Did you ever have one of those weekends where on Friday you were filled with promise and expectation only to be disappointed by Monday morning? Yeah, that was my weekend...at least as it pertained to these sub boxes.
On my way home from Minneapolis on Thursday night I was able to re-borrow all the parallel clamps from my neighbor, anticipating I'd be able to get done everything I needed to attach the front baffles to the four custom sub boxes this weekend. Here we are Monday morning and not one box front is attached.
I was going to take Friday off but really had too many work obligations to ignore. No worries, I thought I'd get up early and knock out 4-5 hours of work before the clock reached 9AM. I was actually at my desk by 3:45AM and was getting through all my tasks. At 5:30PM my wife was yelling at me to come out for dinner. 14 hour day at work and I still wasn't done. In my head I was cursing like an angry trucker at any work task beyond 9AM. Unfortunately, working all day and not taking Friday off was the responsible thing to do....damn it.
Add in family dinner and the nighttime routine with the kids and there was no way I was starting anything at 9PM after a monster day.
Saturday morning I woke up early and started to fill the hundreds of screw holes in all the boxes. But very quickly I realized I needed to sand the boxes first due to the slight mushrooming of the MDF at each screw location. I started to sand in the basement, but the vibration of the sander on the box created an unbelievably loud resonance which could be heard by my sleeping family so I had to stop and couldn't work.
The rest of the day was planned activities with the kids, followed by a much-needed hair cut, raking leaves in my yard and then mowing the lawn.
Late Saturday afternoon I had a one-hour window to work on the sub boxes and decided to start by sanding off the slight overhang/lips off the 24" boxes. I own a router with a flush cut bit, but my Father-In-Law's belt sander was out and ready to go. That's right, I had a full head of steam to get something done and the wrong tool in my hand which is a recipe for disaster...and it was. I used a hand truck to move one of the 24" boxes outside and started to whale away at the overhang lip. Perhaps it was the MDF dust caught in the steam of my safety glasses, caused by my dust mask and sweating, but I didn't see I was actually going too deep and not 100% flat / parallel to the surface. It wasn't until after I finished that I saw gouges and irregularities EVERYWHERE
. I tried smoothing with my 5" palm sander, but the damage was already done. I'm not even going to show pictures now because the gouges and their forthcoming Bondo repair have now just become their own separate project.
Defeated, I hauled the damaged box back into the basement and pulled out the other 24" sub box AND MY ROUTER with flush cut bit which is what I should have done in the first place. Trimming the lip off the second box went perfectly and was done in less than 15 minutes. I spent the next 45 minutes going over the entire box with my 5" palm sander and cleaned up as it was time for the evening family routine. I stewed over my stupidity of using the belt sander for the rest of the night. I guess I'm still not over it if I am honest.
Yesterday the kids were with the grandparents so I had the full day to work on these boxes. I dragged out my sawhorse bench, all my tools, extension cords, sub boxes and everything else out onto the back patio so there would be no the sawdust in the house. I sanded each box smooth, vacuumed out the screw holes, wiped down and then filled all the screw holes with wood filler. I worked diligently ALL DAY and barely got all the boxes done by quitting time which was 4:30PM. I was able to sand the filler from the 'good' 24" cabinet, but it was just barely dry 8 hours later, probably due to the 50-60 degree outside temperatures retarding the cure time. A few of the holes needed a second hit of filler, which I did before moving on to sanding the filler on the second sub box. It only took two holes for the sanding paper to gum up with the uncured wood filler. Realizing I couldn't go any further and that I had to clean up before the kids got home, my day was done.
So that's it. I sanded and filled screw holes in the sub boxes over the last 3 days.
I thought I would be much, much further ahead if not mostly finished by now. Not too exciting, but here is a smattering of pics showing the boxes sanded up to 150 grit on all sides....
Side of 'good' 24" sub before sanding...
...and after sanding.
Rear sub box
DIY SoundGroup boxes
About to sand the first round of filler from the 'good' 24" box
Precisely lining up the front baffle on the 'good' 24" box, ready for new reference marks and to pre-drill holes for attachment screws in the coming week. All other boxes in background, waiting for the wood filler to dry overnight.