I haven't had time/energy to make a coherent post about progress since last week sometime, so I'm going to try to get caught up here. I'll start off with my sub build. I posted this over in the DIY speaker forum, but I like having everything here, so I'll just copy and paste it over.
I won't bore you guys with how I ended up here, but I'm building a pair of lilWreckers for my theater. It's a big room at around 26'x18'. I thought I'd do a build log and document my bone-headed screwups in case it would help someone else. This is my first sub build, so I made plenty of them.
I printed and followed
's directions from the wrecker thread
. I decided to go with the Alpine SWS-15D2 to keep the costs down. I figured this would be a learning experience and I might end up making a lot of high quality saw dust instead of speakers.
Started off with the a stack of wood. I spent a lot of time looking around the area to find Arauco. I finally found some at a local lumberyard, and later found out that our HD actually has the stuff and $10/sheet cheaper..... Boneheaded mistake #1
The first step is to rip down the panels. Cut sheets are provided in the instructions, which makes it pretty straight forward. Just be sure to number each of the panels as you cut them to keep from having to remeasure them later. I'm using a track saw, and this would be a tough build using just a table saw. The panels are pretty big.
Once you get the hang of track saw you can cut panels quickly and accurately. This panel is supposed to be 48-1/2" wide..... Pretty close
You can see in the pictures that I use a 4'x8' sheet of foam insulation as a backer, and cut on top of it. This makes it really easy to cut panels this size without help. Here are all the panels cut and stacked. This took me about 4 hours to do by myself. This is where I made my first mistake. I decided I would cut the various braces and spacers I would need as I went along. I should have done that all at the front while I had the saw out and ready to go. Dimensions for the windowed braces are in the lilWrecker thread. You can cut a few 2" wide strip for the others and cut to length once you need those. The braces in the mouth probably depend on your driver, but I went with 8"hx26l triangles IIRC. When I started cutting braces, I went ahead and cut them all for both cabs.
Here are the panels for both subs cut and stacked. I had to sort them out into stacks for the two subs when I started assembly. This is just how they ended up as I cut them.
Next I machined the baffle. Here again, that foam backer came in handy. I just screwed the baffle through the foam into the OSB underneath. That held the panel in place so that I could cut out the driver hole with my circle cutting jig. This is the first time I've used one of these jigs, and I was happy with how easy it was to use.
I used the spec that came with the driver for the hole. The instructions recommend making it big. We'll see how it goes. Next I test fit the driver and marked the holes. I added hurricane nuts and glued them in with Gorilla Glue. My drill walked around a bit, and some of the holes are a little loose, but I'm hoping the glue will hold them in. Yeah, that was another noob mistake
Here it is with the hurricane nuts installed. I tested to make sure the bolts were well aligned several times! Much easier to fix now than later.
I just followed the instructions for the build. They are well thought out, and very detailed. Step one is to lay out the panel positions on the one of the sides. To help with aligning the final panel, you stack the two sides on top of each other, and drill a hole through the panel with the layouts all the way through the other panel.
For those of you more experienced than me, you may have spotted a problem in that last pic. Those knot holes in the face veneer are a great place for a leak. I had a couple sheets with surface knots, but didn't think about it when I was cutting the panels. In the future, I'll be sure to pick the best panels for the sides, and try to make sure any knots are not near edges. Of course, now that I know HD has real Arauco, I can just pick through the ply until I find ply without knots.
For assembly, I just followed
's step-by-step directions. First two panels in place.
And here's where I discovered a pretty big problem. I assumed the driver was offset in the baffle to allow space for the first panel to attach and not interfere with the hurricane nuts...... Yeah, that's not really the case. I drilled the holes to mount the driver as it is in this picture.
The bottom bolt is covered by the first panel. Again, major boneheaded mistake. For now, I plan to put a short bolt in that hole. I'll let you know if it works. Another problem with this is the PL filled the hurricane nut when I installed the panels. That shouldn't have been a surprise, but it was on the first cab. For the next one I put a bolt in there a few times over the first several hours to make sure the PL didn't fill it up. I also ran a tap in it to clean out the threads.
Another panel goes in
Here's the next panel,
And another problem.
Despite measuring and checking my layout probably five times, I still managed to put this hole in the wrong spot. When I measured this one, I marked it at 3-7/8" rather than 4-7/8". I wish I could count the number of times I've done this in the past.
I decided to fix this the same way I fixed the knot holes (this photo is a little out of order, but you get the idea). I just used a short piece of scrap and glued and screwed over the knots and another over the hole. I used a LOT of PL on these cabs.
I also used extra PL anywhere I had a screw miss or tear out the side of a panel.
I'm not sure if that's the right approach, but it's what seemed right at the moment.
I started with the bracing here. Bracing between the first two panels is easy to install. You just put screws from the outside of the panels into the braces. Starting with the next panel, pocket hole screws on one side of the brace, and then screws from the outside panel into the brace from there on out. Also, note the spacers that I used to support the brace while I screwed it in place. These are mentioned the instructions, and are a huge help!
You rinse and repeat the process for each panel and brace.
The triangular braces at the bottom will depend on your particular driver, and you should probably double check fitment before you attach them.
Setting the last panel - the side - is a good place to have help.... I didn't for either cab. If you're living right, or just lucky, the holes you transferred from the 1st panel to the last will line up with the internal panels.
I'm not sure it helps, but I stacked some weight on the top as well.