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Translam Subwoofers with 18" Passive Radiators - The Jedi Mind Tricks

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  • Alright guys, It's been a few days where I didn't get as much time to work in the garage as I would like. However there's still big progress to report. I have finished the last router job for these subwoofers! The big 18" PR hole on the second cabinet is cut, the exposed MDF painted black, holes marked and drilled for mounting bolts, and hurricane nuts are installed! The insides of both cabinets have been siliconed, and those are curing as I type. The only thing left before I start applying poly is to put a bit more timbermate wood filler between the baffles and the cabinets in a few places. Maybe by the weekend I'll be prepped for poly! It's been a long time coming!

    Thanks for staying tuned. More exciting bits to come in the near future!

    Photos (L to R): 1) Router work 2) Hole finished 3) Hole painted, drilled, H-nuts installed 4) Layer of silicone on the back wall / baffle seam.

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    Voxel Down Firing with Dayton SA70
    Translam Subwoofers - The Jedi Mind Tricks

    Comment


    • Hi Everyone,

      I've been fiddling around with crossover design on another project lately... because wipe on poly is curing! The slow process is underway, with two coats on the bottom side so far. I should be able to hit a 3rd coat around 10pm tonight. Two pictures for you today. One picture after one coat, which the birch ply sucked down like water in the desert, and another picture after the second coat was freshly applied. It's slowly soaking in like the first one, but it's a bit more visible than the first one ended up too. Maybe by coat four I'll start building some thickness!

      All in all, I hope the fronts of these guys look good. Putting wood filler between the cabinet and the baffle after finishing the veneer is definitely NOT my preferred way of doing things. Not really a better option with the way I chose to construct it though. Notes for future builds I guess. The wood filler did what I wanted it to do (fill the small gap between cabinet and baffle, but it was very hard not to get some on the baffle, even with masking tape. I hope I've done a good enough job cleaning it off, or at least that the poly does an OK job of blending it with the surrounding wood. Time will tell... likely one of those things you won't see unless you're right up on it. Or... if you're me... you'll see it from across the house! Yet I digress... Here's the photos!

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      Voxel Down Firing with Dayton SA70
      Translam Subwoofers - The Jedi Mind Tricks

      Comment


      • Oooooh, they're starting to look good!
        There's nothing like those first few coats of poly to make you smile after fussing endlessly with small details. One big slather of the smelly stuff and... POW!!! instant beautiful.

        I can't wait to see the rest of the cabinet get poly.

        TomZ
        *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
        *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF *Cello's Speaker Project Page

        *Building the "Micro-B 2.1 Plate Amplifier -- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * * Part 5 'Review' * -- Assembly Instructions PDF

        Comment


        • Originally posted by tomzarbo View Post
          Oooooh, they're starting to look good! ... I can't wait to see the rest of the cabinet get poly.

          TomZ
          Wait no more Tom... The first coat of poly is on the cabinets! (at least the visible parts of the cabinets). Last night I installed the threaded inserts for the PE spike feet and let them dry with a little wood glue in the threads. Today I stuck some 3/8" carriage bolts in there as temporary feet and stood them upright for the polyurethane process. Coating the whole cabinet obviously took longer than just coating the bottoms, but that's OK. It's also interesting trying to control the amount of poly in my foam brush so that I get a decent layer applied without going on too thick and leaving runs. On the vertical surfaces, I just give it a thin coat and make a few passes across the entire surface to ensure there's not any runs hiding from me.

          One layer down... Ump-teen more to go! I stopped at 5 or 6 layers on the bottom, so the sides are getting 6 minimum. I have about 1.5 qt of Arm-R-Seal left, so we'll see how many coats that gets me. The plan is to lightly sand with 220 between coats to knock down dust nibs as I build film thickness. The final coat will get synthetic finishing pad to make it as smooth as can be.

          Heck, I just might get these things playing some low notes before I have to pack up and move (house hunting... never really a good time for that in the midst of speaker building!)

          Enjoy the first photos!

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          Voxel Down Firing with Dayton SA70
          Translam Subwoofers - The Jedi Mind Tricks

          Comment


          • Looks good...
            John H

            SLS-85, BMR-3L, Mini-TL, BR-2, Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim, Aperivox,Pencil Tower

            Comment


            • Originally posted by jhollander View Post
              Looks good...
              Thanks John! Definitely glad I went with the oil based version on these. I appreciate you suggesting it a while back! Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk
              Voxel Down Firing with Dayton SA70
              Translam Subwoofers - The Jedi Mind Tricks

              Comment


              • That's a beautiful set of subs you've got there Keith. Anyone would be proud to own those. Nice work!
                My "No-Name" CC Speaker
                Kerry's "Silverbacks"
                Ben's Synchaeta's for Mom
                The Archers
                Rick's "db" Desktop CBT Arrays
                The Gandalf's

                Comment


                • Hey Everyone,

                  Progress continues. I'm up to four layers of Arm-R-Seal wipe-on poly applied to the cabinets. At this point I've gone through almost one quart of finish. I figure I can get more more layer out of that can, which would make 5 layers applied to the whole surface of both subwoofers from a one quart can.

                  What's becoming interesting to me is how the product is behaving as I apply more layers. Either I'm getting sloppy and overloading the foam brush, or the surface tension of the product isn't behaving like I expect. I'm getting more runs and drips as I continue adding layers, but I don't feel like my technique is changing. I always go back and sand with 220 grit between layers just to knock down dust nibs, but some of these spots are relatively thick, and require a bit more effort to smooth out. It will ultimately be OK, as you can't really tell there's anything funky going on unless you're right up on the subwoofers AND you catch the lighting just right.

                  Can anyone provide any advice here? Should I be using a rag instead of a foam brush to apply at this point? I'm not sure how many layers is "enough" but I figured I'd finish somewhere between 6 and 10 layers. I have another quart size can to open, so I could probably end up at 10-12 layers without issue, especially now that the poly isn't getting sucked in by the thirsty birch plywood!

                  All in all, things look good and feel great! If you look in the background, you can see the mattress topper foam lining I have pre-cut and ready for installation. As long as I don't end up deciding to move houses across town, I will be set up in the living room before I know it! That'll either help my current house sell really well, or get some odd questions about the structural integrity of the house and foundation cracks!

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                  Voxel Down Firing with Dayton SA70
                  Translam Subwoofers - The Jedi Mind Tricks

                  Comment


                  • Wow, looking awesome, great work!! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by AlexRivera View Post
                      Wow, looking awesome, great work!! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                      Thanks Alex! A little progress every day is eventually adding up. I need to annoy my neighbors and break in the RSS315HF--4 subs that will be doing all the work in these things!
                      Voxel Down Firing with Dayton SA70
                      Translam Subwoofers - The Jedi Mind Tricks

                      Comment


                      • Keith, they're looking really nice. I have issues with poly myself... I'm still learning. I'll be ears-open to the fellas' to see what they suggest. Same thing happened to me, though I tried like the dickens to prevent it. Good thing is, they still look amazing! Soon the rafters will rattle....

                        Just looking at my 18" RS passive radiator here and imagining it's nearly 2" stroke makes me worry for your houses foundation.

                        Good work,
                        TomZ
                        *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                        *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF *Cello's Speaker Project Page

                        *Building the "Micro-B 2.1 Plate Amplifier -- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * * Part 5 'Review' * -- Assembly Instructions PDF

                        Comment


                        • Unless you have dry spots there's no advantage to additional coats. Each poly layer is separate and will cast witness lines if you buff out to deep. My advice would be different if you plan to buff out or not.

                          Not buffing; flatten with 220 and wipe on a final coat with a lint free cloth, done.

                          You are applying wipe on poly with a foam brush, seems counter intuitive?

                          For me I like to use brush on poly with a 4 x 5 Sureline edger paint pad. I turn each side flat and do one horizontal side at a time. I use a rag with thinner to wipe the edges. I use a flashlight or drop light and sight down the wet surface looking for skips. My last coat is pretty heavy usually scrubbed in with the pad and then tipped off.

                          The main advantage of the paint pad is you can work fast and give the finish more time to level out.
                          John H

                          SLS-85, BMR-3L, Mini-TL, BR-2, Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim, Aperivox,Pencil Tower

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by jhollander View Post
                            Unless you have dry spots there's no advantage to additional coats. Each poly layer is separate and will cast witness lines if you buff out to deep. My advice would be different if you plan to buff out or not.

                            Not buffing; flatten with 220 and wipe on a final coat with a lint free cloth, done.

                            You are applying wipe on poly with a foam brush, seems counter intuitive?

                            For me I like to use brush on poly with a 4 x 5 Sureline edger paint pad. I turn each side flat and do one horizontal side at a time. I use a rag with thinner to wipe the edges. I use a flashlight or drop light and sight down the wet surface looking for skips. My last coat is pretty heavy usually scrubbed in with the pad and then tipped off.

                            The main advantage of the paint pad is you can work fast and give the finish more time to level out.

                            Thanks John,

                            Did I ever mention I have a talent for overcomplicating things? Your advice was quite timely. I read this just after I finished doing as much work with the 220 grit sponge as I could to even out the drippy spots. I agree that foam brushing a "wipe on" poly product seems counter intuitive. I went that way after reading the can instructions and it suggested a foam brush for large flat surfaces. I suppose it didn't specify the flat part couldn't be vertical (but that should have just been common sense ).

                            I used a cotton rag to put on one last layer of poly and it went much better. Having the right amount of liquid kept things from running down the side. Things still look glassy and wet, so I'll post a finished picture tomorrow after things have dried.

                            Truth be told, I didn't want to put another 5 layers of this stuff on there anyway! Looks pretty darn good as-is. Plus, I've got a whole can of Arm-R-Seal for the next project ready to go! Thanks for saving me from myself.

                            Voxel Down Firing with Dayton SA70
                            Translam Subwoofers - The Jedi Mind Tricks

                            Comment


                            • Afternoon everyone!

                              Based on my experiences last night, I expect that the applying polyurethane phase of the project is done! The finish looks good enough to me. At the very least, not bad for a guy who doesn't follow directions and who's never used wipe-on poly before! I've heard this stuff needs some time to cure, so I'll try to let that happen. Either that, or I'll recruit some help to get these brought inside the house. I don't want to put big silly dents and scratches on the finish because I decided to man-handle them inside all by myself.

                              I'll start breaking in the subwoofer drivers soon. I'll also do a before and after DATS measurement on the subs, just because I can. I should see if I have any spare neutrik 2-pole connectors lying around. It would be nice to confirm cabinet tuning via DATS without having to do any funny business with wires. I would set up a wire with 2 pole neutrik on one end and bare wire on the other, just so I could hook up the DATS system and run impedance sweeps.

                              Thanks for following along everyone!

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                              Voxel Down Firing with Dayton SA70
                              Translam Subwoofers - The Jedi Mind Tricks

                              Comment


                              • Looking good Keith! I've been applying poly to stuff since the late 80's and at some point reverted to either spray cans or a spray gun and haven't looked back. The uniformity of spray is very tough to duplicate with any other technique I've found or have the skill or patience to pull off.
                                --
                                Javad Shadzi
                                Bay Area, CA

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

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