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post #1 of 12 Old 10-16-2006, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Boxes or Tubes - which is more difficult to build

An off shoot of a another thread. I thought it would be a fun poll. Likely too few people have built both and can accurately comment. But, this is the internet, you don't have to have experance to have an opinion! :)


I've only built a few boxes so far, and I'm going to vote that boxes are much harder than tubes. My latest box sub that I'm currently building is very slow going. The size is one big issue that slows me down. Handling and moving the bigger sheets around is slow, and often I have to get my wife to come out and help me. Getting each peice exactly the same size seems also an issue for me. It always seems like I'm off by an 1/8" here or there and then have to trim down. Or I may just not be perfectly straigth, and have to trim. I'm also trying to do dado joints, so measuring three times to make sure I get the dados to line up on each side slows me down.

I'm sure it comes down to having the right tools. A table saw, especially one that can handle of full size sheet of ply, sure would help. I'm sure a fancy guide system for my router would also help, as would more clamps. But...

I just keep looking at the tubes people make. How much effort does it really take? Have Menards cut your MDF sheet into smaller peices, size and accuracy doens't matter because you're going to cut out the middle. Glue peices together, again it doesn't matter if the edges line up or anything because your going to cut out the middle. Mount the japer jig and cut two peices, have to do about the same thing for a box, so where's the difficulty? Tubes, Ha! Child's play.
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-16-2006, 12:27 PM
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I like boxes...I think they look better and are more fun to build. And trying to fit a driver and two PR's on a tube is beyond my skills. :)

And, yes, one can conquer the world with a table saw! And Jasper Jig.

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post #3 of 12 Old 10-16-2006, 01:43 PM
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So the poll is based on which design is more difficult to build, right? I voted based on this statement - I found that I could knock off a Sonosub in an afternoon whereas a box would take days to accomplish.

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post #4 of 12 Old 10-16-2006, 01:45 PM
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based on "difficulty to build" scale, I'd give the edge to the box.........not that the sono is boiling milk either :p
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post #5 of 12 Old 10-16-2006, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Ooops. I was multi-tasking and forgot to say what the poll was about.

Yep, which is more difficult to build.

I'm waiting for Stevenn to speak up and say why he thinks tubs are harder. I'm just not seeing it.
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-16-2006, 01:54 PM
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Ahh,the criterium has changed. :) Well, a box is more "difficult" in that there's more cutting, clamping, etc...all you need for tube is the endcaps.

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post #7 of 12 Old 10-16-2006, 02:16 PM
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You rascal! I was thinking of posting a like Thread prior, but decided against it due to not wanting to break my streak of no Threads for the last yr or so. :)

I'm not sure what my vote is. I'm trying to think how long it took me to build my first box style unit?? I do know by the time I got around to building the dual driver unit I had some experience going and it only took me a few days minus the finish, even though it was rather largish. Since you don't have a table saw and this is your first ported sub, I can see it being rather challenging.
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I just keep looking at the tubes people make. How much effort does it really take? Have Menards cut your MDF sheet into smaller peices, size and accuracy doens't matter because you're going to cut out the middle. Glue peices together, again it doesn't matter if the edges line up or anything because your going to cut out the middle. Mount the japer jig and cut two peices, have to do about the same thing for a box, so where's the difficulty? Tubes, Ha! Child's play.
Since I elected to build three sono's my first time around at building a sono, I don't know how much to equate to that versus a single? With a sono a guy docent have the option of using a table saw, it's all routering and then more routering. After that it's more routering yet and he hasn't even started on the baffle yet :) Even though they're both like a puzzle, I consider the sono the more complicated puzzle with less latitude for correction. Things need to fit without the use of a trim bit. The bottom assembly takes a bit of forethought and needs to come together in a orderly fashion. I suppose if a guy wants to glue legs to the baffle face he could simplify this, but it's not generally what we see.

I guess I could build a single sono in a few days with a few months factored in for the black gloss finish,:D but I still consider the sono a bit more work even though the enclosure is already built. In the time it takes me to cut the sheets for a box style sub with the table saw, It takes the same to cut the sono and square it off with a hand trim saw. Lets see you build one and then call it childs play. :) They'er both easy to build if you have the right tools and know what your doing imo, but none the same....

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post #8 of 12 Old 10-16-2006, 02:30 PM
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I'm waiting for Stevenn to speak up and say why he thinks tubs are harder. I'm just not seeing it.
Ok I'm not finished :D I'll bet you a dollar I could go out in the garage and punch a box style unit out in 4-5 hrs time now that I have two routers and the table saw. I would have to have everything setup to do so and it couldn't be a 21 cu ft unit. Now it might not be pretty and you would need to factor in some time for drying and I would have to use of screws. Now there is no way I could do the same when building a sono..no way man.

I figure your just trying to egg me on, but you'll notice some other posters chime in agreeing that have built multiples of both. :rolleyes:

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post #9 of 12 Old 10-16-2006, 02:34 PM
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I will say Tubes are harder. I am working on a 60" tube and my arms are just not long enough. I do prefer the looks of the sonosubs compared to boxes. But looking at the subs pics posted on this site there are truley some beautiful boxes as well as sonosubs.
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-16-2006, 02:50 PM
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A little off subject, but in case black gloss is a issue with any DIY'ers out there.. I have found that rolling it on with a very short nap roller will suffice versus the black gloss spray that seems to like to drip out of the nozzle onto the project after building up 3-4 coats.. You still need to work your way up to 600 grit and then the steal wool, but it comes out fairly well. I'm not saying it's the most effective way of doing black gloss, but if time is a factor and you cant stand the cheap spray can nozzles, it's worth considering.

Ok back to reg programing, it's just a thought that I wanted to I throw out there instead of doing my own Thread. :)

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post #11 of 12 Old 10-16-2006, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
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The fun is back!!! :)

I'm making my box more difficult than it needs to be with the dado cuts and all the sudo-dados and rabit joints. But, it is going to be one strong box.
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post #12 of 12 Old 10-16-2006, 05:51 PM
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The fun is back!!! :)
The things we do for vitod ;)
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I'm making my box more difficult than it needs to be with the dado cuts and all the sudo-dados and rabit joints. But, it is going to be one strong box.
Isnt that how it's always done? :) I would also expect to see a nice veneer racing stripe down the middle. ;)

Seriously though> I'm sure your doing a nice job..is tonight pic night? I was kind of thinking of a slide show put on by Uncle Ryan.

Edit> Hey I just ran across your new pics over at the Guide Ryan. Very nice! Outstanding work. :cool:

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