Bare wood for the boxes. The 14.5L
enclosures are constructed from 18mm MDMF (Medium Density Fibre
the best material for low-cost speaker boxes. The only beef I have
with the pre-cut materials is that they come together as a box which
has a slight edge on the front (so that one can use a grille and still
see some wood). This doesn't make acoustic sense, and I don't want to
use a grille anyway, so this edge went (at a later stage).
Glueing the boxes, using nails for
guidance and clamps for actual force. Since the boards were pre-cut to
an acceptable precision, there was no real problem putting the boxes
together straight. Using a few hours a setting time for each side, I
was able to do the assembly in one day.
Mounting the units in the finished
boxes. The edge on the front mentioned above is clearly visible.
Sunday night Listening to the
result. I had spent all sunday putting the things together, so I
forgot about the 22:00 curfew on noise, and let rip for a few
I went and bought some veneer (called "Koto" - whatever that is),
and had a go at it.
Sanding the boxes after having sawed
off the hideous edges and filled the gaps. I used two-component filler
(probably epoxy) which sets really fast (a few minutes). On the
other hand, it doesn't shrink, and it sets completely (doesn't stay
soft in the centre), so I got a relaxed relationship with this - after
a few hairy moments.
the boxes. This is the only step of the process which I would do
next time. We  used contact glue which
of instant on contact (hence the name, duh..). The problem is, that I
made the panels slightly over-size. So, if we aligned a panel wrong,
miss the edge of the box, and have to rip the veneer off. In one case
we had to
make a new panel, and in another case (the last panel - a front), we
managed to get the panel off without wrecking it. Since there is a
good alternative to contact glue (the same veneer comes with
pre-applied, so it's possible to affix the veneer using an iron), I
recommend that one doesn't use contact glue.
Finished and lacquered boxes. After
lacquering (during which I damaged more - 2 - of the fragile edges
than I had during the actual veneering), I cut holes for units. One
notices the mirror-imaged matched fronts. This came about because I
had bought a wide roll (50cm) of veneer; this was actually two narrow,
mirror-imaged, pieces glued together on the back. So, since the box
was narrower than half the width of the roll of veneer, I was able to
cut two mirror image panels. Very nice, even if I do say so myself...
Finsished speakers. One speaker with
units and all. I really wanted brass bolts (with allen heads) for
mounting the units, but haven't been able to locate any. Apart from
that, the best result I could possibly expect!
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