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Enclosure building specific techniques for general cabinetmaker?
Enclosure building specific techniques for general cabinetmaker?
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Old 24th March 2014, 06:58 PM   #1
Barrettn is offline Barrettn  United States
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Default Enclosure building specific techniques for general cabinetmaker?

I know my limitations when woodworking well enough to have enlisted the help of a friend I've been able to bribe into helping. I have all the components for building the Audax home theater speakers, except I'm going with a NHT1259 based sub instead.

This friend is a good cabinetmaker, I'm just wondering if anyone knows of a good reference to a web page, or can just tell me specifically, of any tips specifically for enclosure building.

For example, it looks like t-bolts are the way to go for mounting the drivers to the enclosures, right? Do glue blocks eat up enough interior space that I need to jigger the dimensions to take them into account? I'm looking at doing just a basic flat black wood veneer for a finish. And I don't know why, but grilles really throw me off - I have grill fasteners from Madisound, but building the grills themselves....? (Yes, I thought now that my kids are grown that they'd be safe, but visitors and possible grandkids make my want to error on the side of caution.)

Thanks in advance for any pointers!

Barrett
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Old 24th March 2014, 07:39 PM   #2
planet10 is offline planet10  Canada
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Enclosure building specific techniques for general cabinetmaker?
For a loudspeaker quality plywood with butt joints is more than sufficient.

Threaded inserts are much more reliable than t-nuts. ANyone who has had one come loose will never use them again.

I am not a big fan of grills, if you need them small neo magnets in the grill and imbedded under the veneer work very well.

dave
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Old 24th March 2014, 07:47 PM   #3
Barrettn is offline Barrettn  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planet10 View Post
For a loudspeaker quality plywood with butt joints is more than sufficient.

Threaded inserts are much more reliable than t-nuts. ANyone who has had one come loose will never use them again.

I am not a big fan of grills, if you need them small neo magnets in the grill and imbedded under the veneer work very well.

dave
I'm planning on using 3/4" MDF for all the speakers with the exception of the subwoofer, where I'm planning on using 1" MDF. I like the idea of using magnets for the grills - I can pull some from failed hard drives here at work that should be more than strong enough to hold them in place.
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Old 24th March 2014, 08:03 PM   #4
planet10 is offline planet10  Canada
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Enclosure building specific techniques for general cabinetmaker?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrettn View Post
I'm planning on using 3/4" MDF for all the speakers with the exception of the subwoofer, where I'm planning on using 1" MDF.
I will not use MDF for loudspeaker construction, i do not believe it suitable for a quality speaker.

Plywood is both stiffer (12mm would replace your 3/4", and 18mm is as stiff as 1 1/4" MDF). Ply is also better damped, and has less energy storage. Woofers in particular benefit from the higher stiffness of plywood.

You will get lots of people whowilldispute my stance, but we have built out of both, compared, and decided that the loss of quality is not worthwhile. We do use MDF for some very specific purposes and things like decorative bases and such.

dave
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Old 24th March 2014, 09:34 PM   #5
chrisb is offline chrisb
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Dave & I agree to disagree regarding grilles - if even only light cloth covered MDF frames for hiding the cones. I've developed a method that seems to work just fine for making the frames, but leave the fabric to an artist - a car stereo installer with over 30rys of experience working with fabrics / vinyl, trunk liner, etc.

The magnets in question are the little 1/4" rod Neo magnets from Lee Valley or similar. They're not cheap, as you'll need a minimum of 16 per single set of grilles, but with careful countersinking under the veneer are completely invisible and work like a charm. They never break, and leave a "brazilian smooth" surface to the enclosure when the grilles are removed - try to get that image out of your head

If you're concerned about a higher degree of protection than those would allow, the choices of attractive metal covers in sizes appropriate to your enclosures is more limited than you can fabricate with cloth.

I have used Hedlock type of grille fasteners in the past, and they're at least as much as buried magnets, and subject to the male pins breaking off.

I'd certainly counsel against using T-Nuts, - when a wood screw isn't deemed adequate, threaded inserts would be my recommendation.

Friends don't let friends use MDF - but as Dave noted, that's a subject that can quickly devolve in religiosity.

With today's glues, simple butt joints, or at the most, half depth dadoes / rabbets are more than sufficient for any domestic speaker I've ever built. Since you mention plan to veneer the boxes, you can use brad nailer or even counter sunk screws to ensure structural integrity. Use autobody Bondo filler and a flush sanding prior to the veneering.

While you didn't ask yet about veneering, I'd recommend doing so after the fabrication of cases, and using paper backed sheets and the iron-on method vs raw real veneer and/or contact cement.
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Old 24th March 2014, 10:14 PM   #6
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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Enclosure building specific techniques for general cabinetmaker?
in my youth I used screws, and lots of them
now I'm lucky to have nice big clamps
only used a few small steel nails for control
and they are pulled out again

very precise cuts is the key
and soak the wood well with good glue
but assembling can be quite tricky
this time I tried a different bracing
proved very easy to mount afterwards

btw, normally I prefer to use a router to make assembling easier and more precise
but at present I have no real workshop
this is cheap and dodgy quality plywood
but it is light, and just right for this portable box
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Old 24th March 2014, 11:12 PM   #7
Stewart Holmes is offline Stewart Holmes  United Kingdom
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I've had great results from very similar damping procedure to Troels Gravesen for my application. Sound tested them each stage with better and better results. I'd go with Birch Ply if using only one material for walls.

Cabinet-damping
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Old 24th March 2014, 11:29 PM   #8
nigelwright7557 is online now nigelwright7557  United Kingdom
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I buy a lot of my cabinet hardware from Maplin.
They have professional grills, handles, corners etc.

I have to admit I am not the greatest wood worker so I tend to cover my cabinets in thin carpet and is hard wearing. This covers a multitude of errors.
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Old 24th March 2014, 11:43 PM   #9
Stewart Holmes is offline Stewart Holmes  United Kingdom
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As Nigel mentioned thin carpet used for loudspeakers can cover multitude of errors in terms of cabinet finish and wear yet bear in mind that carpet on baffles with tweeters will effect the sound sometimes for the better and sometimes not.
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Old 25th March 2014, 12:05 AM   #10
nigelwright7557 is online now nigelwright7557  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewart Holmes View Post
As Nigel mentioned thin carpet used for loudspeakers can cover multitude of errors in terms of cabinet finish and wear yet bear in mind that carpet on baffles with tweeters will effect the sound sometimes for the better and sometimes not.
I don't cover the baffle with carpet I just paint it.
The baffle is mostly covered by the grill anyway.
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