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SevenSixTwo - InDIYana 2018 Coax Design

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  • KEtheredge87
    replied
    Hey Everyone! It's been a few days since my last post... I've made some more progress on the XO and the cabinets to share, although I had hoped to be a smidge farther along.

    Starting with the cabinets, I went forward with my side panel veneer applications on the test cabinet. This was a lot easier to deal with since there were no curved surfaces involved! I also made a jig to frame out the side panels and trim them with a bushing guided down-cutting spiral bit. All in all, I think it turned out pretty good! The only thing stopping me from rolling forward and applying the veneer to the other cabinets is my curiosity about diffraction impacts with the vertical slots that I use to trim the veneer around the cabinet's narrow sides. I really want to take these back outside and do another "free-field" measurement to get the best data... but it's supposed to be gross and rainy here in Indiana for the entire week! (two thumbs waay...WAAAY Down!) My gut tells me that whatever the impact of those slots happens to be, it won't be drastic enough to make me change my whole cabinet design approach, so I should probably stop wasting time waiting for sunshine and just roll forward with veneering. Getting these cabinets 100% finished through dye, paint, and topcoat in time for InDIYana is probably a stretch, but I'll see what happens. The speakers will definitely be done enough to perform... they may just get their finish after the show!

    On to the XO... I spent most of last Saturday arranging, gluing, and soldering one of the midrange XO's as well as one of the tweeter XO's. I now have one solid set of XO's built, and I am happy to report very minimal change to the response after all the gator clips were removed from the equation! I have a chart on my measurement computer that I forgot to save to google drive, but from memory the response was nearly identical, if maybe a tiny bit louder from 2Khz upward (we're talkin a few tenths of a dB according to omnimic). The measurement line was just barely different from my gator clipped bench XO response. I'm quite pleased with it! I can't wait to get some other ears on it for some constructive feedback!

    Here's a few photos to document the progress while I run out of patience waiting for sunshine to come back!

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  • Kevin K.
    replied
    What you read about clamping it between cauls would apply to a veneer without a backer. Since this is paper backed, it should be fairly flat already other than maybe some slight curl from being rolled up. I only applied the softener to about a 2" wide area right where the radius's would be. Just measure CTC between radius's to figure out where it would need to be applied. Best of luck!

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  • KEtheredge87
    replied
    Originally posted by Kevin K. View Post
    ​Maybe I'm reading this wrong but it sounds like you're confused about the grain direction. Your veneer's grain direction is perpendicular to the curls that are running across it. Therefore, when you apply the veneer the way you did, you are wrapping the radius across the grain, not with it. If you'll take a small piece of scrap and wrap it in the opposite direction of how you applied it to your cabinets, you'll see you can easily wrap it around a much smaller radius (perhaps even as small as a pencil). Not trying to be critical and FWIW, I definitely agree with the direction you have applied the veneer on these cabinets, they should look great once finished.

    One more tip since this is paperbacked veneer, when applying the softener, you'll need to be careful not to put so much on that it makes the paper wet on the back side. I applied light coats with about an hour in between each until I felt like the wood was saturated. Then it has to sit for a while before attempting to bond it to the cabs.
    Thanks Kevin It's entirely possible I'm bass-ackwards on my grain direction. I'll have a closer look when I get home tonight to recalibrate my brain. On the veneer softener, I read the how-to on veneersupplies.com website, and I believe it says I'm supposed to lay the sheets between some cauls and clamp it flat while it dries. Did you do that when you've used it before? I recall the part about going easy on the application when using paper backed veneer... guess I just don't want to ruin anything!

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  • Kevin K.
    replied
    Originally posted by KEtheredge87 View Post
    For what it's worth, I think the actual grain pattern of this curly maple is running in the right direction... I just got unlucky with a few curls here and there.
    ​Maybe I'm reading this wrong but it sounds like you're confused about the grain direction. Your veneer's grain direction is perpendicular to the curls that are running across it. Therefore, when you apply the veneer the way you did, you are wrapping the radius across the grain, not with it. If you'll take a small piece of scrap and wrap it in the opposite direction of how you applied it to your cabinets, you'll see you can easily wrap it around a much smaller radius (perhaps even as small as a pencil). Not trying to be critical and FWIW, I definitely agree with the direction you have applied the veneer on these cabinets, they should look great once finished.

    One more tip since this is paperbacked veneer, when applying the softener, you'll need to be careful not to put so much on that it makes the paper wet on the back side. I applied light coats with about an hour in between each until I felt like the wood was saturated. Then it has to sit for a while before attempting to bond it to the cabs.

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  • KEtheredge87
    replied
    Originally posted by skatz View Post
    Are all four edges of the baffle rounded? If its just the vertical edges, then rotating your veneer 90 degrees so that the grain is vertical would make it much easier to wrap around those roundovers. If all four are rounded, then orient the grain so that the shorter edges are the ones that get curved across the grain, as Keith mentioned.
    Hey Skatz, The short edges of the cabinet are rounded over (so the top and bottom edges of the front,top,back,bottom). All the long edges are treated with a 3/8" chamfer. I like your thoughts about grain direction too. I normally pay attention to that sort of thing, but I'm going for pretty here with the direction of the curly pattern For what it's worth, I think the actual grain pattern of this curly maple is running in the right direction... I just got unlucky with a few curls here and there.

    Originally posted by jhollander View Post
    You can't pre--dye then glue? Dye should be heat resistant, not sure about any others.
    Hey John, I think you're asking if I could pre-dye the veneer before installing it? I hadn't considered that before. I suppose that could be done... can't think of a reason why not other than it not being the standard order of construction then finishing. In this case, I've been following my plan of installing the veneer, then dyeing it. This way I can get the final dye color on the cabinet before trying to color match it for best blend with the colored epoxy. hopefully I can use a super small amount of epoxy that won't require lots of sanding to smooth out. I'd like to avoid removing any dye color on the wood by accident!

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  • jhollander
    replied
    You can't pre-dye then glue? Dye should be heat resistant, not sure about any others.

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  • skatz
    replied
    Are all four edges of the baffle rounded? If its just the vertical edges, then rotating your veneer 90 degrees so that the grain is vertical would make it much easier to wrap around those roundovers. If all four are rounded, then orient the grain so that the shorter edges are the ones that get curved across the grain, as Keith mentioned.

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  • KEtheredge87
    replied
    Originally posted by Kevin K. View Post
    This brings back the memories and I feel your pain Keith. Had similar issues with Brian'​s speakers on the corners. Applied softener to the areas that would go around the radius and that helped but didn't completely resolve the problem. In both our cases, we're wrapping against the grain which inevitably can lead to the tears in the wood. My repair solution was a small corner block that matched the radius. Use Titebond III glue, it's thinner and will get into the grain better. Don't get carried away on the amount of glue or you'll have a nice slick area that wont match the rest of the veneer after dye. Good luck!
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    Hey Kevin, great idea with the matching internal round on the clamping block. I haven't looked into titebond 3 before, but I've been looking for a way to at least try to stain that area properly in spite of the glue. My current plan is looking like I'll use a super small dab of epoxy that's been tinted to match the finish. I've got a bottle of Dark Vintage Maple transtint dye coming that I'll be testing to see if I like that color. Assuming it's a go, I will use that to dye the epoxy before applying it. I'll put a layer of wax paper between the cabinet and whatever clamp setup I end up using just to make sure I don't glue a clamp to the cabinet!

    On the other cabinets, you bet I'm gonna use the veneer softener I bought to handle that situation. Lesson learned!

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  • Kevin K.
    replied
    This brings back the memories and I feel your pain Keith. Had similar issues with Brian'​s speakers on the corners. Applied softener to the areas that would go around the radius and that helped but didn't completely resolve the problem. In both our cases, we're wrapping against the grain which inevitably can lead to the tears in the wood. My repair solution was a small corner block that matched the radius. Use Titebond III glue, it's thinner and will get into the grain better. Don't get carried away on the amount of glue or you'll have a nice slick area that wont match the rest of the veneer after dye. Good luck!
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  • KEtheredge87
    replied
    Originally posted by PWR RYD View Post
    Nice work Keith! I really like how you document your designs/builds with detailed pictures.
    Thanks Craig! Its fun to see everyone else share ideas and progress this way, so I like to contribute as well. I can't decide if it's too bad, or probably for the best, that I am limited to 5 picture attachments per post by the forum software. I know Javad loads as many as he wants through Tapatalk, but I cant seem to do that easily from my phone. Trying to type it all up on a virtual keyboard isn't my idea of fun!

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  • PWR RYD
    replied
    Nice work Keith! I really like how you document your designs/builds with detailed pictures.

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  • KEtheredge87
    replied
    Hi Everyone,

    After this post, I feel like I should learn to be less dramatic and see things through! I gave things a 3rd and 4th think-through, and decided I had little to lose by proceeding with my test cabinet and making the slot cut. Boy am I glad that I did! Using that 3-wing slot cutter and gigantor bearing to create a 1/4" wide x 1/8" deep slot was just the treatment needed to clean up that veneer edge. Yes, the veneer is still sitting above the rest of the cabinet, but it is now unnoticeable unless you're right up on the speaker AND you're looking for it. I used a climb cut with the router for this, which thankfully was not scary in the least. Taking such a small depth of cut made the work super smooth, without any of that typical "router runaway" that is rightfully concerning.

    Boosted by the success of the slot cuts, I went ahead and used my small pilot dado flush trim bit to trim away the veneer inside the driver, terminal cup, and slot port openings. This thing is now looking fantastic once again! For those little areas where the grain popped up around the curve, I will look for some small glue that I can use. I figure a dab will do me, and if I use a strap clamp on those surfaces, it will press everything back into place nicely. Just need to use a glue that won't make an obvious spot where the finish and stain wasn't accepted!

    So... having aired my concerns and processed them publicly, I have changed my mind and will proceed with the veneer and cabinet design as-planned. I still intend to paint the non-veneered surfaces with that satin black too! Thanks as usual for following along and providing helpful pushes along the way!

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  • KEtheredge87
    replied
    Hi Tom! Thanks for sharing those ideas. I can see how your methods would produce good clean lines there, and the pictures definitely bear that out! I think sometimes I am too fancy for my own good, and I'm always trying to push my own boundaries rather than making the same style of box again and again. The other side of that coin being the "nothing ventured, nothing gained" mindset.

    I have seen the veneer softener before. In fact, I did buy a bottle for this project as well. I chose not to use it because I had no issues wrapping straight grain mahogany veneer around my swope towers' 3/4" roundover in the past. I did not anticipate that the curls in curly maple kind of act like rows of armor plates or fish scales, and would pop up in places around the curves. We live and we learn! It might well work with veneer softener in the future though. I've still got about 8'x3' of my veneer sheet left for future projects (and the side panels on these, which I haven't given up on!)

    As for the paint scheme... I keep coming back to a classic satin black finish for the painted surfaces. Eastwood sells one they call "Rat Rod Satin" in either 2K spray cans or single stage urethane. I'm inclined to give HVLP spray a try... if I could just decide on what spray gun to use.

    So many choices! I hope I get things totally finished in time for InDIYana. If it looks like I'll cut it too close, I'll just bring the raw cabinets with finished XO design. That way I can take my time and do things right with plenty of time before MWAF.

    See you then sir!

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  • tomzarbo
    replied
    Keith, sorry about the issues with the veneer. I didn't remember reading if you used veneer tamer or not, but that can help a bit with flexibility when you're trying to wrap a tight radius. It softens the fibers of the wood and allows them to take the curve (hopefully) without splitting. You probably already knew that, but just in case... I sometimes forget things I already know (knew?).

    At any rate, you were very smart to make a 'test' box to try this first on since you knew it would be a challenge, good move there!

    I'm just going to spitball a few ideas here not that they'll help....

    I wonder if the cabinet could have been left with no routered treatment to the edges, just square corners... the curves will still be there though. Then veneer the parts you want venered. Then apply finish to the veneer, masking off the sides you wanted to paint. Then paint the sides, masking off the veneer. Then apply a thin 'scratch guard' of shelf liner from Wal*Mart or whatever... then apply the corner treatment with your router. Then prime, spray with a contrasting color, or remove the side protection sheets and prime/paint the sides and corner treatments in one shebang. If you use poly for the veneer, you may have to do one last careful 'touch up' on the routed corners, but I wonder if that would work.

    I did something similar on a subwoofer I made for my wife's brother, I didn't use an edge treatment, but the line was clean and the process worked very well...


    Just an idea for food for thought.

    I know you'll figure out the best solution, looking forward to seeing how it works out for you. I'll learn something I'm sure.
    See you in about 4 months for MWAF!

    TomZ

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  • KEtheredge87
    replied
    Originally posted by jhollander View Post
    Might try something like Dan and Kerry did at CSS
    Hey John, Thanks for reminding me of that awesome CSS cabinet. The white is a bold and interesting choice for sure. I really liked their design, and I almost felt like I was getting a bit too close to it simply by having the veneered wood panel on the sides of my cabinets. I suppose in speaker design it can be hard to be original sometimes!

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