If you could buy one tool for DIY speakers, what would it be? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 05-31-2013, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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If you were to buy one tool for DIY speakers, what would you buy? Assume the general size of each piece of wood is cut for the box. What tool would you buy?
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post #2 of 25 Old 05-31-2013, 07:42 AM
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What are you using as an edge guide for the circular saw? If you don't have one, either making or buying would be my first step.

If you're good to go there, a good router and bits are invaluable.
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post #3 of 25 Old 05-31-2013, 07:44 AM
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Router. If accessories still count in your question then I'd get a circle jig and spiral upcut bit. You can do quite a lot with only this.
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post #4 of 25 Old 05-31-2013, 08:00 AM
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You could build an entire box with driver cutouts using a jigsaw. It wouldn't be very pretty though...
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post #5 of 25 Old 05-31-2013, 09:08 AM
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A good drill/driver and then buy flat packs!
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post #6 of 25 Old 05-31-2013, 09:24 AM
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Router with plunge and fixed base. 1/4" up spiral bit, 1/2" round over bit, flush trim bit 1/2" x 2". A very close second would be the jigsaw, but you'd still need a drill to do driver cutouts. The router and those three bits you can do most.
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post #7 of 25 Old 05-31-2013, 09:26 AM
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I'm going to vote for glue. tongue.gif

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post #8 of 25 Old 05-31-2013, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bass addict View Post

I'm going to vote for glue. tongue.gif

haha good one, and just sit on it for clamping.
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post #9 of 25 Old 05-31-2013, 11:52 AM
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Does this count:
http://www.craftsman.com/bolt-on/dap-120000000297215

You could pretty much build your whole box with that one tool, everything you'd need besides clamps and glue.
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post #10 of 25 Old 05-31-2013, 12:18 PM
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Frankly, if you are limited to one tool, you should buy a flat pack.

The most useful tool in my experience is a 1 1/2 HP router with 1/4" and 1/2" collets. A plunge base has its uses but is not necessary for most speaker building. If you just need to start a cut in the middle of a panel, you can ease the bit in at an angle. If you really have to do a straight plunge once in a while, you can just loosen the clamp on a fixed based, lower the bit, and retighen the clamp. A circle jig has its uses, but is also unnecessary. You can do the same thing with nothing but a piece of 1/4" plywood scrap with a pivot hole in the right place screwed to the based. Use a router with a straight edge and clamps, and you can true up an edge or even cut a sheet of plywood.

Of course you need router bits. The obvious one is a decent straight bit. I use 1/2" shank bits whenever I can. My all purpose bit is a 1/2" end cutting straight shear cutting bit. A 1/4" bit won't take the abuse a 1/2" bit will. I only use a 1/4" bit when I need a 1/4" slot. Spiral bits have their place, but are not necessary, and will break more easily than straight bits. Round over bits are necessary only if you are going to round over your edges. A flush trim bit slightly larger than the thickness of the panel to be trimmed may be useful. 2" is way too long for most purposes.

Save the money on the plunge base and circle jig and buy yourself a good drill and bits, too.
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post #11 of 25 Old 05-31-2013, 12:22 PM
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I wouldn't recommend what you are referring to on the router. A good router with a dual base isn't much more than a fixed base. Trying to use a fixed base like a plunge router is asking for trouble. Guys with lots of experience can get away with "cheating" but I wouldn't recommend a first time DIY'er try this method.

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post #12 of 25 Old 05-31-2013, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bass addict View Post

Trying to use a fixed base like a plunge router is asking for trouble.
Nonsense. Of course, you need to know what you are doing with any tool.
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Guys with lots of experience can get away with "cheating"
It is hardly cheating. The first method I described is what everyone who used a router before plunge bases became common did, and it is still common. And the second method is hardly ever used because it is almost never necessary.
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...I wouldn't recommend a first time DIY'er try this method.
Fair enough. We all have our own comfort levels. If you are not comfortable, use a plunge base.

FWIW I would recommend against using glue. You might glue you hand to your face. biggrin.gif
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post #13 of 25 Old 05-31-2013, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mtg90 View Post

...clamps...
"You can never have too many clamps."
Norm, New Yankee Workshop
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post #14 of 25 Old 05-31-2013, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post

Frankly, if you are limited to one tool, you should buy a flat pack.

The most useful tool in my experience is a 1 1/2 HP router with 1/4" and 1/2" collets. A plunge base has its uses but is not necessary for most speaker building. If you just need to start a cut in the middle of a panel, you can ease the bit in at an angle. If you really have to do a straight plunge once in a while, you can just loosen the clamp on a fixed based, lower the bit, and retighen the clamp. A circle jig has its uses, but is also unnecessary. You can do the same thing with nothing but a piece of 1/4' plywood scrap with a pivot hole in the right place screwed to the based. Use a router with a straight edge and clamps, and you can true up an edge or even cut a sheet of plywood.

Of course you need router bits. The obvious one is a decent straight bit. I use 1/2" shank bits whenever I can. My all purpose bit is a 1/2" end cutting straight shear cutting bit. A 1/4" bit won't take the abuse a 1/2" bit will. I only use a 1/4" bit when I need a 1/4" slot. Spiral bits have their place, but are not necessary, and will break more easily than straight bits. Round over bits are necessary only if you are going to round over your edges. A flush trim bit slightly larger than the thickness of the panel to be trimmed may be useful. 2" is way too long for most purposes.

Save the money on the plunge base and circle jig and buy yourself a good drill and bits, too.

This is just a hypothetical for fun question :P I have tools.
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post #15 of 25 Old 05-31-2013, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Colm View Post

The first method I described is what everyone who used a router before plunge bases became common did, and it is still common.

And car wheels used to be made from stone, and people read by candle lights, and washed their clothes in the river and............... wink.gif
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Fair enough. We all have our own comfort levels. If you are not comfortable, use a plunge base.

I'm perfectly comfortable using my tablesaw without a riving knife or push stick; but that doesn't mean I should.
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FWIW I would recommend against using glue. You might glue you hand to your face. biggrin.gif

From that comment I think you've sniffed too much glue. cool.gif

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post #16 of 25 Old 05-31-2013, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by bass addict View Post

And car wheels used to be made from stone...
Sounds like you are the one who has been sniffing glue...
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post #17 of 25 Old 05-31-2013, 01:33 PM
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Sounds like you are the one who has been sniffing glue...

I dunno. Looks like a stone wheel to me. biggrin.gif


And I prefer paint. wink.gif

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post #18 of 25 Old 05-31-2013, 02:02 PM
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My vote is for a good router and quality bits. I have only had a router (Bosch plunge/fixed kit) since Christmas last year and I've found it to be my go-to tool for the sub build I am working on. I absolutely love my router especially for the fact that I can correct the terrible cuts made by my terrible circular saw and edge guide. I agree that the circle jig is not necessary, but I use one anyway; the Jasper.
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post #19 of 25 Old 05-31-2013, 09:33 PM
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post #20 of 25 Old 05-31-2013, 10:25 PM
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post #21 of 25 Old 06-01-2013, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WagBoss View Post

If you were to buy one tool for DIY speakers, what would you buy? Assume the general size of each piece of wood is cut for the box. What tool would you buy?
A good measurement system. Woodwork can easily be farmed out to a variety of sources.
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post #22 of 25 Old 06-02-2013, 02:59 AM
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CNC.
I think this wins.
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post #23 of 25 Old 06-02-2013, 07:28 AM
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Single tool for building speakers? And it can be anything? How about a buddy that's an expert wood finisher? Making functional speakers is easy. Making pretty speakers is hard.

I'm not into "thumbs upping" or "liking". Don't take it personally. Just assume that I found your post helpful. Unless it wasn't.
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post #24 of 25 Old 06-02-2013, 08:22 AM
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Single tool for building speakers? And it can be anything? How about a buddy that's an expert wood finisher? Making functional speakers is easy. Making pretty speakers is hard.

Well I DO have a buddy that is kind of a tool....
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post #25 of 25 Old 06-02-2013, 11:54 AM
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Well I DO have a buddy that is kind of a tool....


Ha ha.. Mark I need you to fix my computer smile.gif

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