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Old 17th March 2006, 10:49 AM   #1
wixy is offline wixy  Australia
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Default Necessary tools for diy?

Speaking to a newbie, I was hoping someone could outline what tools are necessary for diy speaker construction, without buying anything too expensive?

Would be appreciated, thanks.
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Old 17th March 2006, 11:01 AM   #2
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Now this could be a never ending thread!

If you have a timber merchant/diy chainstore near you that can cut board to size, then that is the major part done, in which case you will need a router or jigsaw, ( I would go for a router, you can do more with it in the long term), to cut the driver holes, and a battery drill/screwdriver for fixing screws. You can hold parts together temporarily whilst fixing with parcel tape, but if you can afford them, a couple of clamps would be a good investment. That's the minimum I can think you'll get away with.
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Old 17th March 2006, 11:45 AM   #3
wixy is offline wixy  Australia
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Thanks. However I would like to cut the board to size myself, what tool is best suited to this?

Are screws necessary to join wood together for speakers? I thought most speakers are glued together?
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Old 17th March 2006, 11:53 AM   #4
EC8010 is offline EC8010  United Kingdom
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Hmmm. I'll differ from PM. I bought a nice Elu router and apart from the fact that it's the most frightening tool I've ever used (handheld milling machine), I don't seem to use it much. However, my top-of-the-range Bosch jigsaw is indispensible.

Similarly, I bought a battery drill/screwdriver for screwdriving. I use it a lot, but I would warn you that there's an awful lot of cheap rubbish out there. The only reason I bought the battery drill was that I was making transmission line loudspeakers and knew that there would be panels with perhaps forty screws needing to be tightened before the glue went off. Hand screwdrivers give you blisters on that number of screws, and aren't as fast.

Clamps are invaluable. Clamps combined with a Workmate are even better. If you could clamp everything securely while the glue set you wouldn't need screws.

Buy proper tools from real tool shops, not cheap rubbish from a market. Cheap tools will waste your time and your money (both in the tools and the materials wasted). It's far better to have a few good tools than a copious selection of rubbish.

Oh, and get some ear muffs...
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Old 17th March 2006, 01:28 PM   #5
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Holy cow, a 1/2" hammer drill for a 3/16" bit into wood? That's a lot of drill for that job.

To answer the question about cutting, depending on the size of the job at hand you can get a countertop table saw for a reasonable price. The actual table saws are rather pricey. If that's not in the cards then a circular saw and straight edge work fine. As well as:

Jig saw and/or router

cordless screw gun and/or drill

belt sander and/or finishing sander.

clamps and/or workmate (shown in last post)

Basic hand tools.

That's a good start and can make you many sets of speakers before you feel the need to upgrade.
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Old 17th March 2006, 01:41 PM   #6
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EC, I'm shocked. A man who plays with Kilovolt valve amps is scared by a router!

Quote:
However I would like to cut the board to size myself, what tool is best suited to this?
I'm with Cal, a good circular saw and straightedge will produce good results with care and a little practise. But buy a large, accurate trysquare for laying out. I like the big roofing/framing ones.
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Old 17th March 2006, 01:50 PM   #7
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I'm with PM. My ELU MOF177E router gets worked seriously hard on speaker cabinets. If you do go for a router, then I can't recommend the Jasper jigs highly enough. I bought a Jasper 400, and used it extensively on my SP93 project.

For cutting panels, I use a straight edge and a circular to bring 8' x 4's down to manageable sizes, and then I use a small, inexpensive table saw to do the rest. When I built the SP93s, I bought the 25mm MDF from my local timber supplier, and had them cut it down into 4 sheets of 4' x 2', which I then cut on my table saw.
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Old 17th March 2006, 01:59 PM   #8
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Click the image to open in full size.

About everything I use when I make speakers. It's an old photo, need to upgrade. In case you wander: With multiple screwdrivers you don't have to change between bits and drills all the time
With router, jigsaw and circulair saw use some sort of guidening system.

The 3 things I couldn't do without:

- Router
- Clamps
- Drill

Strictly seen you don't need the rest in 90% of the cases, but if you need them it's a bless to have them around

Wkr Johan
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Old 17th March 2006, 01:59 PM   #9
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I do most of my stuff with a halfway decent jigsaw (low end Bosch), cordless drill/driver (rebranded Ryobi), and a small router.

I rought cut pannels with the jigsaw, you can get to withing 1/2-1mm accurate with a little practice and decent blades (don't scrimp on the blades, they are the bit doing the cutting), then glue and screw them together with the rough cut edge overhanging. then use a laminate trimming bit in the router (straight fluted cutter with a bearing on the tip) to straighten up my rought cut edge against the flat pannel its butted against. gripfill style adhesives means you joins don't have to be perfect to be air tight.

that is good for a start, then I bought a mitresaw to help with more accurate angle cutting.

clamps are very handy too as are those Jasper circle jigs for doing speaker cutouts with the router.
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Old 17th March 2006, 02:17 PM   #10
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My first question would be how much room do you have to work in. The reason I ask is that for good straight cuts, nothing beats a fixed saw, like a table saw or radial arm saw. And how far do you plan on going, just a set of speakers or many sets.

I have a rather good sized shop that serves several purposes, wood working being one. I aquired my tools over the past 30 years and can now say which ones I would buy first.
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