FE127E in small hardwood MLTL - diyAudio
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Old 26th March 2005, 04:21 PM   #1
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Default FE127E in small hardwood MLTL

I have some free time today, so I wanted to whip up a pair of speakers. I have a tendancy to leave projects in an unfinished state for a long time once they are good enough for listening. Although I have some good plywood, I'm thinking why not use some of the beautiful hardwood I have. Once I get the panels planed and smooth I'll still have at least 1" thick panels. Using GM's little MLTL design for the FE127E , the panels are small and narrow (max interior panel dimensions are 7.43"x22.38"). I thought I could get away with using hardwood. It's well dried and I plan to insert the pipe into routed out top and bottom caps, since I may use them upside down on top of an entertainment center and to keep the edges from splitting.

Is this a good idea for a one day start to fully finished project, or would there be some problem with hardwood on a small MLTL?
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Old 26th March 2005, 08:17 PM   #2
Greg B is offline Greg B  United States
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Those are small enough dimensions that you could probably get away with it just fine. Still, I'd take paranoid precautions. Solid wood has a phenomenal tendency to split. It should be VERY dry. If possible, keept the lumber in a heated very dry area for a few days before using. If there's a bit of expansion after it's built they probably won't crack but if the wood shrinks it will. Also, some crosspieces and or plate reinforcement with plywood won't hurt at all, even if it's just 1/4" or so.

Some types of hardwood are less prone to split as well, mahogany for example. Anyway, like I said, I think you'll be fine, but it won't hurt to be super careful.

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Old 27th March 2005, 01:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: FE127E in small hardwood MLTL

Hardwood is expensive and it has a bad rep as a loudspeaker enclosure material, because it is resonant. Furthermore, it can take 50 years or so to stabilize. The same properties that make it great for building guitars and violins make it a poor choice for loudspeakers. For the look of wood, people use MDF, or maybe void-free plywood, and cover it with veneer.

If you can't be talked out of it, you'll want to use a lot of bracing and sound deadening stuff.
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Old 28th March 2005, 02:36 AM   #4
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My opinion is this, Hardwood will cost you tremendous amounts, because....

If you use thick enough wood to not need panel bracing the cabinet will be larger and will require vast sums of hardwood (and thick peices too) which will be costly

If you use reasonably thin peices with much bracing this becomes a vast sum of woodwork which most of us don't have the time or skill to do properly. The wood is also still expensive.

But hardwood enclosures would sure be nice if built properly!


The panels you have are thick, the dimensions are small, I think you'll be ok.

What kind of wood is it?
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Old 28th March 2005, 03:07 AM   #5
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Expense really isn't an issue. I already have the wood and direct from the lumber mill the 3 pieces of 1.25" x 20" x 12ft that I have cost about $60 which isn't much more than a sheet of high quality 1" plywood down here. I'm just going to cut the small pieces I need and plane them down to 1". I'll use 1 shelf brace above the driver as suggested by GM. With these small pipes, the wood should work fine and they'll look great.
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Old 28th March 2005, 04:50 AM   #6
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yeah see MDF costs ~$22 for a 4'x8' sheet when its not on sale. when it is, $18. So hardwood is more than double the price. But since you already have it, no point in making a fuss over that. What kind of wood is it?
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Old 28th March 2005, 08:19 PM   #7
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The wood is cenicero. English name, I have no idea.
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