Newbie DIY builder, a couple questions please. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-06-2012, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm starting to build my own speakers and have run into a common problem: cutting a straight line for my boxes. What is the best way to start? I have a table saw, which is terrifying. I purchased a feather board and push stick but am still have trouble making my first cuts with such a large piece (the handy panel mdf). I also have a jigsaw, but cannot get a consistently straight line with it. I have a skill saw, but it seems more awkward than the jig. Any tips?

Also, I am assembling the Overnight Sensations kit and just glued my crossover to the bottom of the box--my larger coil is about 0.5" from the woofer magnet. Is this ok? Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-06-2012, 11:05 PM
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On the tablesaw, if you get a friend to help hold the board and catch the pieces you might find it easier. The alternative beingplacing some tables/stands to support large pieces and catch the cut parts. Try to make them level with the tablesaw.

If you prefer a circular saw or jigsaw you can clamp a guide to your piece and just butt the saw up against it for a straight line. Someone recommended a metal stud here before as they are manufactured straight. You just need to clamp it to your cut piece far enough over so when the saw is against it, the blade is where you want to make your cut.
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-07-2012, 05:09 AM
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Trying to control a entire piece of MDF on a table saw is tough. The way I've gotten around this is to get a few rough cuts made on the piece of MDF before bringing it home from the store. Most places will give you a few cuts free. Their jig cuts straight so I get the MDF into more manageable pieces closer to the target size.
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-07-2012, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the ideas, guys. I have had friends help but they aren't always available and I'm still not very skilled with the table saw in general. I will look into using Home Depot for rough cuts. Any ideas on my other question about the coil and woofer magnet? And how would I go about clamping a straight edge for skill sawing?
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-07-2012, 11:45 AM
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Here's a video explaining what I meant by clamping a straight edge.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7sjK9RCpRs
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-07-2012, 12:25 PM
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Here are some more options/tips to cut straight lines:

* Make a jig for the circular saw. The jig speeds things up a lot if you have to make a lot of cuts, because you line up the jig with the cut line, rather than having to always make a line that is X" away from the cut line (less math to do, much less chance of making an error):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CH5dW-QcgeI&feature=related

* EurekaZone makes a kit that can turn your circular saw into a track saw. I have this kit and it makes cutting full sheets really easy. It is a bit expensive for what it is, but I haven't regretted the purchase at all -- it is really a pleasure to use:
http://eurekazone.com/content/ez-tracksaw-system-108
Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/eurekazone

* Buy a track saw from Festool, DeWalt, Makita, etc. Make sure to get enough track to cut the full length sheets.

* Infeed/outfeed tables for table saws:
http://www.ezee-feed.com/ezee-feed-systems/home-woodworker/
Video (with 5% discount): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hk_Od1oOceI


Tables to cut the sheets on:

* DIY: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMmFEfXkeyc&feature=fvwrel

* EurekaZone kit: http://www.eurekazone.com/content/smart-table-kit (I built one of these, and use it all the time -- it's great)


Speaker designer Bill Fitzmaurice sells plans for a jig (and I think a table, too) with more details than the videos for a couple of bucks:
http://billfitzmaurice.com/PanelJig.html

-Max
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-07-2012, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all! Oh, and after some searching I learned that my woofers are shielded so any interference will be very minimal and likely not affect sound in a noticeable way.
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