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Newbie asks: "What to not do when building speakers?"

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  • Newbie asks: "What to not do when building speakers?"

    I really, really, really want to build more speakers---after the mouse problem is taken care of.
    However, I realize that there's a lot of stuff that I don't know.

    Can you guys come up with stuff--what NOT to do?

    I can think of a few (from my screwups)
    1: Do not cold solder connections.
    I had to resolder my overnight sensations pcb board about 8 times, since stuff would not connect properly!
    After checking Youtube, my technique sucks.

    2. Do not freehand route a port without adequate support.
    I blew out a large chunk of my friend's port hole on his Overnight sensations. Thankfully, it's covered by the port flange.

    3. If you want a really seamless look, veneer/paint after assembly and glue-up.
    I will forever have a gap in the veneer between my baffle and sides.
    It's impossible for most guys to see, but it's there.

    4. Don't go hammer-happy with MDF

    5. Unless told otherwise, try to make the speaker airtight.
    After veneering my baffles/sides and sanding flush, I found that I oversanded.
    I had to manually lap the box/baffle on a large piece of baltic birch ply and sandpaper to get it flat again.

  • #2
    It sounds like you have the right ideas. The best way to learn what NOT to do is by experience. My suggestion would be to start a build and post a build thread along the way. Ask questions and ask for suggestions. We've all learned things like no matter how many times you cut a board that's too short, it's still to short ;).
    One thing I can tell you not to do is expect perfection from yourself. Personally, I haven't completed a build without some sort of flaw/error/mistake and I've built scores of sets.
    Something I can tell you that you should do is keep things in perspective: this is a hobby, so don't take it too seriously. Also, don't be afraid to try things that seem out of the norm.
    Mike
    "We're speaker geeks, not speaker nerds. Nerds make money!" Marty H
    Bismarck, North Dakota
    My Current System: Jolida SJ502A, Squeezebox Touch, and Carmody Sunflowers
    My Garage System:Marantz 2238B and Nano-Neos

    Comment


    • #3
      +1 to what Mike said!

      I'm no master woodworker, but I'll add a few things that I find helpful in speaker building.

      - Buy a square framing square. It doesn't have to an expensive one, it just has to true. I went through 6 or 7 inexpensive squares at the local contractor store to find one that was square. Now I just need to make sure I don't drop it like the last one....

      - Buy or build a circle cutter jig for your router.

      - Jigs and patterns can make life so much easier!
      Co-conspirator in the development of the "CR Gnarly Fidelity Reduction Unit" - Registered Trademark, Patent Pending.

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      • #4
        Don't rush. Have the patience to stop, ask questions and figure it out. Practice your cuts and finishes before doing your good wood. I still test cut every router hole.
        John H

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

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        • #5
          Yeah, along the lines of what John said; measure twice, cut once. There's a lot of wisdom in that cliche!
          "We're speaker geeks, not speaker nerds. Nerds make money!" Marty H
          Bismarck, North Dakota
          My Current System: Jolida SJ502A, Squeezebox Touch, and Carmody Sunflowers
          My Garage System:Marantz 2238B and Nano-Neos

          Comment


          • #6
            Be safe when working. Rushing to meet a deadline in the woodshop is hazardous to your health.

            Even something normally as benign as a spindle sander can become dangerous when you get in a hurry...

            Click image for larger version

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            I didn't take the time to change the sanding spindle when it was too close to the hole diameter. It caught the small TM baffle, and spun it like a propeller right into my hand.
            Bill Schneider
            -+-+-+-+-
            www.afterness.com/audio

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tom_s View Post
              - Buy or build a circle cutter jig for your router.

              - Jigs and patterns can make life so much easier!
              If you've got access to a 3D printer you can make a router jig with files found here: https://www.css-audio.com/single-pos...g-Router-Guide

              Dan
              _____________________________
              Tall Boys
              NRNP Computer Sub
              The Boxers
              The Hurricanes
              The Baronettes
              Conneccentric
              UX3

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              • #8
                Thanks guys!

                And Yikes!!! I hope you heal up well....of a sanding spindle too!
                My splurge earlier this year was a used sawstop (cheapest model), since I'm a dentist.
                I'm really, really afraid of losing fingers.

                Anyways, I guess I'll post a build thread soon.
                I have all the parts cut out for a voxel sub to round out my personal Quarks.
                After I get rid of the mice, I may try to salvage some plywood for another speaker build.

                -Matt

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by williamrschneider View Post
                  Be safe when working. Rushing to meet a deadline in the woodshop is hazardous to your health.

                  Even something normally as benign as a spindle sander can become dangerous when you get in a hurry...

                  [ATTACH=CONFIG]n1344353[/ATTACH]

                  I didn't take the time to change the sanding spindle when it was too close to the hole diameter. It caught the small TM baffle, and spun it like a propeller right into my hand.
                  Ouch!!! Hey,,,,, I've done that too! Mine was on a drill press. These days I say to myself, "If I ain't bleedn',,,,,, I ain't wrokin' ".

                  My advice to the Dentist,,, Slow and Steady, wins the Race! I remember reeding once that people learn BEST by their mistakes. So like the other guys said, learn by doing!

                  Good Luck and yea,,,,, keep dem fingers on the end of your hand! Mark

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                  • #10
                    Learned from my current build, and first attempt to do more than a Duratex finish. Even in the way back machine before learning so much on this message board I used latex primer, paint and rattle cans, or good old carpeting.

                    ​Don't wing it on the drill press, spend the time to clamp your stock and use it properly.
                    Don't just use the wrong tool 'cause it's there, get the right one. Yes, it will get expensive.
                    Don't skip the directions. Read about every product you're using and then search online for other tips using it BEFORE jumping in.
                    ​Don't attack your project first, ease in with a test board, and wait for it to look right BEFORE proceeding. This one applies to router cuts and finishes.
                    ​Don't trust your dimension measurements when you have the driver sitting right there. Test your cuts with the actual driver.
                    ​Don't be impatient. Good finishes take time, and triple that amount of time if you haven't done it before.

                    ​Once I get them built we'll see how applicable this one is:
                    ​Don't trust manufacture measurements for crossover design
                    Last edited by wogg; 09-06-2017, 05:15 PM. Reason: Keep thinking of more.
                    Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
                    Wogg Music

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                    • #11
                      Good tips, guys!

                      FWIW, I'm most comfortable as a "neanderthal."
                      While I have a sawstop/bandsaw/drillpress/planer, routers scare me (with the exception of my dental of course).
                      On my last two builds, much of the finish work was done with a block plane, sharp knife, and spring steel card scrapers.

                      Heck, I'm tempted to do a full hand-tool build.
                      But the thought of precise rip cuts/crosscuts on plywood doesn't inspire me much.

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                      • #12
                        Do not ask the wifes opinion if this tweeter cost too much.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I certainly see utility in using neanderthal tools on occasion. Sometimes there's nothing better.

                          Today I removed some maple veneer from some OS boxes that had been sitting since last summer. I put a toothed blade in my plane, and peeled the old veneer right off...



                          And just before that, I used a router plane to cut a flat-bottom groove around the front edges where the baffle attaches. Weather stripping will go into it. The baffle will sit flat on that surface instead of standing a bit proud because the finite thickness of the compressed gasket has a place to go.



                          Neanderthal woodworking is fun in its own way.
                          Bill Schneider
                          -+-+-+-+-
                          www.afterness.com/audio

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Bill you and Bob Barkto were inspirations to my hand plane collection.
                            John H

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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by williamrschneider View Post
                              I certainly see utility in using neanderthal tools on occasion. Sometimes there's nothing better.

                              Today I removed some maple veneer from some OS boxes that had been sitting since last summer. I put a toothed blade in my plane, and peeled the old veneer right off...



                              And just before that, I used a router plane to cut a flat-bottom groove around the front edges where the baffle attaches. Weather stripping will go into it. The baffle will sit flat on that surface instead of standing a bit proud because the finite thickness of the compressed gasket has a place to go.



                              Neanderthal woodworking is fun in its own way.


                              Niiice!

                              I have those exact planes.
                              I just started a neanderthal sawmill creek thread on building speakers the neander way, since most of my joinery will likely be at home.

                              As for the weatherstripping, why?
                              I thought that if you had a baffle glued properly to the sides it'd be air-tight?

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