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Old 7th March 2009, 10:08 PM   #1
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Default Woodworking techniques

So far, I've not been able to make a decent box so I'm going to try a different approach. I'm not going to try and cut the pieces of wood to the exact size initially with the tools I have, my poor eyesight and general clumsiness.

So...I cut the pieces a little big and intended to use a router bit to trim them to size once assembled. But that doesn't exactly work either because you have to have at least two pieces that are exactly the right size and totally square, right?
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Old 8th March 2009, 12:58 AM   #2
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As a last resort, find a local wood shop.
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Old 8th March 2009, 01:51 AM   #3
infinia is offline infinia  United States
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Measure once cut twice school of thought.

Kidding aside plan accordingly and use the same setup to make all cuts at the same go. Should be only 3 or 4 setups max for rectangular boxes. Use cleats and clamps if you dont have help.
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Old 8th March 2009, 03:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: Woodworking techniques

Quote:
Originally posted by johngalt47
So far, I've not been able to make a decent box so I'm going to try a different approach. I'm not going to try and cut the pieces of wood to the exact size initially with the tools I have, my poor eyesight and general clumsiness.

So...I cut the pieces a little big and intended to use a router bit to trim them to size once assembled. But that doesn't exactly work either because you have to have at least two pieces that are exactly the right size and totally square, right?
Join the club. It took me 25+ years to finally admit that in order to build a furniture-grade box that could break the WAF barrier it would require a lot more skill and talent than I could ever acquire, it's not easy! Eventually I found out that having the box built to spec by a cabinetmaker is the best solution (especially for cabinets with a lot of bracing or TL boxes), is not as expensive as one would think (how much do you spend on tools and router bits?) and it clears WAF issues as long as the design is pleasing to her.

My wife adores small tower speakers with real veneer finishes, especially cherry and rosewood, ever since I purchased a pair of Rega Alyas, a small floor-standing tower, so that she would at least let us have decent sounding speakers in the living room and she wouldn't allow any of the ones I was building at the time... and for good reason I have to admit, I could never build anything that looked remotely like those with regards to finish quality

I was lucky with the Arya, they not only have discreet good looks but sound surprisingly good. Anyway when I go to the cabinetmaker's with my box schematics I usually bring along one of the Arya's to give him an idea of the finish quality I want. I still build boxes myself for testing purposes but they look pitiful.
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Old 8th March 2009, 05:43 AM   #5
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I thought that the mark of a fine cabinet maker was the ability to hide their mistakes.

It takes more skill than tools. And skill comes from practice. And after that comes bondo.
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Old 8th March 2009, 05:47 AM   #6
infinia is offline infinia  United States
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And cutting/fastening the boxes is the easy part. Finishing paint/laminate is even harder.
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Old 8th March 2009, 07:13 AM   #7
TerryO is offline TerryO  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by ultrachrome

And after that comes bondo.

Did someone call?


"Bondo is the new Rosewood."

Best Regards,
TerryO
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Old 8th March 2009, 07:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: Woodworking techniques

Quote:
Originally posted by johngalt47
So far, I've not been able to make a decent box so I'm going to try a different approach. I'm not going to try and cut the pieces of wood to the exact size initially with the tools I have, my poor eyesight and general clumsiness.
I got the yellow pages out and found a place that supplies and cuts the timber on a large saw table for not much more than I can buy the mdf for. I draw up the cut sheet and the next day, go to pick up the wood. That's the plan anyway - we'll see in a fortnight when I get it and try to glue it together.
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Old 8th March 2009, 11:18 AM   #9
SaSi is offline SaSi  Greece
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The first enclosure I ever built (for a LS3/5A) clone was built from a redundant piece of plywood panel that was lying around in the house. I was about 15 and had no real tools apart from a hobby jigsaw.

Panels weren't cat exactly correct and I used nails to put them together. And as nothing fit together airtight, I discovered the virtues of automotive 2 compound filler.

And, as I didn't even have a sanding machine, I used a coarse sanding paper (the one used for initial sanding of floor boards) mainly to sand excess filler away.

And, finally, I used lots and lots of paint to cover the irregularities of the surface - as I got bored and didn't sand away all the imperfections.

The end result looked ... ugly (I am not very hard on myself here). But they didn't sound bad at all. In fact they sounded really nice, as nice as the 2x30W amp could make them.

When I "presented" them to my father (the whole thing was done in secrecy and my father, overwhelmed with his business was more than happy to oblidge) he just laughed and when he was done laughing, said something like: "boy, you need to learn a few things about working with wood".

A couple of years later we sat together and started version 2 of those ugly speakers.

He tought me the virtues of drawing up everything (drawing is faster than cutting and paper is way cheaper than wood when thrown away).

I learned that cutting plans need to allow for the saw thickness (my original cutting plan on the panel allowed for the fine pencil's thickness only) and that cutting with each tool needs different skills and approach.

It was really boring to cut carefully but the reward is that the panels then fit together.

I also learned that nails are NOT to be used in serious woodmaking. I discovered dowels and we went as far as use mitre dowels (you know, the ones inserted inside the joint so they become invisible).

And then, after the enclosure was "built" without glue, we started the glueing process. It took me a day to nail the ugly enclosures together, took us a week to glue the new ones.

And then it was time for the "sanding blues". I discovered that there were so many different grades of sanding paper and so many techniques.

And paint. And sanding paint. And finishing paint. And then finally rubbing the finished paint for the final looks.
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Old 9th March 2009, 03:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by ultrachrome
[B]I thought that the mark of a fine cabinet maker was the ability to hide their mistakes.

It takes more skill than tools. And skill comes from practice.
Don't forget talent, you need talent to acquire skill in something that's just as much art as it is craft. Judging from their work more than a few members here easily qualify as artists.
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