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Old 27th November 2009, 07:33 PM   #1
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Default TubaHT Building Material Suggestion

I got my plans for my TubaHT today and it calls for plywood. Id like to hear peoples input on MDF rather then ply. I really like working with MDF a lot more but I want to hear what you guys have to say about it VS plywood.
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Old 27th November 2009, 08:15 PM   #2
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Please do not use MDF. MDF is crap. Its strength to weight ratio is absurdly low. The best plywood to use is without a doubt the furniture/cabinet grade Baltic Birch. That's not the cheap 'grade C' birch from China that you might find easily. BB is very dense, is not warped and cuts beautifully. It's hard to find, though. Your local Loewe's or Home Depot do not carry it. And please, do not cut the braces shorter than what is listed in the plans. Also, when setting your braces... DO NOT use brads to secure them to the panels. Use screws for those, along with the poly glue. Brads will work at first just fine, but will loosen over time and the cab will develop an awful rattle at resonance later on that is probably going to be impossible to repair.

You are constructing the cabinet yourself. Do not get cheap on the plywood as it directly effects all your hard work.
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Last edited by davygrvy; 27th November 2009 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 28th November 2009, 11:20 AM   #3
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what do you guys use for test cabs btw, looking for something cheap that's not too crappy.

birch is so damn expensive around here.
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Old 28th November 2009, 10:04 PM   #4
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For test cabs, pretty much anything with low amount of voids. Any grade B ought to do. But grading is really about the surface veneer mostly.

the beauty of baltic birch plywood
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Old 29th November 2009, 01:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by polviggen View Post
what do you guys use for test cabs btw, looking for something cheap that's not too crappy.

birch is so damn expensive around here.
Good birch plywood is expensive everywhere.

For testing and builds that are not visible, I use high quality OSB. It is far better than the cheap plywood I can get around here, and it is less than $20 a sheet for 3/4" X 4 X 8. It is also nicer on the lungs than MDF, it smells like wood when you cut it. Hurricane nuts tent to spin out in OSB, the old-style spiky tee-nuts work much better. I make my baffles out of MDF which eliminates the problem completely, and provides a smooth, void-free mounting surface.

Finally, if the build does not work out, OSB burns a lot better than MDF.

Last edited by littlemike; 29th November 2009 at 01:42 AM. Reason: Punctuation
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Old 29th November 2009, 02:14 AM   #6
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burning_stack.jpg

i'll try the osb then, like to burn some stuff now and then. these where guitarcabs that didn't work out with a rabbitcage on top
just after this pic, the bottom cab collapsed.
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Old 29th November 2009, 02:49 AM   #7
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Thanks for the input guys! Ill see if I can find some BB around here.
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Old 29th November 2009, 05:30 AM   #8
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use the Arauco plywood from Lowes as long as you plan to veneer / paint the cab up later. MDF is horrible stuff, for a variety of reasons, and not much cheaper than the above mentioned stuff.
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Old 29th November 2009, 06:14 AM   #9
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Lads, forget all the nonsense. Band roadies prefer BB because it´s tougher and lighter, but they don´t have to lug subwoomphers around. If you cut off below 100Hz, which you wnt to do anyway, the only issue is weight - and you want that anyway. Making them look nice can be a problem with roughest particle board or (if you can get it) OSB, but build them really stiff and you´re OK.
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Old 29th November 2009, 08:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by zobsky View Post
use the Arauco plywood from Lowes as long as you plan to veneer / paint the cab up later. MDF is horrible stuff, for a variety of reasons, and not much cheaper than the above mentioned stuff.
Yea, that Arauco plywood does not seem too bad. I looked at it the other day when I was at Home Depot.
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