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  • Speaker baffle makers?

    I gave a brief scour through the posts, forgive me if I didn't see what I was looking for:
    Does anyone here have speaker baffles only made for their cabinet builds? I'm pretty handy with the tools I have, but building (and accurately using!) a jig to make 12" holes in 1/2" baltic ply may be above my level. Any recommendation of a cabinet maker that might supply baffles only? I'd happily design a 2x12 cabinet around an existing baffle.
    Regards,
    Al
    If it still won't get loud enough, it's probably broken. - Steve Conner
    If the thing works, stop fixing it. - Enzo
    We need more chaos in music, in art... I'm here to make it. - Justin Thomas
    MANY things in human experience can be easily differentiated, yet *impossible* to express as a measurement. - Juan Fahey


  • #2
    Originally posted by eschertron View Post
    I gave a brief scour through the posts, forgive me if I didn't see what I was looking for:
    Does anyone here have speaker baffles only made for their cabinet builds? I'm pretty handy with the tools I have, but building (and accurately using!) a jig to make 12" holes in 1/2" baltic ply may be above my level. Any recommendation of a cabinet maker that might supply baffles only? I'd happily design a 2x12 cabinet around an existing baffle.
    Regards,
    Al
    Wow! One of the first mods I ever did! Opened up a SF Champ baffle for a 10" speaker. No trouble. For a 12" speaker you actually make an 11" hole (but always look at specs before cutting). A drill and a jig saw with a good blade are all you need. The only potential trouble might be if the jig saw wants to angle the cut because of a funky ply (I've seen this). Just use a good quality, sharp blade and don't be in a hurry. Draw your openings, drill a hole inside the speaker cutout area to allow access for the jig saw blade and get after it. If you're real nervous buy two pieces of wood so you have the leeway to screw one up You might find, as I have on occasion, that beveling the outside edge of the hole with course sandpaper makes the speaker fit better when the frame stamping presents a rounded inner corner rather than a sharp angle. I like T-nuts for speaker screws. But any conventional method works of course. Seriously, nothing to lose but a piece of wood. Go for it.

    EDIT: re: cutting to fit the cabinet...

    Just cut to size and then take off a hair. No different than what you see trim carpenters do. You can always cut a little more, but you can't add wood once you cut it off. So be sure you're a little snug before taking off that extra little bit. Then use shims to hold the baffle an even distance from all wall sides. This small, controlled space is important to ensure no rattling. I use two sided carpet adhesive tape to stick the baffle in place on the mounting rails before tapping and driving the screws home. It helps secure the work for accuracy and also prevents the possibility of rattles.
    Last edited by Chuck H; 12-10-2017, 06:57 AM.
    "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

    Comment


    • #3
      If you want it made rather than doing it, instead of calling it a baffle, call it a sheet of plywood with a hole in it, then ask any local wood shop to knock one out. No different from cutting a hole in a vanity top for a basin.

      Enlarging a 10" hole to 12" is one thing, but if you are starting from scratch, you can buy circle cutting jigs. Here is one for a Dremel:
      https://www.homedepot.com/p/Dremel-C...FQiyTwodDqkPAQ

      But they make jigs to use with a saber saw or router. Look at Home Depot and such.
      Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Enzo View Post
        But they make jigs to use with a saber saw or router.
        Coincidentally, I'm in the middle of building a guitar (combo) cab. In the past, I've used the jigsaw method Chuck outlined. It's always worked for me, but I never manage to get a clean circle, and have to do a fair bit of sanding afterwards, and I still end up with a slightly imperfect hole. I've also had a problem when using old dry plywood, the jigsaw tends to tear out a lot of splinters as it cuts.

        This time I had access to a small hand-held router. I made a very simple jig - basically a 4" wide of 1/4" thick ply with a 1" diameter hole to clear the router bit, four little screw holes to attach to the front of the router, and one more hole at the correct distance from the router bit to cut the circle diameter I wanted (5.75" diameter). With the jig, cutting the speaker holes turned out to be very straightforward. I set the router bit to only take off about 1/8" each time, so it took about five passes for each hole.

        I know it's not exactly what the OP asked for, but this is the first time I've used a router for this job, and I like the results much better than when using a jigsaw.

        -Gnobuddy

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        • #5
          I'm awful with a jigsaw

          Originally posted by Gnobuddy View Post
          I set the router bit to only take off about 1/8" each time, so it took about five passes for each hole.
          After I posted, I thought about having someone make me a template for a hole, rather than plywood blanks with holes in them. Then I thought I'd need an expensive fluted straight bit to cut through the 1/2" ply. I'm not sure how often I'd need to use a bit like that?

          Your idea to plunge a little bit at a time solves my two engineering problems: one, I can use a regular straight bit without fear of losing control. and two, only on the final passes do I need to worry about abandoning the pivot to make the final breakout cuts. Bravo!
          If it still won't get loud enough, it's probably broken. - Steve Conner
          If the thing works, stop fixing it. - Enzo
          We need more chaos in music, in art... I'm here to make it. - Justin Thomas
          MANY things in human experience can be easily differentiated, yet *impossible* to express as a measurement. - Juan Fahey

          Comment


          • #6
            Yes. Tear out. Note the kerf of the blade teeth, they cut on the up stroke. If you draw your circles and cut on the back side of the baffle 90% of any tear out will be one the back, inside the cabinet where it won't be seen. I just compass the hole drawings. And yes, I sometimes fine up the hole by sanding a little. When using the jig saw you definitely want to err to the inside of the hole because as I said, you can't put wood back on. I like the rubber barrel sander attachments for drills available at any hardware store. I don't have any trouble getting a clean enough hole. Or maybe it just doesn't bother me. Any small irregularities are covered by the speaker rim and a little flat black paint helps clean up the look inside the cabinet. YMMV. If you're somewhat OCD about woodworking finery then I would strongly endorse the jig and router method. It's a bit more trouble and takes more tools, what with clamping the jig, stabilizing the baffle and multiple passes. But then it's not too different from barrel sanding the hole edge to my drawing line I suppose.
            "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

            "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

            "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

            Comment


            • #7
              You can also protect edges by sandwiching your work piece with a thin piece of scrap. Let the scrap splinter, as if it were another ply on the plywood, rather than your workpiece.
              Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Enzo View Post
                You can also protect edges by sandwiching your work piece with a thin piece of scrap. Let the scrap splinter, as if it were another ply on the plywood, rather than your workpiece.
                Sometimes you can even get away with nothing more than a strip of masking tape. A little tricky to do on a circular hole probably, but I'd try it.
                "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

                "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

                "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

                Comment


                • #9
                  I do it drilling holes, clamp a scrap block over the work, drill through it to make a hole in the work, and my scrap can splinter instead of the work.
                  Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    And, again, sharp blades. And try not to force the cutting. I use to have three different blades for my Skil saw. A fairly course one for tearing through rough work fast, one with more and finer teeth for most other things and one that was even finer, designated for cutting thin overlay cabinet plywood without chipping out. That last blade turned out to be a very good investment. I ruined it by overheating cutting a bunch of 1" hardwood, ruining the temper on the teeth. I haven't looked, but I'll bet you can get similarly fine blades for jig saws.?. "The right tool..." and all that.
                    "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

                    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

                    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ages ago I bought a blade kit for my saber saw, had fine, med, coarse wood blades, a drywall blade, various pitch metal hacksaw blades. I am not above using a hacksaw blade on tender wood edges, those are fine toothed.
                      Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        As a guy that's been a trim carpenter I'd say you're getting nothing but good advice here.

                        I like using thin easily worked scrap for a jig then use that to cut the expensive wood. Mess up, just get more scrap till you get what you're happy with.

                        While you have the router out you might want to put a medium round-over bit in it and go around the outside/ grill cloth side of the hole. Looks tidy, just be aware of tee nuts or whatever may be on the outside around the the hole and stay back.

                        Those are my thoughts anyway.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by eschertron View Post
                          only on the final passes do I need to worry about abandoning the pivot to make the final breakout cuts.
                          Before starting to cut, I drew a pencil guide line that passed through the centre of the circle, and for the final two router passes, I didn't rout all the way around the circle. Instead, I made two cuts, each one a bit less than 180 degrees, stopping just shy of the pencil line each time.

                          So the central circle of wood was still attached to the rest of the baffle by two little strips of thin (~ 1/8" thick and 1/4" wide) wood, which kept it located and let me complete all the routing. I had a piece of scrap wood underneath, which supported that central circle, so it didn't break free from the weight of the router.

                          Once I was done with the router, I used an Exacto knife to cut through those little tangs of wood and clean up the edge, finishing with a scrap of sandpaper.

                          I've heard of people using double-sided sticky tape to glue the baffle board onto the scrap wood underneath, keeping that central circle of wood carrying the pivot point located until the entire circle is cut. I wasn't quite willing to trust in the strength of double-stick tape, so I came up with the method I just described.

                          I don't like using a router free-hand unless I have a piloting bit that's rolling in contact with the work-piece. When things go wrong with free-hand routing, they tend to go wrong abruptly and viciously. I play guitar, I want all my fingers to stay attached to my hand!

                          -Gnobuddy

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ric View Post
                            As a guy that's been a trim carpenter I'd say you're getting nothing but good advice here.
                            I had two parents who were all thumbs, so I never had anyone to learn proper tool use from. I'll gladly take all the advice I can get from anyone good enough with tools to have been a trim carpenter!

                            Thank goodness for the Internet. It is so much easier to learn how to do things these days, and to avoid the most dangerous pitfalls. Still, there's nothing like a little coaching from someone who knows what he's doing!

                            -Gnobuddy

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I wouldn't trust sticky tape, but why not a couple small wood screws into the back side of the baffle piece to hold the scrap? Who cares if a couple small holes are in there?
                              Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

                              Comment

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