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post #1 of 30 Old 09-27-2018, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Veneer Choices?

I am nearing completion of my new L/C/R speakers and am now looking at choices for veneer.


The speakers are made out of a MDF, so I am planning 2 ply veneer, using Heat Lock to bond it to the MDF.


I had planned on priming the MDF to seal it, likely with the Krylon 'Rust Tough' Zinc Rich primer Erich had mentioned in one of his old threads here


This was prior to deciding on using real wood veneer. Sealing the MDF may help to keep the swelling/shrinking to a minimum over time, so I think it might still be a good idea, but will it make bonding the veneer to the MDF difficult? If it will, do you think I should forego the primer and just bond directly to the MDF? I know you can seal the MDF with watered down Titebond, but if I am going to seal it, I'd rather spray it with the Krylon since according to Erich's thread, it is pretty amazing at coverage.



My living room has a definite 'Cherry' theme, so I am sticking with cherry for the speakers. I really like the curly cherry 2-ply at veneersupplies.com here. But in my search for veneer I came across a pretty good price on 2-ply cherry, though it isn't the curly pattern. The company that makes it is Edgemate.


I know the VS supplier is Formwood, and they have a pretty good reputation. Has anyone here used the Edgemate 2-ply?



I'll need (2) 4'x8' sheets to do all (3) speakers, and I could buy (3) sheets of the Edgemate for the cost of the Formwood. Even looking at the standard flat cut cherry at VS, I'd be saving 40 bucks on the Edgemate. If anyone has experience with the Edgemate and would recommend steering clear, I'd pay the extra for a better product.


Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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post #2 of 30 Old 09-28-2018, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Nobody has any advice?



Well shucks...
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post #3 of 30 Old 09-28-2018, 04:04 PM
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I'm not familiar with Heat Lock or any other heat-activated adhesives (aside from edge banding) so I don't know how that would factor in to your questions, I recommend contact adhesive, but my $.02:

I've never felt the need to seal the substrate prior to laminating/veneering, the contact adhesive handles that just fine. Unless you are in a climate with extreme humidity swings I don't believe you need to worry about it (unless you intend to expose the cabs to the elements outdoors, whole 'nother story). This applies to multi-ply and paper backed veneers. If you are in such a situation then you should consider sealing inside and out, a couple of light coats of shellac or polyurethane should leave you with a good, solid surface on which you can apply adhesive.

Re: 2-ply veneer: Back in the day there were 2-plys that were simply 2 sheets laminated together with contact adhesive. Today there are 2-plys with a thin membrane between the sheets, not sure how they are applied (assume similarly). 2-plys are usually much more stable than paper-backed veneers as you have 2 sheets of real wood vs. 1, resulting in much less lateral movement during environmental changes. I haven't used the membrane 2-ply, but one of the reasons behind it was to greatly reduce/eliminate the contact adhesive bleeding through the grain. Many years ago when I worked in a furniture shop we had to use clear adhesive when veneering, as the adhesive would tend to seep through just a bit, and the red coloring would show. Not good. I digress...

I cannot comment on the Edgemate products as I have not used them.

TL;DR: I would not be concerned about sealing the MDF and recommend using standard contact adhesive. And go with a veneer you can see good examples of as far as patterning/finish (used to be that you could get samples for free/very little cost, not sure if that is still true today).

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post #4 of 30 Old 09-29-2018, 08:37 AM
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Many years ago when I was veneering a lot I used urea resins. Is this method now out of vogue?
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post #5 of 30 Old 09-29-2018, 10:59 AM
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contact cement

First time post...

I use contact cement, which needs to be applied in a well ventilated area (garage). Proper pressure can be applied after with a carpet application tool. I have had great success from oakwood veneer.com. They have come great instructional videos.

I have covered two subwoofers, 2 diy monitors, and a pioneer SX-3700.
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post #6 of 30 Old 09-29-2018, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smcmillan2 View Post
__

Awesome, thanks for the info!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigus View Post
Many years ago when I was veneering a lot I used urea resins. Is this method now out of vogue?

I'm not sure, the only other time I have done veneer we used contact adhesive. It worked fine, I just thought the Heat Lock sounded like a sound idea.



Quote:
Originally Posted by omegatricky View Post
First time post...

I use contact cement, which needs to be applied in a well ventilated area (garage). Proper pressure can be applied after with a carpet application tool. I have had great success from oakwood veneer.com. They have come great instructional videos.

I have covered two subwoofers, 2 diy monitors, and a pioneer SX-3700.

That's more than I've done! Just looked at oakwoodveneer.com - they are a bit pricey, although they have quite a selection.


Edit: Pics of the SX-3700? Curious!
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post #7 of 30 Old 09-29-2018, 03:27 PM
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I'm terrible at woodworking and carpentry and I was TERRIFIED to veneer with anything but iron on. I figured the iron-on would be the least permanent if I screwed up. However, I went with Wax Paper and Contact cement. It worked great and inspite of me being terrible, it went great. So take it from an untalented noob that paperbacked veneer using contact cement and waxpaper was an easy task. Arguably the easiest part of the box. I can't cut straight lines. See the link to my build thread below. I think I have a few veneering posts toward the end.

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post #8 of 30 Old 09-29-2018, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjcinnamon View Post
I'm terrible at woodworking and carpentry and I was TERRIFIED to veneer with anything but iron on. I figured the iron-on would be the least permanent if I screwed up. However, I went with Wax Paper and Contact cement. It worked great and inspite of me being terrible, it went great. So take it from an untalented noob that paperbacked veneer using contact cement and waxpaper was an easy task. Arguably the easiest part of the box. I can't cut straight lines. See the link to my build thread below. I think I have a few veneering posts toward the end.



Nice tip on the Ryobi jigsaw, that's the same one I have so it's a good thing to know regarding the bottom screw.


Ouch on the Jasper jig - twice! They turned out nice in the end, even if it seemed like you kept making mistakes!


I have had a few oopsies on these too, buy I've fixed them and kept on cutting. Here are some pics:


https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Bz...dTz8zLsjgJjAFU


I 3D printed the brackets for the tweeters and the 90 degree elbows for the ports. They are coming along, though it's taken forever!
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post #9 of 30 Old 09-29-2018, 07:33 PM
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Give me a bit and I will post what i
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post #10 of 30 Old 09-29-2018, 09:40 PM
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I love using HeatLock - works as advertised, and no fumes! Do not seal the MDF before you apply veneer. The HeatLock needs a porous substrate to stick to. If you have already sealed it, then just use contact cement.
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post #11 of 30 Old 09-30-2018, 12:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scary1 View Post
I love using HeatLock - works as advertised, and no fumes! Do not seal the MDF before you apply veneer. The HeatLock needs a porous substrate to stick to. If you have already sealed it, then just use contact cement.

Nice, good to know. That's easier anyway! Thanks!
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post #12 of 30 Old 09-30-2018, 06:56 AM
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See attached. The receiver was pretty complicated. Not my best work. Walnut on the receiver and subwoofer. Cherry on the speakers and other sub.
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post #13 of 30 Old 10-01-2018, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by omegatricky View Post
Cherry on the speakers and other sub.

The color of the cherry really pops, what did you finish it with?
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post #14 of 30 Old 10-01-2018, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewp29 View Post
Nobody has any advice?



Well shucks...
I have only veneered three 1099 cabinets but they came out spectacular! I used Heat Lock glue and that made things very easy. I was able to cut the veneer and place it so the tree rings wrap side to top to side . With the heat lock I could take my time aligning the striping. Let the glue dry thoroughly no tackiness.

I don't think you should paint the MDF. I did not. I was told that the glue might not stick. I used DAP sheet rock patching for fill and sanded the MDF lightly before I glued. The 2 ply paper backed veneer I purchased was plenty thick not to telegraph imperfections so I would not fill so much again. I would sand smooth and square. The Heat Lock also adds filler.

Get the veneer glue roller.

I purchased my veneer from https://www.oakwoodveneer.com. I got the 4'x10' Flat Cut (Plain Slice) Red Oak, 22.2 mil Bubble Free Veneer (BFV) paper-backed veneer. It was fairly inexpensive and I thought at the time nothing much to lose. If I knew how easy this was I would have purchased something more exotic.
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post #15 of 30 Old 10-01-2018, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I went ahead and ordered the flat cut cherry 2-ply from woodworkerexpress.com, made by Edgemate. $60 a 4'x8' sheet for grade A 2-ply veneer, which is the cheapest I found. Edgemate is made in the US, so it should be good quality (no guarantees though, I suppose). Plus, only $16 for shipping.


The shipping cost is what pushed me away from veneersupplies.com. For 2 sheets of 2-ply, 5 gallons of Heat Lock, a glue roller, and 8oz veneer softener they wanted 45 dollars for shipping! I'm still going to order the glue, roller, and softener from them, which will cost 15 dollars to ship, but they are 1 of 2 companies that supply the Better Bond products, and the other place is a bit more expensive. For having 425,000 square feet of product, they should be getting great deals on shipping. I see no reason why it should be 15 bucks a sheet to ship. I still think 15 dollars to ship the glue, roller, and softener is a bit steep.


I would have gone with a paper backed veneer, but I have a few joints that would likely have shown through over time, even on the thicker stuff. The 2-ply should keep that from happening. It will take a little longer to do the Heat Lock, but it should be worth it in the end.


Edit: I read your post again regarding the 22mil BFV, and went and read about it on the website, and it appears that it is 2-ply. Good to know you had great results with the Heat Lock on 2-ply!


Got a few more pieces cut this weekend, glue time is just around the corner for the L/R channels!

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post #16 of 30 Old 10-01-2018, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewp29 View Post
I went ahead and ordered the flat cut cherry 2-ply from woodworkerexpress.com, made by Edgemate. $60 a 4'x8' sheet for grade A 2-ply veneer, which is the cheapest I found. Edgemate is made in the US, so it should be good quality (no guarantees though, I suppose). Plus, only $16 for shipping.


The shipping cost is what pushed me away from veneersupplies.com. For 2 sheets of 2-ply, 5 gallons of Heat Lock, a glue roller, and 8oz veneer softener they wanted 45 dollars for shipping! I'm still going to order the glue, roller, and softener from them, which will cost 15 dollars to ship, but they are 1 of 2 companies that supply the Better Bond products, and the other place is a bit more expensive. For having 425,000 square feet of product, they should be getting great deals on shipping. I see no reason why it should be 15 bucks a sheet to ship. I still think 15 dollars to ship the glue, roller, and softener is a bit steep.


I would have gone with a paper backed veneer, but I have a few joints that would likely have shown through over time, even on the thicker stuff. The 2-ply should keep that from happening. It will take a little longer to do the Heat Lock, but it should be worth it in the end.


Edit: I read your post again regarding the 22mil BFV, and went and read about it on the website, and it appears that it is 2-ply. Good to know you had great results with the Heat Lock on 2-ply!


Got a few more pieces cut this weekend, glue time is just around the corner for the L/R channels!
That is a good price on the veneer. I did notice that it is 10 mil. I used 22 mil but thought at the end of the project thinner veneer would have been easier to trim and cut. None of the edge joints telegraphed through though.

Funny the hard part for me was putting even smooth coats of varathane on. I used a roller in a garage not the best technique. Results were not like high end furniture friends of mine make but better than most commercial speakers I have seen.

Good luck and show some pictures when done.

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post #17 of 30 Old 10-01-2018, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
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According to the invoice I received, the veneer is actually the "Allwood" line, which is pretty thick. According to the website, the thickness varies between 0.035" and 0.042". I am not concerned with wrapping radiused edges as I am leaving the corners square and trimming with a down cut spiral flush trim bit. The worst situation I have is the woofer portion of the cabinet has a 5 degree slope in 2 spots on the sides, but they should be easy to follow, and I'll have the softener if needed to get it to bend at the transitions. The increased thickness shouldn't be a problem, with the exception of the Heat Lock being a bit harder to reactivate. Though, looking at the veneersupplies.com 2-ply it states a thickness of .035" nominal, and they say Heat Lock works well with it, so maybe it will be fine!



We'll see how flexible it is when it gets here! I'll definitely post pics!
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post #18 of 30 Old 10-04-2018, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I ran into a little 'OOPSIE' with the speaker build, though it is fixable.

I am using a SEOS8 horn with a Transducer Labs tweeter. I picked up (2) pair of the tweeters for a pretty good discount from a guy on eBay, so my choices for face plate were limited to the round plate. I had originally planned to just run them normally without the horn, and decided to go with the horn after purchasing the tweeters. Through my design phase, I had drawn up the speaker in CAD and made sure the horn would work with the depth of the tweeter + horn fitting inside the midrange box portion of the cabinet. I need most of the volume of the cabinet for the woofer section, in order to get a tune of 30Hz. The idea is that the speakers should be able to stand alone without a separate subwoofer since they should be good for 30-20kHz. The usage of three 8 inch woofers was purely to increase the sensitivity of the low end to approximate the sensitivity of the midranges and tweeter, which will sit right about 92-93dB. That way, I shouldn't have to cut the mids and highs much to get the response even. Plus with room gain, I should be able to get a nice house curve.

Since the SEOS8 was made specifically for the Dayton tweeter, I 3D printed a bracket to fit the TL tweeter, and it came out nice and extremely sturdy. I did not, however, consider that due to the round face plate, the pass through cutout for the horn would not actually allow the tweeter to be installed on the horn before putting it in the cabinet. The diameter of the tweeter face plate is 4 5/8", which is roughly the short dimension of the SEOS8 horn proper. So the tweeter face plate will fit through the cutout for the horn, but will NOT pass the recessed 'shoulder' the horn seals against on the cabinet. DOH!

Installing the tweeter on the horn after placing the horn in the cabinet does not work because access to the bolts that attach the bracket is not possible, it's just too tight in there. I thought long and hard about a solution, since I am past the point of no return on these and have to figure something out. I thought perhaps I might trim the printed bracket and the face plate on the tweeters to fit through a slightly widened area on the recessed 'shoulder', and for awhile last night I had planned doing exactly that. I already trimmed one of the plastic brackets, but haven't touched the tweeters.

After thinking about it some more today, I think I have an even better solution. If I trim the recessed shoulder as shown in the attached photo, and trim the bracket as shown in the other photo, I think I can get the tweeter + horn assembly angled enough to get the bottom edge past the shoulder, which will allow me to drop the assembly down and rotate the top edge past as well. I've looked at it in CAD, and it seems to work.


The trick is I need enough shoulder left to make a good seal on the horn. My CAD model currently shows 3/16", which should be fine with the gasket I am using.
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post #19 of 30 Old 10-04-2018, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh, and if anyone is wondering why I went with 8s instead of something bigger that might get down to 30Hz while retaining decent sensitivity, it's because I am width limited on these cabinets. 10" wide is about as wide as I can go. I need 2.5 cubic feet of volume for the woofers, and that section of the cabinet currently sits at 2.75cf net (minus the ports). I am going to brace it down to 2.5cf. If I use the full 250W RMS I can feed them, BassBox says 110dB at 30Hz. They don't exceed Xmax until around 20Hz and they are pretty linear up to 500Hz, so I'll set the crossover to the mids around 250Hz and high pass them at 30Hz. All of this might change though, with the DSP being easily manipulated.

The Center Channel has pretty much the same components, less (1) 8" woofer, with an F3 of about 33Hz. I couldn't quite get it to match the L/R for frequency response (due to size limits), but it should sound spectacular all the same.

I'll be running them fully active, with an Ashly ne24.24m for the crossovers and DSP control. I have (8) inputs and (12) outputs on the Ashly, so it should cover all of it. My dad is a big "Analog is King" type of guy, and thinks DSP is sacrilege so I am hoping they sound as good as they 'should'. Hopefully I can prove to him that this new-fangled Digital Signal Processing is actually a good thing!


The L/C/R will be driven with a combination of a QSC CX168 8 channel amp and NHT A1 monoblocks for the L/R woofers. With these I will be sending 90W each to all 3 tweeters, 130W each to all 3 midrange stages, and ~250W to all 3 woofer stages - RMS.


For subwoofers I have a lilmike's Cinema F20 with the Dayton RSS390-HF, and recently acquired 2 Ascendant Audio Avalanche 15s that I am going to be building a box for after I get the L/C/R done. I also have a SI DS4-18 waiting to be put to use, but I'm hoping to find another (or 2) in the meantime.
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post #20 of 30 Old 10-05-2018, 06:38 PM
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FYI, i don't care for real cherry or maple wood veneers. The problem is that both woods change colors under sunlight. Cherry fades and maple turns a yellowish hue. I try to stick with walnut.


Advice, make sure you use wood conditioners prior to staining wood veneer. Due to differing densities of wood, unconditioned veneers will have different shades when stains are applied. Learned this the hard way.

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post #21 of 30 Old 10-06-2018, 02:29 AM
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Also tightbond works just like the heat lock. You can thin it a little and roll it on. Bonds just as well.

Another thing to look into is transtint dyes instead of stain. Mix with alcohol. Depends on what you want but they are very easy to use and you can get very nice colors in addition to the more traditional wood tones. If you want black this is absolutely the way.

Dye on ash veneer





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post #22 of 30 Old 10-06-2018, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewp29 View Post
The color of the cherry really pops, what did you finish it with?
Cherry stain and a high gloss poly urethane. Looks good from a few feet away. Some orange peel, but not too bad.
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post #23 of 30 Old 10-07-2018, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I plan on using Zinnser SealCoat for a base coat. Then some sort of clear over that. The SealCoat should keep the fading to a minimum, and the pictures I have seen online have been really nice. The grain really pops and I think it will look great. I might lay the pieces out in the sun for a couple hours to darken them up and bring the red out a bit, prior to finishing them.

I think staying with the natural color is what I am shooting for.
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post #24 of 30 Old 10-08-2018, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Received the veneer on Friday. One sheet was flawless, the other had a very small amount of shipping damage. Just a small crease at one edge about 1/2 inch in, around 2 inches long, on the 4 foot long edge. If I were planning on using the entire sheet I likely would have contacted woodworkerexpress, but even if I choose to use that sheet as the primary, the max length I will need is 46 inches. So stacking 2 pieces lengthwise on the sheet leaves me with 4 inches of drop. I am planning on having about 1 inch of overhang all around so I can iron them on and not have to worry about shrinkage. Then I will trim the edges flush with my router.


I didn't get any more done this weekend, too busy doing yard work in preparation for winter. Such is life. It's been about a year since I started the planning phase for these. I always have several projects running at any given time, plus the normal everyday/week activities, so things move slowly.
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post #25 of 30 Old 09-20-2019, 04:00 AM
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update>?

DIY HTR: One 800 lb. VBSS credenza, 3 horizontal Elusive 1099s, 2 HT-8 height duty wedges, & 2 DIY Volt 6 Tabletop Surrounds.
Bedroom:5 MLT-2 LCR & Surrounds, 2 hidden DIY shallow 12's, & 2 BST Bass Shakers on 2 PB875 Ensos.
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post #26 of 30 Old 09-20-2019, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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update>?

Almost there! The veneer went on great with the Heat Lock and an iron on the highest setting. I kept a thin cotton cloth (a red cotton shop towel, the super thin ones) between the iron and the veneer to prevent scorching, and applied copious amounts of pressure while ironing. Seriously, my arms and shoulders hurt like I had been to the gym.


I applied around 6-8 coats of Zinnser SealCoat dewaxed shellac with a homemade pad, and about 5 coats of satin polyurethane on top. And it looks amazing. I will have updates once I finish up the insulation and wiring. I had a gout flare-up this last week that put me out for most of the week as standing was killing my right foot. It feels a bit better today, so I should be back at it tonight and over the weekend. I still have to cut down the brackets I bought for the outriggers and attach them, but that is the final piece to the puzzle. Then it's measurement and tuning time!!!!!


Edit: Oh, and thanks for asking!
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post #27 of 30 Old 09-20-2019, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Just a little preview!


Pro-Tip: This was before my final buff out. I used sections of brown paper bag to smooth out the surface of the poly. Not much of the coating is removed, just the high spots and dust nibs. It worked amazingly well, and did not affect the sheen (satin in this case) of the surface whatsoever.
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post #28 of 30 Old 09-20-2019, 11:11 AM
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I knew those were going to look sexy! Nice work.

Now stop pushing cold ones back and your gout will miraculously disappear so you can get this wrapped up in a couple more weekends!
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DIY HTR: One 800 lb. VBSS credenza, 3 horizontal Elusive 1099s, 2 HT-8 height duty wedges, & 2 DIY Volt 6 Tabletop Surrounds.
Bedroom:5 MLT-2 LCR & Surrounds, 2 hidden DIY shallow 12's, & 2 BST Bass Shakers on 2 PB875 Ensos.
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post #29 of 30 Old 09-20-2019, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kagtha View Post
I knew those were going to look sexy! Nice work.

Now stop pushing cold ones back and your gout will miraculously disappear so you can get this wrapped up in a couple more weekends!

Thanks for the compliment!


Regarding the gout, I had the initial flare up about 4 years ago. Same deal, but left foot. I had a downhill mountain biking trip scheduled for the following weekend and I had to cancel because there was no way I was going to be on the pedals all day in that condition. Eventually, approximately a week later, it went away and I didn't think much of it. I figured I had worn my work shoes for too long and it had aggravated my foot - though several people said they had the same issues and it had been diagnosed as gout. Fast forward about 9 months and it happened again, same foot, though not nearly as bad. Went away in 3 days. It has been about 2 years now with no issues, until about a week ago - right foot this time. I haven't been officially diagnosed, but all symptoms point to gout. I am adding in some supplementation to see if I can keep it at bay, but the cold ones are staying on the menu, lol. I consider myself a beer snob, and it is one of the little joys I partake of on Friday nights with the girlfriend, her best friend, and random others if they want to show up at our place. If the frequency of flare ups starts to increase I will consider decreasing consumption. A week of agony once a year or less is worth it at this point, haha.


In all seriousness, it is not a condition to scoff at, and it does make me consider dialing down the Friday night fun.
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post #30 of 30 Old Yesterday, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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So I have a slight change in plans due to equipment malfunctions. I had planned on using an Ashly ne24.24m DSP matrix processor for my crossovers and EQ, but I hooked it up yesterday, and the dang thing is giving me issues. The software finds the unit, but it errors out and disconnects. In addition to this frustration, the unit powers on and throws an error code 31 and fails to respond to inputs. About every 20th power on it finds itself and seems stable for about 20 minutes, before it errors out again.



I contacted Ashly support, and the 2 error codes I have seen pop up are 31 and D2, both of which point to a motherboard issue - 31 being failure to boot motherboard, and D2 being motherboard DSP failure to boot. I attempted to get them to sell me a replacement board, but they aren't having any of that! The response was a lot of 'what-ifs', which I understand, but I'm sure with a little help on their end we could nail down the correct replacement board. I wasn't even looking for any guarantees or warranty, just a no strings attached purchase of the correct replacement board. I've had my hands in a lot of electronics over the years and am fully capable of replacing said board myself.


They want me to send it to New York for repair, which was initially estimated at $400+ shipping. Knowing how those open ended quotes end up, probably more like $800 total. With the intital used purchase cost, that puts me more than half-way into the cost of a new unit.


I am considering sending it in the future, as I think it is a nice unit, but I want to get these puppies up and running for this upcoming weekend.



So, I ordered (3) MiniDSP balanced units and wall-warts, one for each speaker, which will arrive Thursday. I already have all the wiring ready for a balanced in/out situation, so I just have to wire up the Minis and do some setup prior to Saturday night - our annual Halloween party.


I'm thinking LR4 crossovers for everything initially, and see where that gets me response-wise. Hopefully it won't take much fiddling to get a useable frequency response. I always have time later to fool around with it and get it really dialed in. I'm not trying to get a perfect response, just something that is better than the Polk Monitor 70s I currently use, which really should not be that difficult.
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