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  • #16
    Re: advice getting started putting Finalists together

    That DuraTex pic Mattsk8 posted looks great

    As far as assembly order, I took a quick look at my Finalists build thread and i have some detailed pics on how i started my glue up in two back to back posts, starting here. The posts are sort of out-of-order because the first post shows later stages of assembly of the first cabinet and the second post show early stages of assembly of the second cabinet. Note that my assembly order is different from what Jim suggests - i worked from the back to the front.

    Please be careful if you use my thread as a reference and make sure that your cabinet parts fit together in the same way that mine do (i haven't checked your dryfit against my build). I mean, the way in which the panels are meant to fit together can differ depending how the panels were cut. For each joint you can have:

    |
    |
    ------

    vs

    |
    |------

    If you accidentally glue a joint incorrectly, your other panels will not fit together. You might want to keep one of your cabinets assembled in a dry-fit to use as a reference while you assemble the other to make sure you have your joints right.

    Try to work on a flat, stable surface when you start construction. Glue will drip, so make sure you're not working on your livingroom floor unless you have taken appropriate steps to cover it up. Wipe excess glue from your box before letting it dry to prevent gluing it to the table it's sitting on . Take care when lining up your joints and check them after tightening your clamps since they tend to slide around during clamping. Any joint that is not well aligned can cause problems for other joints.

    Hardest part of this hobby for me has been learning to take my time. If you rush, or try to do too much at once you may run into problems.

    Good luck with the build! Looking forward to pics

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: advice getting started putting Finalists together

      Originally posted by sydkz View Post
      i had Melby Audio <@>melbyaudio<dot>com cut the cabinets for me from MDF. i have no tools or experience with that craft. i also had them solder the x-over for me. i got the drivers from them also.
      A little OT, but just to throw some good rapport Melby's way... I've only ever heard good things about his cabinets, and his prices are insanely reasonable (sometimes I'm curious if he's working for free). That's the first I've heard that he also offers the xovers. Nice work sir, thanks for what you do for the community
      "The ability of any system to produce exceptional sound will be limited mainly by the capability of the speakers" Jim Salk
      "Audio is surely a journey full of revelations as you go" JasonP

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: advice getting started putting Finalists together

        Originally posted by mattsk8 View Post
        This is my cousin's Blues MTM in the pre-made cherry PE cabinets. He didn't like the original bolts that held the baffle on, so he glued the baffle on with PL construction adhesive, then bondo'd some grill magnets in, then he finished them with Duratex. They look incredible IMO, that Duratex really is great stuff.

        (If the pic is there, it worked. If not, I tried from my phone and obviously it didn't work)

        [ATTACH]59986[/ATTACH]
        yeah, they look really great. i see you wired you home too for the connections. i'm liking this Duratex the more i see it.

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: advice getting started putting Finalists together

          Originally posted by Melby Audio View Post
          +1 for Duratex. It is the easiest easiest way I know to get a good looking finish on MDF. Not as fancy as veneer or a piano gloss paint, but much easier.

          would save me a lot of time and $. and actually it looks pretty good to me.

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: advice getting started putting Finalists together

            Originally posted by Jim Holtz View Post
            I'd suggest you work from the side up so you can position the mid tunnel easily. The last two pieces you assemble should be the last side and the outer front baffle, in that order.

            HTH

            Jim

            got it. appreciate that! guess i'm used to "by-the-numbers" type of inexpensive furniture, so i wasn't so sure and didn't want to "glue" myself into a corner so to speak. ;-)

            regarding the baffle, it gets glued to the cabinet and not like bolted or magnets to easily remove? is that correct?

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: advice getting started putting Finalists together

              Originally posted by lowpolyjoe View Post
              That DuraTex pic Mattsk8 posted looks great

              As far as assembly order, I took a quick look at my Finalists build thread and i have some detailed pics on how i started my glue up in two back to back posts, starting here. The posts are sort of out-of-order because the first post shows later stages of assembly of the first cabinet and the second post show early stages of assembly of the second cabinet. Note that my assembly order is different from what Jim suggests - i worked from the back to the front.

              Please be careful if you use my thread as a reference and make sure that your cabinet parts fit together in the same way that mine do (i haven't checked your dryfit against my build). I mean, the way in which the panels are meant to fit together can differ depending how the panels were cut. For each joint you can have:

              |
              |
              ------

              vs

              |
              |------

              If you accidentally glue a joint incorrectly, your other panels will not fit together. You might want to keep one of your cabinets assembled in a dry-fit to use as a reference while you assemble the other to make sure you have your joints right.

              Try to work on a flat, stable surface when you start construction. Glue will drip, so make sure you're not working on your livingroom floor unless you have taken appropriate steps to cover it up. Wipe excess glue from your box before letting it dry to prevent gluing it to the table it's sitting on . Take care when lining up your joints and check them after tightening your clamps since they tend to slide around during clamping. Any joint that is not well aligned can cause problems for other joints.

              Hardest part of this hobby for me has been learning to take my time. If you rush, or try to do too much at once you may run into problems.

              Good luck with the build! Looking forward to pics
              i noticed that too as you pointed out with the little sketches there. the cuts i received are like your second lil sketch you have. that is the front and back panels are 3/4" on each end in relation to the sides panels. side panels=24"L front/back panels=22.5"L baffle=24"L

              i'll take your advice and keep one in dry fit mode while i glue the other one. i'd have too anyways as i only purchased enough clamps for one speaker at a time.

              i have two saw horses with an old door on top for the work place, fairly flat surface, out in my garage. it will start to cool off a bit here in the desert since its now Sept. so i hope to start in a few weeks and will post pics along the way. i've learned the hard way not to do such things inside the home. funny memories with those episodes.

              i too was wondering about the slight sliding that can occur with just gluing. say versus, one or two small set screws to ensure alignment. but then we'd have to fill and sand those tiny holes.

              thanks for the reminder of taking one's time. i too have a tendency to rush and with a bit of dyslexia/etc i've been known to put things backwards. ;-) as funny as that is, i'm glad you remind us all to take our time.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: advice getting started putting Finalists together

                Originally posted by mattsk8 View Post
                A little OT, but just to throw some good rapport Melby's way... I've only ever heard good things about his cabinets, and his prices are insanely reasonable (sometimes I'm curious if he's working for free). That's the first I've heard that he also offers the xovers. Nice work sir, thanks for what you do for the community

                i don't mind the OT at all. he was the only one who worked out a plan to do the cuts and help me with shipping costs. maybe someone here locally could have done it but i called a few places and with the summer heat here i wasn't going to drive about looking.

                he prices and craftsmanship were great for me and my project, no question. and he is still available to answer questions too. can't ask for more than that.

                i asked him if he could solder the xover together to save me some time. and said sure. the price was certainly reasonable and i couldn't have done any better.

                kudos and hats off to him. helped me with my worries/concerns for my first DIY speakers.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: advice getting started putting Finalists together

                  Wow, it looks like Melby's website just updated. Looks like a lot of flatpacks and kits! Looks good

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: advice getting started putting Finalists together

                    I love the Duratex, looks great, easy to apply and no respirator mask needed to apply. The HF clamps have served me well for 25 years. Clamping up a speaker box doesn't need a lot of clamping pressure, so the HF ones work fine. You don't need to use screws, but some do. I have never used screws or brads and I've built hundreds of speaker enclosures using b-u-t-t joints and clamps. Once you get a small amount of clamp pressure, enough to hold it in place, you can use a small hammer to tap them into alignment. Once that's done, you can apply a bit more pressure, but not so much you squeeze out the glue. Before you commit to glue, experiment with some different assembly procedures and fitting the pieces together. You'll find a method that will work for you. Take your time, it's not a race, each person has their own way of doing that procedure. Maybe use a longer set-up time glue so you don't feel like you have to hurry. Here's a couple pics from my TriTrix 2-way build, showing the clamps and the Duratex.

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                    On these, I used about 8 coats. The roller in the kit works well, but it doesn't apply a whole bunch of material on each coat. Even with 8 coatings, it's not so much that it has that thick, too-much look, as I kept going until it looked good...and I still had more than I thought I'd have left over. It's much easier and way less $$ than the spray-on bed liner I have used in the past.

                    (Those round pieces under the clamps are "cauls"; they spread out the clamping force and keep the little clamp pads from damaging or pressing into the surface. I keep the cut-outs from the driver holes for this purpose or if I need a few stand-offs for cutting or drilling back ups.)

                    Nice work so far, keep it up; and as always, let us know if you have a ?, or need help with any of the details.


                    John A.
                    "Children play with b-a-l-l-s and sticks, men race, and real men race motorcycles"-John Surtees
                    Emotiva UPA-2, USP-1, ERC-1 CD
                    Yamaha KX-390 HX-Pro
                    Pioneer TX-9500 II
                    Yamaha YP-211 w/Grado GF3E+
                    Statement Monitors
                    Vintage system: Yamaha CR-420, Technics SL-PG100, Pioneer CT-F8282, Akai X-1800, Morel(T)/Vifa(W) DIY 2-way in .5 ft3
                    Photos: http://custom.smugmug.com/Electronic...#4114714_cGTBx
                    Blogs: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=2003

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: advice getting started putting Finalists together

                      Originally posted by johnastockman View Post
                      I love the Duratex, looks great, easy to apply and no respirator mask needed to apply. The HF clamps have served me well for 25 years. Clamping up a speaker box doesn't need a lot of clamping pressure, so the HF ones work fine. You don't need to use screws, but some do. I have never used screws or brads and I've built hundreds of speaker enclosures using b-u-t-t joints and clamps. Once you get a small amount of clamp pressure, enough to hold it in place, you can use a small hammer to tap them into alignment. Once that's done, you can apply a bit more pressure, but not so much you squeeze out the glue. Before you commit to glue, experiment with some different assembly procedures and fitting the pieces together. You'll find a method that will work for you. Take your time, it's not a race, each person has their own way of doing that procedure. Maybe use a longer set-up time glue so you don't feel like you have to hurry. Here's a couple pics from my TriTrix 2-way build, showing the clamps and the Duratex.

                      [ATTACH=CONFIG]60132[/ATTACH]

                      [ATTACH=CONFIG]60133[/ATTACH]

                      [ATTACH=CONFIG]60134[/ATTACH]

                      [ATTACH=CONFIG]60135[/ATTACH]

                      On these, I used about 8 coats. The roller in the kit works well, but it doesn't apply a whole bunch of material on each coat. Even with 8 coatings, it's not so much that it has that thick, too-much look, as I kept going until it looked good...and I still had more than I thought I'd have left over. It's much easier and way less $$ than the spray-on bed liner I have used in the past.

                      (Those round pieces under the clamps are "cauls"; they spread out the clamping force and keep the little clamp pads from damaging or pressing into the surface. I keep the cut-outs from the driver holes for this purpose or if I need a few stand-offs for cutting or drilling back ups.)

                      Nice work so far, keep it up; and as always, let us know if you have a ?, or need help with any of the details.


                      John A.
                      wow! actually didn't think that Duratex would look that good/cool-factor. but you are JohnA, an expert and you have that looking good. glad you mentioned not needing a mask. certain fumes mess with my issues you know about, so that would be a plus. and two i wouldn't have to take the cabs to a crafts place to put some finish on it saving me time and money.

                      i'm posting some images of the dry-fit cab i'll leave as be while i glue the first one. they should be right after this post.

                      appreciate you posting the images and details, it really helps out.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: advice getting started putting Finalists together

                        it has cooled off here a bit so i put together one cab as a dry-fit while i glue the first one together.

                        i'm uploading a few images of the dry-fit one for my own reference and others. i know i'll have questions.

                        i'm thinking i'll start with one side and one top or bottom piece to glue first, then the back and front panels.

                        is that ok say versus putting the whole cab at once? i don't have gobs of clamps.

                        i'm using liquid nails, and it gives me 15-20min to get pieces squared and aligned well before i tighten clamps. i won't be using brads or screws per advice.
                        Attached Files

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: advice getting started putting Finalists together

                          here's remaining images of the dry-fit cab. i did dry-fit the one i'll be starting to glue this week too. it's panels fit tight and square too. i'll be gluing out in the garage since temps have lowered some here. i'll take incremental images on my progress too and upload them.
                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: advice getting started putting Finalists together

                            Originally posted by Jeff F. View Post
                            Wow, it looks like Melby's website just updated. Looks like a lot of flatpacks and kits! Looks good
                            they sure have been quality pro's and helpful to me. PE & Meniscus has too during this, my first. i'll check out their updates, maybe recon for a 2nd project? ;-)

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: advice getting started putting Finalists together

                              Assembly looks to have gone very smoothly. I've used Melby Audio for my overnight sensation surrounds flat-pack. He was very fast and his prices are great. Thanks for the heads-up that he updated his website. I will certainly use him again when the need arises.
                              My Build Thread's
                              Carrera's / Finalist TL's / Speedster TMM's / Speedster MTM Center / Overnight Sensation Surrounds

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: advice getting started putting Finalists together

                                Thanks for a great compliment. Some are experts at cabinet building, some are decidedly expert at XO design and implementing them, some are all of the aforementioned. I became good at cabinet building because of my experiences with how those S2s sounded when set up next to other popular retail designs back then. Once you hear the improvements and differences, you cannot go back, which friends demanded I make some boxes for what they wanted. When a floor-standing 10-inch-woofer 2-way outperforms 3/4-ways of the time, something right is happening...and I'm glad friends/family were recognizing that it can be better. Even though not one person was encouraging at first, some were very negative, realization won out. I made many mistakes, had to cut/rout new baffles, learned what tools, techniques and materials worked better, the usual journey towards better skills. If it hadn't been me attending those classes hosted by Pat Snyder and Dave Graebener (founders of Speakerlab) in the early 70s, I wouldn't be here today. Nor would I have the incredible career and inherent knowledge gained from said career because of what I learned from Pat and Dave. Not your usual stereo/audio store either; I'm glad I was part of those times and the owners vision of what constitutes real customer service and going far beyond being shills and regurgitators of OEM hyperbole to find and sell the best. The "best" meaning the best value/SQ for your money/budget, not letting the price-tag tell you what is best.

                                I have asthma, so any semblance of fumes or particulates is easily recognized by me. I found out decades ago that white dust masks are not in any way adequate for MDF. Particulate respirators became my friend and health partner, which is why I mentioned the Duratex's character of not needing one. I applied the Duratex on those speakers on my dining room table, no asthma issues, other ill effects or a lingering odor. IIRC, the instructions mention ventilation, but it seems there's no solvents involved or out-gassing, at least none that I could discern.


                                John A.
                                "Children play with b-a-l-l-s and sticks, men race, and real men race motorcycles"-John Surtees
                                Emotiva UPA-2, USP-1, ERC-1 CD
                                Yamaha KX-390 HX-Pro
                                Pioneer TX-9500 II
                                Yamaha YP-211 w/Grado GF3E+
                                Statement Monitors
                                Vintage system: Yamaha CR-420, Technics SL-PG100, Pioneer CT-F8282, Akai X-1800, Morel(T)/Vifa(W) DIY 2-way in .5 ft3
                                Photos: http://custom.smugmug.com/Electronic...#4114714_cGTBx
                                Blogs: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=2003

                                Comment

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