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  • Speaker Building - What must have tools?

    Hi

    I am starting out with speaker building, and have so far used the OS MT Kit. But i also want to try out other designs, for which there are no kits.

    I have absolutely no wood working tools and not to mention any skill. So, I need to start out collecting tools for speaker building. I want to start cheap, with as few tools as possible and then go on upgrading / adding to the tools - i guess this is what most newbie are also looking for.

    I need suggestions for what tools one should go about purchasing for building speakers?

    Also, a ranking of the tools (from must have, ease of use by a beginner and multi-utility) would be greatly appreciated.So, for eg - a Hand-held plunge router would be more useful and multi-utility than a fixed table router (I guess)? Also, portability would get a higher rank - easier to store and use and doesn't need a double car garage to setup - space is at a premium as is $. I was thinking the ranking can be across - Must Have, $, Utility, Profitability

    And maybe we can also classify them as - Electrical, Measuring, Woodwork and Finishing. Please add on to the category as required.

    Rather than go about collecting a myriad of wood working tools which may or may not work as well for speaker building, my request goes out to help a newbie get the most useful tools for starting out in this hobby. Please do not hesitate to state the obvious too (as most of themmnay not be so obvious to me or other newbie's)

    Thanks and looking forward to all the answers. for my part, I promise to gather all the suggestions and compile up a table / chart for the tools.

    If somebody already has a guide or write-up to a start up and progression kit of tools, that would help too!

  • #2
    Re: Speaker Building - What must have tools?

    I have absolutely no wood working tools and not to mention any skill. So, I need to start out collecting tools for speaker building. I want to start cheap, with as few tools as possible and then go on upgrading / adding to the tools - i guess this is what most newbie are also looking for.
    A cordless screwgun, a good quality circular saw, jig saw, and drill. And plenty of clamps
    "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
    “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
    "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Speaker Building - What must have tools?

      I found this article to be pretty enlightening back when I first got started. And I think it's still very relevant.

      http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...october98.html
      Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

      Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
      Twitter: @undefinition1

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Speaker Building - What must have tools?

        First thing is safety glasses or goggles.
        You will need a good straight edge to use with the circular saw. I would not get the jig saw, but instead invest in a router and circle cutting jig. You can do driver cut-outs with the jig saw but comparable results require a lot more hand work IMO. I can't even think of how to recess a driver without a router.
        Two basic router bits would be 1/4" spiral up-cutting and a 3/4" roundover bit. Next would be a 1/2" or 3/4" cove bit.
        Order a double batch of patience and planning. Make practice cuts for everything til you are comfortable with the tools. Measure at least twice, then cut once. Expect to screw stuff up. You can always cut another one.
        Good luck and welcome to the madness!
        Jim

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Speaker Building - What must have tools?

          Originally posted by edgecreek View Post
          I can't even think of how to recess a driver without a router.
          Use 1/4" or 1/8" material and cut the larger diameter hole. Then use 1/2" to 3/4" and cut the "through" hole. Then line up and glue the two pieces together one on top of the other. It wouldn't be as perfect but it would work.

          Order a double batch of patience and planning.

          YES! I might add a bit of humility as well. You shouuld enjoy the process as much as anything else. Without patience and humility you'll likely just end up pi$$ed off.

          Another thing I would suggest (and it can be tough at times, I know) is to buy quality tools. You will be tempted to get something "ok" because you can also get 8 tools (!) but you'll have 8 tools that stink. Buy fewer and over time. They will work better and last longer.
          People hear with their eyes.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Speaker Building - What must have tools?

            Over the last 20 years, I went from exactly your position to a current owner of a full time cabinet shop. In that time, I've seen and used and owned it all.

            If you can afford this, you can do most everything with two major tools. A track saw like this:

            http://www.amazon.com/Makita-SP6000K...1918744&sr=1-1

            will do most everything a table saw will do with the exception of ripping narrow strips. I've used them and built kitchen cabinets on site with them. We use Festool stuff here, but it's even more expensive. I'd add to that a plunge router that will interface with the track system. Again, Festool excels at this, but there may be other less expensive solutions.

            When funds and space permit, I'd add a small jobsite table saw.

            With those three major tools, I can build dang near anything.
            www.timkulincabinetry.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Speaker Building - What must have tools?

              Originally posted by ani_101 View Post
              Hi

              I am starting out with speaker building, and have so far used the OS MT Kit. But i also want to try out other designs, for which there are no kits.

              I have absolutely no wood working tools and not to mention any skill. So, I need to start out collecting tools for speaker building. I want to start cheap, with as few tools as possible and then go on upgrading / adding to the tools - i guess this is what most newbie are also looking for.

              I need suggestions for what tools one should go about purchasing for building speakers?

              Also, a ranking of the tools (from must have, ease of use by a beginner and multi-utility) would be greatly appreciated.So, for eg - a Hand-held plunge router would be more useful and multi-utility than a fixed table router (I guess)? Also, portability would get a higher rank - easier to store and use and doesn't need a double car garage to setup - space is at a premium as is $. I was thinking the ranking can be across - Must Have, $, Utility, Profitability

              And maybe we can also classify them as - Electrical, Measuring, Woodwork and Finishing. Please add on to the category as required.

              Rather than go about collecting a myriad of wood working tools which may or may not work as well for speaker building, my request goes out to help a newbie get the most useful tools for starting out in this hobby. Please do not hesitate to state the obvious too (as most of themmnay not be so obvious to me or other newbie's)

              Thanks and looking forward to all the answers. for my part, I promise to gather all the suggestions and compile up a table / chart for the tools.

              If somebody already has a guide or write-up to a start up and progression kit of tools, that would help too!

              Yeah, you'll get 100 opinions on this one.

              Foremost - BE CAREFUL.
              The uninitiated can easily maim themselves with a hammer (pound finger), screwdriver (poke into skin), or even pliers (pinch for bloodblister), not to mention the damage that can be done with power tools.

              To cut (mostly 3/4") stuff, you NEED a saw, and it's got to be a power saw. I was lucky that my Dad had a tablesaw I could use. Without one, it's next to impossible to cut sheets straight using a Sabre saw, but not so hard with a circular saw. Problem is, that you've GOT to cut through holes for drivers, plate amps, and other stuff. Pretty easy to do that by drilling a 3/8" hole through, sticking in the Sabre saw, and going at it.

              You should be able to get some entry level (cheap) tools at a place like Harbor Freight. So you'll need a 3/8" drill, Sabre saw (reciprocating blade - like a hand held jigsaw), and circular saw (sometimes called a Skilsaw? I think). AC powered tools will be the cheapest. You'll need a good 10' or 20' extension cord too.

              Drill bits. 3 24" long clamps (if you're creative). 2 screwdrivers (flat & Phillips). Titebond glue. Wire cutter/stripper. Sandpaper.

              You can build plenty of speakers before you NEED a router. A front-surface mounted driver will (probably) cover up the wiggly hole you cut with the Sabe saw.

              Finally - BE CAREFUL !
              The uninitiated can easily maim themselves with a hammer (pound finger), screwdriver (poke into skin), or even pliers (pinch for bloodblister), not to mention the damage that can be done with power tools. You can even wreck a driver by goofing around near it (hole through cone, or mash a tweeter dome flat).

              Chris

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Speaker Building - What must have tools?

                Great points Chris:
                Th OP was honest enough to admit he had no woodworking experience.
                I was fortunate enough to have Woodshop @ Lane Tech in Chicago.
                Beginning students were given projects to master simple hand tools before touching any power tools. An air nailer in the wrong hands is far more dangerous than a simple hammer.
                ( Include measuring and squaring devices to a necessary list. )
                "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
                “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
                "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Speaker Building - What must have tools?

                  I build my first subwoofer box with nothing but an old jigsaw handed down to me from my grandfather. I know it's gotten a bad rap around here lately but construction adhesive can be pretty impressive stuff.

                  A table saw is a great thing to have if you do other woodworking projects, the circular saw can work as well just more difficult at times.. I would poke around craigslist, you can often find a slightly older but much higher quality for very reasonable costs.

                  If you want to get serious about making speakers and plan to build a few then a plunge router is a great investment which has multiple uses in the cabinet construction. Combined with the tablesaw you will be pretty much good to go, if you look around CL you could probably end up with a decent router and saw for under $400.

                  On the non power tool front it's already been mentioned but goggles, a resipirator, clamps (the more the better), and a good file have served me well...

                  Also take it slow at first, less mistakes and less chance for injury. Don't ask how I'm an expert at this ;)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Speaker Building - What must have tools?

                    Thanks for the great advice. I am planning to take it slow, and no, good quality power tools do not come cheap and neither does experience!

                    So, keep the suggestions coming. I'll take some time out tonight put together a kit list with a upgrade path.

                    And thanks for the safety tips - i wasn't even remotely thinking about safety gogles:eek:

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Speaker Building - What must have tools?

                      Has anyone mentioned a quality dust mask (at least) or a full respirator? If you're cutting MDF then these are a MUST!
                      People hear with their eyes.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Speaker Building - What must have tools?

                        Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post
                        I found this article to be pretty enlightening back when I first got started. And I think it's still very relevant.

                        http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...october98.html
                        This is an excellent article... Wonder why it didn't show up in my search

                        I was confused enough with the number and types of saws that are available - hence the question regarding utility for speaker build!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Speaker Building - What must have tools?

                          As mentioned above, you'll get 101 opinions on which tools are a priority.

                          For my two cents, I will share my experience that you can do everything armed with only a router.

                          I have an entry-level Ryobi (I think it cost $59) fixed-base router, and mount it to a 2'x4' sheet of melamine for a table, as pictured here:



                          A length of 1x4 oak is my fence. It's not as convenient as a table saw, but I can achieve the same degree of accuracy. It just takes longer to make repeated shallow passes. I've owned a table saw before, but I feel safer and prefer working with my router.
                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Speaker Building - What must have tools?

                            Cutlist out of all my 'tools', this is the most useful, handy, favorite, etc. Best part is it's free.

                            Google Sketchup i will never again start a project without drawing 100% of it in Sketchup. Free and easy to use.

                            RE Audio L Port Speaker Calculator If you want to build a ported enclosure but hate working with round ports. FREE and easy.

                            INCRA T-RULE Insane accuracy, down to 1/64.

                            If you get a table saw (you should) get a good Miter, I have this, accuracy down to 1/10th of a degree.

                            For table saw tuning, get these two Wixley Angle Gauge and MasterGage Superbar with the master plate

                            Tools (in my opinion)
                            Table Saw - crucial!
                            Router w/Jasper Jig & roundover & chamfer bits - try cutting a speaker hole by hand!
                            Drill Press w/ Forstner bit set, not essential, but I use mine all the time.
                            Clamps - get at least two bessy parallel clamps, they are worth the $45 each.

                            I have a jigsaw, I've only used it once for speaker building. I also have a circular saw and oscillating spindle sander and I've never, ever used them for speaker building.

                            If I were going to do it all over again, I would save the $ and buy either the Dayton pre-made enclosures or the flat pack kits.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Speaker Building - What must have tools?

                              A pair of ba lls, creativity, and your own mind to design and not follow rules.

                              Otherwise you do not need much, it has been proven again and again a circular saw, straight edge, jigsaw, and an inexpensive router can work wonders. Oh.... Clamps... LOTS of clamps. A sander helps too.

                              Most importantly is a tool you cannot buy, but grows over time: Knowledge. Read the proven books, AES papers, etc. and build build build.
                              .

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