DIY Speaker Stands - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 07-11-2003, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I thought for sure there would be some discussion or plans here on speaker stands. I did a search but nothing came up.

So - Does anyone have any plans/ideas... for DIY speaker stands?
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post #2 of 26 Old 07-11-2003, 08:57 AM
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What size speakers are you building them for? Any idea of what you want to build them with? I just finished a few stands for my speakers, I made them out of Oak and they looked wounderful. Of course right after they were done I ending up getting a pair of floorstanding speakers!

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post #3 of 26 Old 07-11-2003, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply.

I'm looking for stands for "bookshelf" speakers dimensions - (H x W x D): 15-3/16" x 8-11/16" x 11-1/16"

I probably want oak because I have an oak entertainment center and fireplace mantle. Although, I would consider other materials.
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post #4 of 26 Old 07-11-2003, 11:57 PM
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A speaker stand is pretty basic and an easy DIY project. From a design standpoint there is the base support, column, top plate for the speaker. the size of all the above will depend on what speaker you're using and what tweeter height you prefer. The essetial part is simply making the base stable enough (wide enough and heavy enough) to not make the speaker tipsy. Several layers of 3/4" MDF to make a 3" thick base will probably give you enough weight to keep it stable. Otherwise if you make a hollow column design you could always fill the thing up with sand.

Oak is very common and can be found almost anywhere. I usually buy at specialty hardwood lumber stores and rarely buy any kind of wood at Home Depot/Lowes.

There's red oak and white oak (2 most common oaks) and most furniture tends to be red oak, unless it's built in a mission/arts and craft style, then it could be white oak/quarter sawn white oak.
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post #5 of 26 Old 07-12-2003, 07:36 AM
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shokunin,

You described almost exactly the construction style I used for my speaker stands. One small difference was that I used MDF instead of hardwood. I glued two pieces of 3/4 inch MDF to make the base. It looks good with the thicker base. You may need to go thicker to visually balance the appearance, as you suggested, if your speaker is bigger. My base is wider than the speaker and it is very stable. I think the width and depth of the base add far more to the stability than its weight.

Two layers of MDF glued together make up the base of the speaker stands. (Norm Abram's says you will never have enough clamps, He was right!)
http://home.triad.rr.com/leggio/imag.../P1130691a.jpg

I made the columns from four lengths of MDF glued together as a tube. I had ripped 12 inch wide MDF shelves lengthwise into 5 inch and 7 inch wide boards. I used the 5 inch boards for the front and back of the columns, the 7 inch boards were on the sides. Simple butt joints resulted in a column 5 inches wide and 8.5 inches deep.
http://home.triad.rr.com/leggio/imag.../P1130692a.jpg

Once the edges were trimmed and sanded smooth and even, I used my roundover bit in my router on the edges of the column and around the top of each of the the bases. Fill the insides with sand or kitty litter (unused) to keep them from becomming resonant chambers.

Once assembled, they look pretty decent.
http://home.triad.rr.com/leggio/imag.../P1130696a.jpg

Lastly, finish them as you desire. Mine will end up flat black when I am done.

Joe L.
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post #6 of 26 Old 07-13-2003, 09:37 AM
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I made stands for a set of rear speakers (Paradigm Monitor 3) and a set side surrounds (P. ADP-370). There are lots of reasons not to put rears and surrounds on stands but I wanted some flexibility and the room constraints were such that wall or ceiling mounts wouldn't work. The biggest problem was getting them high enough off the floor without looking awkward or being dangerous. The Mon. 3's in particular are reasonably large (HWD=16x10x13") and heavy (~20lbs each). The stands are about 40" tall. The materials were cheap - some solid maple & maple plywood scraps, a bit of MDF, ABS pipe and toilet flanges. The wiring is run internally inside a conduit to allow me to fill the stands with sand and still be able to change the wiring without having to dump the sand. I bought everything I needed at Home Depot. The two sets of speakers use the same lower base and riser but the speaker platforms are the same dimensions as the speakers they support (the platforms for the 370's are trapezoidal).
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post #7 of 26 Old 07-13-2003, 09:48 AM
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Oops, I meant to include this in the post above....
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post #8 of 26 Old 07-14-2003, 08:25 AM
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J.L.,

Great work!!! You did most of that in the living room? My wife would have had my head if did that anywhere but the garage. In any case, the great thing about DIY is you have full control over everything, height, width, weight, etc. Some speakers like to have the front baffle extend all the way to the floor (eg. same width from top of speaker to the bottom of the stand) to resemble a floorstander. Apparently the front baffle acts as coupler to the woofer allowing the bass frequencies to travel down the baffle to the floor, extending the response a bit.
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post #9 of 26 Old 07-14-2003, 09:39 AM
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shokunin,

I do the cutting and routing out in my driveway. I have a piece of 3/4 inch plywood across two sawhorses as a work surface. The driveway is gravel, and I don't even have to worry much about the sawdust as the rain washes most of it away.

I started this project (Audax Home Theater speakers and Adire-Tempest / Sonotube Sub) last October. It was possible to do some work outdoors, but almost all the finish work was done indoors, usually in the middle of the floor in my basement theater where it was much warmer, especially through the winter months.

After doing the glue up of the DIY speaker stands illustrated in this thread, I took the column and base outside to sand them smooth (belt sander) and round over the edges (router).

The veneering and finishing (all but the application of the black aniline dye) of the speaker cabinets were all done indoors in the middle of the theater floor. It helps that it is completely isolated from view from the rest of the house. Last January I did have to move the partially completed Left and Right speakers upstairs into the middle of the living room to work on them as we had a 5 day power outage from an ice storm.

The theater is completely light controlled, and impossible to see anything without lights. Since we were stuck at home from the storm, and since I could hand sand the speakers, I did do that in the living room, but the project quickly got moved out of the living room once power was restored. (It really helps to have a very understanding wife)

This past weekend I built a second set of stands similar to the ones I showed supporting my front speakers. They however have a wider base and a longer column and are for my rear channels. The base is 14 inches wide by 12 inches deep and the column 48 inches long.

I'll post a picture once I get them painted. Tonight, I have to get the stuff cleaned up in the theater as we will probably be hosting a few of my wife's friends over tomorrow night for a movie. She is understanding, but still wants everything to look nice when guests arrive.

Oh yes, one last thing. My wife and I looked at many theaters illustrated in the AVS forum gallery looking at various speaker stands. Together we picked out a design for the speaker stands that we both liked. That alone is one major benefit of DIY speaker stand construction... getting exactly the right stand in exactly the right height in exactly the right color... priceless.

Joe L.
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post #10 of 26 Old 07-14-2003, 09:46 AM
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Any thoughts on filling a design like either of those shown halfway full of sand (or something else fairly heavy) to lower the center of gravity and increase stability?

Eric.

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post #11 of 26 Old 07-14-2003, 03:23 PM
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Filling with sand is usually a good idea to keep then from resonating, but with taller stands that can also make them too heavy to easily move around. As JL said, the base can be made so that the sand is not needed for stability. Not sure how others do it, but my speakers sit on vinyl bumpers, which serve two purposes. They limit the speaker cabinet to stand interface to four points, but they also make it very difficult for speaker to slide off. I would need to tilt my stands beyond 60° before the speakers would slide off.
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post #12 of 26 Old 07-14-2003, 08:38 PM
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I made stands similar to Joe's and I also have the same speakers. This is actually a common stand design and I've seen many others that are similar. My stands are filled with sand and have 1-1/2" tall x 1-1/4" diameter spikes. Each speaker with the stand now weighs over 100lbs. My speakers also have a section of MDF attached to the bottom that inserts into the top of the stands like a plug. I have pictures on a site. Just click the link and look at pg 8,9,10 to see the stands: http://lotuseuropa0.tripod.com/audax...peakers008.htm Soon, my HT renovation will be complete. I actually moved a lot of crap out tonight and was able to remove the plastic covering off the equipment, lower the screen and watch it for about 15mins. I can already tell the difference in the sound of the room.

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post #13 of 26 Old 07-15-2003, 05:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow - thanks for all the excellent reply's. Keep the pictures coming.

By the way. Would you use rubber feet for the stand and the speaker if it is on ceramic tile?

Also, what is the disadvantage of using solid red oak throughout? Is it just cost?
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post #14 of 26 Old 07-15-2003, 06:58 AM
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For the rear channels, I built a set of stands similar in style to the ones I built for my front speakers. The major differences are the length of the column and the size of the base.

The base and top are not yet attached in any way to the column when I took this picture. It shows how stable the design can be even when not yet completely assembled and filled.

Oh yes, my wife picked up several large bags of unscented kitty litter so we can fill our stands. It is mostly to kill any possible resonance rather than to add stability.

bch2000,
Solid oak would cost a bit more, but make finishing easier if you are looking to keep the wood grain appearance. Paint or dye on MDF is less expensive and actually, in the case of my front stands, better, as I do not want any reflections from the screen.

Yes, I would use either rubber feet or a piece of carpet under the base if placing the speaker stands on ceramic tile.

Joe L.

48 inch long columns, 14 x 12 inch base
http://home.triad.rr.com/leggio/imag...P7150835-1.jpg
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post #15 of 26 Old 07-15-2003, 10:38 AM
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Hey Joe,
You must really love that MDF and your router! Those rear stands are quite a sight. Are you going to dye them black?
jeff

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post #16 of 26 Old 07-15-2003, 04:02 PM
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Jeff,

I can say, using the router gives me an excuse to make some sawdust.

I do plan on putting a black finish on the stands. I need to experiment to see what kind of finish looks good on raw MDF. May just be flat black paint, or it might be black Aniline dye with flat lacquer on top.

Joe L.
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post #17 of 26 Old 07-16-2003, 05:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by J. L.
... Paint or dye on MDF is less expensive and actually, in the case of my front stands, better, as I do not want any reflections from the screen.
...
What do you mean by "reflections from the screen"?

Also, I have another project where I need to put shelf along the top of my RPTV for my Center. What material might you suggest? I'm going to run it the length of the TV to distribute the speaker's weight. It needs to be as lightweight as possible (its on top of the TV) and thin as possible (so we can't see it) and hold a 15lb speaker. Does MDF come in thinner sizes? Does Home Depot sell it?

Thanks,
Bryan
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post #18 of 26 Old 07-16-2003, 05:42 AM
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I do not want light from the screen reflecting off of glossy finished surfaces located nearby. It is very distracting when watching a movie.

Look closely at the picture I posted of the rear channel stands. Check out how much light is reflected off of the top of the center channel speaker in the background. Check out how little light is reflected off of the side of the right channel speaker. It has a very flat finish by comparison.

My front speakers are finished in "dead flat black" and barely reflect any light. I want the front stands finished the same way. Since I will be applying the finish to all the stands, I expect that none of them will have a gloss finish.

I encourage you to try your finish on a sample of wood first. Only then if you are happy, apply it to your DIY project. I learned the hard way. Even though I finished my center channel speaker in a "satin" finish (least glossy of the Minwax Polycrylic finishes), it is still way too glossy for me. I did the left/right speakers in a "dead flat" spray lacquer finish... they came out much better...

Now, if your speakers are not as close to your screen, or placed so that light will not reflect off their finish, you might not have the same issue with a glossy finish.

Joe L.
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post #19 of 26 Old 07-16-2003, 06:20 AM - Thread Starter
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How did you mount the support "tube" to the top & bottom? Just glue? Angle brackets inside?

I was thinking maybe a pipe and pipe flange screwed to the top and bottom would make for a very stable support. Your wood "tube" could then go around the pipe for asthetic reasons and for a place to put your kitty litter. (You must have the freshest smelling speaker stands).

One other note, wouldn't lead shot work better than kiity liiter? It is denser and would keep the center of gravity lower. I have about 10lbs in a scuba diver weight belt I don't use anymore.
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post #20 of 26 Old 07-16-2003, 08:38 AM
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First...

I did say "unscented" kitty litter. Basically, small pellets of clay... no scent at all.

The support tubes on my stands are attached to the base with glue and screws. The screws go through the base and into the 3/4 inch thick walls of the support tube. I did countersink and predrill the holes for the screws to keep the MDF from splitting. Either of the methods you described would have worked as well. Even glue alone would make a joint stronger than the MDF itself. The screws are mostly there to "clamp" the base and tube together while the glue dries.

I did not put glue on the top, I only used screws. That way, I could always empty the columns if I wanted to try an alternate weighting.

Yes, lead shot or weights would work. If you did not already have them sitting unused, then sand or Kitty litter would probably be less expensive. You must remember though, I do not have any problem with stability from the speakers being top-heavy, even on the front speakers where the speakers weigh close to 40 lbs. The fill material is mostly to keep the support tubes on the stands from resonating and sounding hollow.

Joe L.
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post #21 of 26 Old 07-19-2003, 07:13 AM
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bch2000

An example of stands using pipe flanges to support the top and base can be found at the following link:

http://www.partsexpress.com/projects...mplestands.htm

It looks like they would be suitable for smaller speakers than I have, but you could always use two or even three pipes to make the stand able to safely support more weight.

Joe L.
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post #22 of 26 Old 07-19-2003, 05:41 PM
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Or ABS pipe and flanges....
LL
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post #23 of 26 Old 07-19-2003, 08:56 PM
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I finished the tall rear stands I showed a few posts ago today. They look really nice in flat black.

My wife assisted me in filling the columns with the kitty litter she had purchased for them. The stands were pretty heavy prior to being filled. Now they are really heavy. Each took almost an entire 40 lb bag.

After "lugging" them downstairs into the theater, I had to know just how much they weighed. I walked all the way upstairs (second floor) to get the bathroom scale and bring it down into the basement theater.

The stands weigh 67 pounds each.

Joe L.
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post #24 of 26 Old 07-28-2003, 03:28 PM
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Here is a picture of the finished stands. They reflect almost no light. I brushed black aniline dye directly on the MDF and then sprayed them with the dead flat clear lacquer.

I had to boost the gamma in my photo editing program prior to posting this picture, otherwise, almost no detail was visible.
http://home.triad.rr.com/leggio/imag...dsP7280837.jpg

Joe L.
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post #25 of 26 Old 07-30-2003, 05:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Those look very nice. Well Done!!

I have a question. How big would you recommend the speaker stand base be to support a (W x D): 8-11/16" x 11-1/16" speaker footprint. I think I'll make the the top the same size as the speaker but I assume the base should be bigger in each direction. How much bigger should it be?

Also, one thing to note is that my stands have to be VERY stable because I will have an 18 month old very curious daughter rampaging through this room.

Thanks again.
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post #26 of 26 Old 07-31-2003, 06:09 AM
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I would guess that the size of the base depends greatly on the height of the stand.

I would make the base big enough so that the stand/speaker would have to be tipped 20 degrees of so before the center of gravity would let them fall. Whatever you do, you do not want a 40 pound speaker falling on your child (or on anything else... MDF does NOT bounce well)

Of course, you could wall mount or ceiling mount your speakers... at least until your 18 month old finishes college ;)

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