Anyone use Brads , screws or staple when building boxes? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 08-09-2013, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Planning some sub and possibly speaker builds in the future and wondered if anyone uses fasteners to hold boxes together while the glue dries. Especially since I would cover holes and Paint the boxes I have considered this approach.. I do other woodworking and if was painting furniture/cases would not hesitate to use brads. But I didnt know if for some reason the vibrating of the boxes would be problematic with brads or other fasteners. ( seems unlikely)

As of ;yet all the builds I have seen are clamps only so I figured i ask.

I have plenty of quality clamps but brads are easier:D

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post #2 of 25 Old 08-09-2013, 10:33 PM
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I use a combination of brad nails and clamps. I apply glue, align, and then clamp. Once in position I shoot nails at alternating angle into the appropriate board and then wait 30 minutes. Then move on to the next piece. I used to use dry wall screws every 6"s but got tired of trying to fill the larger holes. I have had success with both methods. With the drywall screws, I would dry fit the panels and pre drill. Although time consuming, the screws would align the panels for me. If I had an accurate table saw, I would dado the edges in addition. That would make it much easier to align the panels instead of the constant adjustments without a guide. There are so many ways to skin that cat.

As for the box vibrating and causing issues, the glue is where the strength comes from. The nails and/or screws are to hold everything in place while the bond is made.
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post #3 of 25 Old 08-09-2013, 10:50 PM
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Speaker cabinets are no different than any other piece of furniture. Do what works. Brads or staples are just fine, particularly if you are going to paint.
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post #4 of 25 Old 08-10-2013, 12:41 AM
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I used drywall screws for my sub enclosures while the glue dried, worked perfectly fine to this day. Only problem is having to fill about 75 screw holes per cabinet, I built four... There were a few dimples on my cabinets because I got lazy filling in the holes and didn't re-apply bondo.

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post #5 of 25 Old 08-10-2013, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MALIX View Post

Planning some sub and possibly speaker builds in the future and wondered if anyone uses fasteners to hold boxes together while the glue dries. Especially since I would cover holes and Paint the boxes I have considered this approach.. I do other woodworking and if was painting furniture/cases would not hesitate to use brads. But I didnt know if for some reason the vibrating of the boxes would be problematic with brads or other fasteners. ( seems unlikely)

As of ;yet all the builds I have seen are clamps only so I figured i ask.

I have plenty of quality clamps but brads are easier:D

Two words: Drywall screws.l If you are gluing, you don't have to drive them in all the way.

If the heads are too large and nasty for filling - there are such things as trim head drywall screws.
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post #6 of 25 Old 08-10-2013, 07:21 AM
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I started with drywall screws. big holes to fill and lots of drilling and predrilling to keep from splitting the MDF if screwing into the endgrain.... PITA.

Went to using a brad nailer. Works good on small panels for rapid assembly. large panels need bracing/clamping

Currently use mostly a kreg pocket hole jig. I cannot imagine assembling without one now, its on of my fav tools in my cab building tool bag. There are times I still clamp but 90% of the time the kreg is enough.

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post #7 of 25 Old 08-10-2013, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Ya, I love my kregjig but alignment can be somewhat tricky if things are moving around. I do have the special clamp but wonder if a shallow dado and some brads may work better.

As stated above... Many ways onto skin this cat.

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post #8 of 25 Old 08-10-2013, 11:46 AM
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I love the statements that I hear all the time that all you need is glue-fasteners are only good for while the glue dries etc.

Well consider this. Yes the glue is strong. But if you are using plywood (or wafer board or whatever-the glue ONLY attaches the thin pieces of wood together.

THEN you are relying on the glue that is in the wood. If that bond breaks-then it doesn't matter how good "your" glue is-the cabinet is coming apart.

You have to have both-glue and mechanical fasteners.

THe mechanical fasteners penetrate many layers of the wood-holding it together much better than glue alone. The glue is real good for keeping vibrations down-sealing air leaks etc.

Yes the mechanical fasteners are a pain to "finish", but they do add quite a bit to the overall structural integrity of the cabinet.

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post #9 of 25 Old 08-10-2013, 01:47 PM
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has anyone tired trim head wood screws instead of drywall screws? smaller head might make for little filling.

http://www.mcfeelys.com/product/0715-TSO/7-x-1-58-Wood-Trim-Screws-Unplated-Steel-Trim-Head-Square-Drive
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post #10 of 25 Old 08-10-2013, 01:58 PM
 
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I've done screws and brad nails. Brad nails are 10x faster and easier.
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post #11 of 25 Old 08-10-2013, 02:16 PM
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One drawback of using a brad nailer is that you can't employ a router on the corners because it'll hit the brads. Why not set the depth controller to where it leaves the head protruding enough to enable pulling out the brad after the glue has set ? You can then use the router to shape the corners. The tiny holes should disappear after shaping or be easily filled.

I too have found that using a brad nailer saves a ton of time.
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post #12 of 25 Old 08-10-2013, 07:20 PM
 
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I did rounded edges right over the brad nails with no problem, it slices them easily.
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post #13 of 25 Old 08-11-2013, 05:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWagstaff View Post

I did rounded edges right over the brad nails with no problem, it slices them easily.

Lol JW, you cant use my bits! :-P

I was able to do 1/2" roundovers no problem with the brad nailer with some attention to keeping the nail away from the edge and making sure the nailer was set to counter sink.

Suspect bit hits get a quick countersink with the nail set just before roundover...

It also depends on the size of the roundover. 3/4" roundovers and larger and all mechanical fasteners are pretty much out of the question....

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post #14 of 25 Old 08-11-2013, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Beaver View Post

I love the statements that I hear all the time that all you need is glue-fasteners are only good for while the glue dries etc.

Well consider this. Yes the glue is strong. But if you are using plywood (or wafer board or whatever-the glue ONLY attaches the thin pieces of wood together.

THEN you are relying on the glue that is in the wood. If that bond breaks-then it doesn't matter how good "your" glue is-the cabinet is coming apart.

You have to have both-glue and mechanical fasteners.

THe mechanical fasteners penetrate many layers of the wood-holding it together much better than glue alone. The glue is real good for keeping vibrations down-sealing air leaks etc.

Yes the mechanical fasteners are a pain to "finish", but they do add quite a bit to the overall structural integrity of the cabinet.

Not true. Any plywood joint properly bonded will tear the wood if you try to break it.
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post #15 of 25 Old 08-11-2013, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Beaver View Post

I love the statements that I hear all the time that all you need is glue-fasteners are only good for while the glue dries etc.

Well consider this. Yes the glue is strong. But if you are using plywood (or wafer board or whatever-the glue ONLY attaches the thin pieces of wood together.

THEN you are relying on the glue that is in the wood. If that bond breaks-then it doesn't matter how good "your" glue is-the cabinet is coming apart.

You have to have both-glue and mechanical fasteners.

THe mechanical fasteners penetrate many layers of the wood-holding it together much better than glue alone. The glue is real good for keeping vibrations down-sealing air leaks etc.

Yes the mechanical fasteners are a pain to "finish", but they do add quite a bit to the overall structural integrity of the cabinet.

To me this is a no brainer and I agree with the above . At least with wood glue that is. Wood glue is stronger than the wood itself when gluing long grain to long grain. But not with short grain to long grain such as in butt joints (like those used in gluing up speaker boxes. A butt joint is THE weakest joint you can use to join two boards together . Mechanical fasteners are clearly an improvement to a dado or butt joint for the purpose of making a speaker box. To me Fasteners are a sure way to add strength to an already weak joint.

Wood magaine did a joint torture test and found that both in shear and pull apart tests screws add strength to the butt joint. (Wood mag Nov 06)

http://www.wwgoa.com/woodworking-joints-which-ones-should-you-use/

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post #16 of 25 Old 08-11-2013, 02:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NicksHitachi View Post

Lol JW, you cant use my bits! :-P

I was able to do 1/2" roundovers no problem with the brad nailer with some attention to keeping the nail away from the edge and making sure the nailer was set to counter sink.

Suspect bit hits get a quick countersink with the nail set just before roundover...

It also depends on the size of the roundover. 3/4" roundovers and larger and all mechanical fasteners are pretty much out of the question....

I'm using a $4.00 bit so no big deal to replace, no damage yet though smile.gif It's only 3/8" though, I probably wouldn't do it with a 3/4" or 1" haha
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post #17 of 25 Old 08-11-2013, 06:23 PM
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I have been using brad nails with a nail gun, very fast but must be very careful to align the pieces precisely. Occasionally will have a brad nail go in off angle and come out the side of a panel which I cut off using a Dremel.
Is anyone using biscuit joints making speakers? I tried it once and the result were OK but not great.
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post #18 of 25 Old 08-11-2013, 07:42 PM
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I've used everything and generally use drywall screws so I can build it all in a hour or 2. Brads work well too but for me at least, I can just take my boxes to work and finish them with all my tools. A few boxes full of screw holes is a hours worth of work with the right tools. A little overkill never killed anyone lol

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post #19 of 25 Old 08-11-2013, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian P. Hearon View Post

I have been using brad nails with a nail gun, very fast but must be very careful to align the pieces precisely. Occasionally will have a brad nail go in off angle and come out the side of a panel which I cut off using a Dremel.
Is anyone using biscuit joints making speakers? I tried it once and the result were OK but not great.

I've used a biscuit joiner to make kitchen cabinets. One of the good things about biscuits it that they increase the gluing surface thus strengthen the joint. They penetrate through multiple layers of ply almost replicating splines. For my next set of speakers I'll use biscuits and brads to hold the butts together. The biscuits also make it easier to align the sides while slippery with glue. You can then apply clamps, shoot the brads and then remove the clamps and move to the next butt joint.
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post #20 of 25 Old 08-12-2013, 07:15 AM
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I've seen BFM horns done with dadoes via template and router. Lots of prep making a template for the panels, but assembly was fastener-free and almost foolproof.
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post #21 of 25 Old 08-12-2013, 08:12 AM
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The whole "the fastener goes through mulitple layers of plywood and is therefore stronger than just glue which is only bonding to the outer-most surface of a multi-layer substrate" sounds all well and great, but the fact of that matter is that when you're talking about a typical home cabinet with typical home use and lengths of 8+ inches you are NEVER going to see the stress that's going to cause either to fail. Ever. I'd be willing to be that they'd also hold up exceptionally well touring too, but I'm certain someone is going to tell me I'm insane, and that's cool. Edge glue a couple pieces of decent plywood together once and tell me how easily they're separated.

But now, add the inherent- and usually absurd levels of- rigidity of a 6 sided cube, its total bonded surface area, AND internal wall to wall bracing? Good luck getting these joint to fail.

Brads and screws are fine for expediting work, but unless you're really cramped for time, simply more holes and material.


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post #22 of 25 Old 08-18-2013, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Beaver View Post

I love the statements that I hear all the time that all you need is glue-fasteners are only good for while the glue dries etc.

Well consider this. Yes the glue is strong. But if you are using plywood (or wafer board or whatever-the glue ONLY attaches the thin pieces of wood together. THEN you are relying on the glue that is in the wood. If that bond breaks-then it doesn't matter how good "your" glue is-the cabinet is coming apart.

You have to have both-glue and mechanical fasteners. THe mechanical fasteners penetrate many layers of the wood-holding it together much better than glue alone. The glue is real good for keeping vibrations down-sealing air leaks etc. Yes the mechanical fasteners are a pain to "finish", but they do add quite a bit to the overall structural integrity of the cabinet.

So does Danley consider staples to be a mechanical fastener? Is it a mix of staples, screws & glue?

Any interesting anecdotes you can share about the challenges you've faced as a manufacturer?

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post #23 of 25 Old 08-18-2013, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koturban View Post

I've seen BFM horns done with dadoes via template and router. Lots of prep making a template for the panels, but assembly was fastener-free and almost foolproof.
One of my builders had a cab fall off the back of his pickup truck doing 60 down the highway. No damage. I use 18ga brads for the most part, and where I do occasionally use a screw I usually pull it out after the adhesive has set. Adhesive, along with a self-bracing design, is all you need. Fasteners just hold the parts in place while the adhesive sets.

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post #24 of 25 Old 08-18-2013, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

One of my builders had a cab fall off the back of his pickup truck doing 60 down the highway. No damage. I use 18ga brads for the most part, and where I do occasionally use a screw I usually pull it out after the adhesive has set. Adhesive, along with a self-bracing design, is all you need. Fasteners just hold the parts in place while the adhesive sets.

I was going to abandon my Cobra horn and just build a THT, so I bought the THT plans. Read them over and decided to go ahead with my Cobra anyways - but my way. I've got to say, your THT instructions would have saved me some headache. You have a pretty tight process there, simple but effective.
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post #25 of 25 Old 08-18-2013, 09:13 PM
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Man, I wish someone would of told me I cant use brads with a 3/4" round over bit
when I put cabinets together....before I started doing it years ago.

MDF is soft, your going to....I assume....finish it somehow.
Buy a cheap bit, wear eye and face protection, router over your brads,
take a set punch when your done, set brads, and fill with
whatever floats your boat.(I use automotive glazing puty on all my MDF seams)

I have a 3/4" round overs on every set of speakers I've built, this method has never
failed me.

My latest set, before finish, almost every corner is done ....

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