Building Your Own Speaker Enclosures - Part 3

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Part 3 in a 3 part series - covering construction tips and techniques.

As listed on the first page of this tutorial, you need the following equipment:

  • A skill saw or table saw (table saw is better for getting straighter edges)
  • Power drill and some screws (1 1/4" drywall screws work great)
  • A decent saber saw, or the like, to cut out the circles for you speakers
  • Of course, speakers, wire, and crossovers (if applicable)
  • PATIENCE (something I am in short supply of)

Cabinet are generally made from plywood, particle board, or solid wood planks. I personally use plywood because of it's strength and price. Particle board is just that, particles (saw dust) all glued together...bad things happen if it gets wet, and I don't know about you, but for me gigs always seem to fall on the rainiest day possible, and it isn't as solid as the other woods. Solid planks are awesome, but also tend to be very expensive. Plywood, on the other hand, is just layers of wood, each layer has the grain going the opposite direction of the first, so it is strong, and reasonably priced.

3/4 inch thick is really great for sound reinforcement speakers, like FOH speakers or floor monitors, but for small studio speakers like near-fields, 1/2 inch generally works just fine.

To screw all the pieces together, drywall screws work great, drilling a small pilot hole will prevent the wood from splitting when driving a screw in, and some wood glue in the pilot hole and along the edges being screwed will result in a great joint that will last a long time.

When the cabinet is fully constructed, it is a good idea to caulk the seams of the box for added sound-leakage protection. At that point, also add some R19 insulation to the back, bottom, and maybe even sides of your enclosure. This insulation will help dampen the sound, bringing out the bass and giving a richer, cleaner sound from the cabinet.

When mounting the speakers, always mount the frame on the outside of the faceplate. This will allow easy access in the future, and help disperse the sound more fully.

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