Join Date: Jun 2004
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
UnboxingWhen the boxes arrived I was alarmed to see a large hole in one of the boxes. Thankfully, nothing was harmed inside. All the items were impressively wrapped and protected. Everything seemed perfect. As I looked closer I noticed the bottom corner of one of the baffles was dented and the mdf was frayed. At first I thought the baffle had been dropped, but then I noticed dents that in the corners of several pieces. Unfortunately, it was the baffle that had the most damage. It was minor damage and I was surprised it had happened despite all the padding. However, after inspecting the shipping boxes, I'm guessing it was dropped heavy on a corner at some point.
None of the parts were an issue except the baffle. Thankfully it was small enough I just glued the separating edge and did a little filling. After sanding and painting you couldn't tell.
CrossoversThe crossovers shipped quick, look beautiful (strange comment about crossovers?), and are absolute bricks. The service mtg90 provides is a great deal imho.
LaminateWow. Loved working with laminate. It was a bit intimidating at first. With paint or other wood finishes I know I can typically just sand it and start again if I needed to. The contact cement isn't so forgiving and I'd hate to make a mistake, so it's pretty essential to get things right.
After doing a test piece and gleefully looking at the results I hurried to do the flatpacks.
- SamplesFirst thing to do if you're considering laminate is to order samples. I don't know about others, but Wilsonart will send samples free of charge. I have a stack of 8x10 samples from them. The best thing about these samples is the fact that you can practice cutting, gluing, and trimming with them.
- Cutting the laminateThere are multiple ways to cut laminate - table saw, circular saw, router, shears, and even just a razor blade. I purchased laminate shear and although it worked great, I had a challenging time keeping it running straight over long distances. In the end I just used a box cutter and a straight edge to cut the pieces.
- GlueI used DAP Weldwood Gel for my contact cement. It went on okay, but seemed to dry pretty quick as I applied it. The trickiest part was not getting it on the finished parts. I applied two coats to each piece and then J rollered them before trimming.
Next time I might try the regular, non-gel though.
- Glue coverageI used a 32 fl oz can. This was just about enough to cover the top and the left and right sides of each speaker and the laminate sheets with two coats. That's about 32 fl oz for about 60 sq ft.
- TrimmingI just used a regular flush cut trim bit. Before trimming I masked the edges to protect them. After it was done I just hit the edges with some fine sand paper.
- The FutureI'd like to work with laminate again and I'll probably get a few dedicated laminate trim bits and a laminate router.
- Paint: I first used zinnser bin, several coats of a black sandable primer, and then topped with the Krylon spray paint.
- Gluing the baffle: I decided to finish the laminating the boxes first. The baffles were painted and then glued last. I was concerned I'd damage the paint while clamping, so I decided I'd clamp along the inside surfaces where the waveguide and the woofer screw in. The only area without this was at the bottom with the ports. There I masked the painted surface and used trigger clamps with soft pads. I masked all the edges with low tack tape and then glued the baffles. It was tricky getting them to line up properly, but I eventually managed. I pulled the tape while still wet and wiped everything down with a damp cloth.Putting it all together
- I didn't like the texture on the ports, so I decided to sand them smooth and then paint them the same color as the baffle. I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. It's hard to see in the image, but the texture on the port matches the baffle.
Unfortunately, I do not have a before picture.
I'd neglected to dry fit the waveguide and the woofer and, after painting, was quite surprised when the waveguide didn't fit. I could have sanded the edges of the baffle, and I actually did just to smooth them out, but I decided to sand the edge of the waveguide instead. It took quite a bit of aggressive sanding, but I finally got enough material off the edges so they'd fit. I finished the edges down to some 320 sandpaper and you couldn't tell they'd been sanded after mounting.Other musings
Fortunately, this problem didn't exist with the woofer. They just slipped right in. That's good because sanding the metal frame wouldn't have been fun. However, it was at this time I found out the metal edge of the woofer basket is shiny metal.
At first this bothered me. I'd planned on a uniformly black front. If I'd noticed this at the start I probably would have painted it black, but I was too close to finishing to bother and slapped them together. It's still noticeable, but I'm not sure if it bothers me any more. It'll probably stay as is.
I knew the 15" Deltalite woofer was "lite", but it's still pretty surprising just how light it is. Conversely the compression driver is surprising in its heft. That thing is heavy. Overall I was surprised in the weight of the build. I'd thought they would be challenging to move around, but they're pretty easy to handle.
Next up I need to build some stands.
Thanks to mtg90 for the design and the crossovers and thanks to Erich for cutting the wood, boxing and shipping the mass, and the patience with my order.