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How to make IKEA baffleXchange speaker cabinets

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  • Finn Peppin
    replied
    Originally posted by charlielaub View Post
    Re: How to make IKEA baffleXchange speaker cabinets

    STEP 3: INSTALLING THE BAFFLE MOUNTING BLOCKS

    Now that we have made the mounting blocks, we can glue them in to the cabinet frames. Before gluing, make sure that the cabinet frames are perfectly square. After this step, there is no "undoing".

    I did some experimenting to see what adhesive might result in a strong bond between wood and the cabinet frame finish material. I found that a newly available adhesive, Liquid Nails Home Projects, would hold a block so well that when I whacked it hard with a hammer to try and separate an end-glued piece of 2x4 from the cabinet face, it actually ripped the finish material right off of the cabinet panel! This stuff is only available in small tubes, but two tubes is enough for a pair of cabinets. If you can not find this stuff, you can try PU glue, but it may not result in as strong a bond. These joints will get repeated stress from fastening on baffles, so spring for the Liquid Nails. Also, beware that this company offers many adhesives with similar sounding names. Look for "Home Projects" as shown below, from my adhesion test photo:


    Gluing the mounting blocks in to place is easy, but it's also easy to make a mistake and end up with a misplaced block. I decided ahead of time to use 3/4" thick MDF for all my front baffles. I had a small scrap piece, and I used it to check the set-back of each block from the edge of the frame when I glued it in to place. I also pre-marked the half-way point (or any other non-corner location) where I would place the block. I then used two medium beads of the adhesive on each face of the block that would be glued down and pressed it in to place. The adhesive is set in under 1 hour and fully cured in 6-8 hours.

    Here is a pic of the gluing step:


    Glue blocks in the front and back openings of each frame. MAKE SURE to glue them in to place with the nuts towards the inside! Take your time and make sure to check the set back. Once the glue is cured, you can hit them with a hammer and they stay put.



    STEP 4: INSTALLING EDGE STRIPS

    When all the blocks are glued in to the frames and the glue is cured, you can move on to gluing in what I am calling "edge strips" in between each mounting block, set back the same amount, and along the edge of the frame all around the front and back openings. Here is a shot I took while gluing in some of the edge strips:


    The material I used for the edge stripping was purchased at Home Depot and is some kind of foam extrusion with an "L" cross section and a faux wood finish. It's quite inexpensive and you can cut it cleanly with a sturdy retractable blade cutting knife, the kind with the break-off blade, although it takes a bit of effort. We just need something to span the space in between the mounting blocks, where we will lay foam weatherstripping tape to seal the edge of the baffle. I found that PU glue such as the one in the pic above works well in this step. I ran a bead along the area, and placed the pre-cut section of edge strip on top. After about 15 minutes, the glue was foamy and I went back and pressed it down and made sure it had not drifted out of place. Don't use too much of the glue! After about 30 minutes, the glue has set enough that you can move or invert the cabinet and it will stay in place. Any extra over-foamed glue can be trimmed off with a sharp and best scroll saw retractable knife blade after 1 hour or more when it has hardened a bit. This leaves a clean edge all around. Doing a pair of cabinets takes some patience, as you need to work around the cabinet and wait 30 minutes before repositioning it to glue in some other spot. I did not use any clamping and didn't see a need for it. It took me about 4 hours to finish the job, but it's mostly waiting around for the glue to set up.

    Here's a pic of one of the cabs with all the edge stripping installed and ready for the weatherstripping material:


    (continued in next post)


    .
    Beautiful work

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  • Millstonemike
    replied
    It seems this line of cabinets was replaced by Ikea's Sektion line. And the price has jumped dramatically. I couldn't find a cabinet for less than $100.

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  • bassman_soundking
    replied
    Old thread I know, but link took me to a generic page at Ikea. Are these cabinets still available?

    Leave a comment:


  • ---k---
    replied
    Re: How to make IKEA baffleXchange speaker cabinets

    I like this. If I ever get asked to build another pair of speakers for someone else, this might be the ticket. Thank you for posting.

    Leave a comment:


  • charlielaub
    replied
    Re: How to make IKEA baffleXchange speaker cabinets

    Originally posted by HareBrained View Post
    Great idea. It would be a natural to pair with the Ikea butcher block as the baffle.

    A simple suggestion; since there are holes, you could 'pin' the retaining blocks to add a little more sheer resistance. Probably not necessary as the blocks aren't in tension, since the baffle is mounting on the blocks. But if the baffle is one the face of the frame, it may be worthwhile.
    There isn't any reason to pin the blocks - if you use the Home projects adhesive you can hit the blocks with a hammer and they do not move! No exaggeration!

    The pins could be useful for anchoring bracing...

    -Charlie

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  • HareBrained
    replied
    Re: How to make IKEA baffleXchange speaker cabinets

    Great idea. It would be a natural to pair with the Ikea butcher block as the baffle.

    A simple suggestion; since there are holes, you could 'pin' the retaining blocks to add a little more sheer resistance. Probably not necessary as the blocks aren't in tension, since the baffle is mounting on the blocks. But if the baffle is one the face of the frame, it may be worthwhile.

    Leave a comment:


  • charlielaub
    replied
    Re: How to make IKEA baffleXchange speaker cabinets

    I didn't add any bracing into the 30" cabinet. I plan to use a shelf, which is more or less like a brace, in the 39" cabinet. There is an even larger size (15W x 36H x 24D) that I will be building eventually, that will definitely need some bracing.

    Because the 30" and 39" high cabs are 12" wide and the front&rear baffles are bolted to the frame, its braced enough for my tastes. There is certainly room to add bracing if you want it. I prefer to add damping material.

    -Charlie

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  • WayneN
    replied

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  • charlielaub
    replied
    Re: How to make IKEA baffleXchange speaker cabinets

    I'm at it again, transforming IKEA kitchen cabinet frames into "baffleXchange" speaker cabs. This time I am using the taller cab that I can work better for a couple of different 3-ways that I have planned. I prepped a set of mounting blocks today and will glue them in to the cabinet this week after work. The taller cabs (39" versus 30") allows for a removable shelf to be installed in the upper portion to create a 15 liter sub-chamber for the mid-woofer while still allowing about 45 liters for the woofer chamber.

    I'm attaching two pics - one of the armada of mounting blocks, and another showing the height difference between the 30" H and 39" H frames.

    -Charlie
    Attached Files

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  • charlielaub
    replied
    Re: How to make IKEA baffleXchange speaker cabinets

    If anyone builds up a speaker using my tutorial, I'd like to hear what you think about it, and the result. I think it is a great idea to use these widely available cabinets, and you can get some really useful sizes out of them.

    So, post your builds when you got em.

    -Charlie

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  • Brewski
    replied
    Re: How to make IKEA baffleXchange speaker cabinets

    Nice idea Charlie I might try it out during the triple boch build coming up.

    Take it easy
    Jay

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  • 50 watt head
    replied
    Re: How to make IKEA baffleXchange speaker cabinets

    Charlie, thanks for taking the time to write this up and shoot photos. Very cool! (I happen to really like the Ikea birch look, too.)

    Leave a comment:


  • charlielaub
    replied
    Re: How to make IKEA baffleXchange speaker cabinets

    Originally posted by Dave_W View Post
    Charlie that's a very clever way to re-purpose those cabinets. Oh, and thanks for the plug!
    Hey, no problem!

    Any chance you would consider offering to sell those "mounting blocks" as a set of 24 or 32 pcs including the 1/4-20 nuts for the different size cabinets... even if someone had almost no tools at all, if those were pre-made, they could purchase baffles from you and then do the complete assembly at home!

    -Charlie

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  • Dave_W
    replied
    Re: How to make IKEA baffleXchange speaker cabinets

    Charlie that's a very clever way to re-purpose those cabinets. Oh, and thanks for the plug!

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve Henry
    replied
    Re: How to make IKEA baffleXchange speaker cabinets

    Thanks, Charlie. Great tutorial. Looks like a road trip to Ikea is in order this weekend.

    Leave a comment:

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