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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Courtice, Ont.
    Posts
    968

    Default First Build - looking for some feedback (BIG 56k warning)

    This is my first speaker build, I'm building Jeff B's Dreydels. I had these drivers on hand (they are going to other projects) but I wanted to try a small build to get my feet wet and try some construction ideas for those other projects. I also wanted to hear what some 'smallish' speakers can do because I'll need some speakers for my computer. Apologies to Jeff in advance for using your design as a guinea pig. After initially laying things out and it looking a little tight I extended the baffle at the bottom by 1" so my baffle is 8"x13". I admit a completely uneducated decision but I've seen people make monitors into towers, so I figured that an extra inch at the bottom would have minimal effect. I hope this doesn't come back to haunt me. Box volume is ~3.2 cu.ft. not including bracing, driver, & port displacement, etc.

    I'll post pics of the build in progress, probably a lot of stuff I don't need to but I wanted to show what I'm up to. I'd like to get some feed back on what I'm doing wrong.. or right, and I'm asking for it so be honest.


    First parts cut and biscuits cut.


    Gluing up first joints.


    It's even square!


    Main part of box done with a brace I took the liberty of adding. Not saying it needed it, just one of those things I wanted to try out.


    Box with the rest of the flange that the back piece will mount on. Note to self - shoulda biscuit'ed these.


    Another lesson learned. I guess the sides bowed in a bit when clamping the final glue-up with the brace, so now the sides are permanently bowed in. I think it's small enough it will go unnoticed unless someone lays a straight edge against the sides of course.


    Gluing in corner braces/baffle mountings.


    I had an issue when I cut my first hole that the disk (and router with it) wandered a bit when I broke through and kissed the side of the hole making a little gouge. Yeah I could've screwed it all to the sacrificial piece so that didn't happen but I remembered a trick from the telescope guys and on the last pass I didn't do the full 360. It keeps the router from taking off and you can push the disc out breaking the bridges by hand and sand off the remainder in no time.



    First driver holes cut.


    Dropped my router and this was the result. $300+ router with a $40 bit and this is all that broke, I suppose you could say I made out lucky.


    Than I dropped a box... stupid gravity. Not to self - Don't be DUMB!


    I worked in some thinned glue and clamped it an it appears to have cleaned up OK.


    Back to the baffle. Another one of those ideas I'm trying. Maybe not so much an issue with bigger drivers but I wasn't sure how I'd route out the relief and still leave enough meat for t-nuts... couldn't find any 8-32 t-nuts anyway.


    After the chamfer.



    Dowels added and trimmed.



    Baffle with all threaded inserts. The other ones (not around the drivers) are to hold the baffle onto the box. Yet another idea. The intention is these baffles are screwed on from the inside so I can have a removable baffle without the screw holes.


    Initially I only had the four corners of the baffle mounted but pushing on the back of the baffle I could see a little flex so I decided to add the extra mounting screws part way down.


    I left the baffle a little big so I could trim off the excess so it'd be a perfect fit with the box... and good thing since the sided are a little bowed. Heres the edge treatment with a 3/4" round over bit. due to bearing spacing it didn't quite take it all off but it was so thin it sanded down in minutes.


    Here's where I am now. It looks to me like everything is working out so far.




    I still need to make the back piece and mount it, as well as make the port. I also need to make the XO and mount it + wiring. I have to admit I'm really looking forward to giving these a try. I've never heard 'proper' speakers before, just department store boom box cheapo stuff, so make that really anxious.

    I appreciate any and all comments.

    Thanks,
    Ryan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Fridley, MN
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: First Build - looking for some feedback (BIG 56k warning)

    I'm jealous of your woodworking skills. Just looking at your pictures has given me lots of ideas on how to do a better job on my tritrixes I'm about to build. Those are some nice speakers. I can't wait to see how you finish them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    3,602

    Default Re: First Build - looking for some feedback (BIG 56k warning)

    Very nice work, especially the inlet dowel speaker mounts, and the interior baffle mounting.

  4. #4

    Default Re: First Build - looking for some feedback (BIG 56k warning)

    Good looking build. Thanks for posting all the pics. There's nothing more helpful for us woodworking newbies.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    759

    Default Re: First Build - looking for some feedback (BIG 56k warning)

    Very nice looking boxes!

    I damaged a corner on my Tritrix project, like you did on yours. I routed the corner out and glued in a new piece of MDF. I wish I tried your method first...mine required bondo and sanding...your's looks nicer and was probably less labor.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chicagoland
    Posts
    4,608

    Default Re: First Build - looking for some feedback (BIG 56k warning)

    Yeeow! That's some good woodworking skills you've got there. You wanna build my cabinets for me? Also, when are you away from the house, so can I steal your table saw?
    No one is listening to your band. Maybe you should be LOUDER!

    Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
    Oh no, I'm tweeting now: @undefinition1

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Courtice, Ont.
    Posts
    968

    Default Re: First Build - looking for some feedback (BIG 56k warning)

    Thanks for the compliments everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Carmody View Post
    Also, when are you away from the house, so can I steal your table saw?
    heh, if you can run away with it you deserve it! The weight of the saw with the router mounted and the homemade biesemeyer clone fence is probably getting close to ~600Lbs.

    Erick O, don't get too excited lol... Like I said these were just a trial/test run. I'll probably seal and primer them to protect the MDF but may not go too far beyond that. I may finish painting them just for the experience. I don't like doing finishes, probably because I'm not very good at it.

  8. #8

    Default Re: First Build - looking for some feedback (BIG 56k warning)

    As the others have said, amazing wood work. It makes me feel inadequate in regards to my current build. I too like the dowel method - I was wondering how I was going to mount my t-nuts.

    I'm sure however you finish them will look a lot better than what I can do given the time it seems you spent building the cabs right.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Howell NJ
    Posts
    7,120

    Default Re: First Build - looking for some feedback (BIG 56k warning)

    I like the build. One thing extra to do would be this. you have a frame inside the box for the back panel. it looks to be 1 inch or 3/4 inches deep to lay your back piece onto. that shelf looks to be glued to the inner walls of the speaker. I would cut 4 braces for it running front to back in the four corners of the speaker. this would support the front baffle more and support the back shelf frame more.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Courtice, Ont.
    Posts
    968

    Default Re: First Build - looking for some feedback (BIG 56k warning)

    Quote Originally Posted by MidKnight View Post
    Good looking build. Thanks for posting all the pics. There's nothing more helpful for us woodworking newbies.
    I'm a newb too. I've used tools for a long time but haven't done serious projects that often. I do have an appreciation for good tools which makes a big difference. Cheap tools don't really save you money especially if you plan to use them past a few years when counting time and do-overs/material costs. Makes a big difference when after using a tool for a task you're thinking "how do I fix this up to look nice" or "I've got a lot of sanding to do" vs. "man I LOVE this tool". Get the good stuff, you'll see why they charge what they charge.

    I appreciate the feedback I've gotten here but TBH there wasn't a lot of skill involved, just set the fence at the right spot or the bit depth just right and mindlessly push the work through and let the tools do the work. It's all in the setup and jigging, and being able to trust your tools to stay rigid, true and square.

    Not sure what other advice I can offer as a fellow newb but I'll gladly tell you what I can to help,
    Ryan

  11. #11

    Default Re: First Build - looking for some feedback (BIG 56k warning)

    Nice job on those! I also just clued in that you're from Ontario. The bottle of Laker Lager in the background made the little lightbulb turn on above my head. BTW, I rout the same way you do; plunge rout all the way through except for 2 tabs to hold the pin in place so the router doesn't wander off at the end.

    Scott

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    3,800
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: First Build - looking for some feedback (BIG 56k warning)

    Okay, I officially dub you a non-newbie woodworker. I would move you to journeyman, except for that bow.

    Maybe it's the tools, and maybe not. I'm not sure at all that I could show up at your shop and produce those results. Measurement, preparation, imagination, and patience are what make a good woodworker, IMHO, and you've got all four. I've got two at best on any given day.

    Excellent work, and also IMHO, you should follow these through to the end, including finishing, and keep them or sell them, I don't care which. Boxes that nice don't deserve to be discarded in the name of education. Get the drivers you need (again), and let this project live!


    Mark
    You go your way, I'll go mine. I don't care if we get there on time.

    ~Pink Floyd

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    council bluffs iowa
    Posts
    7,307

    Default Re: First Build - looking for some feedback (BIG 56k warning)

    brother, you got skills for sure.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    740
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: First Build - looking for some feedback (BIG 56k warning)

    Nice work. good , simple, proven concepts... Too many guys try to re-invent the wheel with odd materials, strange shapes or go back to the stone ages with screws and shelf paper... Very Very nice...


    Mark

    www.pirateacoustics.net

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Slippery Rock University
    Posts
    3,286

    Default Re: First Build - looking for some feedback (BIG 56k warning)

    Quote Originally Posted by mgrabow View Post
    Someone is building some serious speakers! Do tell..

    NK
    I'm just that guy. www.sru.edu Rock Solid.

    "It has been remarked that if one selects his own components, builds his own enclosure, and is convinced he has made a wise choice of design, then his own loudspeaker sounds better to him than does anyone else's loudspeaker. In this case, the frequency response of the loudspeaker seems to play only a minor part in forming a person's opinion."

    L.L. Beranek, Acoustics (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1954), p.208.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    801

    Default Re: First Build - looking for some feedback (BIG 56k warning)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan_M View Post
    I appreciate any and all comments.

    Thanks,
    Ryan
    Ryan, great work.

    I especially like the dowel 'T' nut mounts. Here is a method that I have used on many different projects, from model airplanes to speakers. Drill and tap the hole in whatever material that you are using, even MDF. Saturate the hole with low viscosity cyanoacrilate glue and let it set up. Chase the threads with the tap and you have a fully threaded hole with no need for 'T' nuts. I usually do the saturation bit twice on MDF, but that is not necessary with harder materials. It would work very well on the dowels. I've never had a screw strip out, but I don't manhandle the screwdriver, either. I'm stealing the dowel idea, if you don't mind.

    Dowel cross bracing is very cool, huh?

    Jeff B. will be proud.

    Dave

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Courtice, Ont.
    Posts
    968

    Default Re: First Build - looking for some feedback (BIG 56k warning)

    Quote Originally Posted by dbe View Post
    Here is a method that I have used on many different projects, from model airplanes to speakers. Drill and tap the hole in whatever material that you are using, even MDF. Saturate the hole with low viscosity cyanoacrilate glue and let it set up. Chase the threads with the tap and you have a fully threaded hole with no need for 'T' nuts. I usually do the saturation bit twice on MDF, but that is not necessary with harder materials. It would work very well on the dowels. I've never had a screw strip out, but I don't manhandle the screwdriver, either.
    That's a good idea, I'll have to test that out. The little brass inserts I used are a pain to get and not all that cheap. Your method would certainly be a lot cheaper and more convenient. I've used that trick to 'fix' torn out screw holes but never considered it for a new build. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by dbe View Post
    I'm stealing the dowel idea, if you don't mind.
    I'd be surprised if I was the first person to do that but help yourself either way!

  18. #18

    Default Re: First Build - looking for some feedback (BIG 56k warning)

    That's the first time I've seen the dowel trick. Very nice. Most of us just do 'scallops', leaving the base material in place at the screw mountings.

    I combined that with some additional chunks of glued-in wood on my last large driver mounting, but yours looks MUCH nicer.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Courtice, Ont.
    Posts
    968

    Default Re: First Build - looking for some feedback (BIG 56k warning)

    I just realized I hadn't uploaded the rest of the pics. I didn't take as many as I thought around the end of the build, I guess I was getting in a hurry... so here's a bunch of random pics. I thought I took more but some might have gone missing.

    Back covers with holes made for binding post plate and port. The ring is to give some surface area to silicone the port in place.


    A port, I did end up making them longer as the T/S parameters I was initially working with were not accurate. I had to turn down the ends a bit for a good fit.


    A close up of the inside flared end.


    Other side of the back covers.


    Board drilled out for mounting XO parts.


    XO parts mounted. Not sure if the layout is optimal but I was working under some pretty tight space restrictions.


    Back side of XO... a rats nest I know. Also not too easy to swap components.


    XO mounted to rear cover.


    Starting to line the inside of the enclosure. I'm using trimmed down Roxul Safe'n'Sound. All external parts were primed at this point.


    More lining.


    Box lined and test fit of back cover.


    Back cover mounted and parts installed.


    Ready for drivers.


    Pic of driver in place... sorry about the lighting. Apparently I'm not a good photographer.


    And that is how they sit now. These were only meant as a test build so I never planned on painting them but they are making a very good case for themselves. I have really been enjoying these, they sound great!

    Again any comments are welcome.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Frederick, Maryland
    Posts
    112

    Thumbs up Re: First Build - looking for some feedback (BIG 56k warning)

    This was your first build? Id have to say, it is spectacular to say the least. I can't wait to see your future projects. This one is going to be tough to beat. I like your porting technique. Your XO layout and assembly is excellent.

    Well done, keep up the great work.

    A few questions though:
    Do they sound as good as they look?
    Got any plots on them as far as response and impedance go?
    What drivers were used?
    What is your XO frequency?
    How did you seal the front and rear baffles?

    Thanks for sharing!
    Remember, the outside of every silver lining is a cloud.

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