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2x10 DIY Cabinet Project in Progess

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Roundwound, Jan 15, 2006.


  1. Roundwound

    Roundwound

    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    I've been taking a few hours here and there during the past few weeks to work on my first speaker cabinet project, a 2x10 setup. I've posted a few questions about the building process here on TB and a few members have asked for some photos. I was finally able to take some pictures of my continuing work after finding my camera this weekend. I'll be posting more pics and questions in this thread as I complete the cabinet.

    My goal is to build a basic cabinet for practice, a personal monitor for when I play at church, and to add to my 4ohm
    2x12 cab if I join another rock band in the future. It will be wired up at 4ohms since my Firebass head can take a 2ohm load.

    I am not out to build the perfect cab or out to chase a particular tone. I have amatuer skills and limited tools. My goal is to have some fun with the experience and learn. If the finished cab can reproduce a reasonable sound and hold up, I'll consider it a success.

    Design
    I came up with a rough design using WinISD. The overall dimensions are 24" wide, 20" high, and 15.75" deep using 3/4" ply. The ISD box is not as deep because I had to allow for the recessed front baffle on the finished box, so the ISD depth is 15". The volume is about 3.25 cubic feet. The braces are 1.5" x 1.5," but the baffle braces are not as thick (changed my mind to bigger braces after installing the baffle supports). Yes, it's big and bulky. I'm not worried about weight since I prefer a strong tank of a cab. I guess I've owned too much Peavey gear in my life. The tuning is up in the air...I have a 3" x 5" tube port. I would love a low HZ cab, but I'll cut the tube down to size if a low tuning makes the cab sound like garbage.

    Speakers and Hardware
    I am using basic speakers and hardware. Some items were given to me as gifts anyway, and I'm not going to go all out on my first project cab. I can upgrade everything later if the cab holds up. For now I'm using Madison Warrior 10's with a Peizo tweeter. The handles and jack plate are plastic. I have a black carpet roll and we'll have some fun with the covering process later.

    Tools and Supplies
    I've used a lot of tools so far, including a circular saw for cutting the panels, a saber saw for cutting holes, a palm sander for smoothing whatever, a power drill to make holes in the braces and drill in screws, a square angle for measuring and using as a guide for the circular saw when cutting straight lines, tons of drywall screws, a miter saw for making straight ends on the braces, two 90 degree clamps for ensuring correct angles of the cab "shell," lots of glue (carpenter's wood glue and Glue Screws brand), and probably some other odds and ends I forgot about.

    Resources
    Shavano Music Online is a great resource. I've used bits and pieces of information from Talkbass other other sites. Bill Fitzmaurice, Petebass, and Thor on TB have also given me a few tips. I'll put out a complete list once the cab is done.

    Recent Work
    This weekend I put in the last of my braces and cut out the front baffle, and arranged speaker placement. Pics follow. If any of you have read this far, let me know what you think of the speaker placement.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Roundwound

    Roundwound

    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    Cutting and fitting the baffle....
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Roundwound

    Roundwound

    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    I don't have enough room to go totally vertical with the speakers, but at least they aren't horizontal. The speakers look too big for the baffle, but they're standing up so they look bigger than they really are.

    Next, I need to make the speaker and port cutouts. Pics will go up as soon as I get it done.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. what wood is that that you have used for the main box section? it looks good, thick & heavy!
     
  5. Roundwound

    Roundwound

    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    Thanks. I'm using 3/4" 7-ply plywood. I'm not sure if it's birch or something different, but it was pretty much voidless along the edges so I assume it's good enough. I chose it over MDF since the ply would be more forgiving of any mistakes I'd make in the construction process (bumps, drilling in screws, etc.). I bought the wood at a local hardware store (actually a chain called Menard's here in the U.S.). I bought three 4'x2' sheets since I needed just a little extra plus they would be easier for me to cut since I don't have a huge work area. An
    8' x 4' sheet would not fit in my car.

    Right now this thing is pretty stiff and strong. When it's done I'll have to be careful so it doesn't hurt me :)
     
  6. Roundwound

    Roundwound

    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    Tonight I prepared the speaker cutouts. Using a technique from Shavano Music, I first lined up the speakers (placed upside down) and put a pencil through each screw hole and made a mark. I then took off the speakers and made lines between the opposing marks, eventually finding the center of the speaker area. I took one of the speakers and measured the distance between the middle of one screw holes inward to where the frame began to cone back (a bit over 3/8").

    I went back to the baffle, and starting from one of the screw hole marks, measured back 3/8" and made another mark. From there I constructed this homemade compass using a finish nail, a heavy piece of cardboard, and a pencil (in one of the photos). It worked perfectly, making a cutout line exactly where I wanted it.

    I also painted some screws and washers I'll be using on the exterior of the cab.

    More to come in a day or two.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. BbbyBld

    BbbyBld

    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    Looks like you're taking your time and doing a good job. I just had a couple of questions for you:

    Are you going to use t-nuts to mount the speakers? I think that may be a good idea if this is an experimental cab where you may be making a lot of changes.

    Are you going to make an L-pad for the tweeter or install some type of attenuator? I noticed you are using WinISD. I don't know if you already knew this, but there's an L-pad calculator built in.
     
  8. L pad?
     
  9. Its lookin real good there mate - all that internal bracing looks great!
    You'll be glad you chose the ply too........I was.(and still am):smug:

    Just make sure to make the speaker holes very slightly larger than needed - if they're really tight going in, they'll vibrate - i had to take mine out and figure that out the hard way.......
    Good Luck
     
  10. mgrier1

    mgrier1

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Great looking job! I look forward to hearing your report on the completed project!
     
  11. Roundwound

    Roundwound

    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    Thanks everyone!

    Yes, I have to go back to Menard's and find some T-nuts today. I just realized that the screws I have won't work right for the speakers, only for the baffle installment. The threading doesn't go all the way up on each screw, so it won't have as much bite into the wood.

    To keep things simple, I'm not planning to install an L-pad or attenuator for the tweeter. From what I've read about piezos I don't necessarily need one, but I could be wrong. But I wouldn't mind if I had a brighter tone from this cab anyway.

    I drew the holes just a hair larger so there would be a just a little bit of wiggle room for the speakers. But I'll double check this once I make the cutouts.

    Thanks!
     
  12. Roundwound

    Roundwound

    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    Tonight I decided to just set the baffle aside and sand down the entire exterior of the cab, pretty much the last step before covering. There were a few rough spots where the glue seeped out and I located some uneven spots along the edges of the wood that needed attention. The goal was to have a nice smooth and even surface so I don't feel little bumps after the carpet is applied.

    To round out the corners, I made 4 even swipes along each corner edge with the palm sander followed up by hand with some finish sandpaper. My boys even got themselves involved a little bit with the finish sanding. I didn't round the corners out too much, but that was my personal preference. I'm sure some people don't touch them while others like a more rounded finish. When the carpet goes on, I guess it won't matter much anyway :meh:

    My port and speaker grille covers arrived late today, so I can continue with the baffle when I get some time later in the week.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Roundwound

    Roundwound

    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    As always, more suggestions and questions are welcome in the meantime.
     
  14. Roundwound

    Roundwound

    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    I've done a little bit more research on L-pads and why they're used. With my experience with 2x10s before, it sure makes sense to have something like that, especially if I'm going to use it with other cabinets. It's almost a no-brainer. In the meantime I'll shop around and check out WinISD for some specs on what I need. Thanks. I'm learning as a go along with this project.
     
  15. what exactly is an L-pad?
     
  16. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Looks good man.
    I have been thinking about building a cab myself. I don't know if I want to go with a 2x10 or a 1x12 design. I do want it to be light weight though.
     
  17. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    Just wanting to subscribe to this thread. Seems like you're having a good time doing this, and you seem to be doing a great job.
     
  18. Roundwound

    Roundwound

    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    Son of Brovil, I found an L-pad explanation about a 1/3 of the way down this page: http://www.lenardaudio.com/education/06_x-over.html.

    For those of you who have experience with L-pads, the page explains that it attentuates tweeters and midrange speakers. Can I assume that "midrange" also pertains to 10" drivers in a bass cab? From what I understand so far, the L-pad will act to adjust (lighten) the decibels from this cab since the midrange frequencies take less energy to reproduce, thus with no attentuation they would naturally be too loud or pronounced when used over a cab with larger speakers/subs?

    Thanks Ed and Eric. Ed, this puppy will be heavy...I'll touch on some tips I bypassed to save weight when I get some time later. Since my priority was strength and durability, I sacrificed light weight.
     
  19. Looks cool so far.

    With the help and advice of folks around here I bulit a 4x10. I quite like the sound of it, and decided against putting in a tweeter. I don't really like too much high end, though I would have put in an L-Pad for sure.

    The only thing I would have done differently is researched the speakers a bit better. The ones I got aren't terribly effeciant (sp?), and require tons of room, so the box is huge for a 4x10, but I don't mind as it doesn't really travel too much.

    I also used t-nuts that I got at Home Despot. Worked like a charm, but it's tedious getting them all in for a 4x10.

    I probably missed it - but are you putting handles on that thing?
     
  20. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I gig with an 8x10 cab so I know about a heavy cab.:D

    Would you care to guess the completed weight? I'm just curious. I don't mind heavy cabs at all but the reason for me to build a cab is to use for practice so I would like it to be light weight and easy to haul around. I also think it would be a fun project to do. I have some basic power tools such as a circular saw, miter saw, and a sander. My dad has a table saw.