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Mixed hardwood speaker cabs?

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  • Mixed hardwood speaker cabs?

    Hey Folks, I think I already know the answer to this but I'm going to upgrade my sister's speakers to some Continuums and she likes the look of walnut enclosures with a blond baffle. I have both walnut and maple from some old tables that I'll cut the pieces from so this will be well aged and stable wood and the baffle at least will not have any seems. I'll be screwing the baffle on from the back rather than fastening it from the face as Jeff's original build did. So, the question is am I crazy to attempt a two wood build or just veneer the face of a walnut baffle with maple?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I just realized that if I went the veneer route the roundover for the woofer would reveal walnut beneath. Might be cool, might not ... hmmm.

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    • #3
      So walnut cabinets with a maple baffle? I cant see this being an issue at all. What exactly would be the concern?

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      • #4
        Different expansion and contraction of the two might be different and perhaps cause the baffle to split or crack? I figure being recycled well aged wood I'd have going for me and rock maple and walnut are very hard woods but looking at a Continuum baffle there really are some pretty thin sections in the baffle with the driver cutouts.

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        • djg
          djg commented
          Editing a comment
          Oversize holes and washers to float the baffle.

      • #5
        not familiar with the speaker design but ultimately you are orienting hardwood in different ways to make a full box so any expansion/contraction concerns exist regardless of the mix of woods. Realistically its not going to be a problem unless you tell me the speakers are designed to sit outside in the weather and wont be sealed in any way.

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        • oldloder
          oldloder commented
          Editing a comment
          Haha ... definity not telling you that! Not with these anyway.

      • #6
        Click image for larger version

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        • #7
          It's not that weak really.

          Click image for larger version

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          • #8
            Djg ... i did consider the oversized hole and float thing as being a hedge against a problem. I'm liking what you guys are telling me. Maybe I'm gun shy by being warned so many times.by so many people about combining dissimilar materials (in more than just speaker building) that I'm a little shy. When I look.at the Continuums I built my gf it looks like a high hole to baffle ratio. Btw, I thought yours was a clever build djg.

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            • #9
              Dissimilar materials is less of a problem than how wood expands and contacts with changes in humidity. There's considerable expansion and contraction across the grain, very little along the length of the board, so anywhere you have the width of one board intersecting the length of another you run the risk of joint shear. If the boards are narrow the problem is minimized. I'll use nominal 1x8, but no wider than that.
              www.billfitzmaurice.com
              www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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              • oldloder
                oldloder commented
                Editing a comment
                "how wood expands and contacts with changes in humidity" - exactly what I was referring to. I was thinking of different wood species as "dissimilar" in this case. Since all of the enclosure would be one species and forming a perimeter or "O" and the baffle would be another, my concern was if there might be enough of a difference in their movement that it could split or crack the baffle. I've read a few discussions about hardwood baffles and your 1x8" recommendation seems to be an accepted safe parameter.

            • #10
              Different woods can expand differently, but even different boards from the same tree will have the same issue. I think the real problem is just how much wood moves period compared to more stable products.

              Even wood sealed with traditional finish methods will expand and contract since it is not really possible to 100% seal it. Something drastic like soaking in epoxy while drawing a vacuum to fill all voids would probably do the job though.

              But I agree the small size limits the total amount of expansion hopefully to a level the joints can handle if the wood starts out dry and care is taken to keep it in a relatively stable environment. So would not be advisable to leave sitting in the sun by a window for extended periods or store in a garage or other semi outdoor environment.

              Comment


              • oldloder
                oldloder commented
                Editing a comment
                I did a quick web search of wood species expansion coefficients and found what you note about different longitudinal section cuts from even the same part of the tree will have different expansion characteristics ... makes sense but I had not thought of that. These will be traditionally sealed but good to be reminded about having them in a sunny window ... temps there can change a lot very quickly.

            • #11
              Originally posted by djg View Post
              Click image for larger version

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              Those speakers are now 8 years old and haven't moved a millimeter. Still sound great and still look great. The finish has darkened over time, but still look amazing. I would do it again.

              FYI - that was walnut and oak with a maple strip down the middle.
              DARPA Jr - 2015 InDIYana Winner - RS180-8 + RS100P-8 + ND25FA
              The Aria's - RS150-4 (or RS150-8) + XT25SC90
              The Mariposa's - TEBM65C20F-8 + ND16FA
              The Canzonetta's - RS100P-8 and ND16FA
              AudioSource AMP-100 Mods OR Pyle PAMP1000 Mods

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              • #12
                Here's that exact same speaker today. As an FYI - while it has never been "outdoors", it did spend nearly two years in a mostly vacant house, where the temperature fluctuated between 67 - 82 degrees F, as that is how the Nest thermostat was set.

                I have seen no ill effects of movement in either speaker whatsoever.


                Click image for larger version  Name:	g3h9K9de1yPsgc02lK2d3QFKwrdKGVVsi1gCrfJ9jntZbYlfbt-zX6H-pOdlJwihTHnuPXjgbbPtqhkUtdk1EMFaw1TBtVSemEY2ab-GpKiCtQTUtcJnm39AqMx_WcwA6IhxfK1F50HLvuuXggEt_yHG5ygnDXlvvpKIrdkwV5r44_f_tI8u7Bku_tH_4um1LNrxbRPceA3ZrTIWEJ20M3f0x4AKCLrQqFZHvdnqBe1jsuGZP_FnhP-ynfu7b_k Views:	0 Size:	149.2 KB ID:	1456905
                DARPA Jr - 2015 InDIYana Winner - RS180-8 + RS100P-8 + ND25FA
                The Aria's - RS150-4 (or RS150-8) + XT25SC90
                The Mariposa's - TEBM65C20F-8 + ND16FA
                The Canzonetta's - RS100P-8 and ND16FA
                AudioSource AMP-100 Mods OR Pyle PAMP1000 Mods

                Comment


                • #13
                  Beautiful build, tyger ... admired it for some time now. I do not have had the courage or skills to attempt such joinery .... glad to hear they are still rock solid and singing!

                  Thank you all ... this is all making me feel confident about going ahead as planned and thinking my sister will be thrilled sonically and visually!

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                  • #14
                    Originally posted by tyger23 View Post
                    Here's that exact same speaker today. As an FYI - while it has never been "outdoors", it did spend nearly two years in a mostly vacant house, where the temperature fluctuated between 67 - 82 degrees F, as that is how the Nest thermostat was set.

                    I have seen no ill effects of movement in either speaker whatsoever.
                    I'm sure there are many variables involved. I built a nightstand ~13 or so years ago out of red oak. I was still new to woodworking and experimenting with furniture to see how it held up. The top was made of a wide center plank (~10-11" wide) framed in with miter cut 1x4s all pegged and glued and finished with boiled linseed oil (have reapplied the oil a couple times). I seem to remember possibly pegging but not gluing the miter butt joints to allow for some movement. At multiple times It was left for extended periods in a similar scenario you are explaining, though the rooms had HVAC blocked off so likely saw bigger temp and humidity swings. Due to this I saw some of the joint gaps open up at least 1/8". Fortunately once it was left in normally conditioned space it returned to original state and I can't really detect it ever happened. But obviously a speaker would be compromised from this kind of joint movement.

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                    • #15
                      The smaller the box, the more you can get away with solid wood construction. As a general rule, you should be able to follow the grain direction around a glued solid wood joint, that way all the joints expand and contract the together. Avoid gluing large widths cross grain, but you can get away with it sometimes as is shown in the picture above especially if its a small box like the Continuums build shown above.

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