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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to figure out the best way to build 4 columns to house my 4 surround speakers in my theater. I built some out of 1/2" plywood and they didnt turn out so well so I am looking for some help or suggestions of a better way to go about it. In the columns I need to make the area where the speaker is be removeable. Other than that any help is REALLY appreciated.
 

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Klipsch Heritage, Danley subs, Emotiva, Epson 5050
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Steve, mine may not be the best way, but I am trying to accomplish the same thing. Look in the last several pages of my thread and you'll see how I'm building removable covers for my side surrounds.


My columns were framed with 2x4. If I did it over again, I'd use ply instead. My end result is fine, but could have been better.
 

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Hey Steve, what type of look are you shooting for in your column. Wood, Stained, Painted, Cloth Covered ? and what is the approx size the column needs to be to fit your surrounds?


Brad
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iusteve
I am trying to figure out the best way to build 4 columns to house my 4 surround speakers in my theater. I built some out of 1/2" plywood and they didnt turn out so well so I am looking for some help or suggestions of a better way to go about it. In the columns I need to make the area where the speaker is be removeable. Other than that any help is REALLY appreciated.
What happened Steve?! Something like this?!

\\


You were doing so well too.


Are you original columns really that bad? Maybe if you post a couple pictures of the originals, folks could get an idea of where you were headed. Maybe even find a way to "fix" the ones you've already done?


I feel your pain though. There are things about my screen, and screen wall i wish i would have done differently. But i rushed through them both just to get them finished. Now that they're done though...i just enjoy the movies!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The columns need to be atleast 14" wide x 12" deep. The overall height (carpet to ceiling)is 89". I am covering with black GOM. The columns I have are basically 3 separate pieces. A base made up of 1/2" ply up to speaker height, a 3 sided speaker grill that is open on all sides, and the top piece is the same as the bottom. The problems are getting 3 pieces to turn out the EXACT same size (width and depth) as well as get all 3 lined up perfectly on the wall. I think if I can come up with a 1 piece column and just removeable panels or speaker covers for the front I may be better off. Maybe just frame it as an "open" structure out of 1"x2" pine and wrap with fabric so that it has the illusion of a solid column?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedoflight /forum/post/20841942


Build them like cabinets with an open area and fixed shelf for the speakers. Build a removable speaker grill using grill guides from Parts Express.

^^ I like the way this guy thinks! ^^


Steve, I know you're already familiar with them, but gee they're just so purty I couldn't help patting myself on the back again.
Of course, there are lots of other very nice designs you could "harvest" from others builds too. Lets see what you have, like others said, maybe you'll get suggestions how you could be happier with them without completely starting over?









 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Brad if I just could get a little more details from yours I am really leaning toward making mine similar. The only thing I cant do is taper them at the end. I would like to make them like yours but square all the way down with the removeable panels in the front. I would wrap mine in all black though. Advice/suggestions? I am off work and ready to start.....hurry up will ya.........lol
 

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I started documenting them around page 6 in my build thread - check out some of the pictures, and let me know what gaps I can fill in for you. They're basically framed out of 2x2s screwed together, used a router to put a little roundover on the front edges, screwed a few 1x4s to the back edge of the front "rails" to sink the sockets into, sides covered by wrapping with marine vinyl, and then "speaker grill"-ish frames on the front (sized to match the wall panels vertically - 26" high mostly). Oh, and they connect to the walls by screwing to 2x2s that are screwed / liquid nailed to the walls. Shelf is connected to those rails (so you can pull the whole column off the wall, and the shelf stays in place).
 

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Brad, those things look sturdy. Do you think there is any advantage to building them out of plywood as Tony mentioned earlier? The spans and weight of the things don't look like it would be enough to make it sag, but it's a thought. Less chance of splitting at the ends with plywood, too. You could also build several columns from one sheet. Of course, 2x's aren't exactly expensive, anyway, and routing the edges of 2x's might give a smoother corner compared to plywood.


Different ways to skin a cat I suppose. I could see doing it both ways with no troubles. This is coming from a man that's never built any columns, so take what I say with a grain of salt
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A /forum/post/20842201


Brad, those things look sturdy. Do you think there is any advantage to building them out of plywood as Tony mentioned earlier? The spans and weight of the things don't look like it would be enough to make it sag, but it's a thought. Less chance of splitting at the ends with plywood, too. You could also build several columns from one sheet. Of course, 2x's aren't exactly expensive, anyway, and routing the edges of 2x's might give a smoother corner compared to plywood.

A few random reasons I chose to make them open framed vs. solid plywood or MDF sides: I thought it might be cheaper than using hardwood plywood and staining, etc. (probably not once you add in the cost of the vinyl); I wanted to be able to fill them with insulation for more bass trapping (LF can travel through the vinyl); makes them very lightweight, so not much weight hanging on the walls; since the speakers are in the columns, maybe less boundary effects than solid sides (debatable, and haven't measured); and I guess I just wanted to try something different than I've seen done. They were one of those "design as you go" things, and fortunately, I like the way they came out.


Yeah, the 2x2s were cheap, like a buck each, so that helped. I have some bracing at the midpoints on the sides to keep them straight and to hold up against the pull of the stretched vinyl.


If you have little kids that like to run around poking things with screwdrivers - probably not the best design. But that's a risk with all the panels and screen walls and AT screens too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I wont allow myself to post pictures of the original "attempt" at columns as its just too embarrassing to share. I did however just put together an attempt at a "square" version of Brad's columns. I ran out of wood to make the others. I think these will work well. I probably should paint them black then wrap the sides with fabric. I still need to install front cross bracing as well as supports for the speaker ball/sockets to attach too but figured I should wrap the sides first as less supports to cut/install fabric around the better. Here are some pictures of what I have for column attempt version 2.0 (hey that goes with my theater build version 2.0)



 

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Looks good to me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte /forum/post/20842892


Looks good to me!

And your the "pro". I have since attached the supports which the panels should attach. I decided to use some scrap 1/2" ply then add the 1"x3" behind that which will give me 1/2" clearance for the ball/sockets. Since you said they are maybe 3/16" that will give me about a 1/4" inset with the panels which will look better than them sticking out 1/4". Hopefully these turn out better than the others.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iusteve /forum/post/20842087


The columns I have are basically 3 separate pieces. A base made up of 1/2" ply up to speaker height, a 3 sided speaker grill that is open on all sides, and the top piece is the same as the bottom. The problems are getting 3 pieces to turn out the EXACT same size (width and depth) as well as get all 3 lined up perfectly on the wall.

Just for future reference - the best way to do this is to build the column as a single unit, then cut it down to three pieces. The is the technique I have seen suggested for box lids - build the box solid then cut off the lid. Interior trim pieces can then be added to help align the pieces when you put them back together on the wall.
 
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