what I'll do.

      Thanks again for all the ideas! Let me know if you have any more thoughts or suggestions.

      Ted
     
  12. JohnEMF

    JohnEMF Auditioning

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    I have sold and installed speakers for many years, my suggestion is to build a platform style stand and attach the speakers to the stand. For some reason toddlers love speakers on stands they are at just the right height for them.

    One caveat, attaching the speakers may alter the dynamics of the enclosure. This may affect the sound. But its worth it to ensure the safety of your child.
     
  13. TedS

    TedS Agent

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    John: Thanks for your input. I'm kind of hoping one of the other methods might work so I can avoid messing with the cabinets. But you're right- if bolting the speaker to the stand is what's necessary for safety, then it's definitely the way to go.

    I'm wondering if there's any way of bolting the speaker to the stand that would avoid putting holes all the way through the wall of the speaker? Perhaps some type of insert that doesn't penetrate all the way through? Do you (or Brian B. or anyone else) know of such a thing?

    Thanks!

    Ted
     
  14. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Ted,

    Sorry, I don't know of anything other than regular threaded inserts. I think as long as you use a rubber washer between the cabinet bottom and the top of the stand you'll get a nice air tight seal.

    Also, it's possible that someone may make inserts that are sealed on the inside so that once installed it in itself eliminates any cabinet leaks but I've never seen such an animal.
     
  15. TedS

    TedS Agent

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    Brian: I hadn't thought of rubber washers. That's a good idea. Thanks!

    From a sound standpoint, are there any other issues (besides leakage) with bolting the speakers to the stands?

    Ted
     
  16. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Ted,

    None that I'm aware of. I'd think mechanically coupling the speakers to the stands would be a good thing. So bolting them down would give you plentyf of coupling![​IMG]
     
  17. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    You could use the industrial strenght velcro to attach the speakers to the stands...and trust me this stuff is very strong. If you had two strips of the 2" wide velcro running along the edge of the speaker bottoms and top of the stand I very much doubt your child (or wife for that matter) would be able to pull it off with any ease. I've used it in past to secure large heavy crossovers to the sides of speakers and its amazing stuff. You should be able to find it at most hardware stores or Wal-Mart.
     
  18. Joe Meissner

    Joe Meissner Stunt Coordinator

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    not sure if you are looking for design idea's but here is the mdf-pvc-mdf stands i made recently.
    [​IMG]

    I think I might veneer the pvc and paint the mdf black?
     
  19. TedS

    TedS Agent

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    Joe: Those look nice! They'll look even better once you finish them (I assume you mean to veneer the mdf and paint the pvc, instead of vice versa [​IMG] ).

    That is the general concept I'm hoping to build. Are you using anything to secure the speaker to the stand? It looks like you've got some type of board on top of the stand, and then some feet between the board and the speaker.

    Ted
     
  20. Dennis XYZ

    Dennis XYZ Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd screw the speakers to the stands as others have mentioned. That putty stuff isn't very strong. As well, if you're lucky enough to have a carpet over plywood floor, you can screw the stands to the floor so they are impossible for kids and dogs to knock over. Not recommended for hardwood or tile floors though. [​IMG]
     

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