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Thread: Starting the speaker cabinet build

  1. #1
    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Starting the speaker cabinet build

    Cutting 4 perfectly round holes in a 3/4 inch thick piece of mdf. Router with trammel attachment. It took longer for the layout and getting the tools out than cutting the holes. I did a shallow cut on the bottom side so I wouldn't cut into the plywood I had set up on my sawhorses, then flipped it over and did progressively deeper cuts. Speakers are Ted Weber Alnico 10" 16 ohm 30 Watt. The cabinet will be the size of a Super Reverb, minus the control panel height.
    "The Mornin' Sun is Rising...It's Kissin' the Day" Journey

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    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    excellent, love the pics
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

  3. #3
    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    Quote Originally Posted by DanTheBluesMan View Post
    excellent, love the pics
    I will update as I progress. I need to build a sled for my table saw to construct finger joints for the cabinet. I plan on using 1 x 10" Pine boards. I will have to practice on some scrap lumber. The cabinet will have a switch to select 4 or 8 ohms (2 or 4 speakers).
    "The Mornin' Sun is Rising...It's Kissin' the Day" Journey

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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    Nice jig!
    I've tried everything including tying a piece of string or plumbers tape to a center screw, using routers and jigsaws. I finally found a DeWalt rotary saw with a circle cutting guide, I use the same drill as you, incremental cuts. Used it only twice, but great results!
    I have been using biscuits for several cabinet builds now, and am happy with them.

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    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Nice jig!
    I've tried everything including tying a piece of string or plumbers tape to a center screw, using routers and jigsaws. I finally found a DeWalt rotary saw with a circle cutting guide, I use the same drill as you, incremental cuts. Used it only twice, but great results!
    I have been using biscuits for several cabinet builds now, and am happy with them.
    The trammel attachment was included in the Craftsman router that got handed down from a grandfather. I didn't even know what it was, but all of the parts were there and an instruction sheet for assembling it. The only straight cutting bit I had was a 3/8", and it isn't the sharpest. It probably would have been easier to route using a smaller diameter bit (less material to remove). I started the circle a little smaller than needed, made a shallow cut, took a measurement and adjusted the trammel to the desired diameter. I had to unplug the router a few times and untangle the cord, as it gets twisted up going around in a circle in the same direction a bunch of times.

    Once I build the cabinet, I will use a roundover bit to try to get the same radius on the edges that Fender uses. Probably some trial and error on scrap lumber.
    "The Mornin' Sun is Rising...It's Kissin' the Day" Journey

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    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Smith View Post
    Once I build the cabinet, I will use a roundover bit to try to get the same radius on the edges that Fender uses. Probably some trial and error on scrap lumber.
    I use a power palm sander to rough in the radiuses and corners then follow up with a 12-inch sanding block to maintain the uniformity of the edges. Keep a metal corner handy to check your work often.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    This was something odd that Sovtek did to allow the metal corners to fit. It looks like they made a cut after the tolex was applied. If my finger joints turn out well, I'll probably not cover the cabinet, but just stain the pine lightly, and apply a couple coats of polyurathane.

    "The Mornin' Sun is Rising...It's Kissin' the Day" Journey

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    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    Odd.

    I prefer to complete the carpentry before covering the enclosure......



    I also test-fit all of the hardware (handles, corners, legs, etc) then remove it prior to affixing the Tolex.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomman View Post
    Odd.

    I prefer to complete the carpentry before covering the enclosure......

    I also test-fit all of the hardware (handles, corners, legs, etc) then remove it prior to affixing the Tolex.
    Nice work Phantomman! Are your finger joints about 1/4 inch? Do you use a dado blade in a table saw? I don't have a dado blade, but have seen videos of people making finger joints with just a regular blade, but will have to study them further to understand the exact technique. The best video I saw so far didn't have narration.
    "The Mornin' Sun is Rising...It's Kissin' the Day" Journey

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    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    The finger joints are ¼-inch but I did not make them. My cabs were purchased as knock-down kits with all of the heavy lifting completed beforehand to speed and simplify the assembly. The kits are basically the four boards for the box and sufficient cleat material. I build my own baffle boards and rear panels from locally-available stock though.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomman View Post
    The finger joints are ¼-inch but I did not make them. My cabs were purchased as knock-down kits with all of the heavy lifting completed beforehand to speed and simplify the assembly. The kits are basically the four boards for the box and sufficient cleat material. I build my own baffle boards and rear panels from locally-available stock though.
    Understood. I have plenty of time on my hands and lots of scrap wood to practice with, so I will try to build a finger joint jig for my table saw and see what I come up with. The only constraint is the soon approaching heat and humidity in SE Texas. I should have started the cabinet a month or so ago. If I brought the table saw into the air conditioned space, my wife would probably have an issue with it, lol.
    "The Mornin' Sun is Rising...It's Kissin' the Day" Journey

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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    I'll need to check, but I think the standard round over is 1/2". I use a small router table and round over the edges after I assemble the cab. I'll check when I get back to the shop, it is the correct size for the Fender type corners.
    I've seen that flat corner cut, I think on a Peavey cab.
    When I move my tools from the shop to my garage, I plan on some type of sawdust collection. I seen some plans using a 5gal. bucket and a shop vac that seemto work.

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    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    I'll need to check, but I think the standard round over is 1/2". I use a small router table and round over the edges after I assemble the cab. I'll check when I get back to the shop, it is the correct size for the Fender type corners.
    I've seen that flat corner cut, I think on a Peavey cab.
    When I move my tools from the shop to my garage, I plan on some type of sawdust collection. I seen some plans using a 5gal. bucket and a shop vac that seemto work.
    I have a few round over bits in my router box. I may be able to match one of the bits to a Fender cabinet, and then set the depth correctly. It doesn't have to be perfect.
    "The Mornin' Sun is Rising...It's Kissin' the Day" Journey

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    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    A 3/8-inch radius will get the job done.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    Speakers have been temporarily installed into the baffle board to check for fit, and to see if the 4/8 ohm switch and wiring is correct. It appears to be. I will try it with an amp tomorrow at low volume, as I only have 2 bolts per speaker installed, and the nuts only hand tight. I will need to get some more matching bolts, nuts and lock washers from the hardware store, as well as some flat black paint before I install the Fender style grill cloth. Actually, I'll probably not attach the grill cloth until the cabinet is built so I will know if the baffle board is too tight in the cabinet.

    "The Mornin' Sun is Rising...It's Kissin' the Day" Journey

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    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    I hope you allowed sufficient room at the edges of the baffle board so the interior cleats will clear the speaker frames.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomman View Post
    I hope you allowed sufficient room at the edges of the baffle board so the interior cleats will clear the speaker frames.
    I believe I did. I have about 1 inch clearance on both of the sides. So a 3/4 inch cleat will work. If I wanted a thicker cleat, I could use a series of smaller length cleats, bypassing the widest part of the speaker frames. I copied the dimensions of a Super Reverb baffle board.

    The speaker frames came pre-drilled with 8 mounting holes, but since the alnico speakers are not very heavy, I think four 1/4 inch bolts should be sufficient.

    I will also need to counter-sink the holes in the front of the baffle board so the grill cloth will lay flush against the board and not hit the bolt heads.

    On my 2/10 Vibro Champ cabinet build, I didn't allow for the speaker frame width, and had to notch out the cleats, but I am older and wiser now, lol.
    Last edited by Michael Smith; 04-19-2022 at 04:08 PM. Reason: Added photo link
    "The Mornin' Sun is Rising...It's Kissin' the Day" Journey

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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    I generally only use 4 mounting bolts, even on a heavy speaker. (I do use large enough bolts to support them though.) I often use T nuts as there is plenty of support, and they are almost flush on the grill cloth side. I built my Twin baffle like Leo did with 2 pieces of wood, but later decided that was silly!

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    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    I generally only use 4 mounting bolts, even on a heavy speaker. (I do use large enough bolts to support them though.) I often use T nuts as there is plenty of support, and they are almost flush on the grill cloth side. I built my Twin baffle like Leo did with 2 pieces of wood, but later decided that was silly!
    Perhaps Leo got a deal on some smaller pieces of wood, lol. I didn't know that about the twin baffles though.
    "The Mornin' Sun is Rising...It's Kissin' the Day" Journey

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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    I think he used 1/2' for the baffle, and 1/4" for the surround/standoff. That's what I did for the Twin cab. I've gone to using 1/2" and ignoring the spacer. (Makes it easier to mount a logo on the front too!)

  21. #21
    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    The Alnico magnets are quite substantial in the Ted Weber speakers, but I will leave the covers on, as they look much better with the covers. To remove the covers, I had to carefully remove the label to access a screw holding the cover on. Initially I couldn't figure out how to remove the covers, but an email to Ted Weber company cleared that up. On some speakers, they use 3 tabs on the cover, on mine there was the screw. The difference in depth with the cover on verses off was only about 5/8 of an inch, so not an issue for the cabinet I have in mind.

    "The Mornin' Sun is Rising...It's Kissin' the Day" Journey

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    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    Speaker baffle has been painted. One coat of primer and 2 coats of flat black paint. Jack and switch plate cut and drilled and ready to be installed in speaker cabinet when finished. I made significant progress on constructing a box joint jig for my table saw today, after watching a bunch of YT videos and settling on a design. (My table saw can't accept a dado blade set, so that made the design of the jig more important). I'll post some photos of the finger joint jig when I finish it, and do a few test joints using scrap lumber. The design of the jig I settled on was from a guy in the UK that had some very good ideas. I will make several modifications to his design to allow for longer boards to be finger jointed safely and accurately, like a taller fence attached to the sled.

    I also counter sunk the holes for the bolts to hold the speaker, using a manual brace and bit, to allow for flat bottomed holes in the baffle. My electric drill bits made a rounded bottom to the hole. Also, I don't have the necessary bolts, nuts and washers yet, so each speaker is just tempted in with 2 hand tightened bolts.
    "The Mornin' Sun is Rising...It's Kissin' the Day" Journey

  23. #23
    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    Home-made finger joint jig has been completed and tested. 2 sliders glued to the bottom of the jig fit into the channels on the table saw top. The fence with the indexing block slides between 2 stops glued to the ends of the fence, and the travel is adjusted by a set screw on each end. The work piece gets set over the indexing peg as each successive finger is formed. I did a test using an old fence board that was a bit warped, but it fits together pretty well. I may need to slightly adjust the set screws to make the joints a bit tighter, but they can't be too tight as they will swell some when glue is applied. I made this fence for 3/4 inch fingers, but it would be easy to create different fences for different size fingers. The height of the saw blade is just a touch higher than the work piece, so there will be a little sanding required once glued together, and before routing with a roundover bit.

    "The Mornin' Sun is Rising...It's Kissin' the Day" Journey

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    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    Any progress to report, Michael?
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

  25. #25
    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomman View Post
    Any progress to report, Michael?
    No progress yet Phantomman. I need to buy a piece of 1 x 10 pine for the actual cabinet. Just haven't been motivated to work in the garage since the weather turned hot and humid here. I think I have some decent pine scraps in my stash of wood that I could practice on and adjust the set screws a bit if the joints are a little loose. Using the cedar fence board probably didn't give me the best test piece as it was cupped a little. The videos I watched said not to make the joints too tight as they may swell some once the glue is applied. I will probably actually glue up a test corner before proceeding with the work piece. Then I could also experiment with my limited stock of router roundover bits. If I need a different one, I would pick that up when I buy the pine board.
    "The Mornin' Sun is Rising...It's Kissin' the Day" Journey

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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    I checked the bit I always use, and it is 1/2". On other forums folks have posted that there's enough "give" in the tolex, that 3/8" will work OK.

  27. #27
    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    It's been too hot and humid here to do any work on the speaker cabinet in my garage, but I did want to post a pic of some neat stickers they sent with my order. I wonder if they have a mock license plate for each state?

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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    No, only the "popular" states, (and Canada!)
    https://www.tedweber.com/other-stuff/stickers/

  29. #29
    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: Starting the speaker cabinet build

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    No, only the "popular" states, (and Canada!)
    https://www.tedweber.com/other-stuff/stickers/
    wah, no NH
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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