Ugh, just spent $100 on sub box building supplies - diyAudio
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Old 6th December 2003, 01:35 AM   #1
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Red face Ugh, just spent $100 on sub box building supplies

You know, you think your box will cost about $50 to build, but with just one shopping trip you spend $100 and you're not even done with buying supplies yet!

I'm building a Q=0.707 sealed enclosure for a 15" Tempest.

Just picked up most of the wood needed. It'll be 21.5" x 21.5" by 21.5" (plus 4" more for feet).

Meant to get MDF which is half as much as the $50 sheet of Birch Plywood I bought, but Do-It-Center was all out. That's alright though, I hear Birch is better?

Also got screws, glue, sandpaper and had Do-It-Center cut all my wood ($0.25 per cut). I'll have to borrow a sander and jig saw as I sold my tools a couple of years ago when I thought I'd move out of the country.

So what's the best way to get this birch looking good for the box? The guy left all sorts of nasty looking razzles along the edges when he cut it. It didn't cut nearly as nicely as I thought it would.

Also, since until 2PM this afternoon I thougth I'd be going with a sonotube enclosure, what do you all recommend for finishing this birchwood?

Thanks!
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Old 6th December 2003, 01:55 AM   #2
mltaunt is offline mltaunt  United States
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Next time make up a bill of materials, and price everything out, including glue fastners and othe incedentals. That way there are no suprises. You'd also be suprised how often you come up with different solutions when you know how much things cost.

As to smooth edges, they should also be sqare! I assume you don't have access to a jointer. The next best option is a router mounted in a table. See various woodworking sites. Look for plans for shop jigs and fixtures. Lacking power tools, you can glue some sandpaper to a board and rig it square to another board, leaving space for sawdust to fall through. Sometimes I design as I build but usually I work everything out on paper first.

good luck.
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Old 6th December 2003, 02:46 AM   #3
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Thanks. Next time.

Does anyone know how this guy (see link) got such a smooth finish? I'm trying to see where the seams and screws are, but don't see anything.

http://my.starstream.net/mk/tempest_...es/020_jpg.htm
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Old 6th December 2003, 04:05 AM   #4
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It's quite possible that he didn't use screws. Probably just glued and clamped. Birch plywood is fine I'm sure, however you'd want to get void free (baltic) birch plywood, generally. His seams are 45 degree miters in the corners(including the top, which is rather unusual, imo). Probably used wood putty to finish off the joints. If you're using birch, I wouldn't try to stain it. His looks fine in the pictures, but it's undoubtly blotchy as birch(along with maple and pine, among others) don't stain well. You can use an anti-blotchy compound but those really seem to amplify chipout/cross-grain stratches. I'd personally pay someone to clear spray, which would run $40-$80 I'd say. It would give a (very) smooth and clean finish.

Also for the smooth edges, he didn't use a jointer, I'm quite sure, as it's plywood and a jointer would annilated it as you have grain running in two directions. I'd say he just used a fine ripping blade in his table saw and made his cuts. If you had the cuts made at the lumber yard, I hope they used a two-bladed saw as if they didn't the side that was facing down will have chipout from the blade pushing through. As for the milling marks from cutting there isn't much you can do that I can think of to smooth themout without making an uneven edge. If you had access to a stroke sander it'd be easy enough. With enough care and good belt sander you could do it also, although you're better off just glueing it up and using some wood putty, as long as your gaps are small enough nobody will notice.
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Old 6th December 2003, 05:10 AM   #5
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On one of the other pictures from the link.He states he used hardwood cleats to pull the sides together
.
Plus he has used interal braces with screws on the inside to help as well
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Old 6th December 2003, 05:30 AM   #6
Variac is offline Variac  United States
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The plywood you got is better than MDF for a sub. But at a cost!
that's why I like using quality drivers and parts. These projects always end up costing a lot so you need to attempt something towards the high end to make the effort and materials cost work out IMHO.

So I think you are on your way and doing things right. I have used cleats on the inside of plywood enclosures fastened in place with screws from the inside that are short enough that they don't
come out through the outside. If you use plenty of glue on the cleats, you can even remove the screws after the glue sets up if you want.
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Old 6th December 2003, 02:40 PM   #7
mltaunt is offline mltaunt  United States
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Does anyone know how this guy (see link) got such a smooth finish? I'm trying to see where the seams and screws are, but don't see anything.

http://my.starstream.net/mk/tempest...ges/020_jpg.htm



I looked at the picture of this guys woodshop. To begin with he invested big money in serious stationary tools. You probably won't be able to match this w/ handtools. I work as a mechanical designer on special machines and one of the first things you learn is to design to the capabilities of the build shop. I'm not trying to be discouraging just giving some advice on how to manage a design/build project.
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Old 6th December 2003, 02:54 PM   #8
kevyjo is offline kevyjo  United States
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I've gotten very professional looking results from virtually no tools, it just took me a rediculous amount of time. One thing i would suggest as far as stain and finish goes, take small pieces of what you are working with and expiriement on how its stains and stuff, you might like the results, some stains out now are so slow in penetration that you have plenty of time to get it smooth. BTW, you sure you dont want to do a sonotube sub? you could use youre plywood for endcaps.
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Old 6th December 2003, 10:12 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone, for your replies. Some good info there.

I'll keep the board posted on my results.
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Old 6th December 2003, 10:13 PM   #10
kevyjo is offline kevyjo  United States
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Have you looked into building a sonotube sub?
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