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post #1 of 12 Old 04-10-2017, 06:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Dtsdig's Curvy Sealed Sub Builds!

In March 2013, I officially jumped into this crazy world of DIY speakers and subs by purchasing a pair of SI HT18's, which at the time, were first gen from SI. This pair was to replace the Polk PSW505 that I had bought the year before. After tons of reading and hanging out on HTS, I decided to take the plunge. I've been wanting to document the build here on AVS since HTS doesn't get much traffic these days, so here we go!
Here's my setup before I tore it down in January:


My two curvy cabs have been in use in raw MDF form since the end of 2013 right up until January of this year (2017) when I had to take the boxes out of my livingroom in order to better stage our house for showings since we decided to move. I figured that while my livingroom setup was going to out of commission until we move into our new place, I might as well finally finish the cabs. As some of you may know, a lot has changed for me since 2013 and I have really jumped into wood working, buying tools and equipment and building my skills since then. After much debate, I have decided to turn these subs into up-firing end tables for the new house livingroom system.
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Last edited by dtsdig; 04-11-2017 at 11:59 AM.
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-10-2017, 06:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Starting at the beginning....
In 2013, I did not own a router yet, or a track saw, or a table saw or too much else for woodworking tools. All of my MDF cuts were done with a homemade straight edge jig and a 20 year of Craftsman circular saw. I purchased my Bosch router for this build and had to learn how to use it!

Here's the beginning from around March 2013.
Find a radius using a long swing arm with the router attached:




The track setup with stacks of tempered hardboard to cut for the curved sides:


I traced the edge of the piece that I cut off onto an MDF panel then flipped it and traced it again. Here I am getting ready to rough cut the edges with my jigsaw:


Next, I used that piece as the guide and used a pattern bit to get the same shape on the edge of a piece of 1/2" plywood. Again, flip the piece over and match the opposite edge on the MDF panel. After that, I clamped a second piece of plywood to the first and made another copy for sub #2.




Eventually, I got in a routine and made 4 more copies of this panel out of MDF to use as the baffles for both boxes. The baffles each consist of one layer of 1/2" ply and 2 layers of 3/4" MDF. Additionally, I had to make 4 more of these panels to be used as the backs of the cabs and the braces but with a slightly different width since they would have curved side panels attached to their outside edges whereas the baffles do not.




A stack of stuff:


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Last edited by dtsdig; 04-11-2017 at 12:03 PM.
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-10-2017, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Just for the record, this build stretched out over many months with very sporadic weekends and work nights involved. The duration of it drove me nuts at the time, but life is busy a lot.
Onto the bracing! I decided to go totally overboard with the bracing as many of us do. Part of it was that I wanted it to look cool inside but also, I didn't want to skimp out anywhere on the process. After hours of messing around with methods, I was able to carve out a couple of window braces as a start of the madness. Oh hey, this must have been around the time I purchased the Jasper circle jig!






Next up was to get the basic square portions of the box built. Somewhere along the way, I cut panels for the tops and bottoms of the cabs. Those panels are the only rectangles on the box! LOL, what do I get myself into?
4 Sides:




Bracing design on the fly. I spent a ton of time experimenting and deciding how I wanted to do it.





Sorry for some of the photo quality. 2013 was many iPhones ago!

Figured a way to make another jig to help the process of making a couple of braces fit together like puzzle pieces. Nowadays, dudes have fancy CNC machines for this type of thing!



Getting there!
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-10-2017, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Bracing is done!







Fitting the skeleton together:





At this point, we skip ahead many months again to complete the skeleton for the second box!
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Last edited by dtsdig; 04-11-2017 at 01:19 PM.
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-10-2017, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtsdig View Post
Starting at the beginning....
In 2013, I did not own a router yet, or a track saw, or a table saw or too much else for woodworking tools. All of my MDF cuts were done with a homemade straight edge jig and a 20 year of Craftsman circular saw. I purchased my Bosch router for this build.

Limitations on my work computer are making this thread very hard to add to because of nearly every photo hosting site being blocked. To be continued....
VPN or SSH Tunnel


I'm watching your thread with great interest since I would like to make my next build a curved one. Your speakers look great.

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post #6 of 12 Old 04-10-2017, 04:09 PM
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Love the towers - did you simply adjust the volume for tuning, or did you adjust the port lengths as well? Seems you kept the same number/diameter as the ports that ship with the kit, so just wondering if any other alterations needed to be made. Looking forward to this, since I haven't seen any upfiring table-subs before. Will you have the driver visible (glass top), or hidden under a wood top? If that's the case, why upfiring instead of downfiring?
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-11-2017, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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@stopthemadness Thanks! I did not adjust the port lengths, I just built the cabs a bit bigger than the original. I have never specifically measured to see where the tuning came in but all I can tell you is that when I run Audyssey, my AVR wants to set the crossovers at 40Hz for my towers. I generally keep them crossed between 60 and 80.
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-11-2017, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Building the curves! Again, the following steps took huge amounts of time spent experimenting. I attached the first layer of 3/16" hardboard using PL Premium. All other layers were attached with Titebond II. It took massive amounts of force to squeeze everything together in a uniform way, so I got the idea to build up a set of "bones" to apply pressure with.



First layer glued up! This was a royal pain to set up in a short amount of time, but it turned out alright!




First layer squeeze out:


Top view:


From there, it was rinse and repeat rolling on Titebond II on each hardboard layer. I got into the swing of it pretty quickly and the 4 layers flew by in a week or so. It may look like there are gaps between the layers in this photo, but it's just shadows caused by the panels being ever so misaligned.
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-11-2017, 04:31 PM
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I saw this build thread in another forum and just started my own build thread of a similar design based off yours. Thanks for the inspiration.
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-11-2017, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim.tdnphoto View Post
I saw this build thread in another forum and just started my own build thread of a similar design based off yours. Thanks for the inspiration.
Hey, glad I could help inspire!
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post #11 of 12 Old 04-14-2017, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Time for some trimming! The jig that I built was based on the one that @PassingInterest came up with for this exact operation. It works wonderfully with a variety of bits. In this case, I just used a large straight cutting bit.





More to come....
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post #12 of 12 Old Today, 01:03 PM
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These look cool!
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