Paint damage from sealing drivers with silicon, what to use for sealing drivers? - diyAudio
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Old 8th February 2009, 08:01 PM   #1
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Default Paint damage from sealing drivers with silicon, what to use for sealing drivers?


I need some advise on a suitable material for sealing drivers to a MDF cabinet, because using silicon turned out to be a nightmare.

After a lot of work sanding etc I painted my MDF cabinets with several layers of black spray paint (, turned out really well. Then I put strings of black silicon to seal my flush mounted drivers to the cabinet. I let the silicon dry/harden for about two days, then mounted the drivers. Everything looked great for about a week or more, then weird 'stains' started to appear on the baffle near the drivers, seams to me like the silicon have reacted with the paint somehow. Even though the silicon was dry when I mounted the drivers, when I took the drivers out the silicon was partly semi liquid.

I cannot find rubber gasket material the size I need, silicon is obviously out, what else can I use to seal my drivers that will not react badly with the paint?

The speaker is a two-way bass reflex design, I take it I cannot mount the drivers directly onto the MDF.

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Old 8th February 2009, 08:13 PM   #2
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You can just make a rubber gasket of any size you like.

Take a door sealer rubber strip. This should be self-adhesive, make a ring around the speaker cut-out with it. Cut of excess. Done.

If you want to be really pendantic take some vulcanization agent (tire repair glue) and glue the ends of the seals together first after having cut it to size.
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Old 8th February 2009, 08:16 PM   #3
HK26147 is offline HK26147  United States
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Mortite aka Rope Caulk might work...
I've never had that sort of problem with silicone, regardless...
Maybe a latex caulk wouldn't react.
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Old 8th February 2009, 08:20 PM   #4
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Weather seal.. that double sided adhesive foam stuff. Another alternative. It's a pain to form in to a circle, but no more than rubber.
Wherever you go there you are.
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Old 8th February 2009, 08:23 PM   #5
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Self adhesive foam weatherstrip.
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Old 8th February 2009, 09:30 PM   #6
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I cut my gaskets from 2 mil craft foam; seems to work OK.

I have to cut it in two pieces, then cut the area where the gasket sections joined at a diagonal, and filled that seam with a bit of clear acrylic caulking. Keep in mind I have 12" Woofers. If you have smaller speakers, you should be able to get a full circle gasket from a single sheet of craft foam.

The foam comes in 8.5" x 11" or 11" x 17" and is very cheap.

As an alternative, I've been to Fleet Farm Supply and seen wide sheets of thin rubber material. I think it is for lining roofs to assure that they will be water tight. None the less, the roles are about 10 feet wide and sold by the foot. Reasonably cheap. You could cut full seamless gaskets from this stuff.

The rubber sheet is found in the same area as carpeting.

I do agree there are certain types of silicone caulking that is not compatible with paint or metal; disolves paint, corrodes metal. I'm guessing you simply used the wrong type of caulking. I always use latex or acrylic because of the water clean up. So much easier than trying to clean away silicone.

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Old 9th February 2009, 04:55 AM   #7
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I like to use the Madisound "Foamtape" for speaker gasketing. You can attach the adhesive side to either the speaker or the cabinet mounting surface. It's 1/2" wide and only 1/8" thick which is perfect for this application, IMO.
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Old 9th February 2009, 06:23 AM   #8
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Thanks for all of your replys, I just have to hit the local hardware stores again to have a look and see which of the suggested materials I can find. Removed the silicon and sanded down the speakers somewhat last night, hoping that the silicon won't give me more trouble ...

Unfortunately I don't have much in the way of margin when it comes to the flush mounting, so the sealer shouldn't be more than say 1 mm thick.

I'll keep you posted on my finding and progress, thanks,

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Old 9th February 2009, 06:53 AM   #9
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Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Lay a bead of latex caulk on a sheet of plastic wrap, or better yet, moderately heavy plastic film. Fold the film around the bead so that the bead lays inside the bend. Roll in the direction of the bead using a rolling pin with one 1 mm-thick rubber band wrapped around each end.

Leave it alone for a while until lifting the film no longer pulls the caulk away, then let it cure by itself for a week. Trim off any excess width and length.

Disclaimer: I have NEVER done the above and do not know if it will result in a effective gasket.
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Old 9th February 2009, 08:20 AM   #10
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Default Compression of madisound foam tape


Do you (or anyone else for that matter) know how much the madisound foam tape will compress when the drivers are firmly screwed into the cabinet? The tape is 1/8-inch thick which is a little too much for me, but I guess it will compress quite a bit?

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