I am currently in the process of building a subwoofer using the Dayton Audio RSS315HF-4 12" subwoofer and the Dayton Audio HPSA-500 subwoofer plate amplifier. I wanted to really build two subs for my room but now the second sub will have to wait. It has been and continues to be a learning experience. I am hoping that the trials I go through will help future DIYers.
I do not have any experience in woodworking except for re-veneering a pair of Polk Monitor 10s and rebuilding a dead Polk PSW650 subwoofer (which came out kind of mediocre). I really wanted this to come ouit right. Unfortunately, I found out you really, really need the right tools. Other than basic stuff, all I had was an old circular saw and a RotoZip.
I bought a 4' x 8' 0.75" MDF panel from a local hardware shop and had them cut the panel into specified sizes for the build. After assembling the basic box, I was dismayed to find out that the box did not come out square. Apparently, the shop saw was "off", it was cutting the board about 1/4" smaller on one end from another on the 96" length. This meant the right angles were not exactly 90 degrees so the box was out of square.
I tried making a jig to make straight cuts, which was somewhat successful, but the panel dimensions were always a tad off. I bought a Kreg universal rip fence. Once calibrated, this gave me accurate cuts with no issues. BTW, get a new blade with a lot of teeth, they will make cleaner cuts. Make sure its a carbide blade, they will last longer. When cutting the panels, cut all the same dimensions first.
Initially, I used a RotoZip for cutting the cutouts. This is real exercise in patience. The RotoZip circle cutter is useless. It is made out of plastic and flexes in use which makes the cuts uneven. Cutting out straight cuts freehand is impossible as the unit loves to pull in different directions. On the other hand, the RotoZip is great for trimming laminates.
So I had to invest in a Porter Cable 690LR with a Jasper Circle Cutting jig. With a cutting bit, this combo made circle cutting a breeze. Highly recommended, I don't know how I survived without it.
Couple of minor issues. Don't lose the 1/4" pin on the Jasper rig, It's really tough to replace (I ended up using a spare 1/8" bit, mine got sucked into the shopvac. Gotta dig the pin out of the vac bag). And the power switch on the router is awkardly placed on top edge of the motor housing instead of near the router grips.
I also invested in a small Jigsaw. The jigsaw made cutting out the opening for the amplifier really easy. I bought a small Black and Decker unit for $50. Couple of things to note, buy a new blade. The blade that comes with the jigsaw is really cheap and useless. When cutting, do not use the orbital mode, it tends to pull the blade out of line.
Right now, I have the sub cabinet built. All the six panels are together, the driver and amp cutouts are done. Couple of the panels were a smidgen off and there is a slight gap (about 1/32" inch which I have filled in). I will post some pictures of my progress later. My next step is to sand the cabinet and apply some cherry veneer. I still have to figure out how to make and attach my grill. I am debating whether to use magnetic grill holders or snap-in pins.
Like I mentioned earlier, I wanted to build two subs, but the additional expense of buying all the tools (~$400) set me back on the budget. Buying a second driver, amp and ancillary parts from Parts Express is about $600 ($400 plus $200 shipping to Hawaii, dang Paradise tax) so the second sub is on hold for the time being. Will post my progress.