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  • Finally, some progress...

    I don't know what's been happening to me the past year or so, but I just haven't felt like messing with speakers that much. This despite being nearly finished a pretty cool (if I do say so) tiny set of mini tower speakers similar to a set I've built before. It's got basically the same cabinet as the 'Summer Winds' from a few years back, but with all different drivers. (I made 3 sets of cabinets but only finished one)
    Today I decided that being Columbus day, I'd take part of the day and devote it to working on these whether I felt like it or not... I really didn't, but I forged ahead anyway...

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    The top TM will be the drivers from the Bantams speaker system, an AMT Pod-4 tweeter, and a Dayton ND91-4 with a Tang Band 1138 SMF subwoofer down-firing. This ought to be a pretty nearly full-range speaker system; low 40 Hz range is where I think it was at. I have panels cut out for the side sections (2 layers of 1/8" HDF) which will glue to each other to form an 'insertable' panel on each side of each speaker. That will be covered with some leather-like fabric that I have. Probably darker finish veneer on the rest of the cabinet, possibly walnut or maybe even striped ebony.

    It's kind of tricky sanding down the excess layers of HDF with the curves and all. I used Kevin K's trick of using a 1/4" spiral cutting bit in a tiny air-powered die grinder. You've gotta be careful with it, but it has maneuverability that can't be beat, kind of like sculpting free hand. I created a curved sanding block with a piece of 3" roundover made of MDF I had purchased for large curves. I cut up a piece of 6" wide 80 grit belt sander material and glued it to the curve; that enabled me to sand without taking too much time or gouging things up worse.

    I have a few spots here and there that have to be filled in and sanded smooth, but in a few weeks I should be able to get this upstairs with drivers inserted and see what it can do. It's nice to come upstairs covered in sweat, smattered with sawdust and feeling like I actually did something speaker-related for a change.

    I intend to bring these to MWAF 2021 if I can keep myself motivated.

    TomZ
    Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *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

  • #2
    Looking pretty nice so far mate, big fan of the curvy shape. I'm interested in the downward firing sub as well, you going to put some feet on these bad boys?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by tomzarbo View Post
      I don't know what's been happening to me the past year or so, but I just haven't felt like messing with speakers that much...
      This is horrible news, hopefully you get better soon!

      Speakers are looking good so far.

      Comment


      • #4
        Uh-oh, Tommy's really sick! Get him some solder, wire, and xover parts- STAT!
        Take 2 ND drivers and call us in the morning! :-)
        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

        Comment


        • #5
          I do plan on building some feet to raise them off the floor by 1.5 to 2 inches or so. I'll wait until I get the cabinets mostly done before I make those, they may be metal or wood or some combo of the two.

          I plan on having these as my main speakers in our kitchen/family room to replace the Cellos, we're trying to pair down our speakers over the next year or so. Just too many in the house. We use the Bantams and the TB 8 subwoofer as our main system already, pretty good combo, so no real change there. I hope to get these really looking snazzy as I plan to have these for years.

          I'm enjoying making small radios these days, and ruining circuit boards with my excellent soldering skills. Still speakers I guess, just smaller.

          I'll take Dr Wolf's advice and keep plugging along! I really can't wait to see you guys in Ohio next year. It will be a nice change to make the trip without smelling paint/poly fumes the whole time.

          So what are you guys working on for MWAF? It's gonna be here before we know it.

          TomZ
          Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *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

          Comment


          • 3rutu5
            3rutu5 commented
            Editing a comment
            Small speakers you can put on a shelf or hide in the cupboard if you need to haha

        • #6
          Yay, build log! Looks cool Tom, looking forward to seeing these.
          Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
          Wogg Music
          Published projects: PPA100 Bass Guitar Amp, ISO El-Cheapo Sub, Indy 8 2.1 powered sub, MicroSat, SuperNova Minimus

          Comment


          • #7
            Tom, I have always been very impressed with your cabinet designs, and wood working. All of your work has a beauty and art element to go with the functionality. If I were to build a cabinet, I would be hoping to just get it all squared up properly. Lol. Glenn.

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by wogg View Post
              Yay, build log! Looks cool Tom, looking forward to seeing these.
              Thanks wogg, I'm looking forward to seeing them too. Hope I finish them!

              Originally posted by Drummer View Post
              Tom, I have always been very impressed with your cabinet designs, and wood working. All of your work has a beauty and art element to go with the functionality. If I were to build a cabinet, I would be hoping to just get it all squared up properly. Lol. Glenn.
              Thanks for that. I had to make a few jigs to get the curves done up right. That takes a bit of time, but it makes everything else a lot easier.
              ... and square cabinets are overrated!

              I think I might add a layer of 1/16" sacrificial veneer to the fronts and tops to hide the joint creep that will inevitably occur. I've used unbacked oak a bit thicker than 1/16" with the grain perpendicular to the joints to hide any joints from telegraphing through the finish. Where I did it right, it has worked well.

              Here is a shot of the insides of them. They smell like swiss cheese...

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              These are really small, actually just over 2 feet tall, they're deceiving in the picture, look a little bigger than they are.

              TomZ
              Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *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

              Comment


              • #9
                Tom - what is going on with your spindle sander? Is that some kind of safety cover for the spindle? Oh, and the speakers look cool too.


                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by Dukk View Post
                  Tom - what is going on with your spindle sander? Is that some kind of safety cover for the spindle? Oh, and the speakers look cool too.


                  Yeah, you guessed it. Piece of leftover PVC pipe that I just throw on top of the bolt sticking out of the deck so I don't hurt myself.
                  I don't like to leave a sanding drum in it as it uses compression of the rubber to keep the cylinder tight and I worry that it will not decompress easily after some time.

                  I loosen my band saw blade after I use it each time too, I think I'm weird that way.

                  TomZ
                  Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *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

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Not a bad idea, Tom.
                    The bearings in a band saw are meant for low friction at high speed, not static loads.
                    Pure radial, fewer balls in cages, they make less heat and do not destroy themselves - in use.

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                    • #12
                      I had a few days off this past weekend, and I was able to get the cabinets patched up with some of my usual HDF dust and Titebond 2 mixture. Once I belt- then hand-sanded those spots smooth, I set about to try and glue up the two panels that will make up the leather-covered pieces for the sides of each cabinet.

                      Click image for larger version

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                      This was a bit tricky as clamping curves doesn't always work well, but using some angled cauls and some double-sided sandpaper pieces, I was able to get everything to stay put while the glue dried.

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                      I'll take the clamps off tomorrow probably and do the two panels for the other side.

                      I threw two staples in each outer panel near the top to hold the two pieces together and lined up while I clamped them to the carcass.

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                      Sorry every one of my pictures seems to be blurry for some reason. I should start using my ipod for pics again, my camera just sucks for this.

                      These two 1/8" panels glue to each other in the same shape as the side, but are not actually glued to the sides yet. That's what the wax paper is for... to keep the pieces from accidentally bonding to the carcass. I added some paper and cardboard to the base of the cabinet before I applied the panels to glue to allow for a little spring-back after the panels come off of the carcass.

                      The idea is to wrap the leather (faux leather cloth) around the larger panel and tuck-and-glue it around that in the small space where the inner panel is slightly smaller. This finished panel will be glued to the main enclosure after everything is basically finished. Sorry, this is hard to describe and my pics don't really explain things well, it will be more clear once I get these pieces off and temporarily covered with some material, it will be obvious what I mean then.

                      Still ruminating color/veneer choices, but I'm leaning towards waterfall bubinga for the main speaker body, and a black/textured leather for the inserts.

                      TomZ
                      Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *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

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Do they REALLY smell like Swiss Cheese, Tom?

                        HAHAHAHA!

                        Your shop space and project is inspirational, man - thanks for posting.

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                        • #14
                          Camera tip: Check the cleanliness of your lens. It's super easy to plop a fingerprint on the phone's camera lens that will result in all blurry photos. Not sure what phone you've got, but it should easily outperform an iPad camera.

                          Looking good man! I applaud your curvy shapes, more fabrication work than I'd like to do.
                          Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
                          Wogg Music
                          Published projects: PPA100 Bass Guitar Amp, ISO El-Cheapo Sub, Indy 8 2.1 powered sub, MicroSat, SuperNova Minimus

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            The panels are form-fitting and came out real nice. The almost perfectly follow the curve of the cabinets.

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                            Here are a few shots of how the leather will wrap around the outer 1/8" panel...

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                            The 1/4" recess should allow me to fold the material over and glue it securely to the panel without any bulges pushing the panel away from making full contact with the cabinet.

                            And a better look at the curve on the panels...

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                            Took these with my iPod. Came out much better.
                            I'll clean off my camera lens again to be sure, I think it just doesn't take very good pics, though. Maybe all that brown just throws it off. Or maybe it's me.

                            Yeah, lots of holes in these. They're really light because of it, though. I don't think even my feeble back will have any issues moving these things around when finished. I'm starting to get excited. Just need to get the 1/16" Red Oak veneer on the top and front and I'll be ready to start veneering the good stuff on.

                            TomZ

                            Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *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

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