assembling an Erich subwoofer flat pack - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 07-29-2012, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Im a newbie when it comes to doing wood work stuff. First question, is PL premium a substitute for wood glue? or do i use wood glue and then use PL premium as a caulk and use it to seal places where wood meets and could possibly leak air to the outside of the enclosure?

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post #2 of 17 Old 07-29-2012, 04:40 PM
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The way these kits are made I think you need only wood glue for an air tight seal.

I use only wood glue (Titebond original), I don't care for polyurethane glues and the mess that comes with them but they should work as well.

Erich says you can put these together without clamps, just some tape across the joints, I would not recommend that when using PL premium or other polyuethane glues as they expand when curing and tape just won't cut it, so make sure you use clamps.
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post #3 of 17 Old 07-29-2012, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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This is the 3.5 cu ft and i think im going to use clamps even if i only use wood glue, i did a test fit and im trying to figure out in what order im going to glue it together, probably back+side+top+bottom

Then maybe the bracing... then the other side, then the front last.

The bracing tends to get "skewed" and fit in not so well, so maybe ill drop the bracing in as a second-to-last-step. Not sure yet. I want to detail my experience so other people like me dont have to have the potential to screw it up when putting it together

Want to measure your subwoofers? check out my dummies guide for a step by step process to Room EQ wizard
http://polaraudio.blogspot.com/2012/01/calibration.html
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post #4 of 17 Old 07-29-2012, 07:17 PM
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Normal Titebond 2 is my glue of choice when the box has nice clean cuts such as these flat packs.

I used PL Premium when building horns and when having to fill small gaps in the boards as it will expand to fill the gaps.
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post #5 of 17 Old 07-29-2012, 09:50 PM
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As mentioned in the other thread, the new sub boxes over 2 cu ft are getting a slight redesign to make them a little easier to assemble. The smaller boxes can be held together with masking tape like cabinet makers do. They do it with larger cabinets too, but you need some wide tape and some experience on the big ones. When in doubt, use clamps. You don't need to tighten them with 10,000 lbs of pressure. You only see that crazy stuff in the DIY sections. Yes, I'm guilty too. biggrin.gif Just remember that wood glue is stronger than wood, so why squeeze every last drop of it out? Just clamp it so it no longer moves.

I stink at directions without pictures. I've been taking pictures and will get them uploaded as soon as I can. In the mean time......

Make sure you have wood glue, possibly a sanding block, some clamps, a piece of scrap wood and a hammer in case you need to tap things in place.

On your 3.5 cu ft box, I glued the shelf braces in first. The side panels have the rabbet joints all the way around them. Lay one side down and glue the shelf braces into the grooves making sure all the edges line up. It doesn't really matter which way the shelf braces are pointing, just make sure they both face the same way so they can accept the narrow vertical braces later.

Do a dry run first and always make sure the grooves are clear of dust or anything else. Some glue is bound to squeeze out at the far ends of the braces. If the excess glue blobs are in the rabbet joints where the next piece fits in, make sure you clean that out before it dries. If you have a hard blob of glue in a rabbet joint, the next piece won't lay flat, so just keep them cleared of glue as you go.

Anyway, put glue in the grooves, then tap in the 2 shelf braces making sure they line up with the rabbet joints around the edge. You could get away with no clamps here if they tapped in a little hard. But if you have clamps, they're fun to use. biggrin.gif Put in both shelf braces. I'd let that first step dry to be safe. Once it's dry, get the other side panel and lay it down with the grooves up and put in some glue. Obviously, this is where the other edge of the shelf braces will go. Line them up, tap everything in. Get things lined up as close as possible before tapping them in to place. Wood glue gets tacky pretty fast. You should now have 2 sides and 2 shelf braces done and clamped. It should look like a big Roman numeral 2. Let it dry unless you're using a finishing nailer or screws.

The next part is probably the most important. The rear panel. It's important because it will allow you to square up the whole box. So take your time. It will be fairly easy to tap it into place. Just make sure you put glue where all wood touches, including the back of those braces. On the rabbet joints, I use a decent amount of glue, then use an old brush or your finger to quickly smooth it out. Glue is cheap, use a a good amount because it's going to be messy either way. As long as you square up the rear panel with the side panels, everything else will line up just fine.

From here on out, the order you work is up to you. The top and bottom probably make the most sense. But you could do the top, then add the vertical braces, then add the bottom. I do both top and bottom before the verticals. Here's a stupid thing I did once when gluing in the top. I put glue on the edges then put the top on........and forgot to put glue where it meets the back panel! That would be a pretty big air leak! Just make sure to put glue everywhere that wood touches.


You're almost done. Time for the vertical braces. Do a dry run.....smile.....then do another dry run. Make sure you slide them in evenly and do one at a time. I put wood glue in a small cup or container and get an old paint brush to apply the glue faster. Quickly paint the glue into the grooves for one vertical brace. Quickly paint glue on the edges of the vertical brace and slide it in evenly. Don't wait around or the glue will absorb into the mdf and start getting tacky which can make it harder to insert the brace. Glue will squish out as you slide in the brace...have no fear about excess wood glue, it's normal. As long as your other panels are dry, you can tap on the brace with a hammer and a scrap piece of wood if needed, you won't hurt anything. Clamping after this step really isn't needed, but you could clamp across the top and bottom of the box to pull them in if needed.

This is the reason for the redesign:

While assembling one of the boxes, I added glue to the grooves and brace. I stopped and took a picture, then slid in the brace. In that minute "photo session", one side was slightly tacky and it slowed down the 'insertion' enough to where it didn't slide in even. I got about 4" away from the brace being all the way in.....and it stopped!! eek.gif No big deal, I grabbed a piece of scrap wood and a hammer and tapped both sides back and forth until it was all the way in. BUT, if it was someone that hasn't worked with wood glue, they might think to pull the part back out, sit there for a second deciding what to do, or whatever. By then, you probably won't get the part out and it would need to be removed with a saw. I'm not sure anyone would ever do that, but just knowing it *could* happen made me change the entire design so the braces no longer slide in.

At this point, the rest is pretty obvious. Some people caulk the inner edges. But my guess is that you end up using enough wood glue that it won't be a problem. biggrin.gif I don't use caulk anymore. Next up is the inner baffle that drops in to more rabbet joints. Depending on how square you got everything, this will drop in with some light taps. Again, quickly add glue, drop it in. As long as it's flush, you don't need clamps. Maybe some extra weight on top could help. Any glue that squishes up on top of this inner baffle should be wiped off so the outer baffle will lay flat on top. You're almost done.

Once dry, make sure the outer baffle will lay nice and flat on your box. Drizzle glue all over your inner baffle making sure you get some close to the edges and around the woofer cutout. I usually put glue along the edges and around the woofer first, then just make a bunch of squiggly lines all over the rest of it. I've also never put on the correct amount of glue during this step. It's always too much! But we're men, so that's normal. biggrin.gif This can get a little scary as you try and line things up. You think you're good to go and start clamping.....Hmmmm.....it just shifted a little bit! I like those small 6" clamps that you can use around the edges of the woofer hole to help line things up that way. Don't get too freaked out here. If you add as much glue as I do, you'll have a good amount of time to line that bugger up. This is one place a finish nailer would help. Once you get it right, shoot nails around the woofer recess and the woofer gasket will cover them up.

Let dry, do some light sanding around the edges and you're done. It sounds harder than it is. Just take your time and you'll be fine. If you have any issues, just let me know. I always get 2 prototypes made up, so there's always extra pieces if you need them.
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post #6 of 17 Old 07-29-2012, 09:56 PM
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I just thought of a REALLY easy way to line up the inner and outer baffle. I think your box was already cut for the Titanic.

After you glue in the inner baffle, let it dry. Lay the outer baffle on top without any glue and get things lined up. Clamp it in place. Drill a few pilot holes for the woofer through both baffle layers like you normally would.

Now when you glue on the outer baffle and line things up, go ahead and install some wood screws into those pilot holes! That should help line things up and hold everything in place while your clamping the rest of it down.

That was a pretty good idea for 1:00 a.m. rolleyes.gif
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post #7 of 17 Old 07-30-2012, 01:02 AM
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post #8 of 17 Old 07-30-2012, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post

I just thought of a REALLY easy way to line up the inner and outer baffle. I think your box was already cut for the Titanic.

After you glue in the inner baffle, let it dry. Lay the outer baffle on top without any glue and get things lined up. Clamp it in place. Drill a few pilot holes for the woofer through both baffle layers like you normally would.

Now when you glue on the outer baffle and line things up, go ahead and install some wood screws into those pilot holes! That should help line things up and hold everything in place while your clamping the rest of it down.

That was a pretty good idea for 1:00 a.m. rolleyes.gif

Yes!

 

Screwing double baffles together works wonderfully for perfect alignment and to draw them together.  However be prepared for a large amount of glue to come running out rolleyes.gif

 


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post #9 of 17 Old 07-30-2012, 03:55 PM
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Hey, I just meant using the pilot holes for the driver itself to line things up. biggrin.gif
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-17-2012, 11:35 PM - Thread Starter
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DIY = lots of stuff to go wrong.

I followed the instructions, it was very helpful because i would have done it very differently. Squaring the back worked except i screwed up and didnt have enough clamps. The panels were askew and there were visible gaps between the two side pieces of wood and the back... cue me driving to harbor freight and rushing back with more clamps (i didnt have enough clamps to keep the panels from shifting laterally in all x,y,z directions).

I have yet to put the front panel on, so im going to go to home depot and buy some PL premium and line the back of the cabinet with this stuff as to prevent air leaks. This will work right?

Want to measure your subwoofers? check out my dummies guide for a step by step process to Room EQ wizard
http://polaraudio.blogspot.com/2012/01/calibration.html
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post #11 of 17 Old 08-18-2012, 05:39 AM
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How many panels did you try gluing up at a time?

If you have any issues and need some extra panels, just let me know because I have pieces from the sample boxes I get cut.
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post #12 of 17 Old 08-18-2012, 06:36 AM
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I'd recommend brushing the wood glue (I use Titebond II) onto both pieces to get 100% coverage on the joint. Squeeze out a bead then spread it out with a small brush to get an even, not too thick, coat of glue. Harbor freight will fix you up with a bag of flux brushes for three bucks.


Clamp just tight enough to close up the gap and get some squeeze out. As someone said, go easy - you don't want to squeeze all the glue out.

Use dry paper towels to sop up most of the squeeze out. Then use a damp (not wet) sponge to get the residue off. Much easier to do the clean up wet than to sand off dried glue. Be careful that you do not get the MDF wet - especially the end cuts. It will swell if it gets wet.

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post #13 of 17 Old 08-18-2012, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post

How many panels did you try gluing up at a time?
If you have any issues and need some extra panels, just let me know because I have pieces from the sample boxes I get cut.

One at a time, limited by clamps (i clamped the hell out of this thing, you need clamps for sure). the gaps were hairline but they were there when gluing the back.

Want to measure your subwoofers? check out my dummies guide for a step by step process to Room EQ wizard
http://polaraudio.blogspot.com/2012/01/calibration.html
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post #14 of 17 Old 08-18-2012, 05:33 PM
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If you don't have enough clamps and tighten down the ones that you do have really hard, it can put bows in the wood between them.

I think DIY guys are the only ones that go crazy with over clamping. As mentioned, I'm guilty of that as well. biggrin.gif But remember that the glue is harder than the wood, so squeezing it all out by clamping it too much won't actually make the box stronger, and could put warps in the wood if you have big spans between the clamps.

In the end, it should still work out okay. If not, just let me know.
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post #15 of 17 Old 08-18-2012, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post

As mentioned in the other thread, the new sub boxes over 2 cu ft are getting a slight redesign to make them a little easier to assemble.

When will you list the remainder of the subwoofer kits? Specifically the 12" RF Series sub?

Also, if I were to order a flat pack 2.25 or a complete sub kit, will the NEW redesign be shipped? Thanks.
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post #16 of 17 Old 08-18-2012, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post

If you don't have enough clamps and tighten down the ones that you do have really hard, it can put bows in the wood between them.
I think DIY guys are the only ones that go crazy with over clamping. As mentioned, I'm guilty of that as well. biggrin.gif But remember that the glue is harder than the wood, so squeezing it all out by clamping it too much won't actually make the box stronger, and could put warps in the wood if you have big spans between the clamps.
In the end, it should still work out okay. If not, just let me know.

I think i experienced what you were talking about hwere clamping one area would bow out another area of the wood, but im worried about air leaks and the wood really wasnt aligning so i was forced to align it with clamps.

The box is super strong already im mostly concerned with air leaks... Maybe im worrying too much about it. I did take pl premium and try my best to caulk the inside of the box for air leaks.

Want to measure your subwoofers? check out my dummies guide for a step by step process to Room EQ wizard
http://polaraudio.blogspot.com/2012/01/calibration.html
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post #17 of 17 Old 08-19-2012, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omegaslast View Post

DIY = lots of stuff to go wrong.

I followed the instructions, it was very helpful because i would have done it very differently. Squaring the back worked except i screwed up and didnt have enough clamps. The panels were askew and there were visible gaps between the two side pieces of wood and the back... cue me driving to harbor freight and rushing back with more clamps (i didnt have enough clamps to keep the panels from shifting laterally in all x,y,z directions).

I have yet to put the front panel on, so im going to go to home depot and buy some PL premium and line the back of the cabinet with this stuff as to prevent air leaks. This will work right?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by omegaslast View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post

If you don't have enough clamps and tighten down the ones that you do have really hard, it can put bows in the wood between them.
I think DIY guys are the only ones that go crazy with over clamping. As mentioned, I'm guilty of that as well. biggrin.gif But remember that the glue is harder than the wood, so squeezing it all out by clamping it too much won't actually make the box stronger, and could put warps in the wood if you have big spans between the clamps.
In the end, it should still work out okay. If not, just let me know.

I think i experienced what you were talking about hwere clamping one area would bow out another area of the wood, but im worried about air leaks and the wood really wasnt aligning so i was forced to align it with clamps.

The box is super strong already im mostly concerned with air leaks... Maybe im worrying too much about it. I did take pl premium and try my best to caulk the inside of the box for air leaks.

Hi Omegaslast,

 

After using PL for sealed subs I wouldn't use anything else.  For ported boxes or smaller simpler builds maybe titebond as its easier to deal with, but the way PL seals makes it a no brainer for me on sealed speakers.  I didn't however have the tight CNC tolerances your dealing with.  That stuff(PL) is as strong as the wood and when the excess squeezes out you just smear it on the seams, DONE.  It also has a longer setup time than Titebond so its a little friendlier for first timers IMO.

 

Couple tips with PL

  • Buy some nitrile gloves when gluing up the panels.  That way you can just use your finger to smear, this stuff doesn't come off with water like titebond.
  • Stop squeezing the handle on the glue a couple inches before the end of the joint, the glue will keep coming for a minute.
  • Stick a 16D nail in the tip of the glue after use to keep tip clear for next use if going to be long time.
  • Keep a lot of napkins handy as this stuff oozes out seams as it expands durung curing.
  • I found it easiest to let the glue on outside ooze out and cure as a glob then trim/cut it off instead of trying to wipe it when wet, it just smears and then you have to work with the different textures when finishing.
  • It does take longer to setup so you might get slowed down a bit as you cant remove clamps and keep going same day like titebond.

 

A bead around the inside seam will also do the trick for sealing, if your in the least bit concerned, an extra bead wouldnt hurt.


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