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Old 24th January 2011, 04:15 PM   #1
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Default Glue & clamps ONLY in cab assembly?

I've searched around a bit and my question seems a bit more specific than my searching skills yield. Long story short I'm building a pair of fonken floorstander MKII's for a good friend. I'm wanting to streamline the build and make the finishing process much less time consuming, but not sacrifice long term durabilty.

Is it generally considered structurally acceptable to use just butt joints (no dado, dowels, biscuits, etc.), pva glue, and obviously sufficient clamping when assembling a speaker cabinet of suitable engineered materials (ply, mdf, etc.)? I'm really trying to avoid using screws, and adversely having to fill and sand holes to the tune of 50 per cab. Thoughts? Any advice/input appreciated.

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Old 24th January 2011, 04:32 PM   #2
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I've made many cabs like this, you just need to make sure you have enough clamps!
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Old 24th January 2011, 05:38 PM   #3
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Apart from the first couple of boxes I built I've always just used butt joints and glue (first PVA now always Cascamite) and never had a problem. Adding a rebate makes it a lot easier to keep the panels aligned though.
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Old 25th January 2011, 12:02 PM   #4
marce is online now marce  United Kingdom
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I like dowels, with the right jig it makes assembly a lot easier. I aso use polyurethene glue, it will fill any gaps, so guaranteeing a good air tight seal.
But using butt joints only can be done, I find it awkward if glueing large things, which is why I ended up bying a couple of doweling jigs. Tried biscuits, but found dowels more accurate.
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Old 25th January 2011, 12:14 PM   #5
MMeche is offline MMeche  United States
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I like throwing a few biscuits in to help with alignment during glue up. I tend to use biscuits over dowels because it does have a little wiggle room and facillitates a last minute micro adjustement.
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Old 25th January 2011, 12:18 PM   #6
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Gluing the sides together is easy. Gluing the baffles on is another matter entirely!! you would be amazed at how much they slip around when you start to tighten the clamps!

Absolutely essential to have clamps holding them in place laterally as well as clamping them to the surface being glued...

and when Pinkmouse says "enough", double what you think is enough and you might be getting close Long time no see Al!!

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Old 25th January 2011, 12:57 PM   #7
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Strategically placed biscuits will add significant strength, help with alignment during assembly while allowing for some lateral adjsutment and are much easier and less fussy to cut than dowel holes.
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Old 25th January 2011, 05:50 PM   #8
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Hi Tony, yup, it's been a while.

To stop stuff sliding around on a film of glue whilst clamping, just sprinkle a tiny bit of sand on the joints, it'll cut through the glue, yet compress into the wood and not hold it apart. Oh and I'm not saying there aren't many ways of building cabs, I have dado blades for the tablesaw, biscuit and dowel cutters, as well as my favourite, the air nailer, but glue and clamps does work.
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Old 25th January 2011, 07:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wintermute View Post
Gluing the sides together is easy. Gluing the baffles on is another matter entirely!! you would be amazed at how much they slip around when you start to tighten the clamps!

Absolutely essential to have clamps holding them in place laterally as well as clamping them to the surface being glued....
I've never had a massive problem with that. Also I recommend cutting the front and back oversize to allow for some movement and imprecise cutting/measurement then trim flush with a router.
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Old 25th January 2011, 10:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkmouse View Post
Hi Tony, yup, it's been a while.

To stop stuff sliding around on a film of glue whilst clamping, just sprinkle a tiny bit of sand on the joints, it'll cut through the glue, yet compress into the wood and not hold it apart
Never would have thought of that, I try for as tight a tolerance as possible so would have been horrified at something in between but makes sense that it will just compress into the wood/mdf.

richie the oversize and flush routing is also an approach I hadn't thought of

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