Real Wood?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andy F, Nov 15, 2001.

  1. Andy F

    Andy F Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2001
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    I want to build the DIY speaker kit from PE, or something very similar. The kit i am referring to, while i can't remember the item #, is the $130 one. I would liek to build speakers just like those (pretty cheap) but build my own cabinets out of cherry, or something similar. Where can i find detailed specs/instructions for the cabinet? I am assuming that it's not just a rectangular box. I also understand that i'll need some foam or something similar for the inside. If there isn't any bracing required should i put some in? I can do that, but i'm not sure what kind of bracing is best. I've never built speakers before, but i'd like to begin. Thanks.
    Andy
     
  2. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    1,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Real Name:
    Greg
    Cherry (or any solid wood) is not ideal for speaker construction (resonances, etc.). I'd suggest using MDF and then veneering with Cherry instead (it will also be a lot cheaper). Post any construction questions you might have & we'll try to answer them...
    Greg
     
  3. Andy F

    Andy F Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2001
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is there any way to use real wood and put something inside to fix the resonance problem? I would really prefer the look of REAL wood. Price is not an issue as i can get it next to free.
    Ok, if i can't possibly use real wood, where can i find instructions and dimensions for speaker cabinets? Any place that has certain components that work well with a certain set of plans for the cabinet?
     
  4. Greg Monfort

    Greg Monfort Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2000
    Messages:
    884
    Likes Received:
    0
    You can use real wood if you gusset all seams so that they can't split from expansion/contraction, use hardwood or no-void plywood triangulation bracing (3/4"-1" thick x ~2"w strips glued on edge in alternating diagonals to break up the panel into several different sized triangular spaces) to stabilize/stiffen the panels, and Deflex pads to finish damping them.
    WRT kits, there's a bunch of them around from Adire, PE, Speaker City (I think), Zalytron, Pi Speakers, and some others that evade me at the moment since I don't keep track.
    Ah! Here's a link of a listing: http://www.snippets.org/ldsg/sect-16.php3 BTW, this whole site is a must read 'bible' for anyone serious about DIY speaker building.
    GM
    ------------------
    Loud is beautiful, if it's clean
     
  5. Vince Bray

    Vince Bray Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2000
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you have a good cheap source for solid hardwood, you could always build a 1.5" thick box by first building an mdf box and then laminating the cherry to it. This is easier than it sounds and the 1.5" is not overkill, although it will produce a bigger box.
    If you have a 1/2" router you need a good flush trim bit with a 1" cut depth. Start by building the inner mdf box from 3/4" stock. Brace the box as always, you can use mdf or plywood. Then plan how you want the seams to lay, and start by gluing one side of cherry on, leaving some overhang that you'll trim off with the router. Proceed this way, maybe do the back first, the bottom, then the sides, then the front, and finally the top. This will produce very clean, tight seams and you'll feel like Norm. Esp if you're carpentry challenged, you'll be very impressed with what a good job you can do with this method. Just make sure the original box is square, as errors there will carry through to the end. Rout the edges flush as you go and keep gluing. Now you have a 3/4" hardwood veneer on the outside that you could roundover with a 3/4" bit, or several other options. My current sub project is veneered with oak and the corners are solid 3/4" oak strip rounded over and it is looking great so far. Your solid cherry would be easier to work with, though, as I had to edge-glue the oak, then laminate the outer box on.
    Many cabs are built with just 3/4" mdf, or 1". This would be better and look great! Mdf is cheap and has the sound quality you want, and the cherry would be beautiful, and add some serious rigidity to the cab. Solid plank is bad for the total project because it is more resonant, prone to warpage/shrinkage etc. Starting with the mdf would give a stable base for the hardwood. I would use gorilla glue for sure. Many have stated that it is overkill, but it's great for laminating, just clamp the hell out of it. It is easy to sand, and takes stain MUCH better than yellow glue, so you don't have ugly light streaks in the stain around the seams.
    One advantage of the thick veneer is the ability to treat the edges better than just a 90. Veneer also has a tendency to come loose at 90 degree angles and corners after some years and a few dings, so you will build a very sturdy cab.
    Vince
     
  6. Andy F

    Andy F Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2001
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, That is good to know. I was really hoping I could do it with cherry. Would it be possible/easier to attach the mdf pieces to the cherry before I cut the panels? That way it would be like working with one thick solid piece of wood. My concern here would be making smooth cuts through two different kinds of wood at the same time.
     
  7. Vince Bray

    Vince Bray Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2000
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    0
    The bigger issue is how to treat the edges. I'm sure you could feed 1.5" through a table saw no problem. This would leave mdf visible at the edges, though. The method I described is very easy relative to the end result, i.e. you will be surprised at how tight the joints are and how little filler you need. Also you can rout the edges in a shape like a roundover that is more visually appealing.
    Vince
     
  8. Andy F

    Andy F Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2001
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Excellent, the roundover is really what I am going for.
    I have been lookign at speakers and crossovers at teh PE webpage and honestly, I'm pretty lost. I want to build medium sized bookshelf speakers. If ported, I would like that to be in the front. I don't know just how to go about this whole process. Should I figure out the cabinet size first and then find speakers? I would really like to not have to build my own xover, if that is possible. Any recommendations for around $100? This is for the speakers and crossover. thanks
     
  9. SalMaglie

    SalMaglie Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2001
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Another option to cut down on the cumbersome look of 4/4 cherry over MDF is to make your own veneer only it'll be thicker. If you have access to a bandsaw with resaw capability and a planer or wide belt sander, you can make 1/4" thick stock that'll save wood and make that speaker a little less bulky.
    I have a Grizzly 1019Z bandsaw with a riser kit that'll let me resaw boards up to 10" wide, and a I have an old 12" Parks planer that smooths the somewhat rough cut after going through the bandsaw. If you don't want to get into owning this kind of equipment, you can probably find a local cabinet shop or a lumber yard that specializes in hardwoods that'll plane down that cherry to something thinner.
     
  10. Vince Bray

    Vince Bray Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2000
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    0
    One way to cut down on the bulky look is to cut the holes for the speakers right out to the inner dimensions of the cabinet. Another way to think of this is to size the cabinet such that it is the cutout size of the driver + 2 times the thickness of the cab wall. Instead of tnuts for mounting use the brass or steel threaded wood inserts that bury in the wood. That way the woofer flange can overlap the inside edge of the side wall and you still can use screws. For a 6" woofer this would let you use a cabinet about 5" + 2 times 1.5", or 8" total. That's not too bad, shaves an inch. You could make up some of the volume by making the cabinet deeper, and the deep, narrow monitor look is kinda cool anyway.
    Vince
     

Share This Page