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MWAF Project - Strafi Translam Build

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  • MWAF Project - Strafi Translam Build



    I wanted to start a build thread for my MWAF project this year, calling them Strafi, wanted to do something special and really push my building skills, there is a restaurant that has a light fixture that inspired me along with a build method I've been wanting to try for a while.

    Traditional translam builds create tons of waste, I've had the idea of simply using thinner strips of wood, glued or attached at the corners to create the work envelope from which the final shape is created. This eliminates all the wasted material in the middle and keeps it to whatever is around the edges, very minimal. I'm sure this has been done though haven't seen it, regardless it looked fun and I wanted to give it a try =)

    For MWAF I wanted to do something with Pro Audio drivers and a horn since I didn't see any of that last year, I've also been thrilled with the results I've been getting from those projects using PA drivers. I've been eyeing the FaitalPro 8PR200 for a while, after modeling about 50 pro audio 8" woofers, nothing came even close to it with regard to bass performance and clean FR higher up. They are also light neo drivers and I'm going to have to ship these suckers to Ohio this summer.

    I decided to do a tower speaker with two 8" in a 2.5 way configuration, as, well, I really like bass. I will be pairing these to a Faital HF10AK 1" compression driver and LTH102 horn which is very well built and cast aluminum. I plan on doing a high order (3rd or 4th electrical) around 1khz, will be experimenting with that later on.

    So now, on to the construction. After mulling around a bunch of ideas, I settled on doing a solid hardwood enclosure using Poplar (no shoot you say) and Mahogany. Each enclosure will be made up of about 43 layers each (may vary 1 layer here or there once I get closer to finalizing things).

    Each layer is made from 4 pieces of precisely cut lumber, layers stagger every other between a long center Mahogany plank and a short one. When the Mahogany is short, the poplar end grain shows on the sides of it, and this creates a stitched interlacing pattern up the sides. I chose to do this to create a striking visual contrast and I really love the variability in color and grain of the Poplar wood I chose. I have no real idea how this will look when it's done, but I'm excited to see it come together.

    Over the past week I sourced the lumber, cut sections to precise lengths and ripped pieces to precise widths and have been gluing them up in batches of 4 using 4 fixtures I built to precisely control the inside and outside dimensions. I'm still using A LOT of lumber, over 55 linear feet of 7.25" wide Mahogany and 11.25" wide poplar.

    The dust collection system I put in has been working overtime and working very well might I add =) Once I glue up a layer I can let it set up for about 45 minutes, pull it out of the fixture and slap in new pieces for another round. Over the past week I've been doing one batch at 6:45am when I wake up and right before I make the kid's lunches, then I drop the kids off at school, do another batch at 7:30 right before I leave for work. Then another batch when I get home around 7pm, one at 8:30 and a couple more until midnight or so. Each batch takes about 15 minutes to pull out of fixtures and glue up new pieces, the quick clamps really make things much easier and very accurate.







    My cut lists, a pretty extensive spreadsheet with formulas, was very helpful in calculating exactly how much material I'd need.







    Individual layer pieces organized and ready to glue up




    Two layers glued up and drying






    Seams are clamped to align pieces as well as possible, the Mahagany and Poplar are slightly different thicknesses, which will be corrected by the drum sander



    Layers stacking up! You can see the alternate layers each in their own stack.



    Chop saw fixtures makes quick and accurate work, I have the chop saw adjusted perfectly square for accurate cuts. The ID dimensioned pieces are the most critical, the outside overlapping pieces aren't as critical as that material will be trimmed off.






    I should have all layers done by tomorrow, more to come!

    Thanks!
    Javad Shadzi
    --
    Javad Shadzi
    Bay Area, CA

    2-Channel Stereo system in the works with Adcom components and 4-way towers

  • #2
    Another major part of the project will be the router template which allows me to create the final shape of the enclosure, since I have so many layers and I want them to be very accurate, I will be CNC machining an aluminum router template to make things easier. Also full disclosure, I employ 3 amazing ME's and 2 master machinists so I may or may not be using resources at hand =)

    Yes I should probably pay someone like Kevin to just rip these out in a CNC router, but I enjoy this stuff and I'm a glutton for punishment!

    The template/s will have the following features:

    1 - Will set the outside and inside profiles

    2 - There will be two templates to create alternating inside layers to crate uneven surfaces inside the enclosure

    3 - A drill guide to allow Q4 1/4" holes to allow dowels to align the layers to each other. I'm currently machining the templates and should be routering by early next week.

    I also have a JET 16" drum sander on the way, though the layer pieces are well aligned to each other, I need each layer to be very flat as I want to minimize any gaps or unevenness between layers.







    More to come!

    Javad
    --
    Javad Shadzi
    Bay Area, CA

    2-Channel Stereo system in the works with Adcom components and 4-way towers

    Comment


    • #3
      Any bracing layers?
      That might be beneficial.

      Later,
      Wolf
      "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
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      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Wolf
        Any bracing layers? That might be beneficial. Later, Wolf
        Absolutely, there will be plenty as usual on my builds =)
        --
        Javad Shadzi
        Bay Area, CA

        2-Channel Stereo system in the works with Adcom components and 4-way towers

        Comment


        • #5
          That looks like one hell of a lot of work to make a box, but I'll bet it will be spectacular when completed. Looking forward to seeing it!

          Comment


          • #6
            Man, you're turning into a "Speaker Building Machine". Knowing your previous work, this will certainly turn out looking gorgeous. I'm jealous of your new sander but not jealous of the hit on the wallet that must have been.

            Couple of suggestions, take em or leave em. You will be drilling a lot of holes for the index pins. If your fixture is made of aluminum, the holes are going to eventually waller and this could lead to alignment issues. You might want to consider inserting some of these drill bushings in the fixture. https://www.mcmaster.com/#8491a055/=16p06qz Wasn't sure how thick your fixture was, these are 1/4" bushing but they sell them in different thicknesses. I suggested a .257" ID bushing instead of .250". I've noticed a couple of things about the 1/4" wooden dowels, they are never perfectly round or straight, so the additional .007" will make it easier to work with the dowels and they will still fit fairly snug. You can order the .257" (Drill Size: F) from McMaster also.

            My second suggestion would be to add at least one more pin hole to the front and back sections. You'll find that as you glue these up and proceed to clamp, the clamps will cause alignment issues without pins on those two long sections.

            Best of luck Javad, will be following along.
            My "No-Name" CC Speaker
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            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks Kevin for the words and the suggestions! We use a lot of drill bushings at work but I found this and feel it will work well, the template will reference the OD of the shelf pin reference bushing and drill accurately placed holes while causing no wear against the template Snappy Shelf Pin Bit, 1/4" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000H5K0GM..._2ySWyb7NFX0JQ Great suggestion on the additional locating holes, you're absolutely right, I'll add another one front and rear. Thanks! Javad
              --
              Javad Shadzi
              Bay Area, CA

              2-Channel Stereo system in the works with Adcom components and 4-way towers

              Comment


              • #8
                I"m sure you will find some kind of awesome color/finish for that poplar, and I"m officially jealous that your HD sells mahogany boards.
                Your build has given me some fresh ideas for a translam idea I've been kicking around.

                I think I hear a difference - wow, it's amazing!" Ethan Winer: audio myths
                "As God is my witness I'll never be without a good pair of speakers!" Scarlett O'Hara

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                • #9
                  Great to hear Don, can't wait to see what you come up with!
                  --
                  Javad Shadzi
                  Bay Area, CA

                  2-Channel Stereo system in the works with Adcom components and 4-way towers

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Is there a reason why you ripped all the slats yourself instead of buying 1x2" or 1x3" boards?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Always wanted to take on a project in this fashion! Love it and can't wait to see the finished build!! Keep crushing it!
                      Builds - C-Killa - Speedsters - LithMTM - Talking Sticks - Pocket Rockets - Khanspires - Dayton RS Center - RS225/28A - Kairos - Adelphos - SEOS TD12X - Dayton 8 - Needles - 871S - eD6c - Overnight Sensations - Tritrix (ported) - Lineup F4 - Stentorians - The Cheapies - Tub Thumpers - Barbells - Tuba HT - Numerous subwoofers - probably missing a few...... :p

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Millstonemike
                        Is there a reason why you ripped all the slats yourself instead of buying 1x2" or 1x3" boards?
                        Hey Mike good question! For one it's much cheaper buying a wider board, I think it was about 40% less material cost which at this level is substantial. A second reason is that I wwantedto minimize waste, so by ripping pieces in it the exact lengths I calculated, I don't have to waste anymore than I need to. All the ripping was probably in total an hour on the tablesaw spread out over two or three sessions, and frankly I was having a blast so it's all good. =)
                        --
                        Javad Shadzi
                        Bay Area, CA

                        2-Channel Stereo system in the works with Adcom components and 4-way towers

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by joeybutts
                          Always wanted to take on a project in this fashion! Love it and can't wait to see the finished build!! Keep crushing it!
                          Thanks Joey and keep me posted on what you're working on!
                          --
                          Javad Shadzi
                          Bay Area, CA

                          2-Channel Stereo system in the works with Adcom components and 4-way towers

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Done cutting and gluing for now, have 43 layers of each, whew!





                            I'll be mocking up and gluing the top panels, found this gorgeous Mahogany that I'll likely use.



                            I'll be machining the template this week and should have a lot of router info in my near future. Drivers showed up!

                            FaitalPro stuff always impresses with their attention to detail, gorgeous drivers. I plan on dampening the horn as well.









                            Javad
                            --
                            Javad Shadzi
                            Bay Area, CA

                            2-Channel Stereo system in the works with Adcom components and 4-way towers

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              How to you plan to arrange the full mahogany baffle sections with the partial mahogany / poplar baffle sections?

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