Build Question for Studio Monitors

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MichaelHiFi

Build Question for Studio Monitors
« on: 3 Jun 2020, 09:23 pm »
I'm building a set of Studio monitors and although it's not my first build, I'm still challenged with regard to my woodworking skills, or lack thereof.

Sonic Joys build is spectacular no doubt. He must have 50 clamps on his assembly  :lol: His shop is well equipped to.

My shop is my overstocked garage. Except for a DeWalt  sliding miter it's all I got.

So, looking at my now cut pieces, I though why not use a glue and screw technique  :scratch: I bought enough clamps for the front baffle and of course I'll countersink the screws and prepare for paint or laminate.

What is the downside?

Oh and one other thing. I'm going to add a pair of Furutech binding posts to the build taking from the same location as the wire supplied from Danny's binding posts. I've got some leftover Dueland wire wanting a home  :wink:

cody69

Re: Build Question for Studio Monitors
« Reply #1 on: 3 Jun 2020, 09:59 pm »
I didn’t see what material you are using. Screwing into the edges of MDF is delicate as it tends to split... be sure to pre-drill both pieces. Plywood takes a screw ok.

MichaelHiFi

Re: Build Question for Studio Monitors
« Reply #2 on: 3 Jun 2020, 10:51 pm »
Yes I would be predrilling the holes. Screws would be mostly for lining up the panels precisely.

AlexH

Re: Build Question for Studio Monitors
« Reply #3 on: 3 Jun 2020, 11:24 pm »
I though why not use a glue and screw technique  :scratch: I bought enough clamps for the front baffle and of course I'll countersink the screws and prepare for paint or laminate.

What is the downside?



Nothing wrong with the glue and screw technique. The only downside to painting is you really have to make sure you fill the screw heads well. If your paint is glossy at all they will show if not filled well. Laminate is a little more forgiving, but even they will show in the right light if not filled good enough. When you are done filling  the screw heads shine a light at a sharp angle to them and you will see if you filled them well enough.

Peter J

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Re: Build Question for Studio Monitors
« Reply #4 on: 3 Jun 2020, 11:35 pm »
Yet another thing to be conscious of  is the possibility of a screw in the path of router if you intend to profile edges. For alignment only, I think there are better choices like biscuits or dowels, but that may involve a tool you don't yet own.

I've also seen folks back the screws out, then fill, which I assume works, but have never done it. Still the concerns of the fill telegraphing through as Alex pointed out.



MichaelHiFi

Re: Build Question for Studio Monitors
« Reply #5 on: 3 Jun 2020, 11:43 pm »
Thanks for the suggestions.  :thumb:

I think I'll go with laminate. The front baffle will not be screwed so maybe I'll paint the baffle.

Now I got to build the x-overs. Where are those instructions  :scratch:

jcsperson

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Re: Build Question for Studio Monitors
« Reply #6 on: 3 Jun 2020, 11:50 pm »
Michael, I'd invest in a track saw. It's one of those tools that you'll find a million uses for outside of speaker building. They are accurate enough to replace a table saw for all but the most complex cuts.

Woodworkers used to buy those "aircraft carrier" table saws to break down sheet goods:



But many like me have gone to a smaller footprint TS and break out the track saw for those big jobs.



Just set up some sawhorses, lay down a sacrificial sheet of OSB, line up your track on your layout lines, and cut.
« Last Edit: 4 Jun 2020, 01:49 pm by jcsperson »

MichaelHiFi

Re: Build Question for Studio Monitors
« Reply #7 on: 4 Jun 2020, 01:59 am »
Wow, never saw one of those. I'll look into it for sure  - thanks!

Another build question perhaps aimed at Danny. Have an initial layout of my x- over. The resistors have different values.  One is 4ohm and the other I believe is 7.5 ohm. Which one goes where?



Danny Richie

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Re: Build Question for Studio Monitors
« Reply #8 on: 4 Jun 2020, 03:07 am »
Wow, never saw one of those. I'll look into it for sure  - thanks!

Another build question perhaps aimed at Danny. Have an initial layout of my x- over. The resistors have different values. 

Check the schematic. It's on there.

And we don't post value on the internet, just the layout.

Check this thread for tips on how to twist it together and lay things out: https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=83325.msg805156#msg805156

Quote
Oh and one other thing. I'm going to add a pair of Furutech binding posts to the build taking from the same location as the wire supplied from Danny's binding posts.

Adding them will be interesting. I love it when you guys compare them and post feedback. The tube connectors always come out on top.  :thumb:

diyman

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Re: Build Question for Studio Monitors
« Reply #9 on: 4 Jun 2020, 06:30 am »
Screws are not a good way to achieve alignment.  You can’t locate the holes that accurately, particularly by hand.  Even with a drill press it would be difficult.

Biscuits aren’t that good either and you would need a $200 biscuit cutter, which in my opinion is not a very good investment.

One of the best ways involves complex cuts with a corner lock miter bit, but that requires a router table.

So what’s left, and it’s actually very good, is using dowels.  But you need a quality doweling jig and there are only two that you should consider.

The Dowelmax Jr jig for $109 or the Jessem jig for $130.  I use the Jessem, but the Dowelmax is fine as well.

https://jessem.com/collections/joinery-systems

https://www.dowelmax.com/product/junior-dowel-jig-2020/

Don’t even consider any doweling jigs under $100.  Particularly the Milescraft products.  They are all junk and won’t do the job of getting good edge alignment.

Dowels will also add strength to the joint that you won’t get with simple butt joints.

The Track Saw that jcsperson recommends for cutting down the sheet goods is rather expensive.  About $430.  There is a cheaper one that recently came on the market from MCLS for $160.  I have no idea if it is any good or not, so I’m not necessarily recommending it.  Just letting you know about it.  Grizzly also sells one that is priced in between these two.  I use a Festool system, but that cost is probably not going to make much sense for you unless you plan on doing a lot of woodworking.

Since you have a DeWalt sliding miter saw that might take care of all the crosscuts you’ll need unless the cabinet is very wide or deep. So you might be able to get your local lumber yard to rip down the sheet goods to the needed width dimensions and not have to invest in any new saw at all.

Finally, I’m a big fan of Baltic Birch plywood over MDF.  In fact, I won’t let MDF into my shop for any purposes.  And there are others who agree with me that BB is much preferred for speaker cabinets.


Sonicjoy

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Re: Build Question for Studio Monitors
« Reply #10 on: 4 Jun 2020, 02:21 pm »
Hello MichaelHiFi.

I would not use screws, just glue and clamp it in stages like I did. You can get away with less clamps. I used lots because I have them. "Properly" fitting glued butt joints are plenty strong for speaker cabinets.

I actually like working with MDF. With proper dust extraction dust is not much of an issue. Plus I don't like changing any of the important design parameters of the designers hard work. Danny used MDF for a reason (as do most designers).

I used a track saw for most of the cuts on my build as can be seen in my build thread. One of the best most versatile tools I have ever bought. I use a small portable table saw for any ripping of narrow pieces but use the track saw for most larger cuts on sheet goods.

There is a photo or two of my crossover in the "Crossover 101" sticky thread so you can see how I did it.

Good luck!

jcsperson

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Re: Build Question for Studio Monitors
« Reply #11 on: 4 Jun 2020, 02:35 pm »
Biscuits aren’t that good either and you would need a $200 biscuit cutter, which in my opinion is not a very good investment.

One of the best ways involves complex cuts with a corner lock miter bit, but that requires a router table.

So what’s left, and it’s actually very good, is using dowels.  But you need a quality doweling jig and there are only two that you should consider.

The Dowelmax Jr jig for $109 or the Jessem jig for $130.  I use the Jessem, but the Dowelmax is fine as well.

Dowels will also add strength to the joint that you won’t get with simple butt joints.

I've never actually used dowels. I had a biscuit joiner for years. It was great for panel alignment but doesn't add much strength. It's gathering dust now since I bought a Domino. So many woodworkers have Dominos now that you can often find quality biscuit joiners on CL for under $100. There's a brand-new looking Freud on my local CL for $60.

Quote
The Track Saw that jcsperson recommends for cutting down the sheet goods is rather expensive.  About $430.  There is a cheaper one that recently came on the market from MCLS for $160.  I have no idea if it is any good or not, so I’m not necessarily recommending it.  Just letting you know about it.  Grizzly also sells one that is priced in between these two.  I use a Festool system, but that cost is probably not going to make much sense for you unless you plan on doing a lot of woodworking.

The Makita is ready to play right out of the box.

If you look at the Grizzly, Shop Fox, Wen and other less-expensive track saws, they all appear to be made at the same factory. They're not quite ready to use out of the box and there are a number of YouTube videos on how to mod them to make them acceptable. I considered that to save $100 or so, but decided to get the top-rated saw outside of the Festool.

A good track saw is such a great all-around DIY tool I think it will pay for itself in the long run.

Quote
Finally, I’m a big fan of Baltic Birch plywood over MDF.  In fact, I won’t let MDF into my shop for any purposes.  And there are others who agree with me that BB is much preferred for speaker cabinets.

100% agree on this one. If you look at the builds on Troels Gravesen's site, they're all made of BB.

MichaelHiFi

Re: Build Question for Studio Monitors
« Reply #12 on: 4 Jun 2020, 04:10 pm »
Screws are not a good way to achieve alignment.  You can’t locate the holes that accurately, particularly by hand.  Even with a drill press it would be difficult.

Biscuits aren’t that good either and you would need a $200 biscuit cutter, which in my opinion is not a very good investment.

One of the best ways involves complex cuts with a corner lock miter bit, but that requires a router table.

So what’s left, and it’s actually very good, is using dowels.  But you need a quality doweling jig and there are only two that you should consider.

The Dowelmax Jr jig for $109 or the Jessem jig for $130.  I use the Jessem, but the Dowelmax is fine as well.

https://jessem.com/collections/joinery-systems

https://www.dowelmax.com/product/junior-dowel-jig-2020/

Don’t even consider any doweling jigs under $100.  Particularly the Milescraft products.  They are all junk and won’t do the job of getting good edge alignment.

Dowels will also add strength to the joint that you won’t get with simple butt joints.

The Track Saw that jcsperson recommends for cutting down the sheet goods is rather expensive.  About $430.  There is a cheaper one that recently came on the market from MCLS for $160.  I have no idea if it is any good or not, so I’m not necessarily recommending it.  Just letting you know about it.  Grizzly also sells one that is priced in between these two.  I use a Festool system, but that cost is probably not going to make much sense for you unless you plan on doing a lot of woodworking.

Since you have a DeWalt sliding miter saw that might take care of all the crosscuts you’ll need unless the cabinet is very wide or deep. So you might be able to get your local lumber yard to rip down the sheet goods to the needed width dimensions and not have to invest in any new saw at all.

Finally, I’m a big fan of Baltic Birch plywood over MDF.  In fact, I won’t let MDF into my shop for any purposes.  And there are others who agree with me that BB is much preferred for speaker cabinets.

Good information DIYman. But you might have cost me time & money with the Baltic Birch plywood notion.  :?

I'm a believer that in audio, everything makes a difference, for better or for worse. Makes me wonder the possible difference in sound between MDF and Baltic Birch. I've already finished the cuts for the monitors. Now I'm staring at them on my kitchen island..

I did look at track saws online and thought that might be a very doable purchase given their flexibility and the idea that they are a safe alternative.

I have the Dowel Max Jr kit. Can't remember if I built the Super V's using dowels  :scratch: I think I did!


MichaelHiFi

Re: Build Question for Studio Monitors
« Reply #13 on: 4 Jun 2020, 04:12 pm »
I've never actually used dowels. I had a biscuit joiner for years. It was great for panel alignment but doesn't add much strength. It's gathering dust now since I bought a Domino. So many woodworkers have Dominos now that you can often find quality biscuit joiners on CL for under $100. There's a brand-new looking Freud on my local CL for $60.

The Makita is ready to play right out of the box.

If you look at the Grizzly, Shop Fox, Wen and other less-expensive track saws, they all appear to be made at the same factory. They're not quite ready to use out of the box and there are a number of YouTube videos on how to mod them to make them acceptable. I considered that to save $100 or so, but decided to get the top-rated saw outside of the Festool.

A good track saw is such a great all-around DIY tool I think it will pay for itself in the long run.

100% agree on this one. If you look at the builds on Troels Gravesen's site, they're all made of BB.

Yeah looked at the Makita. Probably the direction I'd go with.

MichaelHiFi

Re: Build Question for Studio Monitors
« Reply #14 on: 4 Jun 2020, 04:14 pm »
Hello MichaelHiFi.

I would not use screws, just glue and clamp it in stages like I did. You can get away with less clamps. I used lots because I have them. "Properly" fitting glued butt joints are plenty strong for speaker cabinets.

I actually like working with MDF. With proper dust extraction dust is not much of an issue. Plus I don't like changing any of the important design parameters of the designers hard work. Danny used MDF for a reason (as do most designers).

I used a track saw for most of the cuts on my build as can be seen in my build thread. One of the best most versatile tools I have ever bought. I use a small portable table saw for any ripping of narrow pieces but use the track saw for most larger cuts on sheet goods.

There is a photo or two of my crossover in the "Crossover 101" sticky thread so you can see how I did it.

Good luck!

Thanks Sonicjoy, it was your pics that I used to layout my x-over since I can't locate my darn schematic!  :thumb:

Peter J

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Re: Build Question for Studio Monitors
« Reply #15 on: 4 Jun 2020, 04:15 pm »
Good information DIYman. But you might have cost me time & money with the Baltic Birch plywood notion.  :?

I'm a believer that in audio, everything makes a difference, for better or for worse. Makes me wonder the possible difference in sound between MDF and Baltic Birch. I've already finished the cuts for the monitors. Now I'm staring at them on my kitchen island..

I did look at track saws online and thought that might be a very doable purchase given their flexibility and the idea that they are a safe alternative.

I have the Dowel Max Jr kit. Can't remember if I built the Super V's using dowels  :scratch: I think I did!

I'd consider it a Ford vs Chevy thing. If you started with MDF and you don't mind working with it, press on. Many, many fine speakers have been built using it and  Baltic Birch. Only an issue if you want it to be.

MichaelHiFi

Re: Build Question for Studio Monitors
« Reply #16 on: 4 Jun 2020, 09:01 pm »
I'm pressing on taking the build to the kitchen. A bit warm in the garage.

The replacement front baffle showed up through US Postal service. The box was badly beaten up and the top corners suffered damage. One minor and the other a crunched pretty good. At least they are top corners so I'll repair with wood putty. Shipping anything is always a dicey experience, especially in audio land.

I started gluing my build. Borrowed some additional clamps and needed every one of them  :thumb:









diyman

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Re: Build Question for Studio Monitors
« Reply #17 on: 4 Jun 2020, 10:53 pm »
...
I'm a believer that in audio, everything makes a difference, for better or for worse. Makes me wonder the possible difference in sound between MDF and Baltic Birch. ...
I think you can be confident that there will be a difference in the box sound between MDF and BB.  MDF has a higher density and will resonate at a higher frequency.  Whether that is better or worse is hard to say and people disagree as to whether it is significant enough to matter.   I've never compared the two and have no opinion.  My objection to MDF is based mainly on working with it and the mess it makes.   Not on any sound difference that I have personally experienced.
« Last Edit: 6 Jun 2020, 07:11 am by diyman »

Jmitchell3

Re: Build Question for Studio Monitors
« Reply #18 on: 5 Jun 2020, 05:52 am »
I'm pressing on taking the build to the kitchen. A bit warm in the garage.

The replacement front baffle showed up through US Postal service. The box was badly beaten up and the top corners suffered damage. One minor and the other a crunched pretty good. At least they are top corners so I'll repair with wood putty. Shipping anything is always a dicey experience, especially in audio land.

I started gluing my build. Borrowed some additional clamps and needed every one of them  :thumb:








Wow! Thats like phoenix temps right there! Bummer about the baffles....wonder if thats good feedback for how they are packaged?

Sonicjoy

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Re: Build Question for Studio Monitors
« Reply #19 on: 5 Jun 2020, 12:27 pm »
Very cool! (the speaker building not the temp) Glad to see someone else finally posting a build of these! I built the boxes in the shop but did the crossovers and assembly on the kitchen table as well. I did not even get in trouble. HaHa!!!  :lol: