I wanted to start a build thread for my MWAF project this year, calling them Strafi, wanted to do something special and really push my building skills, there is a restaurant that has a light fixture that inspired me along with a build method I've been wanting to try for a while.
Traditional translam builds create tons of waste, I've had the idea of simply using thinner strips of wood, glued or attached at the corners to create the work envelope from which the final shape is created. This eliminates all the wasted material in the middle and keeps it to whatever is around the edges, very minimal. I'm sure this has been done though haven't seen it, regardless it looked fun and I wanted to give it a try =)
For MWAF I wanted to do something with Pro Audio drivers and a horn since I didn't see any of that last year, I've also been thrilled with the results I've been getting from those projects using PA drivers. I've been eyeing the FaitalPro 8PR200 for a while, after modeling about 50 pro audio 8" woofers, nothing came even close to it with regard to bass performance and clean FR higher up. They are also light neo drivers and I'm going to have to ship these suckers to Ohio this summer.
I decided to do a tower speaker with two 8" in a 2.5 way configuration, as, well, I really like bass. I will be pairing these to a Faital HF10AK 1" compression driver and LTH102 horn which is very well built and cast aluminum. I plan on doing a high order (3rd or 4th electrical) around 1khz, will be experimenting with that later on.
So now, on to the construction. After mulling around a bunch of ideas, I settled on doing a solid hardwood enclosure using Poplar (no shoot you say) and Mahogany. Each enclosure will be made up of about 43 layers each (may vary 1 layer here or there once I get closer to finalizing things).
Each layer is made from 4 pieces of precisely cut lumber, layers stagger every other between a long center Mahogany plank and a short one. When the Mahogany is short, the poplar end grain shows on the sides of it, and this creates a stitched interlacing pattern up the sides. I chose to do this to create a striking visual contrast and I really love the variability in color and grain of the Poplar wood I chose. I have no real idea how this will look when it's done, but I'm excited to see it come together.
Over the past week I sourced the lumber, cut sections to precise lengths and ripped pieces to precise widths and have been gluing them up in batches of 4 using 4 fixtures I built to precisely control the inside and outside dimensions. I'm still using A LOT of lumber, over 55 linear feet of 7.25" wide Mahogany and 11.25" wide poplar.
The dust collection system I put in has been working overtime and working very well might I add =) Once I glue up a layer I can let it set up for about 45 minutes, pull it out of the fixture and slap in new pieces for another round. Over the past week I've been doing one batch at 6:45am when I wake up and right before I make the kid's lunches, then I drop the kids off at school, do another batch at 7:30 right before I leave for work. Then another batch when I get home around 7pm, one at 8:30 and a couple more until midnight or so. Each batch takes about 15 minutes to pull out of fixtures and glue up new pieces, the quick clamps really make things much easier and very accurate.
My cut lists, a pretty extensive spreadsheet with formulas, was very helpful in calculating exactly how much material I'd need.
Individual layer pieces organized and ready to glue up
Two layers glued up and drying
Seams are clamped to align pieces as well as possible, the Mahagany and Poplar are slightly different thicknesses, which will be corrected by the drum sander
Layers stacking up! You can see the alternate layers each in their own stack.
Chop saw fixtures makes quick and accurate work, I have the chop saw adjusted perfectly square for accurate cuts. The ID dimensioned pieces are the most critical, the outside overlapping pieces aren't as critical as that material will be trimmed off.
I should have all layers done by tomorrow, more to come!