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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just finished building a sealed sub using a HSU STF-2 driver. It sounds good but my woodworking needs improvement.


This is my first attempt at building my own box and I was wondering if some of you experienced woodworkers could give me some tips.


I used a circular saw with a guide which I made myself. While the cuts are straight the sides are not at 90 degrees to the surface. I checked the blade but it seems ok, not angled. How do I get make cuts with edges square or at 90 degrees .


Next question, how do you measure and cut accurately, some of my sides are slightly off like a millimeter or so.


Any suggestions are welcome.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dandan123 /forum/post/15559082


I just finished building a sealed sub using a HSU STF-2 driver. It sounds good but my woodworking needs improvement.


This is my first attempt at building my own box and I was wondering if some of you experienced woodworkers could give me some tips.


I used a circular saw with a guide which I made myself. While the cuts are straight the sides are not at 90 degrees to the surface. I checked the blade but it seems ok, not angled. How do I get make cuts with edges square or at 90 degrees .


Next question, how do you measure and cut accurately, some of my sides are slightly off like a millimeter or so.


Any suggestions are welcome.

I have the same problem. I don't know quite what to do, but I make it work. Usually I clamp the joint with a 90 degree clamp to ensure my angles are straight, and then use a bar clamp to keep it secure until the wood dries.


I think the easiest answers to all your questions is to invest in a table saw.
 

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Most circular saw blades are adjustable for beveled cuts. You might try to square the blade to the saw bottom. Or you can sand the edges square.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dandan123 /forum/post/15559082


I checked the blade but it seems ok, not angled. How do I get make cuts with edges square or at 90 degrees .


Next question, how do you measure and cut accurately, some of my sides are slightly off like a millimeter or so. Any suggestions are welcome.

A hand circular saw is NOT the most accurate wood cutting tool. But if the blade is adjusted with a small square to make sure the blade is perpendicular to the small saw table AND you make a slow careful cut with a sharp 60 or 80 tooth blade, you should be as good as you can get with that portable hand circular saw. What brand of saw is it? There IS a large difference in accuracy between a cheap saw and say a "Milwaukee" brand saw.

A millimeter off in a 24 inch or longer cut ain't bad. Using a saw guide with a sharp blade is all I can think of to improve your accuracy when making the cut, oh and of course marking the cut line with a pencil is helpful too. Getting angles at a perfect 90 degrees requires a metal square and accurate line marking.

Clamping the sides, top, bottom, and baffle of a large box requires large clamps, if you want to be accurate. Pipe clamps are cheap and can draw uneven edges together during gluing and clamping. The joined pieces have to be squared first with a large square and the pieces have to held square in place during gluing and/or screwing with the clamps.
 

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The quality of your saw will make a big difference, and I echo that circular saws are not the best for building cabinetry.


If you're not opposed, you might try having your MDF, plywood, etc. ripped at your local building center on their panel saw. A much better cut, no expensive tools to purchase and more time to assemble and finish your speaker boxes. Not to mention listen to them.
 

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The panel saw at most home improvement centers is just a beat up circular saw on a track system. Furthermore, most employees can't accurately read a tape measure or just don't care. I'd avoid that option like the plague and get an inexpensive table saw or find a friend who has one. Once you have your measurements, the cuts only take a few minutes.


Jason
 

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For those of you who have limited woodworking skills or limited tools to do a fairly square box.... this is your best friend along with some 60,80 and 120 grit belts...>>>>>>>>use it to square off your boxes..




or buy a moderately priced tablesaw.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonColeman /forum/post/15560203


The panel saw at most home improvement centers is just a beat up circular saw on a track system. Furthermore, most employees can't accurately read a tape measure or just don't care. I'd avoid that option like the plague and get an inexpensive table saw or find a friend who has one. Once you have your measurements, the cuts only take a few minutes.


Jason

Or another option would be to find someone who rents out a decent table saw. My local Home Depot will rent them for 4 or 24-hour periods. Get all the wood marked, laid out and ready. Bring the saw home, make the cuts, and back to the store in less than 4 hours easy.
 

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If you own a router, a flush trim bit should be able to help you correct your cuts. With only a circular saw and router you should be able to make a pretty damn near perfect box. At least something a little bondo should be able to fix.


Also it sounds like you are not too experienced with power tools. When using a circular saw, make sure the piece you are cutting is free to fall. For example only set up your saw horses or whatever on one side of your cut. If you set em up on the edges and cut down the middle, the MDF or plywood is gonna collapse on itself, bind your blade and possibly cause serious damage to yourself.


Hope that makes some sort of sense.
 

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Yes the flush router bit is the go, just make you cuts with your saw A little bigger and use your flush trim router/bit to square and flush trim perfectly...


See attached photo for an example....


Cheers...

 

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With the flush-cut router bits, you must be certain that whatever you're using for a straightedge is perfectly straight and aligned properly with the piece you're cutting. A table saw is really the way to go and much less room for error. If you're building a few enclosures, investing in an inexpensive "jobsite" saw would seem to make sense. Once you have one, you'll wonder how you ever survived without it.


Jason
 

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You can do square cuts with a circular saw. First square the blade with the table. Next measure the distance from the blade to the edge of the saws table. Lets say that dimension is 5". Take a framing square and mark a line 5" from where you want to cut. Now clamp a board (for a guide) on this line. Make sure that the guide extends past the edges of the board that you want to cut so that the saw stays straight when entering and exiting the board that you are cutting. This takes more time than a table saw, but you can make a cut just as accurate as a table saw.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dandan123 /forum/post/15559082


How do I get make cuts with edges square or at 90 degrees .

Woodmagazine has an instruction video on making glue up (90 degree) quality cuts. Go to http://www.woodmagazine.com/wood/fil...layer&temp=yes and then go to the link for Basic-Built under Wood Video Categories and watch the video for Precision cuts with basic tools. The video walks you through making the jig and performing the cuts. Tools required: circular saw and router.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dandan123 /forum/post/15559082


Next question, how do you measure and cut accurately, some of my sides are slightly off like a millimeter or so.

This is where a table saw shines. You can just set the fence and make repetitive cuts. While it is usually safer to take the tool to the worker piece (i.e. handheld tool), you can usually get more accurate cuts by taking the work piece to the tool (ie. table saw). It can still be done without a table saw. You just have to make sure all measurements are very precise (use the same measuring tool throughout the build) and you are consistent with your cuts, ie. cutting on the outside or inside of the cut line. Most circular saws come with a cheap construction grade blade. An expensive, high quality saw will not produce accurate clean cuts with a cheap blade. I would suggest upgrading to a higher quality fine tooth blade. A saw is only as good as the blade. I personally use a very inexpressive circular saw (I believe it is an older Skil) with a Freud blade for cuts on sheet goods that are not easily done on my table saw. I know some that use the Oldam 7-1/4 in 60 tooth blade with good results. This blade can be purchased from Home Depot for under $15.
 

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If it's a cheap circular saw, even if you have it setup square, it can still cut a bit off just by pressing too hard one way or the other. Ease up as you push the saw through the cut and let the saw do the work.


When I first started using one, I seemed to push down and forward too hard and never got a decent cut. Prssing down too hard can flex the base and cause the blade to cut off square.



I'd still recommend finding someone with a decent table saw though.


I got very lucky last year finding a new Bosch floor model at Sears marked down from around $550 or more to $280. The manager then gave it to me for $230. Crazy deal on a really nice portable table saw. Just look around, you may find something.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonColeman /forum/post/15561440


With the flush-cut router bits, you must be certain that whatever you're using for a straightedge is perfectly straight and aligned properly with the piece you're cutting. A table saw is really the way to go and much less room for error. If you're building a few enclosures, investing in an inexpensive "jobsite" saw would seem to make sense. Once you have one, you'll wonder how you ever survived without it.


Jason

I really disagree with this.


There is a phenomenal amount of room for error and worse fit if you try to be 100% accurate on all your cuts, then do a full-assembly.


Over sizing select panels and flush trimming them with a router later on will not only give you a superior finish, but also cut down on time and room for error.


Also, when you're flush trimming, the adjacent panel is your straight-edge, so what's the worry about keeping it straight? The cut is exactly as true as the box which it is being flushed to.



I'll agree that a table saw for relatively moderate sized panel rips is superior to a generic sidewinder saw, but for anything large, even if you have a full 52" rip capable cabinet saw, getting that sheet fed in square and tight to the leading edge of the fence is a tough solo act (fuggedaboudit on a dinky, inexpensive jobsite saw). Plunge/track saws are really the most ideal means of accurately breaking up large scale sheet goods, albeit specialized and about as spendy as a quality jobsite saw.


A good Tool Clamp n' Guide ( http://www.woodcraft.com/images/products/148685_230.jpg ) paired with a decent framing saw and the correct blade should be able to cut just about as accurately as you can measure, and allow you to cut multiple thicknesses at the same time to ensure identical panels that mirror each-other.
 

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Woodworking is a skill, just like a guitar, you don't just

pick it up and become a genius, it takes time to develop

this - unless you are a genius



Get the right tools for the job at hand.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H /forum/post/15563032


If it's a cheap circular saw, even if you have it setup square, it can still cut a bit off just by pressing too hard one way or the other. Ease up as you push the saw through the cut and let the saw do the work.


When I first started using one, I seemed to push down and forward too hard and never got a decent cut. Prssing down too hard can flex the base and cause the blade to cut off square.

I agree. To get the best cut always let the tool do the work.


I would guess you were experiencing blade deflection from the added pressure you were putting on it and had nothing to do with the saw. But I could be wrong since I have not seen or used your saw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the replies, a lot of information to process.


To answer some of your questions, I'm using a craftsman saw -

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00910871000P


I replaced the blade which came with the saw with a 80 tooth/carbide blade.


I did push down hard and forward so that probably explains why I didn't get square cuts, I was quite nervous as I've never used a circular

saw before but it wasn't too bad



I don't have a lot of space so the suggestion to rent a table saw is a good suggestion.


I'll probably get a router before I start on my next project.


Any suggestions for a sander ? Nothing too fancy or expensive, I'll be using it only to build speaker cabinets.


Thanks again for your suggestions..
 

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dandan,

Work on pushing the saw along at 1" per second. For sanders, are you looking for a finish sander or something that will hog off the edges when mistakes occur? A larger ROS (random orbit sander) will be able to do both tasks but they aren't cheap. Maybe look for a used or B-stock Bosch... they are pretty nice.


Describe your DIY saw guide. Is there any deflection when you make the cut? If the guide bows inward then that will lead to inaccuracy as well.

Quote:
With the flush-cut router bits, you must be certain that whatever you're using for a straightedge is perfectly straight and aligned properly with the piece you're cutting. A table saw is really the way to go and much less room for error.

Flush cut bits don't require any straightedge at all... they run along on their bearing. Dandan will want the one with the bearing toward the tip of the bit. The downside with this method is that the box will need to be glued in sections (3 sides at a time) so the joined edges can be cleaned up before the next piece is added.


A table saw is nice but they will only guarantee repeatable cuts... not a cut of an exact width (unless you have a very nice fence on your saw).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dandan123 /forum/post/15564706


To answer some of your questions, I'm using a craftsman saw -

If you can get a hold of a table saw, and have some material to "waste", you can use your hand saw to first do slightly larger rough cuts, then recut with the table saw. That way you're not trying to wrestle a 4x8 sheet of MDF on the table. Just make sure you leave a "factory" edge (or table cut edge) parallel to your final cuts.
 
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