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Butcher block baffle? Good or no good

4526 Views 19 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  goonstopher
I planned on building a small seal sub fort living room and was pondering different build ideas. I was out in my garage when I found a piece of butcher block counter top that I installed in my kitchen a short while back. I was wondering if this could make for a decent solid baffle or not. It is about 2-1/4 inches thick and is without a doubt a dense material. What do you guys think. Any input is greatly appreciated.
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Is it the type of block that's made from strips of wood glued together? If so I have reservations about how that would hold up to all those vibrations in the long run. It also strikes me as something that might resonate, which would be really bad.
It is the pressed and glued type in a way. It was explained to me as they jig it all up with glue and resin and flood a chamber with the poly or whatever they use and that's how's it's made. As far as resonating if you give it the knuckle wrap test it's a very dead sounding material. I don't know if that's due to how dense maple is or if it is Indeed very sound.
I did cut a plug out of the counter for an undermount sink and I had to custom make a portion of the top by cutting and routin a big chunk out and there was no separations of the individual pieces.
Butcher blocks are often thick and heavy wood -- which is great for subwoofer enclosures -- but the resonance I'm concerned about is due to gaps where the strips are joined, as well as different density strips. If the strips aren't all made from the same wood that would change the resonating frequency. All physical items resonate at some frequency, which a manufacturer can work with when they design their subwoofer. But if more then one type of wood is used then you might end up with multiple resonating frequencies.

This is purely conjecture; I don't really know what will happen, but myself personally I wouldn't use anything but solid wood or MDF.
The butcher block should make for a nice speaker material. It is very dense and sonically dead. There are speaker manufacturers that build complete cabinets out of laminated stacks of wood and even baltic birch plywood. Butcher block is even used in making turntable plinths. In turntables, builders are always working to eliminate resonance.
Thanks for the answers fellas. I think ill give it a go. I planned on making I some what remove able so that if all fails make a new baffle.
Laminated wood is an extremely good building material. The bond line between wood is typically stronger than the wood itself, so delamination of such large strips of wood is very unlikely in this application. Looking forward to seeing this in your build! :T
Butcher block is even used in making turntable plinths. In turntables, builders are always working to eliminate resonance.
I'm not really sure that's an apples-to-apples comparison though. Turntables don't generate anywhere near the vibrations that a subwoofer will, so what you can get away with to dampen those is a whole lot less then what a sub will require.

But like I said, my reservations are simply a logical assumption. They may or may not align with the physics.
Someone on avs told me the expansion would make a box with this crack or split
Someone on avs told me the expansion would make a box with this crack or split
What do you mean by "the expansion"?
Got me... he said mdf and ply are used because regular wood could split. Others seemed to agree
I would say that is a potential concern if he were going to use wood like a 2x4 or some other wood stock from Home Depot or where ever. A prebuilt butcherblock slab will be cured, dried and aligned to provide the best lifespan possible. Yes, it could split from expansion if it were being subjected to extremes in temp and humidity, but for this application it's extremely overbuilt and should have extremely good dimensional stability.
My thoughts exactly <~~~ not really my thoughts but it sounded good.
Possibly the new baffle material.


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A few measurements.


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Someone on avs told me the expansion would make a box with this crack or split
That is correct. The wood expands and contracts depending on the weather. Temperature, Humidity etc.
If the sides are not made from the same material then it will have a different coefficient of expansion which is why it splits.
If you look at antique tables the top is never rigidly connected to the frame but will have anchors that allow it to move for this very reason.

The size is also a consideration, if it is only small ie less than 2 foot I would be tempted to give it a go as long as you are aware of the risks.
This is only going to be for a small 10" sealed sub for my living room mostly for music so it is going to be pretty small.
Mine would be 8 to 9 feet. Looks like ill be usimg mdf then adding anotjer wood or finish to the exposed sides
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