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

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  • #16
    Removable baffles. I've glued some, and made others removable.

    Having separate baffles gives you choices in finish. Paint the baffle, veneer the cabinet. Hardwood baffles, and painted or contrasting veneer boxes.
    Bill Schneider
    -+-+-+-+-
    www.afterness.com/audio

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    • #17
      jhollander - have you seen any posts by Bob lately? I can't remember any posts lately.
      Bill Schneider
      -+-+-+-+-
      www.afterness.com/audio

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      • #18
        Do not make "stupid" mistakes! Regular mistakes are OK to make.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by williamrschneider View Post
          jhollander - have you seen any posts by Bob lately? I can't remember any posts lately.

          Bill no, I heard his sister passed then nothing after that. I think a few guys PMed him about finish questions but don't know if he replied.
          John H

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

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          • #20
            A few of my mistakes on my first builds:

            I used a brush instead of a roller to paint my cabinets, looked pretty average.

            I cut the rebate for the tweeter 2mm too large because I forgot to allow for the thickness of the router bit when using the Jasper Jig

            cold soldering mucked up some of the connections and I had to re-solder properly when the crossover didn't work

            I broke off a tweeter connector trying to force the terminal

            etc etc

            My suggestions are to take your time, buy the right tools (saves on doctors' bills), take more time and have fun.


            Geoff

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            • #21
              Originally posted by View Post
              Do not make "stupid" mistakes! Regular mistakes are OK to make.

              I second that, and will elaborate a little. Safety glasses (Norm's no. 1 rule!) are a must, and build yourself several push sticks for the table saw/router table/band saw etc... and make sure you always use them! There's so many different designs for push sticks and work holders out there, 99% of the time or more you have no need to put your fingers in the danger zone. Ignoring these simple rules is how "stupid" mistakes happen.

              Another good "rule" to remember is that the best carpenters still make mistakes, they're just really good at hiding them. So if you mess up, remember it's not the end of the world, take it as an opportunity to practice hiding your mistakes. If it's still pretty bad, you at least learned what doesn't work, which is a vital part of the learning process. "Regular" mistakes happen to the best of us, remember you're not alone.
              My modest builds:
              Armadillo TM, A.K.A. Lil' Dillo
              Tarkus/Armadillo build #2
              Armadillo Center Channel
              Au-Rock-O Sub
              Tarkus
              Staining MDF tutorial

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              • #22
                Mice can be little b-tards, I hope you eradicate them. It would be nice not to HAVE to use D-con, but some(most)times it's your best option.

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                • #23
                  D-Con is one option, and used along with sticky traps and pepper-jack cheese, you can usually get them. This time of year I see a few due to them trying to find a winter home, but most are field mice, voles, or even shrews.

                  Later,
                  Wolf
                  "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
                  "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
                  "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
                  "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

                  *InDIYana event website*

                  Photobucket pages:
                  http://photobucket.com/Wolf-Speakers_and_more

                  My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
                  http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

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                  • #24
                    One thing I learned the hard way many, many years ago.... Always cover your driver surround with something when screwing in the speaker, I usually shield it with my hand.

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                    • #25
                      How many of us have made this mistake when making a pair of baffles?



                      When you really wanted to make them like this...


                      I've made that mistake twice. Once I caught it after layout but before I started routing (whew!). The first time? - well, I had a spare baffle.
                      Bill Schneider
                      -+-+-+-+-
                      www.afterness.com/audio

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                      • #26
                        Hey Bill,

                        You could just say it's intentionally done for *exactly* the same source output.

                        As for the mice, my neighbors are raising chickens right behind my workshop.
                        It drives me nuts when I hear them running through the walls. Aaargh!
                        On a side note, I used to think mice were cute--but they poop and pee everywhere!

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                        • #27
                          I have cats, so no mice. They do bring in lizards from time to time, to "play" with though. Always entertaining.
                          My modest builds:
                          Armadillo TM, A.K.A. Lil' Dillo
                          Tarkus/Armadillo build #2
                          Armadillo Center Channel
                          Au-Rock-O Sub
                          Tarkus
                          Staining MDF tutorial

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Here are two "not to do again" items from my lengthy history of screw-ups. They are "finishing steps" (post-glue-up) which is where a small misstep becomes a big issue.

                            First, if you're using veneer, I don't recommend veneers with adhesive backing. Peeling off the paper backing while advancing the veneer usually ended up with bubbles and/or ripples in the veneer. The adhesive sticks quickly and there is no chance to correct. I've had better success with regular paper-backed veneer and contact cement. Contact cement doesn't grab until at least a little pressure is applied (though you should not let surfaces touch needlessly). Much better results in my experience.

                            The second was trying to prep MDF for a piano-gloss finish. I was concerned that the raw MDF edges would be imperfect under a high-gloss finish. I tried using auto-body repair filler on the exposed edges (as recommended somewhere). This stuff sets up very quickly and I probably left it too proud. Anyway, the next day I attempted to level it with an orbital sander. Big mistake. It is much harder than MDF and trying to level it created big dips in the adjacent MDF. I had to spend significant time and sweat with a hand plane to salvage the box. Perhaps I could have used hand planes on the filler instead of a sander?

                            Anyway, I think that there is an easier way to fill / seal MDF edges. Save the MDF dust from prior steps. Mix it with "yellow glue" into a paste and fill the MDF edges with that. Let dry, sand, repeat. This has worked well for me.

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                            • #29
                              Robert,
                              Thanks for the tips. I espeically appreciate the tips on the MDF, since I'm not very familiar using it.
                              As for a sander, I guess it depends on what type? With my Deros and my friends pneumatic sanders, there's an air vacuum generated that helps to level the sander flush. The vacuum also helps to clear debris and level the surface--which makes sense, since these were developed for auto body finishing.

                              As for veneers, I'll be the first to admit that I'm no expert--but I'm friends with quite a few. While I used Titebond 3 on my quarks and my friends Overnight Sensations, I'll probably go back to Fish glue or Hi-Clarity Hide Glue for Luthiers (best cheap source I know of is Old World Tonewoods). You can simply paint it to a substrate. Let dry. Then steam iron in place (you might want painter's tape to prevent cracking). It's really old school, and what I learned for guitar building.

                              http://www.norsewoodsmith.com/conten...essons-learned

                              Hot hide glue is a bit intimidating at first, but is extremely addictively nice once you get into a groove. It's the only glue that can essentially self-clamp. It's nontoxic. It has zero witness line issues. You can pre-prime surfaces. It can act as a perfect grain filler (been used since before the time of Antonio Torres). It's the only glue that can allow for a "rub joint."
                              Downside: needs a warmer pot (most of my friends use a $5 crock pot, old glass jar, and thermometer); Needs to be prepared fresh.

                              My other "secret" is fresh shellac.
                              Get hard shellac flake (I like Kusmi seedlac for darker/richer woods, the Platinum Blonde stuff is good for lighter woods). Get good booze (preferably pure ethanol, or 190 proof Everclear). Stick in Jar together. Filter through coffee filter. Dilute with more booze as needed.
                              While there's controversy about rubbing vs layering by hand, the great Eugene Clark would do most of the bodying with a paint brush and very thin layers of shellac. The final layer would be with a rubber---apparently. This is what I got from my mentor, Randy Angella. Personally, I just finished the speakers by brushing along the grain with a thinned coat of shellac and think they look pretty nice.

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