It finally begins! The UXL-18 Build - Page 11 - AVS Forum
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Old 12-03-2014, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Hah, thanks for the replies guys. I do have a buddy who should be able to pick it up for me.

Kinda annoying that I need to get a gallon of the primer/ paint and clear coat though.

One question for you guys (I may make a thread for this one). The instructions I found for matching the Klipsch speakers was to use a #40 sheen lacquer primer, a #40 sheen black lacquer paint and a #40 sheen clear coat.

The store I called said you don't want to prime with a #40 sheen and there is no sheen number on the clear coat. I'm not familiar enough with that kind of detail but anyone know if that makes sense?
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Still haven't quite figured out what I'm gonna do about paint, but I have a feeling a road trip and construction of a temporary paint booth are in my future.

Anyway, spent the last week cleaning up the speaker to prep for veneer and there wasn't too much work except for the bottom:


I ended up using extra mdf dust mixed with glue to fill in the slightly larger gaps which went pretty well.

I decided to do one last test veneer with 3 pieces:




and it was probably the best piece I've done so far.

I might veneer the bottom tonight but I'm shooting to start veneering the sub this week)
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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And in case you are curious, I'm nervous as **** since there is no going back now buuuuuuuut I'm super excited to move into the next step.
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by hotsho111 View Post
And in case you are curious, I'm nervous as **** since there is no going back now buuuuuuuut I'm super excited to move into the next step.

Don't worry, you can always sand it off!


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Old 12-20-2014, 10:34 PM - Thread Starter
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It's happening!!!!!! And also super terrifying.

I got the bottom pieces all set and it's gluing up as we speak.

It took a while getting the veneer down to size enough so I could cut it straight. Unfortunately the veneer wasn't square so I had to be careful to get it lined up right but it came out pretty good:


and the reverse side:


The first piece gluing up as we speak:



I added some marks on the front and back for where the veneer should line up and it was pretty close but not quite exact but I think that's a result of the veneer being completely flat now when it wasn't quite a flat when I was measuring it.

Another tip for anyone else (myself included) I left a lot of excess on the edges since they could be trimmed off pretty easily and it kinda became a headache since the clamps kept hitting the excess. Not a huge deal but mildly terrifying since you constantly hear it cracking. It's easy enough to trim the excess with a pair of scissors so there isn't too much overhang it will be easier to manage

Also, if you need to reposition the veneer after you place it you are better off sliding it instead of trying to pick it up and put it back down. I tried placing it using my marks on the back and noticed they were waaaaaaaaaaaay off so I picked it up and ran around to the other side and I heard some cracks somewhere (but didn't really notice anything). Weirdly though, it will slide around pretty forgivingly so I was able to get everything lined up pretty well.

Another tip, make sure you know where the edges are! After placing the veneer down I went over it with a j roller to try and take some of the air bubbles out and just do a general job of flattening it and a couple times I went over the edge cracking the veneer. I think it should be ok though as I think only the overhang cracked (and not the part on the actual veneer except in the first corner where I did it)

I think it went ok. It takes a long time to pour out enough glue to cover a 25x30 piece of mdf hah. I tried to go over the entire piece with the jroller but I noticed by the time I got from one side to the other the original side had some pieces bubbling up so I just decided to go and clamp it up.

Hopefully everything goes well hah.
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Old 12-20-2014, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd unfortunately it seems to have gone to ****. It's about as bad as the first piece I did....I took the clamps off and it instantly started bubbling up so I tried the iron to see if that would help and it did a tiny bit but not really enough and during this time everything was still bubbling.

I said **** it and threw the clamps back on and I'm gonna let it dry over night and see how it is in the morning....At least it's the bottom :\

I think the pressure was ok I'm just wondering if it's too humid.
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Old 12-20-2014, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by hotsho111 View Post
Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd unfortunately it seems to have gone to ****. It's about as bad as the first piece I did....I took the clamps off and it instantly started bubbling up so I tried the iron to see if that would help and it did a tiny bit but not really enough and during this time everything was still bubbling.

I said **** it and threw the clamps back on and I'm gonna let it dry over night and see how it is in the morning....At least it's the bottom :\

I think the pressure was ok I'm just wondering if it's too humid.

I'm not a master wood craftsmen so take it for what its worth but I've always thought that unless you use paper backed veneer you can't just glue and clamp raw veneer? I know that Nathan from Funk Audio only uses a vacuum press with raw veneer, otherwise he said it'll bubble.
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Old 12-21-2014, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey jbrown, you should use glue and clamps (or a vacuum press) for raw veneer and probably the iron on method for paperbacked veneer.

The caul/clamp method is a pretty common alternative to using a vacuum press. The goal is to get an even distribution of pressure along the entire surface of the veneer. In theory, a a vacuum press is just a bit more convenient since it's easier to get an even distribution.

Anyway, a bit of good news this morning. The veneer settled down alright after leaving the clamps on overnight. It's not the best veneer I've done but it's not nearly as bad as it was and it's acceptable for the bottom. A little sanding should smooth it all out pretty evenly.

Just gotta trim it up and move on to the back...which hopefully goes a lot smoother
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Old 12-21-2014, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Can't really look back now so I trimmed up the veneer with the whiteside downcut bit I got and it cuts like a hot knife through butter. I hooked it up to my slightly larger router platform which makes keeping it secure and level a lot easier.






So, it totally doesn't pass the touch test but it doesn't look too terrible from a couple feet away.

My big concern for what might have happened is that I got my best results in test with the cauls on both sides directly against the piece I was trying to veneer. Since I'm trying to veneer after completing the build I can't directly press against the opposite side of the panel. I am using cauls on the opposite side of the box but I'm not sure if it would be enough to apply the right counter-pressure.

I'm gonna try doing the back today and we'll see how that goes. If it goes really poorly I might just say f it and apply some laminate to the rest and leave the back and bottom as a terrible reminder.
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Old 12-21-2014, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Didn't get a chance to do the back tonight since I accidentally set the depth poorly on the router trying to clean up one edge and ended up taking out some of the mdf so I gotta fill that.

I'm gonna try gluing up the back tomorrow and if that goes like crap too I'm gonna remove the 2 pieces of veneer I have on it and just throw something like vinyl from parts express on it and call it a day.

I'd rather use their black ash but it's discontinued and I was gonna fall back to their black textured vinyl but it looks like that just sold out....

Maybe I'll just paint the damn thing black.

I'm having some major concerns about how the back is going to come out...I really think I'm running into issues because I can't clamp both sides of the panel I'm trying to veneer since the sub is already built...Someone has to have done this before though...Most threads I see are of people veneering after assembly but maybe that's just iron on.

Kinda sucks and I'm getting to the point where I just might leave it as unfinished mdf and say **** it and mark it done.

I can pretty much guarantee I'm gonna throw in the towel if the back goes as poorly as the bottom did and I have a bad feeling it is.
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Old 01-01-2015, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Happy holidays everyone!

To solve the issues I had with the bottom I decided to go with the strategy of 'moar everything.' for the back. I used more cauls, doubled up the platens and left it clamped for 6 hours. I also cut down the piece a bit more so there wasn't too much extra over the edge.

Glue up went pretty smooth and the alignment went well but once I put down the veneer the edges started curling up like crazy which never happened before. I tried using the roller to keep it down but no luck. I said f it and threw the platen on and prayed haha.



After removing the platens (and the lengthwise strips of tape). You can see a couple cracks but they are almost completely over the edge and were removed when trimming the veneer:


and trimming everything. I still need to do the screw holes but I haven't decided if I'm gonna recess it a bit so I'm gonna hold of for now


All and all it went pretty well. It went about as well as my second best glue up. I think I didn't use quite enough glue and I might still be running into issues getting enough pressure on the backside. The portions of the veneer that are over the bracing on the inside (or the edges) are a bit more flat than the some other sections.

A bit of sanding and I don't think you'd notice though.

Annoyingly, I want to try and do 8 cauls on the long side pieces and I'm one clamp short. My Irwin clamps reach but they don't have enough pressure to clamp down the cauls completely.
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Old Yesterday, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Glued up one of the sides, got some more "meh" results:



This looks way better in this picture than it actually is


And starting the glue up of the other side:


On this side I focused a bit more on trying to 'flatten' the veneer before putting the plattens on so we'll see how that goes.

On the bottom piece I used 7 cauls and I decided to add one more. I had to pick up one more clamp so I decided to pick up a Jergenson f-clamp which annoyingly is made in china now and holy crap it's TERRIBLE.

The other 3 I'm using are made in the USA and I can't clamp the new one nearly as much and the bar is still flexing 3 times more than the USA ones

4 down...2 to go
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Old Today, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
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GUYS! I finally got one panel that doesn't suck!


Granted, this probably looks like all the other pics, so you'll just have to believe me.

I just snapped a quick pick but I still gotta trim it.

I hope it's related to me taking some time to try flattening out the veneer after applying it. What I had been doing was just placing it and aligning it then throwing the platens on. This time I took a minute or two to try flattening it out using the roller until it settled a bit before putting on the platens.
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