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Screw & Glue Vs. Clamping?
Screw & Glue Vs. Clamping?
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Old 12th January 2018, 09:19 PM   #1
almstsobur is offline almstsobur  United States
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Default Screw & Glue Vs. Clamping?

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but every speaker box build video I watch and all the directions I read all show gluing and clamping MDF. Is there an acoustic, or other reason I am not aware of for not using any screws in the box construction? Or is this just because it simply makes the finish work easier? I'd like to countersink flat head screws and putty/sand. Is that a bad idea?

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-RP
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Old 12th January 2018, 09:50 PM   #2
Cal Weldon is offline Cal Weldon  Canada
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Screw & Glue Vs. Clamping?
I am on my phone right now but do a search. This has been discussed at length here.
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Old 12th January 2018, 10:07 PM   #3
chrisb is offline chrisb
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Robert - in my own experience, there's no particular reason to not use screws, but a couple of cautions. Even with properly countersunk pilot holes, keep the screws at least a couple of inches away from corners - MDF has much softer core than the face and splits quite easily. Today's wood glues are strong enough that unless subject to a lot of abuse - or the need to hang a cabinet on the wall - that with smooth joint surfaces, you can get a pretty sturdy cabinet. I happen to use Baltic Birch plywood almost exclusively, and have built literally hundreds of speaker boxes without any fasteners at all.

What type of finishing did you have in mind?

Please don't say High Gloss Paint - cause if you have to ask the earlier question, I'd imagine you aren't aware of the huge amount of time and materials required for that.

I avoid painting speaker boxes as much as possible, and when I do, it'll be stone coat textured products on back panels, or on shadow line reveals or visible slot ports.

As Cal noted above the subject of assembly techniques - and for that matter painting - has been discussed in various forums here ad nauseam.
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Old 12th January 2018, 10:20 PM   #4
almstsobur is offline almstsobur  United States
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If all goes well and it sounds how I hope; I plan to add a wood veneer. I am adding a 1/4" real hardwood baffle during the build, so I don't have to veneer the front and to counter-sink the drivers flush.

The main reason I ask about the screws, I just don't have near enough clamps, but I have hundreds of screws. As long as it isn't an acoustic reason, I would just as well not have to go buy a bunch of clamps for one project and have no place to store them when i'm finished. I'm just doing a statement ii build with a different tweeter, so not re-creating too much wheel.

Last edited by almstsobur; 12th January 2018 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 12th January 2018, 10:24 PM   #5
planet10 is offline planet10  Canada
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Screw & Glue Vs. Clamping?
Just don’t use MDF, it is not a very good speaker box material.

On another note, i have never been able to break any of Chris’s builds, and if they were to be hung from the roof, special design considerations would be used in the design.

dave
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Old 12th January 2018, 10:30 PM   #6
almstsobur is offline almstsobur  United States
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Dave, this is my first speaker build ever; so with the plans calling for 3/4" MDF and it being far cheaper if I screw up, I think this one will have to be MDF. I can always take my time and build some better cabinets if the sound turns out to be a long-term keeper. Total MDF cost is only $115, I'll be thrilled to scrap that $115 if they turn out to be worthy of a good hardwood.
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Old 12th January 2018, 10:55 PM   #7
planet10 is offline planet10  Canada
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Screw & Glue Vs. Clamping?
That’s like 3 sheets of MDF up here… how big are the speakers?

And if you build them of MDF and don’t like them how do you know if it is the speaker design or the MDF?

dave
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Old 12th January 2018, 11:04 PM   #8
Joel Wesseling is offline Joel Wesseling  Canada
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Originally Posted by planet10 View Post

And if you build them of MDF and donít like them how do you know if it is the speaker design or the MDF?

dave
Really? One could be disappointed with the sound, primarily because MDF was used?
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Old 12th January 2018, 11:09 PM   #9
scottjoplin is offline scottjoplin  Wales
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Good, this has turned into a far more interesting pointless discussion about something that has never been discussed at length here before
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Old 12th January 2018, 11:16 PM   #10
Joel Wesseling is offline Joel Wesseling  Canada
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If you are veneering the boxes don't use butt joints. I execute 45 degree miters and lock miters for Baltic Birch, regular miters for PB and MDF. I don't used MDF very often because of the dust.
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