Few quick questions on box construction/finishing.

T_Lav

Member
2001-08-16 7:08 am
I am building a tall set of loudspeakers (40 ") and was wondering a few things. What should I use on the bottom of the box to separate it from the floor, little rubber feet? and where to get such objects. Second, I would like a site address that shows how to make removable grille covers for the box, and lastly, how should I cover up screw holes, I set them in with a brad point bit on MDF and was wondering if any one has tried cutting plugs from MDF because the plugs from other woods dont match for my finish. Thanks, any feedback appreciated.
 
The best way to separate your speakers from the floor are using a set of spikes. These can be found at many sites including Parts Express http://www.partsexpress.com , or cheaper ones that work just as well can be found under "accessories" at http://www.madisound.com. Spikes from both of these sites are available with small, metallic disks to place under the spikes if necessary to protect hardwood floors. Spiking a speaker can work wonders for imaging and bass response. (I wouldnt suggest it for a speaker that is going to be moved regularly, such as for a DJ or stage band. They'd never last)

Removable grill covers are quite easy. There are several ways to make them. Some people make a frame out of MDF, and stretch speaker grill cloth over it, gluing, gooping, or hot gluing it to the back of the frame. This can also be done with masonite, wood dowels, etc. Parts Express and a few other sites (none off the top of my head) sell ball and socket connectors for attaching speaker grills. This requires drilling a 1/4 hole in the face of your speaker and usually tapping them into place. However, you should always take your speaker grills off before giving your speakers a serious listen. (check the projects page at PE, there may be some that tell you how to make the grills)

Unfortunately, there aren't too many things you can do to cover up holes perfectly. For this reason, most speaker builders will build the "internal cabinet" out of MDF, fill in the holes with a sandable wood putty, sand until perfectly smooth, and then apply a veneer, paint, or 1/4 inch veneered plywood to the outside for a finish without blemishes. If you cannot make the plugs with the same wood you used to build the cabinets, then mdf or other types of wood wont match up perfectly anyways. I'd try using a sandable wood filler until its perfectly smooth, and then apply your stain (I'm assuming your staining it). I'd try it on a scrap piece of wood first, using a few different methods. Perhaps someone more knowledgable in this area will provide a better answer.
 

T_Lav

Member
2001-08-16 7:08 am
thanks for all the input. what else could be used for spikes, or could I make my own with dowling and a knife or saw and sand them down? i just hate ordering off the net. One more question. What is the best way to make a gasket for your drivers? Where can I get materials to make one?
 
For gaskets, try window/door draught excluder tape - it is adhesive backed foam, easy to work with and availablke at your nearest diy store.

For grill fixing, I wish I'd thought of this http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/mdenoncourt/magnets.htm as I'm stuck with the old fashioned standard peg thingys which leave six ugly pieces of plastic on the front of the speaker..

As for spikes, they really need to be made of metal or something that hard as all the weight is concentrated on a very small contact area at their tip. Unless you have a lathe, I'd buy some ready made. Try a hi-fi store, or go mail-order if you really don't like net sources.

Jake
 
Spikes are easily made by drilling a pilot hole in the center of a piece of MDF or particle board, then driving a roofing nail through the hole. (Roofing nails have stout shanks and wide heads, and are ideal for this purpose.) I'd recommend nails at least twice as long as the thickness of the MDF/particle board.
The problem with mixing epoxy (or any other glue) and sawdust is that it's almost always darker than the original wood. If you're covering the wood with veneer or an opaque finish, that's not a problem, but I gather that T_Lav's cabinetry is either naked MDF or something very similar in color...if I haven't misread his post. The result might not be a good match, aesthetically. (Actually, I kinda like the neutral beige of MDF, myself.)

Grey
 
Spikes need to be wide at the top and pointy at the bottom, but a roofing nail is a bit too narrow at the top (even though the head is comparatively wide) to be stable. In order to make the top wider still, drive the nail through a piece of MDF or particle board about two inches on a side, thus:

_____
....|....
....|....

Ignore the dots, this site collapses white space.
_____ is the wood
| is the nail
Place under speaker cabinets as you would any other spike. The weight of the cabinet will pass through the nail. The wood is only there to stabilize the nail from side to side.
The nice part is that you can make them for pennies...

Grey
 

T_Lav

Member
2001-08-16 7:08 am
hey thanks for all the help with the spike ideas, but i found a great substitute today. Finials for staircases. I got them cheap too, only 20 cents for four, so i bought a bunch for my future speakers. so about the gaskets, are you talking about just ordinary foam tape, because all the tape i can find is too thick and wont form to the contours.


[Edited by T_Lav on 08-22-2001 at 12:53 AM]
 
Plug cutters

Veritas makes tapered plug cutters. Non tapered plug cutters can be had from Home Depot or Lowes. The Veritas cutters will cost you about $7 a piece. You can order them from http://www.woodcraft.com. Make sure you use good and solid MDF 1/4" plugs can tear out easily while you are drilling them. If you have access to a drill press use it to cut the plugs. Use moderate speeds so you do nut burn the cutter.

dee
;-D