View Full Version : Solid wood speakers
02-25-2007, 11:29 PM
Anyone use solid hardwood in a speaker? Have any trouble with wood splitting?
Few years back I built a 5 piece HT system ((LCR MTM's with 6.5" Seas woofer and 1" MCM tweeter) for my buddy using 1" think walnut (even on front and back). He ultimately sold them to our other buddy and I recently looked at them and the front board had a crack betwen the M's and the T. Took everything out, used epoxy quickset glue with clamps and glued two horizontal metal straps on the inside of the baffle under the cracks. Seems to be holding. The other 2 didn't crack.
I just stripped, sanded and spray lacquered again and they look good as new.
> Anyone use solid hardwood in a speaker? Have
> any trouble with wood splitting?
Not yet! I've had these for about 3 months. 1x6 red oak sides/top/bottom, pine fronts.
The red '3CR' are pine-fronts as well, and haven't split yet.
02-26-2007, 04:34 AM
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I built the "OakieDokies" using solid oak while in FL. When I moved to the dry state of WY last year, I did experience some minor checking as the wood dried to the climate. A bit of minor sanding and a few new coats of poly and they will be beautiful again I can assure you.
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02-26-2007, 11:34 AM
Provided Link: More Pics (http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-12/1115293/open4.JPG)
I am currently building a pair of solid wood speakers, but no enclosure. This will help with the splitting, but I have been using solid wood on baffles for a while with no problems. I think the trick is to source really good kiln dried lumber. I just bought some killer pieces of maple for my stereo stand after I finish this next speaker project. There is just nothing that beats working with real wood. It is just so freaking expensive. I may go back to pick up a 1.5" thinck piece of birdseye maple for a sub baffle. Not too sure yet.
02-26-2007, 04:57 PM
Provided Link: http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v671/longdrive03/
Good looking "nonenclosure"! Here a few pics of the solid walnut MTM's and their little brother. I built 3 MTM's for LCR and 2 little brothers for the rear. I agree - solid wood - great for sanding and resanding and don't have to worry about going too deep.
02-26-2007, 05:01 PM
Provided Link: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v671/longdrive03/DANMARVINESPEAKERS010.jpg
02-26-2007, 05:02 PM
Provided Link: More pics (http://www.villagephotos.com/pubbrowse.asp?folder_id=1535206)
Thanks for the good words. I just realized I used the same link in the more pics part. Here is a good link. Your pic did not show up. I don't why, but your link did not work either. Huh....
02-26-2007, 05:03 PM
Ah, there we go. Very nice looking! Great finighing job on those. I'm still tinkering around with my finishing options.
02-26-2007, 06:55 PM
>On these I just used spray lacquer on my HVLP. On the NSB line arrays I just built I used MinWax wipe on poly which is simple but takes longer.
02-27-2007, 10:32 PM
Ken, wood shrinks and expands with variance in humidity. More moisture-impervious finishes (polyurethane) mitigate this movement but won't stop it entirely. But the finish would have to be done both inside and out of the cabinet for it to be effective.
Wood moves much more across the grain which is, of course, exemplified by your split which occurred at the weakest width in your baffle (between the driver cutouts). There is nothing which will stop this expansion/contraction of seasonal change. Unfortunately,it is my guess that likely that your repair will fail as well. The wood will move but the steel plate will not. The bond between the steel and wood, even though it is held by expoxy will likely be broken but it may be concealled if the steel remains in place. A woodworker would glue a wood plug, called a dutchman, to make such a repair. It looks like a bowtie (to provide mechanical support)and the grain orientation would be the same as the baffle, so the dutchman would move similarly to the original wood baffle, preserving the glue joint integrity.
I use hardwood baffles as well, and, I am still waiting for my first split (3 years) which I think would occur because the screws in the drivers or a tight fit between the rabbet and driver frame would constrain wood movement. Notice that the position of your tweeter mounting screw would really promote the centre split because it creates a void at the weakest location. It would have been better to have rotated the tweeter so that the screws line up vertically with the grain so that the singleton did not occur in the middle, this of course, would not have been as aesthetically pleasing.
The wider the baffle, the greater the expansion. Walnut expands between a 1/4th and 5/32nds of an inch per foot of width depending on whether the wood is quartersawn or flat sawn. This also assumes that the wood was kiln-dried as well. Most cabinetmakers make provisions for wood movement by slotting the screw holes so that small movements can occur under the screw head and by designing their joints so that crossgrain gluejoints are not used where there would be great stresses. hope that this rather rambling explanation helps future baffle design.
(Originally posted by: cfbuck)
03-06-2007, 11:45 PM
>THanks for the info. I'll keep my fingers crossed. Funny but two of the 3 speakers didn't crack. Do you think gluing the front baffle to mdf or plywood would help. One option is to veneer or use plywood. Thanks.
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