Proper Speaker Box Construction

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Whitebread
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Proper Speaker Box Construction

Postby Whitebread » Mon Aug 07, 2006 1:40 pm

Hello, I need help finishing the speaker boxes I construct. Making a box that is structurally sound isn't hard, but creating a box that looks good is proving to be more difficult. What steps do I need to take in order to hide the seams of the wood? I covered a small speaker and I can see where I joined the individual pieces, eventhough I sanded it with 60 grit sand paper.

Help!
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Jakezor
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Postby Jakezor » Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:10 pm

What are you covering it with? Paint, varnish/stain, laminate?

60 grit is rough as hell, you'll probably need to step down to finer and finer to get it close to matched. Or run the box on a planer/joiner.
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Whitebread
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Postby Whitebread » Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:14 pm

I'm covering it with Black Ash Vinyl limainate from Parts Express. The Vinyl is about as thick as heavy weight paper. I donno if a light grit sand paper will help out.
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Kyle Richardson
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Postby Kyle Richardson » Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:10 pm

joined the individual pieces, eventhough I sanded it with 60 grit sand paper.
If the joints are big you START with 60 grit and then work up to 220 or even higher. Use bondo if you need to. Also, make sure you use a flat block when sanding so you dont round any corners.

The best thing to do is to make sure your cuts are exact and the glue up is exact so sanding/bondoing is minimized or eliminated completely.
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Postby NDGeist » Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:30 pm

Another option, would be to make your cuts a little big, so that you have a overhang and use this:
Image

It's a flush trim bit for a router, and it will cut the overhang near perfectly flat with the box. If you have a router with a .5" collet, it will work great.

Beware, MDF will dull the bit relatively quickly.

Assuming you get a good one, the Freud helix bit above is $50.

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Whitebread
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Postby Whitebread » Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:55 am

NDGeist wrote:Another option, would be to make your cuts a little big, so that you have a overhang and use this:
Image

It's a flush trim bit for a router, and it will cut the overhang near perfectly flat with the box. If you have a router with a .5" collet, it will work great.

Beware, MDF will dull the bit relatively quickly.

Assuming you get a good one, the Freud helix bit above is $50.

-Chip

50 is a bit too much. I bought a twist bit for cutting holes in MDF and it chipped after cutting 45 small holes in 3/4" MDF for a physics project. The bit was 20 bucks! Next time I'm going to just keep increasing the sand paper grit and be careful to not round the corners. A large part of the problem is that I had to cut the panels for the box with a circular saw.
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Postby Whitebread » Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:56 am

Kyle Richardson wrote:If the joints are big you START with 60 grit and then work up to 220 or even higher. Use bondo if you need to. Also, make sure you use a flat block when sanding so you dont round any corners.

The best thing to do is to make sure your cuts are exact and the glue up is exact so sanding/bondoing is minimized or eliminated completely.
You don't even bother using something powered like a palm sander? It would take a hell of a long time to get a smooth, even finish with a hand sanding block.
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Postby westend » Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:45 pm

When using a circular saw, use a straight edge guide to make your cuts straight. I've used a $3.00 aluminum ruler with holes drilled for screws before I had all the fancyass clamps and guides I now have. The cost of the guide will be less than what you spend in sandpaper. The flush trim bit is a good tool. If you don't want to spend $50 they can be had cheaper. Since you have the box assembled, Bondo is now your friend.
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long post...

Postby John » Thu Aug 10, 2006 9:34 am

I use a big ancient B&D orbital sander, takes bouf hans to use and if your not careful you can saw right into the wood...it gets the job done quickly though.:cwm12:

You can fill in the joints with bondo or even some polyurethane glue...dung, mud, and sticks works as well if your short on cash... ;)

Going the other way now...

I am lazy, but thought of something that, imo, is easier and actually looks better if done right. For vinyl and the like, I say forget about sanding. I put foam padding covering the box then vinyl, except usually the bottom or back if they're against a seat/wall/etc. Thick or thin depending on the install and what is desired, and I wouldn't consider do this in an spl case...

I have done a few now...I have one of a local mom and pop places stitch up what is basically a big vinyl pillow case to my dimensions, or I take the box in there if I can so they can make adjustments. This way the covering dictates the shape by manipulating the foam, although trimming may be required as sometimes things may bulge or not look just right. It usually fits tightly over, which can take a little work to get on and also can require some help.

This way you don't have to hide seams because they actually look good, you can also have 'piping' added to the seams to trim and clean up the edges as well. The cut out around the speaker is covered by the speaker (can also be edged), but you can also have a nice seam put around the hole if there is a port.

It doesn't always want to stay just right, so I'll have them leave some overhang to I can staple it on the bottom and/or back. Great thing about it is, you don''t have to use glue, so it wouldn't be that hard to change your mind and change the covering later...
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Postby Kyle Richardson » Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:36 pm

Whitebread wrote:You don't even bother using something powered like a palm sander? It would take a hell of a long time to get a smooth, even finish with a hand sanding block.

Sure you can if you're careful. Just remember, speaker building and finishing isnt meant to be rushed, especially if it will always be on display such as home speakers.
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