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UM18-22 Flat Pack Build (step-by-step)

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  • UM18-22 Flat Pack Build (step-by-step)

    Starting assembly:

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  • #2
    All assembled - flat pack is nice and MDF still sucks

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    • #3
      Had to install the Neutrik connector. I used a 2" Forstner bit

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      • #4
        Next was some sanding. I chose to use an orbital sander with 80 grit to knock the overhang of the baffle off and really get the MDF smooth. As my previous painting training has taught me the prep work is the dirtiest and certainly the most important for the final finish. I used BIN Primer that I had tinted as a white base with black Duratex going over didn't make any sense to me. I did one coat of BIN then sanded with 120 grit and repeated.

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        • #5
          I like to finish the inside. If it was ever sold and someone opened it, I like it to look finished. Also, it really cuts down on the possible MDF dust and just makes it so much nicer to me. How crappy is it to open a speaker and see it raw and cheesy inside? Yuck. Doesn't take much more effort to make it look a bit nicer and an advantage of diy since you're not against the Excel Sheet of the bottom line

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          • #6
            2-3 coats of Duratex provides an excellent finish. I have found that while you put it on heavy, it really takes rolling it in all directions to smooth it out evenly. Then for the final finish, you slowly roll one direction with no pressure with 50% overlap. No zebra stripes and a consistent texture

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            • #7
              Next up was waiting a few days for the Duratex to harden (takes up to 7 days) enough to handle the cabinet. Spent lots of time on the water during this time.

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              • #8
                I really dislike drivers being held in with wood screws. If you ever need to remove a driver more than once, the hole is usually buggered up as it's not really made for multiple disassembly. So how does one deal with that? Tee Nuts! This is how I use them...


                First you need to purchase some quality tee nuts as these are meant for a permanent installation. I will be using SHCS as my finish bolt to hold the 45 lb 18" driver in.


                So you get the Tee Nuts and some basic grade 5 bolts with washers along with PL Adhesive as seen below. See where this is going?

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                • #9
                  Now this is very important. If you get the PL on the threads of the Tee Nut, you're screwed!


                  So I put 3 dabs around the side of the Tee Nut like below.

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                  • #10
                    So the little teeth on the Tee Nut are obviously meant to penetrate the substrate - MDF in this case. If you hammer them in, the teeth get bent and mangled and usually cause more harm than good and also put the Tee Nut in crooked which can lead to cross-threaded bolts. That is a nightmare!


                    So using those grade 5 bolts and washers you "draw" the Tee Nut up into the substrate. DO NOT tighten too tight, just enough to squeeze the extra PL out and hold it. Remember: The PL is really what is holding the Tee Nut, not those goofy teeth. I personally like to leave the bolts in for 48 hrs to make absolute certain the PL has fully cured.


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                    • #11
                      Now you might be wondering what it looks like underneath? Of course, I'll show you a terrible pic!


                      See how it squeezed out evenly? Now you might want to touch it and remove the extra. Do not! Why? You run the risk of getting it on the bolt and not even knowing that and then when you go to remove them, you realize what happened.

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                      • #12
                        Next was to solder the Belden 1313A to the Neutrik speakON and install into the cabinet

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                        • #13
                          Stuff it!

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                          • #14
                            Install the driver!

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                            • #15
                              I was confident that it was all correct as I always check each step; however, it's so much easier to check now as a complete assembly...

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