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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All the boxes came in today, they were larger than I had envisioned and I was barely able to stuff it all in my Samurai and still have a place to sit.

Erich got the order prepared in a very reasonable time frame and shipping was quick. They were packaged (stop me if you have heard this before r/t the packing skills of Erich) extremely well! Two of the boxes appear to have been dropped off a building and run over with a dump truck and yet all contents were unscathed.

The flat packs are impeccable and fit together so well that even I feel completely confident in their assembly. I would have been VERY sorry had I tried to make the cabs myself, even if I weren't a woodtard. I would venture to say that even for someone skilled in woodwork the time saved to buy the flat packs is well worth it, they really leave nothing to be desired and time is money.

I borrowed some clamps from the door company that have to be back Monday so I will get the cabs together this weekend and will take more pics along the way. I'm playing with a new camera so I'll try not to be to pic happy!

I have to give Erich a big thumbs up for proper packaging and timely shipping, not to mention a complete and obviously very high quality kit. This so far exceeds my expectations which were and remain very high.

Thanks Erich et al.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm sorting through the bits and pieces now. In my rush to get out of traffic yesterday I completely forgot to pick up glue, cab lining and finish supplies so back to town this morning. I need to have the cabs done today so I can send back some borrowed clamps. I have no clients this week so I can allocate a good amount of time to this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
No Harbor freight here, my parents have a full on commercial door company and industrial grade tools so I stole a few clamps over this weekend. What I did not notice is that they also have a biga$$ CNC machine for making custom one-off doors. Some of the new custom doors are downright awe inspiring but in no way budget oriented. My tool stack is stored there so I usually only go when I need to visit my toolbox but they have some great new toys I didn't notice before! Walking through there would be a coital experience for a woodworker.

I got the center channel box together, about to remove the clamps and move on to the towers after I make sure my procedure was sound.

(The Samurai) thanks, wife and I did it pretty much from ground up, lots of mods, its my escape pod and often daily driver.

EDIT: just got one of the towers together, I have 3 clamps but I think 6-8 would be a good minimum for anyone assembling these towers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I got them together, they are heavy and solid, seams are really good but a few not perfectly lined up but from what I read thats somewhat normal, overall it is very good and went together quite well. Would have been great to have more than 3 clamps, I guess I should have seen that coming.

I'll do a little work to hide the seams and probably go with something heavier to cover well, I was thinking Duratex but they have some stone finishes at HD that look good. I would like to go with a color like ash or a little darker but not black. Wifey playing with the camera, I was busy trying to get everything lined up before the glue set and getting taunted at the same time :D.

The only thing I can say thus far is have at least 6 or 8 clamps handy, I did ok improvising but will grab more clamps next time. If these were not cut so nicely it would have been a real problem getting the seams snugged up. I cant help but notice that the empty cabs are heavier the RS towers I gave my son of approximately the same size, these are pretty serious cabs.

I was thinking maybe something like this http://www.homaxproducts.com/Browse-Homax-Products/Stone-Roll-On-Paint-Texture or http://www.homedepot.com/p/Rust-Ole...atural-Stone-Tile-Finish-Kit-268546/203527024 but not sure about the stuff that mixes with paint and how hard it would be to get it to go on uniform. I can arrange to spray these but a nice easy roll on would be nice. The counter top refinishing kits look nice to but very spendy, I saw one for tile that looked simple enough. Any input on these? Also is a belt sander appropriate for smothing out the very slightly uneven joints if used carefully? It was suggested but seems like it might be overkill.

In the next couple days I'll land on a method for sorting the seams, a finish product and polyfill installed and update again.

Thanks.
 

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Your parents have a CNC machine.... You should definitely utilize that if you can!

The Samurai is really cool. I think the cars of the late '80s to to early '00s are my favorite. Anything before that was to underdeveloped to be practical and anything newer than that is generally hard to customize. I've always thought a Samurai with a little 3 or 4 cylinder diesel would be really cool.

It's a hard guess on the rock texture. I think the low spots would show the imperfections. Do your parents have any cool veneers or laminates that they could spare? If you're going to paint them, you're probably going to want to hit them with some drywall compound. I usually dribble some extra glue in the open seams to help seal them and make them stronger.

Good progress! Keep it up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, I was reading that drywall spackle might work well. I think Bondo might be a little tougher to work.

On the CNC machine, I have no idea how to use it but I know they took a photograph of a crop circle and translated that into a door for a customer and while it sounds corny it looks really reeeeally cool. They are moving away from doing schools, motels, prisons and office buildings and moving towards one off custom doors for high end homes and historical buildings like in Deadwood. If I need to spray these cabs I should be able to grab my cheap-0 spray gun and head over there and use the air and paint booth on a Sunday or something. I would prefer to do as much as I can right here if possible.

On the 87 Samurai, I almost went with the VW diesel but instead used a MPFI 1.6L 16 valve engine from a 95 Sidekick, very happy with that. My other is a 96 Lexus LS400, anything much newer than that and the bang for the buck factor plummets. I tend to readily alter cars but on the LS there is nothing to do but enjoy a properly designed and built sedan, Toyota did everything amazingly well, not sure I could ever drive a domestic again. I always research and shop carefully, always looking for the best bang for the buck which is exactly why I'm doing these speakers. It's an art form and takes some effort to get high quality goods on a budget, but its quite achievable.

I'm going down to a paint shop tomorrow to see if they have something I have not considered yet, my goal is to have these things finished this week.
 

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It's hard for me to want to use Bondo for something like this because it is higher risk. I think the curing agent in drywall compound is water. If the hardener in Bondo is old then you'll have mostly cured bondo that will never cure. This happened to me and it took two hours to sand off.... I returned the Bondo to Lowes the next day.

That crop circle thing is cool. Is it easy to tell that it's a crop circle or does it just look like a cool design? I think the only thing you'll need to consider for the air gun is the tip size.

I work on cars for a living and the V8 that Toyota used in that Lexus is an amazing engine. They used the same basic engine on the Tundra, 4runner and Sequoia. Your right, there isnt anything to do to a vehicle like that except take good care of it. Toyota knocked them out of the park in that era. The new Tacomas are very nice however. I like the 4.0 v6 and their 2.7 l4. Two great smooth running engines.

Good luck on the paint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
After looking at hardware stores and reviewing some sites I think these multi-step systems are overpriced and probably wont create a finish becoming of a speaker. I'm going to liberate a palm sander later today and get the seams in order, the finish will be paint & maybe glaze to do a pattern and give it some depth. I saw a steel door that was painted and glazed faux wood and looked really damn good. I'm sort of leaning in this direction to keep cost down and quality up. I was surfing images and saw one that was gray and sponge painted a darker gray and that looked surprisingly good with a satin finish.

I think I'll snag some MDF scrap and try some things until I find a good look. I'm not sure if I should use a primer first or if a good heavy base coat color can go on straight over the MDF, I'm going to give the whole thing a sanding to get it nice and smooth.
 

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I painted mine and I'm very happy with how they look. Veneer does look very professional, but isn't worth the expense for my application.

Have you thought about grill options? I'm anxious to hear what you think of them.
 

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Samurai-
Above picture of you building the speaker on the picnic table-
That Baffle weight looks a LOT like a Pyramid 35a Power Supply that I've had since I was a kid....is that what it is?:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The weight is in fact a Pyramid PS 35G, very close. I normally dont have a high opinion of Pyramid but this thing still works and it has been used as a weapon, gotten wet and dropped on the ground, its fair to say it is very durable.

It worked great as a weight as evidenced by the close proximity of all the seams. There are a few seams where I can see the line and I think I should work something into those lines or I'm pretty sure they will show up after paint. Most of the seams I was able to sand and they disappeared, I can not identify them without looking.

Should I just use wood glue (I used Titebond II) or mix wood glue with some of the sawdust from sanding (trick mom showed me when I was a kid)? Or is there a specific product/spackle I should use to fill in some minor impurities before beginning finish. This will be a matte finish and very likely will try faux wood grain with a graining tool and some glaze. I might have been able to do veneer but not sure how I would go about doing the baffle with it.

What grit sandpaper should I finish up with before beginning the finish, it will be matte, not glossy so maybe more forgiving?
Is there any technique I should use on the rounded edges of the baffle, other than sandpaper and the palm of a hand?

As for a grill, i'm still not sure, I'm going to try and fashon something to cover the OD of the woofers while offering some protection, if I'm not able to pull that off I'll do a full traditional grill. I have to say the drivers look better in person than they do in the pics but they will still need something more to be showing their shame to all who visit. :cool:
 

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The Titebond with sawdust trick is a good idea but I won't hide the seams perfectly. I'd give the drywall spackle a shot. Any brand should do. Put it on thick and don't sand it too much. The trick is to do a first coat without sanding. let it dry then put the second coat on and sand it but not too much, then throw a third coat on and sand it to the final finish probably somewhere around 300 grit. You don't want to see the seam through the spackle when your all done.

You will be surprised what can still show up through a matte finish. Maybe if you have it on hand you can hit it with a matte primer to see if you prep work is good to go.

I'd end with 300-400 grit before the finishing stage. With the rounded edges make sure that you use a piece of sandpaper that hasn't been folded or kinked. If you want some padding between you and the paper you can use a sanding sponge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I got as close to direction as I could given what I have here, some of those seams pop right up through the paint, its pretty ugly, they look like giant hideous poorly finished school buses now. Some of the seams are invisible. I'm going to have to do a faux wood grain in order to hide some of this. I tried rolling the paint on and the roller left ass loads of lint in the paint so I grabbed a brush and applied it in the direction I want the wood grain to appear.

I think I'm in over my head as far as finishing, constructing was smooth and easy. I remember why I cant do body work, I'm unable to do it to my satisfaction and I'm afraid it may be the same for wood. I'll give this paint a while to dry then attempt some wood graining. Pics coming.

EDIT: After a days drying time this base coat looks like it will be a great color, the seam issues seem to be more the difference between surface and edges of the wood, it looks like a little sanding and touch up is making quite a difference. Maybe not as bad as I initially thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Micheal, I should have listened to you and done as you suggested, I was trying to avoid going to town (easily the low point of the day with all the construction and insane traffic). I tried to skip a step and made more work for myself. I figured that using a little wood putty over the visible parts would be enough considering I am doing a wood grain. Not so.

I got outside with these and the paint being fully dry looks much better but the parts of the seams that popped are to obvious, I'll do exactly as you suggested but I'm going to have to do it over some paint that has been sanded smooth. Will the drywall spackle still be the appropriate product to use over this base coat? I will of course go over the touched up areas again for coverage.

I followed your suggestion on the corners and it worked quite well. Ive been snapping pics and will get them up once the seams and base coat are sorted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I Just got back with some DAP Drydex Spackling and thinly worked it over the seams that popped through the paint and this stuff is perfect. I've done it according to your advise and it seems to be working excellent. I'll do a bit of touch up paint later on over the seams and give that a day to dry before a once over with some 300-ish grit in preparation for woodgraining.

I'm actually enjoying this so I hope I didn't sound negative. I'm excited about what I'm learning and to experience the finished product but its abundantly clear to me that woodworking/finishing is an acquired skill that I have not acquired yet. Again thanks for the pointers, this seam thing should be more easily savable than I thought, this spackle is very easy to work.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Seams after initial base coat application and a light sanding. Mind you these seams were invisible to the finger before base coat application. Seams like these and a couple that were showing a clear black line that could not be felt but was visually striking but those pics did not come out, I'm still learning a new camera. After pics in following post.
 

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