Good update for today; all the boxes are built. Yup, all seven of them.
Now, don't get all a-twitter with excitement just yet. "Built" means just that; they are assembled...but far from "finished." As in "Their current state is glued/nailed together, with copious amounts of bent brads, glue, fingerprints and assorted crap sticking out all over the place." Buy hey, they are built!!!
This next section may ruffle a few feathers, but that's OK. We all have our opinions on things. Being that this is my thread, here's my opinion. YMMV, and good for you.
Before we get to the pics, let's talk about tools. Like glue. Glue is a tool. Right tool for the job, correct? Wood glue bonds wood and it does a good job. But for our use in a speaker cabinet, wood glue isn't necessarily the right tool for the job, especially when the possibility of human error comes into play. Stay with me here.
Say you have a bookcase that you built using wood glue. Let's say that the glue got into 85% of the joints/available glue surface. That bookcase will probably never come apart. You may pass it down to your grandkids. But that 15% of surface area you missed means that bookcase isn't air-tight. It doesn't have to be, because it's a freaking bookcase! Which is exactly my point. Right tool for the job. Most speaker cabinets (transmission line excluded) need to be airtight in order to function correctly. Sealed cabs more so, but a leak in a ported cab will still negatively effect it's performance.
I use PL Premium for any cab that I build. IMO, the finished product (an air-tight, bullet proof cab) is worth the hassle. For the uninitiated, PL Premium is a bit of a conundrum; it has it's pluses and minuses:
Expands as it cures and can fill gaps up to 1/4", air-tight.
When dry it is like cement. You will never get the two pieces of wood apart. Ever.
Negates the need for caulking/siliconing the joints afterwards since it is an air-tight sealant, assuming a solid joint all-around.
The cab will never, ever come apart, even if you try. The wood will split/shatter/tear/snap, but the joint won't.
Takes paint well enough; 2 coats covers it just fine.
Once dry, doesn't shrink or expand. It's forever.
It's thick stuff and you need to clamp/push/pull panels into place before securing with brads or screws, or else your panels will not sit flush. The cab will still be air-tight, but cosmetically displeasing.
Any squeeze out will dry like cement and be very difficult to remove. You either scrape off all squeeze out approximately 6 hours after applying before it becomes like cement, or be prepared to use a hammer and chisel to remove the squeeze out.
PL will get on your hands, arms, face (still don't know how it does this) clothes, work bench etc. And it's permanent. PL on your arms will require you to rip it off. Along with all the hair on your arms.
Does not sand easily. You'll need 60-grit to get the stuff off, which will ruin your cab, which means it's back to the hammer and chisel. Slowly and carefully.
Don't even think about using this stuff without disposable gloves on. In fact, don't even buy it at Home Depot or Lowes without gloves on. (kidding here, but you get my point)
You will go through 12 pairs of disposable gloves in roughly 8 hours of work.
So, if you didn't know about PL Premium, now you know. Fine, you want to know more? Here's a link: LINK TO PL PREMIUM.
I didn't get too many pictures today b/c I had gloves on all day and the gloves were covered in PL. But I took pics when I could.
Started off by marking nail lines on outside panels, to help me put brad nails where they should go.
Did this on all sides of the cab, including the baffle. Time consuming and boring as hell, but I only had about 10 brads that missed the mark and went in sideways and shot in/out of cab. For 7 cabs, that's not bad at all.
So where do I start? OK, I learned something today. I have never built a cab using panels that were already rounded-over. The 88 Special and Volt 10 kits both come with a baffle that is already rounded over. This initially gave me fits when trying to nail the thing down.
This is a pic of a Volt 10, before I figured out you have to pretend the round over isn't there and try to hold the brad nailer as perpendicular as possible.
I used 1.5" brads and yes, my PSI setting on the compressor was correct. I just was holding the gun wrong for the roundover. I have a lot of work to do with the Dremel/cutoff wheel to sand those brads down.
The 88 Specials went together well enough. LOVE the dadoed rear panel!!
Got lots of good squeeze-out from the PL (which means an airtight joint)
I learned another lesson....probably the most important one to pass on to you all. IME, you need to assemble these kits ONE panel at a time. Don't try to glue up an 88 Special like you are dry-fitting it. I did this with the first 88 Special I built (dumbass) and the panels slid all over the place. With the other 6 cabs, I did the braces first on the 88s, then on the 88s/Volts, side panels first, one at a time, then the top, then the bottom, then the baffle. MUCH BETTER final result this way.
On all cabs, before gluing the baffle, I ran an extra bead of PL on most interior seams, and smoothed it into the joint with my gloved finger. If there is any small air-gap, this action will seal it up. The negative here is that you use about another 1/4 tube of PL to do this. PL is cheap. Cabs are expensive. I only want to build this cab once.
On the 88 Specials it's relatively easy to keep the top/bottom/sides perfectly vertical b/c you have the internal bracing to reference. Not the case w/the Volts, especially the long, top panel. I used my trusty W braces I built long ago, along with a spring clamp to ensure the panel was upright.
Blah, blah, lather, rinse, repeat. At the end of the night I had 7 cabs.
What a mess. This pics doesn't show the roll of paper towels I used, nor the 10-odd pairs of gloves I went through. Please DO NOTICE the pair of safety glasses in this pic. If I am using power tools, I have these on. If I am sanding using an air/power sander, I have these on. I had a close call years, back that should have, by all rights, cost me my right eye. I got damn lucky. Never again. You are only issued ONE PAIR of eyes; please be smart, use protective glasses.
I scraped a little bit of PL off a couple of cabs, but then I was just spent. Had to eat and grab a shower. I will spend my free time tomorrow scraping rock-hard PL off the cabs. I'll let them cure for the rest of the week, though with the temp in my garage (70F/50% humidity) they will be fully cured by tomorrow night.
During the week if I have time (LOL! Yeah, right!) I will get rid of any brads sticking out (I only have, oh, about 59 of them to Dremel
). After that comes using drywall spackle to fill the gouges, then sanding, then spackle again and sanding. Then a coat of flat black paint applied with a roller, then two coats of Duratex. AND THEN the lining/stuffing of the cab, installation of the drivers, testing....I'm at about 10% complete. /facepalm
And then of course there's the building of the crossovers, etc, etc. Good thing I won't need these cabs until at least July (not kidding.)
Thanks for reading.