My high gloss white mini speaker build

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ScottMoonShot

My high gloss white mini speaker build
« on: 17 Aug 2021, 04:26 am »
I thought I would post my mini speaker build as it goes. I'm happy with how its going so far.
First time using a router. I love the speed and precision.

I was worried about rounding over the top and bottom while rounding the front. So it clamped on some scrap mdf to prevent a mistake.

Now a lot of sanding.








Norman Tracy

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Re: My high gloss white mini speaker build
« Reply #1 on: 17 Aug 2021, 08:35 pm »
Hi ScottMoonShot, your speakers are looking good.

If I may make a suggestion before starting the high gloss finish in your title do some research on sealing MDF for finishing. Many threads and methods suggested all over the 'net and videos on Youtube. This one is a decent enough start https://techtalk.parts-express.com/forum/tech-talk-forum/8115-epoxy-on-mdf-before-painting. As it states epoxy, water based poly, or shellac based primers, like Zinzer can all be made to work. The main thing is MDF loves to soak up finishes like a wood sponge so one can use epoxy and pay more for the product and seal it quickly OR use the poly or shellac and apply many many many (and then a few more) coats until the MDF stops soaking it up and the sealer/primer starts to build. I also suggest sealing the inside surfaces to stop them accepting atmospheric humidity resulting in the MDF moving under your finish.

Enjoy the build process and then happy listening.

ScottMoonShot

Re: My high gloss white mini speaker build
« Reply #2 on: 17 Aug 2021, 09:26 pm »
Yes, I am concerned about sealing the MDF. I have done a lot of research and found the same info as the link you gave.

I really want to try "Rust-Oleum 272479 Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Plus Spray Primer, White". Seems like it should work?

If it soaks in without sealing then I might go strait to an 2K epoxy primer in a can.

WGH

Re: My high gloss white mini speaker build
« Reply #3 on: 17 Aug 2021, 11:52 pm »
Usually the best sealer is the one the manufacturer of the top coat recommends. Experiment at your own risk.

Will Rust-Oleum Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 interact with the top coat? Will it even work to seal MDF? All depends what's in the can. I know from experience the solvents Acetone, Aliphatic Hydrocarbons, and Xylene will get you high as a kite and are extremely flammable.

Why not use the West Epoxy? Everyone knows it works and is the preferred sealer. I have been woodworking for 40 years and have seen too many newbie mistakes to count. There is never enough time to do it right the first time but there is always time to do it over.


subsonic1050

Re: My high gloss white mini speaker build
« Reply #4 on: 18 Aug 2021, 12:19 am »
I can confirm that the specific primer you mentioned (Rust-Oleum Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3) will work. I used that exact primer on the X-Statik's I built for a friend. It sprayed well and built up quickly, which is important when working with MDF - you need to do a light sand in between coats so that seams disappear as well as "end grain" even though it's not really end grain. That said, the primer didn't adhere quite as well as I would have liked. No issues with the final product (I sprayed an alkyd enamel paint over it), but there were a few areas that peeled a little while I was sanding and I had to touch it up. I think it's a good option but there is no doubt that epoxy would adhere better and probably seal it better as well. But, epoxy is also more expensive, much more difficult to work with (can't spray it), more difficult to sand smooth, and harder to clean up. All in all, I think a primer like that is a good choice.

WGH

Re: My high gloss white mini speaker build
« Reply #5 on: 18 Aug 2021, 12:46 am »
there were a few areas that peeled a little while I was sanding

Oh boy, that's never a good sign. Glad to know what not to do the next time I have to prime and paint MDF.

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: My high gloss white mini speaker build
« Reply #6 on: 18 Aug 2021, 01:16 am »
I've used dewaxed shellac (Zinner Seal Coat) to seal the MDF on my X Statiks and Studios since it soaks into the MDF, preventing moisture absorption. And its not as expensive, and rather easy to work with and is also easy to prime/paint over, leaving plenty of texture for paint/primer to adhere to.

ScottMoonShot

Re: My high gloss white mini speaker build
« Reply #7 on: 18 Aug 2021, 01:47 am »
That said, the primer didn't adhere quite as well as I would have liked. No issues with the final product (I sprayed an alkyd enamel paint over it), but there were a few areas that peeled a little while I was sanding and I had to touch it up. I think it's a good option but there is no doubt that epoxy would adhere better and probably seal it better as well. But, epoxy is also more expensive, much more difficult to work with (can't spray it), more difficult to sand smooth, and harder to clean up. All in all, I think a primer like that is a good choice.

I wonder if a couple of lighter coats of Zinsser just to seal the MDF then a more common filler primer to sand and hide the seams?

I agree about epoxy. Would like to avoid for such a small project.

ScottMoonShot

Re: My high gloss white mini speaker build
« Reply #8 on: 18 Aug 2021, 01:54 am »
I've used dewaxed shellac (Zinner Seal Coat) to seal the MDF on my X Statiks and Studios since it soaks into the MDF, preventing moisture absorption. And its not as expensive, and rather easy to work with and is also easy to prime/paint over, leaving plenty of texture for paint/primer to adhere to.

Sounds similar to "Minwax 657000000 Water-Based Sanding Sealer" that i saw someone use on YouTube. It looked like it work very well. It is one of my plan B's.

subsonic1050

Re: My high gloss white mini speaker build
« Reply #9 on: 18 Aug 2021, 03:22 am »
Oh boy, that's never a good sign. Glad to know what not to do the next time I have to prime and paint MDF.

It was extremely minor and only in areas that I had to sand quite a bit. I only mentioned it to say that there are alternatives that would bond even better - but the results were quite good.

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: My high gloss white mini speaker build
« Reply #10 on: 19 Aug 2021, 12:32 am »
Sounds similar to "Minwax 657000000 Water-Based Sanding Sealer" that i saw someone use on YouTube. It looked like it work very well. It is one of my plan B's.
True, tho shellac is alcohol based, so it won't swell the wood fibers like a water based filler/primer will.

ScottMoonShot

Re: My high gloss white mini speaker build
« Reply #11 on: 24 Aug 2021, 01:50 am »
I decided to use the water based Minwax sanding sealer. First coat today, looks good, soaks in but does not disappear into the wood. Also doesn't seem to raise wood fiber much.

I will sand and coat again a couple more times before primer.

I think i will coat the inside also in case i want to wet sand and someone said it will stabilize the wood from the environment.







ScottMoonShot

Re: My high gloss white mini speaker build
« Reply #12 on: 25 Aug 2021, 05:09 am »
Second coat of Minwax today. This stuff is great! Very easy to work with. Easy to sand and looks like it's sealed to me.

I also coated the inside by pouring about a half cup directly inside rotating the box around until everything was covered then soaked up the leftover with a sponge brush.



ScottMoonShot

Re: My high gloss white mini speaker build
« Reply #13 on: 1 Sep 2021, 03:05 am »
Sealed and primed ready to paint.




ScottMoonShot

Re: My high gloss white mini speaker build
« Reply #14 on: 1 Sep 2021, 03:08 am »

Built the crossover today. To cold to paint the speakers.



ScottMoonShot

Re: My high gloss white mini speaker build
« Reply #15 on: 16 Sep 2021, 04:47 am »

I tried something new. I made my own "water slide decals" not sure it would work? But it did!

I wanted a simple drawing of Tweety Bird on the back of the speakers for my daughter. This is my affectionate nick name for my daughter.

I printed the drawing out on the special paper with different sizes and mirrored images, one for each speaker.

After applying I sprayed with clear acrylic to seal it from the 2K clear. I was not sure how 2K would affect the decal.

After 2K clear I sanded the edges of the decal to hide it, ready for another couple coats of 2K clear.

I think it turned out great! I can see using this for other restoration projects when you need to replace damaged labels or graphics.










NoahH

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Re: My high gloss white mini speaker build
« Reply #16 on: 16 Sep 2021, 12:27 pm »
I am taking my cabinets to an auto body shop for painting. Does anyone know if any of these sealers are particularly 'compatible' with the spray systems they use, or if I should do sealing myself first?

Peter J

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Re: My high gloss white mini speaker build
« Reply #17 on: 16 Sep 2021, 02:03 pm »
I am taking my cabinets to an auto body shop for painting. Does anyone know if any of these sealers are particularly 'compatible' with the spray systems they use, or if I should do sealing myself first?

Not sure if I understand your question but here's some food for thought. Mixing and matching water base and solvent base is an invitation to some sort of failure unless they were designed to work together. If you're going to use automotive urethane for clear, why not use it for base coats and primer? Also it's not as clear cut as it used to be, many automotive finishes are water borne now (not water based) so that's a new wrinkle in the compatibility equation.

As helpful a bunch as we are, I'd suggest you talk to your painter before you just trust something you read on the web. Or you could test yourself, but long term compatibility issues might not show up for months.

In my experience, shellac is as benign as anything when used as a barrier coat, but won't offer much in the way of filling capability. This might make it useful as a sealer, but beyond that I think  you'd be best to know what your painter is going to use, and stay within known compatibilities.

NoahH

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Re: My high gloss white mini speaker build
« Reply #18 on: 16 Sep 2021, 07:59 pm »
That's helpful - thanks. My concern with the auto shop is that they don't paint MDF often, so may not know it's nuances.

ScottMoonShot

Re: My high gloss white mini speaker build
« Reply #19 on: 16 Sep 2021, 09:46 pm »
Maybe ask the paint shop if a particular spray can primer will work for them. Then seal MDF however you want and give it a few good coats of the primer.

Let it dry for a week. I am not an expert by any means but that would seem safe to me?

Peter's advice is the safest though.