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Roboklipsch's DIYSG 4cft ported build using Legacy EF 15" Driver


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My build threads are all in my signature if your on a desktop. Subs are just duratex. You're probably thinking my speaker build I just did. 


Yeah ah you have to do one panel. Then trim. As far as pressure from scraper I push as hard as I can. Be careful towards edges or you'll year it if you roll over the edge still pushing that hard. 

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Update:   I cut all the veneer yesterday.   That was yet another interesting part of the process.  I've read enough of how you're "supposed" to cut it, and then read some of the threads here and elsewhere.  In the end, FuzzyDog's, use a pair of scissors worked great for me.  I actually used some shears, which are stronger thicker scissors, just to be sure.  After trying a utility knife, which does make beautiful cuts, I realized cutting a long strip with the utility knife is actually more difficult.


So an important note for a rookie like me is that you need to layout how your sheets with be used -- and more to the point, before you even buy it you need a good idea what you need, as otherwise you may buy too much or too little.  My design needed roughly 1-1/2 sheets of 48x96, but I purchased 2 full sheets as I knew one way or another, I'd need or want extra.  


Well, in doing my first cuts, the 3rd and 4th sides I cut out where too short.  I realized it after the fact, and begin mentally preparing for having to seam together a few pieces, hopefully in inconspicuous places.  As it turned out, luck was with me, as the sheet I had left was exactly long enough to cut out the rest that I needed for that one box.


So the short pieces will be/are being used for testing.  The extra veneer I have left besides that from the other sheet will be held for safety purposes in case of a mistake...and then if I am able to adhere it properly, they can be used for stain testing.


I used some small plywood boards to test adhering the PSA veneer, and also to practice trimming a few different ways.  I found the application to be easy and straightforward.  How to trim is one of a few choices.  No doubt a router would do the job right and quickly.  But I'm not buying one for this project.  I tested scissors, they work well but not too close as they can and will tear some of the veneer especially against the grain.  I found that utilizing a utility knife, from the bottom (paper side up), was incredibly easy to score and cut right up to the cabinet edge.  Since I cannot easily turn over a 24" cube cabinet for trimming, I am thinking I may be able to put a piece of board above what I'm working on and trim it from below.  Going to give that a test and a shot today, if it works, it will reduce the amount of sanding down the edges needed.  If not, I'll have to cut as close as I can and then sand.


The front baffles, with both a 15" cutout and a port cutout, are weighing on my mind.  I read a lot about others and again, router is great.  Without one, a carefully used knife can do the job, so I will be working very slow and carefully on the faces of the boxes in order to try and make them flush and look good.


Finishes are on order and will be arriving over the next several days.  Looking forward to yet another step, and on to the finale, getting the bolt/T-nuts installed and putting in the driver.  That's hopefully about a week away...we shall see :)



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With all my big speakers I put a small (I'd say 16x12) piece of Mdf and just score along it. And wait till that strip hangs down then move down the line. 


When I lay my veneer sheet out I lay the speaker on it and trace 1/4" all the way around with straight edge. I then number 1 and 2 on opposites sides. Then I lay speaker on its side and do the same. Trade 1/4" and do a 2 and 3 this time. This way I know which way the wrap needs to be in order if that makes sense. And I've found that even leaving the 1/4" overhang I've still been able to line up the grain pretty well. 


A a future tip for positioning. I've read everywhere about dowel rods. Well I ended up using parchment paper (wax paper) from the cookie drawer at my house. I lay it to cover the whole surface. Then put veneer on and get it where I wanted. Then pushed down one end so there would be no movement then slight lift the other and just rolled the paper back slightly enough to stick one edge down. That's all it takes. It immediately bonds. Lift the opposite side up pull paper out the start working back and forth with scraper to push full length. Then it's time to wear your self out pushing on that stuff. 

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Wow.  Something that was actually easier than I expcted :)


I did a rough cutout of the port at the bottom, making the cutout roughly 12" wide (vs 14 for the port) and about an inch tall, versus around 2".  Once cut, I then marked the center of the driver cutout, cut a 6 inch square from there.  Pictures will show some of this.  


Use a sharp utility knife.  Replace or flip to other side as often as necessary, as a sharp knife makes cutting especially the circle....easier.  Take your time, cut it out in sections, then cut it down to the actually cutout edge.  I would guess it took 2 hours to do the front baffles with cutouts, and another 5 hours or so to apply the rest of the veneer a few days ago.  So that's around 7-8 hours total, or 4 hours per cabinet.  20-30 minutes per side is a good estimate and then longer for the front baffles.  


I of course can't speak to how well the PSA will last over time, but applying it couldn't have been easier or better.  Very simple, works exactly as advertised and seems to be very, very strong.  


One of the finishes I need, the dye, is a few days away still, so I have a few days to chill and do some light sanding before moving on to actual finishing of the veneer.  5 step process in mind, dye, seal, fill, seal, seal, seal, lacquer lacquer lacquer....ok maybe 9 steps, but 5 steps with some repeats.  


Shooting to finish hopefully soon or by the weekend, a few things to buy such as feet and then putting in t-nuts and the driver itself :)  


Note to rookies:  OMG this is a lot of work :)  Do not start this project with hopes or intentions of finishing in a day or two.  As Derrick said in a thread earlier, building the box is actually the easy part time-wise...although sanding it is a bear.  



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Thanks to all of you dudes for your kind words!


Of course the stain managed to arrive on Friday afternoon, preventing a chill weekend and pushing for the finish to be applied.   I applied the dye and a sealcoat on top of that.  I was very worried about sealing the dye -- it has the high potential for streaks and lifting.  I had some decent success, although like any project it got better as I went.  I did the bottom first, then the back, then the sides, top and front.  I'll post some pictures and update with more details later this evening or tomorrow.  Shaping up and the finish line is in sight! :)

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You can google "how to finish mahogany" and you'll find the exact same process that I am using to finish this veneer.



I am using process #1.  On the first read it seemed way too involved, too many processes.  Then after reading the different options out there it didn't seem all that bad.

I used the exact products shown in the link, so Behlen's Medium Brown Walnut is the dye I used on the boxes, shown in these photos.  These show the boxes with 2 coats of dye, applied by cotton rag.   The dye is diluted 50% with water.  A common concern with this process is raising the grain, surprisingly the Khaya wood had almost none of this issue, not enough to require sanding.  The dye dries in a few minutes, a second application can be applied once the first has dried.  


Looking at these pictures, it's striking how much of a color difference 2 coats of this 50% dye create.  I took a few of them with some sides finished and some not for contrast.  This was another process that went better than I expected it to.  The finish is a very red finish, as the author of the site explains.   A later step helps color it more brown, although I really like this color as is.  


I let the cabinets dry overnight as one of the suggestions he made to help reduce streaking.  The other recommendation is to try and make only one pass over the cabinet when sealing it.

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Here are some shots after the SealCoat was applied.


Zinnser has 2 different SealCoat products.  The sander sealer has certain additives that made it a good way to seal the mdf before applying the veneer.  It went on milky white and sealed to a clear finish that appeared like darkened or sealed mdf.


The other does not have the additives and is what I used here, just SealCoat Sealer.  It went on as a nice golden amber color and you can see the color difference here.

Application, using this process he describes, was a bit nerve-wracking.  A moment where you can basically screw it up bad enough to ruin it.  Maybe get back to square 1 again...but with veneer I'm doubting it.  I did my best.


First i did my test sheet.  A bit of finish came up but it looked good. 


Then I did the bottom of the cabinets, figuring those are the least important, the sides that are never seen anyway.  I had a bit of streaking in a few places, but otherwise it went OK.  I then did the backs, which were better, but still somewhat of an issue.  Again, less important sides at least in my mind.  Then I did the sides, top and finally the fronts.  By the front, I had the technique down and they came off as the article describes it can.


I had kept the rag I used with the diluted dye in its own container, sealed, so I took that back out and did a bit of touch-up on the bottom and sides.  I think it improved it a nice amount and they are all good enough.  I also don't have any experience doing this, so it also in some cases may be the natural variations in the grain being accentuated.  


I'm glad that step is over!  The sealcoat dries seemingly within minutes, I think the can says 10 before you could sand or recoat.  I sealed 3 sides and then gave them a long rest before doing the other 3 sides.  That way giving them ample time to dry.  


Tomorrow late afternoon if I have time I'll touch them up a bit more if they need it, and then move on to the next step in finishing. 

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I've always thought that terminal cups look better than bare terminals.  Just be sure they're rated for the proper wattage.


Have you thought about neutrik connectors?  They'd look good on there and you'd never have to worry about them coming loose.  I've used them on several builds.  No matter what one you decide on, be sure you have a good seal.

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