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How to: painted baffles with veneered sides

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  • How to: painted baffles with veneered sides

    I'm in the process of building some Modula MTs for my home theater. I'd like to paint the baffles with black appliance epoxy and veneer the sides, top, and back in cherry. What works best for doing this? Should I glue on the baffles, paint them, and then veneer? Or, veneer, mount the baffles and then paint (with masking)? Or, veneer, paint the baffle and then glue it on?

    I can think of pros and cons for each approach...

    BTW, I wanted to build a "tried and true" design this go around. I did make one extraneous design decision - I decided to put it in a MLTL. I've given them a listen with the baffles held in place with clamps and I'm very pleased (so far).

  • #2
    Re: How to: painted baffles with veneered sides

    My situation was opposite of yours. I had oak baffles and painted cabs. I painted my cabs and finished the baffles before I put them together. I glued the baffle onto the boxes with Gorilla glue. I had a little bit of the glue expand out of the joint on the exterior, but I got to it while it was still soft. I also went around the inside of the joint with gorilla glue to make sure I got a good bond (and seal). I have removable backs on all of my cabs so access to the back of the baffle was not an issue.
    Mark
    My TriTrix Build
    My Core 2 Way Build
    My RSS315HF-4 Subwoofer Build

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    • #3
      Re: How to: painted baffles with veneered sides

      Is your baffle the entire front of the cabinet or just the speaker area? I assume it's a tower since it's a MLTL. Is the baffle the typical rounded over DIY type going all the way to the sides? Is the baffle oversize to be routed to final dimensions after veneer?

      A pic would be helpful.

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      • #4
        Re: How to: painted baffles with veneered sides

        I like the removable baffle idea for accessability and it gives a break point if you want the baffle painted.

        I veneered both the baffle and enclosure, but could easily have painted either one.

        Marvin






        A thin foam gasket seals the baffle-to-enclosure surfaces.

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        • #5
          Re: How to: painted baffles with veneered sides

          I like to cut the baffles slightly oversized, then trim them flush with the cabinet, using a router.
          This assures a perfect fit to the cabinet.
          It also cleans up any glue squeeze-out on the outside of the cabinet.

          Doing that requires finishing after gluing.

          What I would do, is mask the cabinet body and spray the paint.
          Then, mask the paint and apply the veneer glue.

          Check your finish with compatibility with your paint of choice.
          If they are compatible and if you desire clearcoat over the paint, remove the mask from the paint and apply your clearcoat to the entire box, otherwise, leave the mask on the paint while you clearcoat the veneer.

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          • #6
            Re: How to: painted baffles with veneered sides

            I think Marvins method is what I would use. easier to finish the veneer. If you don't want the bolt heads showing on the baffle you could attach the baffle from the inside with either hanger bolts threaded into the baffle then a nut on the inside here or there is a metal anchor that threads into the wood with machine screws on the inside of it. You could put those on the baffle then use machine screws from the inside. I couldn't find a pic of them but I am pretty sure HD or Lowes has them in there specialty binds.
            Dave
            http://www.pellegreneacoustics.com/

            Trench Seam Method for MDF
            https://picasaweb.google.com/101632266659473725850

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            • #7
              Re: How to: painted baffles with veneered sides

              Hey Marvin, I like your method, I think I will have to use it on my next build. One addition that could be done, and this might be good for people not as precise at the build, if you put a small relief on the box, when you assemble, you end up with a "intentional" shadow line. Your's look perfectly matched, but if you can't do that, that little line makes it look much better.

              Did you vacuum bag your veneers? And how did you get the front to look so nice on the curved edges?

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              • #8
                Re: How to: painted baffles with veneered sides

                I'm doing a similar project and will finish baffle/rear panel and box separately, then bolt together like Marvin's (but without the very nice baffle doubling approach). My main reasons were to make the veneer as nice as I could without worrying about the black. I plan to tape the baffle in place before drilling through for threaded inserts. Black anodized hex head screws will be flush with the baffle surface, ready for a magnetic grill if I'm so inclined.

                Frank

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                • #9
                  Piece 'o cake.

                  Go ahead and veneer and finish the sides. Sand the baffle around the edges if there is any finish that's run over the sides. Lay the cabinet down with the baffle facing up. If you're using a spray can, if you hold it at a fairly steep angle relative to the plane of the baffle, you won't get any over spray on the sides and you'll have a nice sharp edge. Spray from the middle AWAY from you to the opposite side. Keep moving around the cabinet until you're covered. Masking isn't necessary. I'd practice first on a piece of scrap until you get the hang of it. I've been doing it this way for years.

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                  • #10
                    Re: How to: painted baffles with veneered sides

                    I should have included more details. The boxes, except for the baffles and the bottoms are already glued together. The bottoms are removable, held in place with bolts driven into threaded inserts.

                    Marvin's approach seems sensible, but I was hoping to avoid using bolts to mount the baffles. I'm trying to avoid visible hardware, if possible. I guess what I was hoping would work is to veneer and finish the box, paint the baffle and then glue it to the box. My concerns are the quality of the baffle to box line and squeeze-out. I'm probably overthinking this.

                    I'll post a picture or two this evening.

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                    • #11
                      Re: How to: painted baffles with veneered sides

                      My concern is if your baffle is sized to the box, adding veneer would change the box dimensions.

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                      • #12
                        Re: How to: painted baffles with veneered sides

                        Originally posted by marvin View Post
                        I like the removable baffle idea for accessability and it gives a break point if you want the baffle painted.

                        I veneered both the baffle and enclosure, but could easily have painted either one.

                        Marvin






                        A thin foam gasket seals the baffle-to-enclosure surfaces.

                        Fantastic looking speakers!!!!!
                        Craig

                        The lowest possible F3 box alignment is not always the best alignment.

                        Designing and building speaker projects are like playing with adult Lego Blocks for me.

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                        • #13
                          Re: How to: painted baffles with veneered sides

                          Originally posted by djg View Post
                          My concern is if your baffle is sized to the box, adding veneer would change the box dimensions.
                          Yep, by about 0.02" on each side minus the thickness of the paint. It didn't occur to me to do the final dimensioning of the baffle after veneering, so I guess I'll have to live with it. Maybe I'll get it right next time.

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                          • #14
                            Re: How to: painted baffles with veneered sides

                            Originally posted by AMC View Post
                            Hey Marvin, I like your method, I think I will have to use it on my next build. One addition that could be done, and this might be good for people not as precise at the build, if you put a small relief on the box, when you assemble, you end up with a "intentional" shadow line. Your's look perfectly matched, but if you can't do that, that little line makes it look much better.
                            Thanks. My pic is displayed too small to see the line very well, but it does have an unintentional "shadow" line which is not perfectly uniform.:o I do like your suggestion of a deliberate shadow line. I have seen it done on commercial enclosures, and could add it to mine, but the joint came out fine enough that it was not necessary.

                            Originally posted by AMC View Post
                            Did you vacuum bag your veneers? And how did you get the front to look so nice on the curved edges?
                            I used the yellow glue iron on method. It worked very well and was somewhat forgiving even when I made one veneer sheet a bit too wet.

                            Since all four vertical corners are 3/4" rounded, I was able to wrap a continuous sheet of veneer around the 2 sides and rear. IIRC, I tried to continue the sheet onto the baffle with a minimal break in the grain, but there was no way to match the grain at both mating points between baffle and sides.

                            BTW, the socket head screws double as magnet targets for the grill frame (thanks to John Krutke-Zaph idea).
                            Marvin
                            Last edited by marvin; 03-29-2010, 07:04 PM. Reason: added BTW comment

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                            • #15
                              Re: How to: painted baffles with veneered sides

                              Can you glue a strip of veneer on the edges of the baffle before painting?
                              That would build them out just the right amount to compensate.

                              With your baffle painted and veneer finished any small amount of glue squeeze out can be dealt with pretty easily while still wet.

                              Originally posted by Paul Ebert View Post
                              Yep, by about 0.02" on each side minus the thickness of the paint. It didn't occur to me to do the final dimensioning of the baffle after veneering, so I guess I'll have to live with it. Maybe I'll get it right next time.
                              ~99%
                              Make me an angel that flies from Montgomery
                              Make me a poster of an old rodeo
                              Just give me one thing that I can hold on to
                              To believe in this livin' is just a hard way to go

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