Boxozaxu's Curved Front Ported Classix II - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 61 Old 08-12-2014, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Boxozaxu's Curved Front Ported Classix II

This is my take on Paul Carmody's Classix II speaker design. The plan is to make two curved front ported enclosures that are veneered and stained. I hope to accomplish several things I've never done before including building a curved speaker enclosure and veneering. Another purpose of this build is to learn a few things and possibly avoid some mistakes when I build my future HT speakers. Lastly, I would never have tried this if it wasn’t for all the others who have generously shared their builds and experience. Thank you for sharing.
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post #2 of 61 Old 08-12-2014, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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post #3 of 61 Old 08-12-2014, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Design

To kickoff the project I purchased two kits from DIYSoundGroup. The kits included the baffle for the rear ported design and that's what I originally planned to build but, since these will eventually live in my office and potentially on my desk, I switched to front ported. They're not as deep as the rear ported and I really started liking the looks of the front ported design. The included baffles will still come in real handy when I make the new baffles.

While waiting for the kits I spent a little time in sketchup working through different curves and dimensions that looked nice and stayed at the correct volume. I eventually picked this design:



Nothing super fancy but should be fun. And if you're really into boring youtube videos:


To make it less boring I asked my wife to improvise some vintage 70s adult movie sounding music on her piano so I could add it to the video but she just stood there and gave me that look. Oh well. I think that's enough chat so let's go make some MDF dust! U mm... right after a make a new circle jig for my router.

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post #4 of 61 Old 08-12-2014, 02:34 PM
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post #5 of 61 Old 08-12-2014, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
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You'll do great, Boxo!
Thanks dtsdig! I just need to get all my progress posted so I can start asking for help on the crossover!
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post #6 of 61 Old 08-12-2014, 03:21 PM
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Gonna be nice
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post #7 of 61 Old 08-12-2014, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
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New Circle Jig

I'll post some info on my new jig before getting into the build. This was my old circle making jig:



Really just one of those slap it together jigs and then go make some one off circle cuts. It makes perfect circles but it's a pain dialing in the exact radius you want. Since I plan to make more enclosures I decided to upgrade to a Jasper jig. Quick and easily repeatable circles up to 18-3/16", which unfortunately is not quite large enough for my design. I really needed something capable of handling 20" diameter circles to make the specific curve I want. Here is my new adjustable circle cutting jig that is capable of 4" to 48" circles. This jig will be perfect later for some large outdoor round table tops I plan to build.



What I did was just take some scrap pieces of 1/4" hardboard that happened to be just about wide enough and and glue it together so that the section where the adjustable pin slides is 1/2" thick. I left the part where I attach the router with only 1 layer of hardboard so I only lose 1/4" on the cutting dept of my bits.

Instead of using a threaded 1/4" bolt for the pin I decided to use a 1/4" hanger bolt instead. I cut off the hanger part of the bolt and that left me with a pin that is smooth on one side and accepts a standard 1/4" nut on the threaded side. I used a file to give the smooth end a chamfer. That helps with sliding the pin into holes. A 7/32" drill bit makes a perfect hole for the pin.



After the glue dried I made the groove and the thru cut for the adjustment pin. This took a few steps. I started by marking a center line. To find the center line I just lined up the two opposite edges with two easily divisible numbers on my scale and mark the middle number. Here I used 0 and 8 and marked where the 4 was.


Then I drew a parallel line 1/2" away from the center line and clamped a straight edge to that line. I installed a 1" outside diameter template guide and then using a 3/4" wide straight bit I routed a 3/4" wide and 1/4" deep groove down the center of the jig base. Picture of my router with the template guide and 3/4" bit next to the hardboard straight edge I used. I also used another piece of hard board on the other side of the center mark to support my router base:



After I did that I simply switched the 3/4" straight bit to a 1/4" straight bit and plunge cut all the way through the base the entire length of the groove. Since my straight edge was 1/2" away from the center and I was using a 1" O.D. template guide both straight bits lined up perfectly with my center mark.

After that I drilled some holes for mounting the router base and used a hole saw to cut a hole for the bits. Attaching the pin I just used a 1/4-20 hex nut and a fancy 1/4-20 thru hole knob handle. Works nice.



The only thing I would do different (and still might do) is make the groove wider in the bottom so I can fit in a washer between the nut and the base of the jig. Alright, now I can build some speakers!
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Last edited by Boxozaxu; 08-12-2014 at 06:23 PM.
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post #8 of 61 Old 08-12-2014, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Gonna be nice

Thanks! I just wish I had more time to spare. I shouldn't complain though, it's not like I had to travel to another country to pick up my kits.
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post #9 of 61 Old 08-12-2014, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
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Thanks! I just wish I had more time to spare. I shouldn't complain though, it's not like I had to travel to another country to pick up my kits.
Yeah the border wait sucked.
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post #10 of 61 Old 08-13-2014, 07:47 AM
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very cool looking. Looks like the shape of the cabinet on my paradigm studio 10's. What are you finishing them with? Veneer?
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post #11 of 61 Old 08-13-2014, 11:27 AM
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I built a pair of Classix II for my bedroom (front ported as well). Looking forward to seeing a curved and veneered build.
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post #12 of 61 Old 08-13-2014, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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very cool looking. Looks like the shape of the cabinet on my paradigm studio 10's. What are you finishing them with? Veneer?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio Geek View Post
I built a pair of Classix II for my bedroom (front ported as well). Looking forward to seeing a curved and veneered build.
Thanks. When I was coming up with various curves I was kind of shocked how each design immediately fell into the too round or too square category. I've already started brain storming some ideas for my HT mains to help differentiate them from other curved builds without getting into anything too gimmicky.

I'm going with Jequitiba non paperback wood veneer. To change things up, instead of contact cement I want to use Better Bond Heat-Lock™ Veneer Glue. Stay tuned!
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post #13 of 61 Old 08-14-2014, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Tops Bottoms and Braces

In order to create the identical top bottom and brace pieces I used a simple jig to route a bunch of identical blanks I cut up. Just a flat piece of MDF with two smaller pieces of MDF to act as stop blocks. Then I drilled a hole for the pin of my DIY adjustable circle jig. The location of the pin hole in relation to the stop blocks was the only real critical dimension of the entire jig. I then marked a pencil line 10" from the pin hole. I attached the circle jig and adjusted the router until my flush trim bit was just on the outside of the mark.

To make the blanks I ripped a piece of 3/4" MDF (tops,bottoms) and 1/2" MDF (braces) to my final speaker dept (minus the baffle and back thickness) and then set a stop block on my cross cut sled so that I cut each blank the same size but also wider than my speakers.



After cutting up the blanks I routed the first blank and then use that one to mark the curve on all the remaining blanks. I used my jigsaw to remove most of the extra material before I routed all the remaining blanks. Saves on the bit and speeds things up.





I used double sided carpet tape to hold down the blanks instead of screws or nails. I just used a scraper to lift the completed blank out (after blowing the dust away) and the carpet tape stayed on the jig and I reused it for the next blank. Worked well until some MDF dust got on it and then I was forced to replace it.



In this picture I marked the correct rotation of the router while routing. If you go the opposite way, you are making a climb cut. In this case not a safe operation because of the tethered router. In fact, if I was thinking, I would have made the entire jig a mirror image of the one I did make.



When I finished with all the curves on one side I flipped them over and marked the width I needed on one and lined it up with the cut edge of the stop block on the jig. You can barely see the pencil mark in the picture but it's there. To help keep it in place I placed a little filler block between the blank and the jig. Just like the first side, I used this one to mark and then trim the other blanks with my jigsaw. I reused the same filler block for the remaining blanks and didn't bother with measurements any more.



This all worked well for the 3/4" MDF but when I was working with the 1/2" MDF I had to use a piece of scrap 1/4" material to support the jig base and router.



And the results of all this work:



Before someone mentions it: I could have made just one using this jig and then used that as a template to make all the others. That would've require me setting up my router table, which I haven't touched in 4+ years, and I still needed to trim all the blanks with my jigsaw. Not really worth it for a few pieces since I was already set up with this jig. But I did save one for use as a template with my router table in case I ever want to redo this build in the future.

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post #14 of 61 Old 08-14-2014, 04:46 PM
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Nice work.. good tip with the carpet tape.
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post #15 of 61 Old 08-16-2014, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
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So today is the day during the week I have to watch the kids while the wife does her things. I decided to chance working on the speakers while the kids run around in the yard. They're finally old enough now that I can turn away and not worry about them getting into too much trouble.

All I want to accomplish today, while I'm watching the kids, is cutting out the braces with my jig saw. To do that first I want to mark some reasonably accurate cut lines on the braces and I do that using my adjustable square. I set the square to about 1" and slide it along the edge along with my pencil. This marks a line around the edge of the brace very fast.



Then I adjust the square so I can do the same with the inner lines.



Done. Now all I have to do is drill some holes and get the jig saw out. But... At this time my wife shows up and asks me if I've seen what the kids were doing. Kinda of an arms crossed, toe tapping question. I tell her yes and that they're in the yard. She asks if I know what they are doing in the yard. I tell her no and I poke my head the corner and this is what I see:



They had dug out a slight indentation in the yard and after hitting china decided to fill it with water and every toy within reach. What you don't see is my naked little girl swimming in it with over a dozen swelling red mosquito bites on her back. Yes dear, I'll finish the braces later after I'm done watching the kids.
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Last edited by Boxozaxu; 08-16-2014 at 07:21 PM.
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post #16 of 61 Old 08-16-2014, 11:35 PM
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Hahaha, I loved that story about the kids. Priceless!!...lol
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post #17 of 61 Old 08-17-2014, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Hahaha, I loved that story about the kids. Priceless!!...lol
Kids. But no matter how many times you wish they were older you always wish they would stay little forever.

Of course, as I was writing this, they destroyed the nice metal slinky I keep on my desk.

Last edited by Boxozaxu; 08-17-2014 at 11:14 AM.
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post #18 of 61 Old 08-17-2014, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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To finish up the braces I used my drill and drilled holes at each corner and then flipped it over and completed the hole from the back side.





Then, using the jig saw, I cut out each piece.



A little bit of sanding and we are done. Now only three more to go.



Of course the blade breaks on the last one. I switched to a metal blade and finished it up.



A little bit more sanding and we have four braces. It's a small speaker and two braces for each box might be overkill but I wanted the extra glue area for that initial 1/8" HDF panel.

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post #19 of 61 Old 08-23-2014, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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This is how I cut the front and back panels. This consisted of ripping 3/4" MDF to the correct width and then cross cutting them all to the same size but with the added complexity of a bevel cut to consider. Normally I would have simply used my sliding T-Bevel to transfer the angle from one of the top or bottom pieces to my table saw. In this case though, because of the magic of sketchup, I knew exactly what angles I needed for the front and back bevel cuts. I then used my digital angle finder to set my table saw to these angles. Once again I would have normally done this, with equally good results, with just my $5 T-Bevel.

Here I am setting the table saw to cut a 75 degree angle for the baffles.



After ripping one side I marked the width using one of the bottom pieces.




I then set my table saw fence a little bit wider than this mark and started the rip cut (about a ¼”) to see how off from the mark I was. I readjusted the fence and did another test cut. I did this until I was dead on the mark and then ripped the entire length.



Then set the table saw to cut the back piece and repeated all these steps.





After ripping the front and back, I attached a stop block to my cross cut sled at 16" and cut the fronts and backs all to the same length.



Now I can finally get to routing up the baffles.
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post #20 of 61 Old 09-03-2014, 07:33 PM
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any labor day weekend progress to report?
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post #21 of 61 Old 09-04-2014, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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any labor day weekend progress to report?
Yes I do! Thanks for asking. I'm home early today so I'll get it posted tonight.
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post #22 of 61 Old 09-04-2014, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Baffles

Alright, some progress to report. We have baffles. Enjoy!

I used the same method as before to find the center of the baffle and drew a line down the center. I got lucky and realized I marked the wrong side of the baffle so I flipped it over and drew another centered line. Glad I caught that mistake before I started cutting some holes!



Using the front ported enclosure diagram from Paul Carmody's website and my awl I marked the center point of the openings.



Here I'm using a scrap piece of something or other I had lying around that helped me drill the holes for the circle jig pin. Don't want that pin going in at a crazy angle.



To hold down the baffle I used some more double sided tape. I also placed three drywall screws near the center marks. My impact driver easily sank the screw heads below the surface of the MDF without me having to pre-drill any holes. This way when I finish the cut everything will stay in place.



I'm going to use two bits to cut out the holes. A 3/4” flush bit to cut the recessed portion in one cut and then a 1/4” flush bit to finish it up. Here is my 3/4” bit chucked up. Tell me when I start going overboard with the pictures.




At this point I need the rear ported baffle from the Classix kit so I can set my plunge router to the correct depth.

I think it's in there.....



Who packs speaker kits like this????? I'll be lazy and just slide one out and leave everything else intact. I don't time for all this unpacking.



Now that I have Erich's baffle I can plunge the bit until it hits the recessed part and then lock in the depth adjustment. When I route my baffle, it should be recessed exactly the same.



Recessed cuts completed.



Here is my 1/4” bit chucked up. Tell me when I start going overboard with the pictures.



Several times around and we have something that looks not too bad.



To make those little cut outs the for the tweeter I traced them onto my baffle and then I free hand routed them out. Doing this type of free hand router stuff I hold on tight and use climb cuts. That helps maintain control of the router.




Finally, rear ported and front ported baffles together:





I gotta say this turned out to be more work than I anticipated. Not hard work just a little bit more work because they're small and you can't use clamps. I like clamps.

Now the fun part. Assembly!
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post #23 of 61 Old 09-17-2014, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I assembled the cabinets the other day. Combination of wood glue and some 1 1/4" 18 gauge brads. From the front:



And from the back:



I did end up having a problem with the nails though. After finishing one I noticed some of my brads were protruding above the face of the MDF. After checking the PSI on my compressor was OK I realized it was because I was hand holding the pieces as I nailed them together and that wasn't enough to keep the box from moving. To fix the raised nail heads I used my Dremel tool and a cut off wheel. Just a few extra large holes to fill now.



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post #24 of 61 Old 09-17-2014, 07:57 PM
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Next time just tap nails down . Hammer and small screwdriver or punch if you have it.
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post #25 of 61 Old 09-17-2014, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalugadp View Post
Next time just tap nails down . Hammer and small screwdriver or punch if you have it.
This.

If you don't have a punch, go get one.
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post #26 of 61 Old 09-17-2014, 11:00 PM
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post #27 of 61 Old 09-18-2014, 11:41 AM
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great pics, keep em coming !!
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post #28 of 61 Old 09-18-2014, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! I appreciate the comments and suggestions.

About the nail punch. I would have used one if the enclosure was less curved. It takes the slightest touch to get the speaker rolling when it's laying on its small back and most of the raised nails were on the front edges. So instead of trying to keep it from rolling I grabed the dremel, which I already had on hand. Took less than a minute to trim all the nails and I got to make sparks. If there were a lot more nails I would have grabbed the nail punch and figured something out.
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post #29 of 61 Old 09-20-2014, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
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So this is where I'm at right now.

After gluing and nailing everything together I used a palm sander to quickly smooth up everything. I then ripped up a 4x8 sheet of 1/8" hardboard for the curved sides. A large sheet of 1/8" hardboard is really floppy and was a real pain to work with. Such a pain that I went ahead and ordered the EZSMART Universal Edge Guide With Universal Saw Base. I have to rip a few sheets of plywood soon for another little project so I'll let you know what I think.

Once I got the 1/8" hardboard cut up I tried curving just one around the speaker. WOW! That was impossible with my bare hands and I'm not a weak guy. Didn't help the MDF has some super sharp edges. That's what I get for going after an aggressive curve. I tried scoring the smooth side with a utility knife and that helped a little but I still could not get it to wrap around. Using my table saw I ripped several grooves on the other side and I was finally able to touch both sides. I'm not happy with the amount of forced required and I can't have those grooves on the others layers.

So now I'm trying to decide what I most feel like doing:
  • shotgun approach: drink several beers and just go for it with some wood glue and heavy clamps
  • rethink approach: maybe use some 1/2 mdf with kerfs and lots of PL Premium
  • divide and conquer approach: build a form and glue up the curves and then attach to the speaker
  • tuck my tail approach: build a square box
I'm going to drink a beer and think about it.
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post #30 of 61 Old 09-20-2014, 04:47 PM
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1/8" mdf will wrap around there no problem. Hardboard is tougher to bend. Clamps should do it. You tried with clamps ?
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