What are the basics of DIY?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Adam Bluhm, Jul 24, 2002.

  1. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

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    I'm interested in all this DIY business. However, I don't know much at all about it. Could you fellas provide some links showing the basics? You know, anything from cabinet making, proper tools, woofer/tweeter equipment (including speaker connects, crossover, etc), proper building techniques, etc. I need the nitty gritty.
    Being interested in this, I must learn. I'd like to soak in some info and begin by building a small set of computer speakers.
    Are there completed kits that can be purchased? Are they the best way to begin?
    I appreciate any help. [​IMG]
     
  2. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Adam, do a search on this forum, on Home Theater Talk forum's DIY section and others. Search for keywords like cabinet, construction, DIY, finishing, veneer, etc, etc.
    Go to a source for woodworking books such as a local Woodcraft store and read up on cabinet making basics and finishing techniques/materials. If you have the requisite tools, such as table saw and router, and if you don't have many hours using them, read up on the relevant techniques. You'll need plenty of clamps for gluing up cabinets. I recommend the Merle band clamp from MLCS for one. For small cabinet joinery, I use butt joints and no nails or screws. Properly applied carpenter's glue will provide plenty of joint strength.
    I don't know your experience level with tools, so it's hard to make further recommendations.
    To avoid jumping in too deep immediately, get the Radio Shack basic speaker building book. There are clear explanations and a few projects. The RS advanced book is quite good and gets into the heavy info.
    Kits are definitely the way to go in the beginning. If you don't want to build your first cabinets, you can buy kits that include cabinets. Madisound has some. I haven't bought any kit cabinets, so maybe other folks will chime in with recommendations here. For best value, I have yet to see better prices than Sound Clearing House: http://speakerpage.com/
    Later, to step up in performance, consider GR Research
    http://www.gr-research.com and others.
    Have fun!
    ps You WILL be hooked.
     
  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    You know, I really hate tooting my horn. [​IMG] If you want to see some photo documentation of the construction process, feel free to click on my "DIY Project" link in my signature below to see my projects with the nitty gritty construction detail.
     
  4. Mark Seaton

    Mark Seaton Supporting Actor

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    A great place to find some free information and even some Excel spreadsheets which are more than accurate enough to get the concept of what is going on when you play with different box sizes and tunings with various drivers, check out Brian Steele's website which has been online for over 5 years.
    http://www.diysubwoofers.org/
    If you want a book to get some solid understanding from, check out the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook which can be found at Madisound, Parts Express and a range of other places.
    Probably the most important thing to learn and realize in this world of design and DIY projects is that there are almost NO absolutes. You will quickly find that -3dB points mean little without a lot of other information, and that there is no truely "wrong" alignments/box designs, only poor choices for your particular application. I would argue it is much more important to understand the concepts of what happens as parameters change than knowing the formula to get a given alignment.
    Finally, if you really want to sound smart, when someone asks you an audio related question, 99 times out of 100 you can be in the clear with the answer It depends...
     
  5. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

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    Hank, Patrick, and Mark, thanks a bunch. I'll be sure to gather some books on the subject as well as read up with the links and info you provided me.
    As for woodworking knowledge, well, I don't have too awful much. I enjoyed wood shop in high school [​IMG] but haven't had much of an opportunity to take the time and spend the money to enjoy proper woodworking. I also have two uncles who are in the construction business (building houses from the ground up), but they are extrememly busy.. too busy to toy around with me at the moment.
    I'd say I'm coordinated and knowledgeable, so I guess that's a start. [​IMG]
    Anywho, thanks again. I realize there's plenty of info all over this board, but I really just needed the basics.
    I better read before I ask anymore questions. I was about to ask about crossovers/online speaker retailers/wiring, but I better read before I ask.. save me and you some time. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

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    I searched and searched at Radio Shack.com and came up with nothing. However, for a beginner DIY speaker book, what do you think of this:

    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/boo...sbn=007069429X

    Also, could anyone recommend any other books related to speaker building or basic woodworking (related techniques to cabinet making)? [I prefer to make an online purchase]

    Thanks again.

    «edit»

    Thanks for your recommendation with the book, Mark.

    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshow...Number=500-034

    I think these two books I've linked to should point me in the right direction. I'm beginning to peruse the link you've provided.. right now. [​IMG]
     
  7. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

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  8. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    As far as the woodworking end, as Hank said, you really don't need a helluva lot of technique. Basic butt joints and wood glue, with a circle jig and router for the holes. Then some paint, laminate or veneer, all of which you can find by doing some searches on the forum and clicking on the members links. Not trying to dissuade you from learning the craft, but if you want to start with the basics, speaker enclosures are a good start. Any other specific questions can be answered by the members who have already gone thru the learning curve. As with anything, there's more than one way to skin a cat, mostly based on experience and the available tools.

    Pete
     
  9. John Chevalier

    John Chevalier Stunt Coordinator

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    is there any links for info on other projects, not just speakers? Like say an entertainment center????? I've so far come to the conclusion that i'm going to measure everything and draw up some plans. But if someone has a site to look at, i would love that. Thanks.
     
  10. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

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    No dissuasion going on, Pete. [​IMG] I'm planning on starting with the basics. And with confidence, I don't think I'll have a hard time learning or turning out decent products to start.
    The biggest problem is affording tools and a place to hold them. [​IMG] That'll come after I educate myself with the reading material I've listed above.
     
  11. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    Hey, a lot of guys start out with a power saw, straight edge/guide and a router. Easy to store, and will get the job done, with some patience.
    I'll warn you tho, this stuff's addictive. [​IMG]
    Pete
     
  12. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

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    I hope it is, Pete. I hope it is. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  13. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Hell, I built two 80-100lb. subwoofers with nothing but a $150 Craftsman table saw, router with Jasper jig, a biscuit jointer, and 3-4 clamps. I did most of the work over the course of 3 full days.

    Brian
     
  14. Ellen

    Ellen Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are going to get one of the Weems books, skip the first one you linked to and get the second one instead. Just about everything in the first is rehashed (practically verbatim) in the second. In addition, the second comes with a CD-ROM with software and driver data files.
     
  15. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

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    [​IMG]
    I purchased the book last evening, Ellen.
    Oh well, it's a start.
     
  16. David-S

    David-S Second Unit

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  17. John Chevalier

    John Chevalier Stunt Coordinator

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  18. Geno

    Geno Supporting Actor

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    adam, your initial post mentioned that you wanted to start your DIY journey with computer speakers. for one thing, i have no idea what kind of computer speakers you want but IMHO i wouldnt waste time on computer speakers. now if you are a musician and have to mix music, thats another story. I guess I would want to know what your goal is when you get into DIY. to just have speakers:to upgrade speakers:extra speakers: bored.

    please let us know, cause DIY is the way to go. there are ppl on this forum that will help, you just have to give up the right info
     
  19. Mike Keith

    Mike Keith Second Unit

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    Basics?
    99% desire and 1% skill. And don't get to cought up on all the measurments, it's helpful but not gospel. Also know what sounds good to you, you need a goal to shoot for.
    And don't forget to have fun![​IMG]
     
  20. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

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    I'm kind of confused by the last part of your first paragraph, Geno.
    The reason I intended to begin with pc speakers is because they'd be small, inexpensive, and I have crappy pc speakers. [​IMG] It's basically a starting point for me. I could generalize it more and say that I want to start with something small. That's about it.
    I play racing simulations on the pc. Excellent sound is important with that. [​IMG]
     

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