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Some noob questions about woodworking, etc.

1455 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  gimpy
So I think I have everything ready to go to start Neo Dan's Easy Button IXL sub. I do have a couple of questions for you fine folks, here:

1. Is there a basic woodworking site that you might recommend? I know everyone clamps their boxes while the glue dries, but I really don't know how to do this while keeping everything at right angles, etc. A general "how to glue mdf boxes together" how-to would be excellent. I'd prefer avoiding the use of screws if possible.

2. I grabbed the Dayton mounting terminals (not the full cup). Do people tend to solder their internal connections fromt he driver to the internal post terminals?

3. Will polyfil be required for this?
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If you want to work with wood, you will need to use clamps and/or

screws [nails ok]. Pick a method you like and makes sense for

the design. Some ideas. If you make furniture quality enclosures,

visible screws w/countersinks looks ugly. Finish nails are ok as you

can use a punch to drive the nail further deep in the wood then

cover the pinhole with putty.

Clamps are nice, wood-on-wood with good glue + clamps yields the best

eye candy but assembly takes longer as you may only be able to do sections

at a time and you have to wait for the glue to dry.

People say the wood/glue joint is stronger than the wood, therefore

just using glue and no screws/nails is ok. This is true for wood,

but MDF is not really wood. MDF may have a 'skin' on the surface

whereas if you do a simple butt joint using MDF on MDF with glue

only, after it dries and if you were to bend the wood, the wood

joint would break. The MDF + skin layer is still intact, but the

skin + MDF core joint is broken, ie.,

MDF board

MDF piece #1 - skin layer

MDF piece #1 - core layer

MDF piece #1 - skin layer

MDF Edge

MDF piece #2 - core layer

When you mate the two in a butt joint you get;

MDF piece #1 - skin layer

MDF piece #1 - core layer

MDF piece #1 - skin layer

MDF piece #2 - core layer

If you bend the two pieces after the glue dries, piece #2 core

will not break from the MDF piece #1 - skin layer, but what

does break is the MDF piece #1 - core layer // MDF piece #1 - skin layer area.

Most people don't care because they don't use MDF to make

durable boxes that take heavy abuse, so a clamped MDF box

with bracing is nice for DIY home audio, but not good for

prosound 'touring/DJ' audio where the boxes are transported

all the time. Iff the MDF box fell on the floor, the MDF

itself can crack or that MDF skin joint breaks if you don't have

screws to keep it together.

If you do want to use screws, perhaps to speed up assembly and

maybe to make it easy on yourself, and if you plan to veneer the

MDF box, I would use drywall screws predrilling the holes to

prevent MDF cracking and then countersink the hole so the screw

is below the surface. You can do this to line up the joint, then

apply the glue and screw it together. You can do all the box

assembly easy this way and it's solid. Use some putty to plug the

hole, then do the veneer.

If you are a beginner to woodworking, you will notice that quality

clamps aren't cheap so you may need to use the screw method

if you don't want to invest in more tools.
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My favorite thing when doing subwoofer enclosures is the kreg jig, it makes things go faster and easier, and you don't have any finish nails on the outside. http://www.kregtool.com/
I'm looking to start on a couple of projects pretty soon also and need some advice.

I want to do roundovers on all of the cabinet edges, but I'm not very experienced with routers. What is the best way to go about doing this, or should I just forget it and save myself a lot of work?

I've been looking at the Hole-pro X-425. I saw it over at the HTS. Think it's worth trying out? I do have other things that I would use it for other than speakers.
re: Hole-pro X-425 - ~$150

For $150, it's a limited tool. But if you can find a nice plunge

router, at least 2HP, one example; DEWALT DW621 2 HP Plunge Router for

$200, you will get more versatility for projects. You

can cut holes, do roundovers, etc. That is a better route [pun]

Practice routing on scrap wood. Try some cheap particle board

to get the hang of it. The wood is easy to cut and allows you

to get experience. If you use hardwoods, then you have to be

more careful and do multiple passes as you don't want to burn

the wood and damage the bit. MDF is good to practice on also, just get good router

bits. I'm biased towards Whiteside router bits, they cost more, but

I can do some nice cuts in one pass. I did a big 1.5" roundover to make

a big flare for a port [3" flare] using a Whiteside $150 bit on layers of MDF,

one pass cut it all with no problems. Hot knife on butter. Some of the cheap bits burn

up and damage your project.


I bought my bits here;

Most people buy these bits as they offer a nice bang for buck.
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The guy at home depot suggested these:


And then I grabbed some 1.5" Deck Screws.

do I need 2" screws? Are drywall screws better than deck screws? I prefer that the deck ones at HD were Robertson and otherwise they looked the same as the drywall variety.

And then I grabbed some 1.5" Deck Screws.

do I need 2" screws? Are drywall screws better than deck screws? I prefer that the deck ones at HD were Robertson and otherwise they looked the same as the drywall variety.

1.5 - 2" dry or deck screws are fine. 2" being about as long as a guy generally likes to use, or other issues such as splitting and alignment can come up. If the screws are to thick, that can also cause the same problem. The main thing is to pre drill correctly with either. I like 1.5 with the use of clamps myself. When screwing MDF from the front, the splitting issue isn't a concern, it's from the side that a guy has to be careful in the pre drill stage.

If your going to finish your sub with some sort of high gloss finish, I would stay away from drilling on the outside all together unless covered with veneer. I would suggest you keep your drilling to the inside. It seems as though no matter how smooth you get things after sanding, every spot that you put a screw will show in the correct lighting after glossing. When veneering, a guy still needs to be careful to get things reasonably right if he is going to varathane.
For keeping your box square, something like these would work great:


I don't have any, but every time I build a box, I wish I did! One of these days I will either get some made or break down and order these.
Mac, if you have the time, you can also make you a quick jig out of your scrap mdf or other and your router/bit (bit same width as the mdf thickness you wish to glue).

Real quick: take four pieces of scrap about 4 X 6 inches or so (depending on the width/depth of your speaker project). Route 90* intersecting dadoes on each scrap about 3/8 inch deep. Each piece of the four scraps are to hold/butt each of the 4 corners of the speaker so they can be glued/clamped together. I saw this jig in a magazine a couple of years ago and have used it a couple of times. Works pretty good and is cheap (that's me :>))

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