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Advice on finishing first pair of speakers

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi,

My son and I are building our first pair of speakers, some overnight sensations. We built the crossovers and cabinets over Christmas now we need to finish them and I am looking for advice. We have been using the arctic birch kit from Erich.

He plans to paint them using latex paint and then finish with some wipe on poly. Does that seem like a good idea?

Right now I need advice on a filler to make the cabs smooth. I have never done that. I would like something I can find at Home Depot or Lowe's because they are right by, an advice on how to apply would be fantastic too!

Finally finer need to put some dampening in the cabs? Poly fill? Where does one find that (I have some insulation rolls can I just take handfuls from that?).

Thanks a lot for any pointers!
post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Crash View Post

Hi,

My son and I are building our first pair of speakers, some overnight sensations. We built the crossovers and cabinets over Christmas now we need to finish them and I am looking for advice. We have been using the arctic birch kit from Erich.

He plans to paint them using latex paint and then finish with some wipe on poly. Does that seem like a good idea?

Right now I need advice on a filler to make the cabs smooth. I have never done that. I would like something I can find at Home Depot or Lowe's because they are right by, an advice on how to apply would be fantastic too!

Finally finer need to put some dampening in the cabs? Poly fill? Where does one find that (I have some insulation rolls can I just take handfuls from that?).

Thanks a lot for any pointers!

No on the poly over paint. If you want miror finish w/ paint you have to do wet sand, polish, wax or use a real base coat / clear coat.

For screw head size and larger imperfction filler I like bondo. Cheapest place I found it at was pep boys. For nail heads I use drywall compound.

The sensations being a ported design should be lined with poly, not stuffed. Get quilt batting or an open cell foam matress pad (cheap egg crate type, not memory foam) at walmart and use a stapler or spray glue to line at least the back wall and 4 side walls.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ok thanks. I am not sure I am ready to we sand, especially as this is all done in my kitchen!

I was actually thinking of using lightweight spackle. Would that work? Everything is glued together so imperfections are just small misalignments and the edges I think.

How thick should I get the foam? Does it matter if it is flat and not like egg cartons?

Finally... Do you glue the crossovers somewhere (and if so on the foam or wood) or leave them free in the cabinets?
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Crash View Post

Ok thanks. I am not sure I am ready to we sand, especially as this is all done in my kitchen!

I was actually thinking of using lightweight spackle. Would that work? Everything is glued together so imperfections are just small misalignments and the edges I think.

How thick should I get the foam? Does it matter if it is flat and not like egg cartons?

Finally... Do you glue the crossovers somewhere (and if so on the foam or wood) or leave them free in the cabinets?

Wet sanding is actually very clean/low dust. cool.gif

Spackle works for holes. I like a more durable solution for the dreaded edge misalignment which is why I suggest bondo. I've always had good results with it.

The mattress topper only comes it egg crate style at walmart. It's the cheapest and easiest to work with. However, if you find it flat that is fine. The shape is unimportant. 1/2 to 1" thickness is sufficient. I'm not a fan of using anything made of lose fiberglass inside a speaker.

I typically screw down the xover with some rubber between it and the cabinet side so that it is removable. You could glue it in place permanently if you want. Hot glue works well.
post #5 of 7
My experience from building the overnight sensations (both tm and mtm), you need very little stuffing. The insulation you have is fine. Just spray some adhesive against the back wall and put a full (compressed) handful in there. Wear gloves. You don't need to line all the walls, just the back of the woofer. The amount needed wouldn't cover all the walls anyway. Anything will work though. I personally use stuffing from an old pillow as I don't like insulation.

Always wear a mask.
If you are trying to do this in your kitchen, I recommend sanding edges till smooth and apply a sealant or acrylic primer.
Smooth over with spackling compound (heavy patch) if needed. Apply another coat of sealer.
If you have to use a brush or roller for the painting, moisten the brush or roller first and blot dry.
Highly recommend a textured paint if you've never done this before. Getting smooth finish can be done, but it takes lots of practice and sanding.
I use a block sander, and then sand using my hand around the edges. That way you can feel any imperfections as you are sanding.

Take your time and don't worry. You can always sand mistakes down.

For the crossover just use velcro. The kind you find with the sticky tape on both sides. Cut a small square of the that for each corner of the crossover board.
Place the crossover on the bottom of the speaker.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DustinF View Post

[...]
If you are trying to do this in your kitchen, I recommend sanding edges till smooth and apply a sealant or acrylic primer.
Smooth over with spackling compound (heavy patch) if needed. Apply another coat of sealer.
Highly recommend a textured paint if you've never done this before. Getting smooth finish can be done, but it takes lots of practice and sanding.

Thanks Dustin! What kind of sealant should I get? Or can I use my wall latex primer (which after a quick search on Google is probably not the acrylic kind)?

The paint isn't textured, but maybe what we can do is paint and see the result, and if we're not satisfied with it, add some light texture to the paint?

We have an orbital sander. I think I'll start with it to get the edges close to fitting, then spackle (heavy) and move to a hand block at that point. 150 and 220 grits? As I said, TOTAL BEGINNERS here smile.gif
post #7 of 7
I use Zinsser Odorless primer-sealer. It can be brushed or rolled on.

I would just practice on a spare piece of mdf. Make sure you get the ends too as this is where its more porous. This is where you will see the problems unless its sealed well.
When you are done you should have the same consistency on all sides and corners.
Then you are ready to paint.

Sometimes I will use drywall compound to fill the edges with my finger. Unlike spackle or conventional wood putties, drywall compound is a little sloppy. But after it dries, it sands off easily.

You can just add sand to the paint if you want that type of texture. There are various kinds you can get too at the paint store.
I find the more texture, the better. It hides imperfections but yet creates a uniform look.

This is just my personal opinion. Do not use glossy paint.
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