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First Build - Overnight Sensations - Cutting Board Style

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  • First Build - Overnight Sensations - Cutting Board Style

    Project Ikea

    I got the idea to make projects out of cutting boards a while back because
    I like the look of bamboo, and I made a kitchen knife saya out of bamboo
    (think of it as a scarab for transporting really big kitchen knives). Its
    hard to source the material and a lot of cutting boards are cheaply made,
    not flat, and hollow.

    Ikea however has good flat boards, is solid through out, and is reasonable.
    Each cutting board is about 17" x 11" x 5/8".
    APTITLIG Cutting board, bamboo, 17 ¾x11" Easy-care, easy going bamboo – a natural material that adds color and warmth to your kitchen and at the same time provides a durable surface that’s a pleasure to chop and slice on.

    The grain is vertical and not flat so more glue, and I'm guessing more
    stable since the faces of the bamboo are joined rather than the thinner
    edges. My plan is to re-do my home office with bamboo accessories (I
    already have a desk lamp and phone cradle made up (which once this project
    is done, I'll take a family photo)

    I won't review any process already reviewed/posted/explained by countless
    others.... but I did want to share my build-up in case my design gave ideas
    to others. This is my very first speaker build, and I'm a complete novice
    woodworker.... I've only built maybe a dozen random projects for my house.

    Design aspects:
    • Solid wood - hoping all the glue holding the bamboo makes the wood more dimensionally stable.
    • Wedge shaped cabinet. (All of my other desk appointments attempt to stay away from 90deg angles, so this is in keeping with that theme)

    Tools that help
    • #5 hand plane. I have a cheaper old stanley, not a high-zoot $300 hand plane. But it allows removal of shavings probably 1/125" - 1/64" thick to help when edges were not perfectly square
    • DIY Cross-cut sled (This allow repeatable 90-deg cuts with real precision.) I included a picture of a cut-off piece of board that measured ~1/32" thick. That would have been literally impossible using a fence on my contractor-grade table saw and fence, as there is enough friction between the fence/bade/table that ALWAYS seem to bind up the board so that the edge tends to skew ever-so slightly and create a 1/64 or maybe
      a .5-degree skew on my boards. I hate that!
    • Freud saw blades. They are popular for a reason and leave edges glue ready with zero extra prep. Seriously, just spend the $65 for the blade and then be prepared to replace all the rest of your blades with Freud in short-order.

    Lessons Learned:
    • I unfortunately cut the back panel to the final dimension about 1/8" short since I did not account for the fact that the front of the of the panel is wider than the back. So if you copy this design, double check your cut-list.
    • Tear-out on bamboo when routing with a straight bit on the end grain is viscous. So I routed the edge grain first, then the end grain, so that all the tear-out would be hidden.
    • I didn't account for the volume I ended up taking up with some battens.... so the internal volume is going to be shy of the desired 280 cubic inches. Next time I need to account for this. (Without the battens, my internal volume was measured at 283 cubic inches)
    • I purposely oriented the grain horizontally (although vertical would probably look slightly better) so that the glued rabbits had as much edge grain as possible for the strongest joint. Vertical orientation would have meant that the top/bottom/front/back joints would be 100% edge to end grain glue joints, which are not the strongest way to go.
    • I am doing a straight but+ joint on the sides of the cabinet to the front and back panels. The rabbit required for those would have required two 6-degree angles to be cut and I'm not confident at all in making those cuts. The battens will help ensure a better seal and a strong joint.
    • Since I don't own a spiral bit, I made extra spacers for my router table to cut the rabbits in 1/16" increments. Taking the full 5/16 rabbit in one pass resulted in a choppy and dangerous cut as the bit was being asked to take way too much material off in a single pass. If I had setup bars for my
      router table I could have just raised the router bit gradually to accomplish the same task, but that was one more expense I didn't want to add to this project.
    • I was going to use my dado blade on my table saw for the rabbits, but found setup super difficult to dial in (its way easier on a router table). And since I was building the sides of the boxes AFTER I glued up the top/bottom/front/back boards, I would have had to tear down my dado setup to cut the boards, then carefully reposition everything exactly how they were to keep the rabbit cuts dead even. Having a separate router table meant the saw was only used to cut, and my rabbit setup remained unchanged throughout the project.

    Machine Finishing details
    • I ended up using the table saw and cutting small bevels on the front and the back edges to ensure the surfaces were flat. This didn't go exactly as planned and I ended up rushing and my eye-ball measurements made one of the cutoffs a bit too deep. In the end, you would need a ruler and a detailed inspection of both boxes to notice.... but when you spent a month or two planning and many weeks building.... to fat-finger one of the final cuts was lazy and silly. I chalk it up to being excited to finish. I have been guilty of this error in the past.... too much of a rush to be done and see the final product.
    • All edges were eased with a 45deg chamfer bit. All but the front baffle have maybe a 1/16 -3/32" chamfer. Very subtle. Just enough to show its not a round-over, and bring out the details of the bevels I put into the wood.
    • The front baffle has probably a full 1/4" chamfer to give it some dimension.

    Finishing Bamboo
    • To ease the bevels I used a large random orbital Porter Cable Sander with a 220-grit disc. I tried a sanding block but quickly realized I was imparting low spots and the random orbital would keep the edges more even.
    • I started with 220 grit paper as there were only a few burn marks and freud blades leave a nicer finish. I went from 320-600-1000. At 1000 grit the finished product was shiny and smooth. After 1000 Grit I sealed the wood simply with furniture bee's wax polish to give a satin finish, impart some color and bring out the grain. I have used this in the past and for things that don't require durability, this finish is easy to maintain and lasts a long time. I might reapply once every 6 months.... maybe.
    Last edited by Hiroshima; 02-04-2015, 03:38 PM.

  • #2
    Re: First Build - Overnight Sensations - Cutting Board Style

    First listen blew my socks off. The sounds is full, rich, and detailed.
    My ideal listening material are female voices with a strong / detailed
    sound stage... but alas I usually listen to a lot of pop. I am an
    enthusiast, but am by no means a quality reviewer of speakers.... so take
    my comments with a grain of salt.

    These image wonderfully. Voices are usually dead center (unless the music
    was produced with a purposeful off center mic) and well formed. Others
    have commented that the speakers disappear. This I can attest to for well
    recorded music, but the really sparkly bits in music tend to point right at
    the tweeters. Voices are clear with what I consider to be an "exact" tone
    to them. I wonder if that has to do with the alloy cones on the midbass?
    I REALLY enjoy them.... and since my progression away from a real space to
    listen to music has been taken over by kid's stuff.... these are a breath
    of fresh air.

    I have had in the past B&W 603's, 604's, Martian Logans, and am now using
    Def Tech Mythos 8's (LCR) for my family room listening. The floor standing
    speakers went away once the kids got big enough to start worrying about
    them getting knocked over and so now all I have a wall-mounted speakers.
    In comparison, these image more like the B&W's. Clear pinpoint imaging
    with punchy mids. Obviously with dual 6.5" mids on the B&W's they were WAY
    more punchy than these, but they image remarkably well. These don't
    compare to the WIDE soundstage of the ML's.... but then again those were
    $2200, and these were basically 1/10th the price.... and they are not
    supposed to fill the same market segment. But to compare, I think the OS's
    are harsher on the high ends and push details forward rather than the ML's
    which were more laid back but produced volumes of detail.... IF you kept
    your head in the 1-foot sweet-spot where they sounded the best. Compared
    to a stereo setup on the DefTech Mythos 8's (not LCR + surround +Sub)
    these image WAY better.... but wall mounted speakers are crippled by the
    fact that they can't be toed in.... but If I consider that each Mythos 8
    cost me around $700 each.... I was comparing a $1400 in speakers vs the
    OS.... and the OS won the imaging fight. It lost in the punch department
    as the Mythos 8 have dual active 5.25" drivers + dual 5.25 passive

    IMHO these die in really big rooms. My main room has 14' ceilings and is
    an open plan to my kitchen and living room.... 14' away from the speakers
    and the image falls apart, and the punch or more of a nudge. I didn't run
    them with a sub.... I was just messing around... but who puts this kind of
    speaker in that situation and expectes them to do well?. My intended setup
    is for my home office where I spend 4 days a week and for that application,
    I simply can't think of a nicer speaker to look at or listen to unless I
    spent an obscene amount of money.

    I have not had many bookshelf speakers,... so am having a really hard time
    drawing any direct comparisons or parallels. But suffice to say I am
    REALLY enjoying the sound these things produce. Obviously I have sweat
    equity into these and so I emotionally WANT to like them. But the imaging
    of the voice is so well formed, I could find myself enjoying these for
    years to come. Its truly breathtaking that $60 of speakers + $40 of
    crossover components, when designed as Paul did, could so easily surpass
    speakers costing $4-600 at retail.


    • #3
      Re: First Build - Overnight Sensations - Cutting Board Style

      Special thanks to Paul and his designs as well as to the countless others who posted their buildup. Each helped immensely in planning for issues, and ideas.

      Pictures are clickable... but ImageShack has apparently changed their setup to cripple posting pictures unless you pay. So clicking does not make the pictures bigger.

      Inspiration - Knife is a 245mm Japanese Guyto with Hitachi Super Aogami Carbon Steel core and Stainless cladding. Mu-hahahaha.

      Starting cutting

      What a crosscut sled can do. That thin piece of wood is the full length of the board and is about 1/32 thick

      Roundover instead of a chamfer since the boards are only 5/8" thick and with the speakers recessed they should breath OK.

      Glueup. Second picture is a 90-deg setup piece so ensure the clamps don't skew the case

      Hand Plane helped to shave micrometers off the boards for an exact fit. (the boards DID end up slightly bowed in... I think I clamped it too tight)
      Note the tear-out on the end grain.


      Batten installed on the frame, more are installed later

      Dry Fit shows that the back and fronts slightly bowed leaving gaps in the corners. Top and bottom have the rabbit sit PROUD of the sides. This way I can flush trim rout the sides so the sides are square and flush.

      Side Glue-ups. Good glue squeeze out is important here since this is what will seal up the box. I cut the sides AFTER I fully glued the front/back/top/bottom so any tweaking made with the hand plane and rabbits could be accounted for.

      Internal battens added on the vertical but+ joints. These help seal, and lend extra strength. The little wedges in there are pressing out so keep them against the sides

      Completed with a wax finish

      Instead of a stand, to keep the visual presence more subtle, just a single spike to angle up the speakers.

      Desk and rear monitor soon to be replaced, but what it looks like when I'm working


      • #4
        Re: First Build - Overnight Sensations - Cutting Board Style

        Nice work.


        • #5
          Re: First Build - Overnight Sensations - Cutting Board Style

          Those look sweet. How many cutting boards did you buy, 4?
          Mandolin Curved Cabinet Floorstanding; Dayton Reference 18" sealed Subwoofer; Sealed 12" Dayton Reference Subwoofer ; Overnight Sensation builds


          • #6
            Re: First Build - Overnight Sensations - Cutting Board Style

            Originally posted by djkest View Post
            Those look sweet. How many cutting boards did you buy, 4?
            5 boards are required.... but I bought extras for building speaker stands which I decided against.

            I used an extra board because I actually cut one board too short.... again it was a mistake caused by rushing.


            • #7
              Re: First Build - Overnight Sensations - Cutting Board Wedge Cabinets


              Nice looking build on the Overnight Sensations....You have shared lots of good info, not only what to do, but what to be wary of, as technique goes...Thanks for your build thread and posting..


              • #8
                Re: First Build - Overnight Sensations - Cutting Board Wedge Cabinets

                Great idea with the cutting boards. You have given me an idea with that!


                • #9
                  Re: First Build - Overnight Sensations - Cutting Board Wedge Cabinets

                  Those look great. I don't know who wouldn't want a pair of those on their desk.
                  Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

                  Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
                  Twitter: @undefinition1


                  • #10
                    Re: First Build - Overnight Sensations - Cutting Board Wedge Cabinets

                    Wow, those look great. I totally dig single spike tilt back.