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Anyone built speakers using real wood?
Anyone built speakers using real wood?
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Old 12th March 2018, 10:27 AM   #1
hal55 is offline hal55
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Default Anyone built speakers using real wood?

I'm building a small 2 way using a seas 5.5" midbass, and saw sheets of Vietnamese rubber wood, being sold as a kitchen timber bench top, 25mm thick that looked as though it would make a nice cabinet material. I know that real wood isn't used often, but I'm really tempted to use it. I will still properly brace and damp the midbass enclosure, and the speaker is definitely in the mini monitor category.
Rubber wood is a composite hardwood made from felled rubber trees and, I think, kiln dried. If anyone has built a speaker from real hardwood how did it work out, and would you do it again?
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Old 12th March 2018, 10:37 AM   #2
jtgofish is offline jtgofish
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Some of the best speakers I have heard were built using solid jarrah.
You have to allow for natural timber movement and seal the inside surfaces.
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Old 12th March 2018, 10:50 AM   #3
scottjoplin is offline scottjoplin  Wales
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hal55 View Post
Rubber wood is a composite hardwood
How do you mean, do you have a link or picture?
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Old 12th March 2018, 11:10 AM   #4
Rokytheman is offline Rokytheman  Denmark
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I think that good quality baltich birch playwood is the best "standard" wood for building speaker cabinet. VERY ridgid and not "dead" as MDF.

As jtgofish, solid wood can/will bend/twist depending on change in humidity, temperature and so on. The same reason kitchen tables are often made of stacks of wood glued together.

This is not to say that it cannot be done.
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Old 12th March 2018, 11:11 AM   #5
Nico Ras is offline Nico Ras  South Africa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtgofish View Post
Some of the best speakers I have heard were built using solid jarrah.
You have to allow for natural timber movement and seal the inside surfaces.
Agreed, there is a little maintenance required. Did a few in birch and mahogany. It remains beautiful if maintained.
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Old 12th March 2018, 11:21 AM   #6
jtgofish is offline jtgofish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rokytheman View Post
I think that good quality baltich birch playwood is the best "standard" wood for building speaker cabinet. VERY ridgid and not "dead" as MDF.

As jtgofish, solid wood can/will bend/twist depending on change in humidity, temperature and so on. The same reason kitchen tables are often made of stacks of wood glued together.

This is not to say that it cannot be done.
The best approach is to use solid timber for the sides ,tops and bottoms and veneered MDF or ply for the front and back baffles.That way the timber can move with the seasons without compromising the structural strength.
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Old 12th March 2018, 11:31 AM   #7
Nico Ras is offline Nico Ras  South Africa
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I use a bitchumen on aluminium strip as sealant in the cabinet because remains sticky and flexible. Inside braces are 5 ply thus quite stiff and very heavy.
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Old 12th March 2018, 11:37 AM   #8
scottjoplin is offline scottjoplin  Wales
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtgofish View Post
That way the timber can move with the seasons without compromising the structural strength.
How about bonding two pieces of timber with grain at 90 degrees?
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Old 12th March 2018, 11:39 AM   #9
TMM is offline TMM  Australia
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I have made cabinets with solid wood for all sides. Used regular PVA glue to join the top/bottom/sides as the movement is mutual (cabinet grows and shrinks significantly in depth, minimal dimensional change to width/height). Polyurethane construction adhesive (remains rubbery after setting) to attach the front, rear baffles and internal braces to allow for wood movement. No issues to report several years later.

I have seen people construct solid cabinets and use PVA everywhere. Some of those cabinets tore themselves apart after about a year.

Last edited by TMM; 12th March 2018 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 12th March 2018, 12:27 PM   #10
markgolf is offline markgolf  United States
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I used solid oak in my first build 30 + years ago and they formed huge cracks and the speakers were tossed but a nice looking tower for a while.my current speaker I built 20 years ago using solid cherry over mdf .they have held up ok with some joint separation.did not USA pvaor poly glue and should have.they still sound good.
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