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This is where we will list tools we use and recommend for the DIY speaker and sub enclosures. You may also wish to post where to purchase the tool and/or the best price you have found.

Please do not ask questions about the tools in this thread... simply list them and if necessary explain what it is best used for. If you have questions about a particular tool, please start a new thread... otherwise questions posted here will be moved or deleted.

Please copy your post to this same thread in DIY Subwoofers... thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
This is the router I ordered based on recommendations here at the Shack...

Bosch 1617EVSPK 2.25 Horsepower Electronic Variable Speed Plunge and Fixed Base Router Kit

Price: $179.00 shipped from COP Bosch (Reconditioned)

 

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Jasper Circle Jigs

Sure, you can make your own trammel to cut holes with your router, but why bother? Jasper Audio (Fellow Houstonians!) made a great jig already. I own the Model 200 and the Model 400. If you only get one, get the Model 200. The jigs are calibrated to be used with a 1/4" straight bit, but any size will do. You'll just have to adjust your cut accordingly.

Only use the Jasper Jig with a plunge router.

The Model 200 will cut circles in 1/16" increments from 2-1/4" to 18-3/16" in diameter.

Model 200



The Model 400 is perfect for tweeters and small midranges, cutting holes from 1" to 7-1/2".

Model 400


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Jim
Houston, TX
 

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Clamps clamps clamps...
I own just 4 of these and they were enough to build my Natalie P's without any screws...In fact these clamps WERE my screws
The more you own the better




Home depot has these cheap


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If you don't have a BFD for your sub, get one fast!
If you don't have REW, get it now!
 

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Clamps, most definitely!

Bessey K-Body clamp


The K-Body by Bessey is really nice because the clamping surfaces are large, flat and are parallel. The K-Body is perfect for clamping panels at right angles.



Rockler's "Sure-foot" pipe clamp


The "Sure-foot" has features like a broader base that doubles as a hanger when storing the clamp. I also sprung for the zinc plated pipes because the black oxide used on regular Home Depot type pipes react to woods like oak, leaving a black mark. Plus, they look good.
I also have the clamp pads and Rockler's brand new EZ-Clutch that aids in removing the clamps.

You don't need tricked out pipe clamps like mine to have the same results. Order up some inexpensive pipe clamps from Harbor Freight and go to Home Depot or Lowes to get your pipe. That'll serve you well.

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Jim
Houston, TX
 

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Here are some additional tools I'd consider getting:

Beginner
Table Saw -- a circular saw would get the job done, but a table saw is just so much better/easier.
Multimeter -- just one of those things you're going to need to be sure that your electronics are working correctly. This is one of the better sites I've found offering advice for a new DIY person. It's geared towards headphone amps, but the issues are pretty much the same. If you take a look at the first movie he's got, he makes suggestions for different types of equipment to buy, including multimeters.
Soldering Iron -- same site offers advice on buying an iron and has some excellent instructional videos.
Loudspeaker Design Cookbook by Vance Dickason -- a great reference book for the DIY speaker builder. There are other books out there that are good too, I just have experience with this one.

Intermediate
REW/TrueRTA -- It's kind of ironic, I'm a mod here but still haven't used REW yet. Anyway, some sort of testing software will be needed. REW is free and, I've been told, does a good of taking all of the relevant measurements needed during testing. TrueRTA is relatively inexpensive and has been recommended many times in the past. If you're going to buy TrueRTA, just go for the top of the line version -- you're just cheating yourself if you don't.
SPL Meter -- Frankly, EVERYONE with a sound system should have a RS SPL Meter. There are just too many reasons to have one.
Laptop/External SoundCard -- You'll need some sort of computer to run REW/TrueRTA. An external sound card will also be required as the built in soundcards are terrible. A soundcard I've seen recommended is this one by M-Audio, and this one as a step down.

Advanced
Woofer Tester -- Wanna get the true T/S parameters of your specific driver? This is the tool for you. You CAN get the same information with a mic and keeping a log and performing some calculations, but this is SO much easier.
Calibrated Mic -- Probably the best inexpensive microphone would be the Behringer ECM8000. The RS meter can also be used, but the ECM is (much?) more accurate.


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JCD

 

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Sonnie,

When you get tired of being completely covered in MDF dust go to toolcrib.com and order a DeWalt DW621 plunge router with dust collection. It was one of the best purchases I ever made. As a matter of fact, I wore out the first one I had and now need to buy a new one. The other DeWalt I have has ****** dust collection so I'm going to pick up another 621.
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Brian Bunge
RAD Home Theater
RADically Different!
 

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Here's my favorite - an 8ton hydraulic jack that helps in the veneering process!



You can never have too many clamps!


Cheers, Bruce
 

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Sonny,
THat's what I thought too
- oh well, next time.
But first I have to keep an eye out for one of those 2 for 1 sales on bar clamps.


Cheers, Bruce
 

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I use the Porter Cable 7529 plunge router with the vacuum port. Router bits 1/4" upspiral for cutting out the speaker holes, 5/8" mortise bit to cut speaker inset, 3/4 round over for the baffles and finally a 1" laminate trim bit to clean up in pieces that are to proud. If you veneer you might need a 1/4" bearingless trim bit. All these should be in new carbide not recycled carbide.

I recommend 36" bar clamps as they are pretty good for most projects. Those 48" are just awkward and get in the way walking around your project. I don't like ratchet style clamps as I have broken so many of them.

I like Titebond 3 glue as it has a longer set up time so you can nudge them into place, especially those big panels. One man shop so to speak makes assembly a lot slower with one set of hands. It cost a little more than Titebond 2 but to me it is worth it.

A good table saw is just great to have repeatability and speed of process. I have built 7 boxes now and I wouldn't want to do any without one.

If you don't have a drill press get one of those little jigs that fit on the end of your hand drill to give you perpendicular holes. You will need that for using that Jasper jig.

I don't use screws or nails as the glue is much stronger than the MDF or plywood.

A good 12 or 14.4 volt drill is great to have. I have a Hitachi 14.4 and I really like it. I have had Dewalt in the past and was disappointed in them. They just did not hold up.

Thats all I got on the top of my head for now. Cheers.
 
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I recently started using a Kreg pocket hole jig for speaker cabinet assembly. I now use less clamps and can build cabinets faster (I don’t have to wait for the glue to dry before moving on to the next glue joint). Pocket hole screws self tap, are offered in various lengths/sizes and come in coarse and fine threads types (the coarse threads are for man made material like MDF). Plus pocket hole screws are stronger than a butt or dado joint.

The Kreg jig is foolproof and is offered in a couple of different configurations ranging from $20 to $140. There is a system selling for about $60 that has everything one would need to build cabinets. One thing for sure… it doesn’t take long to spend way more than this for a couple of descent Bessey clamps!
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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My tools:

Woodworking:
Bosch 1617 kit mentioned above
Milwaukee 1525 3HP fixed base router (in table)
Craftsman 22114 table saw
Porter Cable Biscuit Jointer (works great for MDF or ply cabinets)
Air compressor and brad nailer (great for quick-tacking a joint before screws)

Tons of clamps (I'm partial to the Bessey K style clamps, but I have a lot of variety)
Kreg pocket hole jig (K3 Master System). Used it on cabinets but not speakers yet.


Electrical:
Weller soldering station (the $60 one from PE, not the $100 monster)
Gateway laptop
M-Audio MobilePre preamp
Behringer ECM8000 microphone
California Profile 65W Amplifier and Radio Shack 12V power supply (for test and measurement)
Speaker Workshop software
Room EQ Wizard
Radio Shack multimeter (I know, it's a POS but it gives me the rough answer :) )

That's all I can think of for now, but that's what gets used the most. I'm currently putting my shop back together after some rewiring (put a screw right through a power cable while installing a shelf -- GFCI saved my bacon). Once it's back together I'll snap some pics and post.

In case you can't tell, I woodwork on a lot more than just speaker cabinets :)
 

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Today I started to work on my current project and realized I left my circular saw at work, so I dug out this old black and decker saw, I don't know how old it is but it is made of a totally aluminum casing, I've had it for 15 years, It came in the ttol box on a truck I bought from an elderly gentleman, no telling how long he had it, BUT, thats not the kicker, this saw has been totally underwater in a flood at least twice since I've had it, I haven't touched it till today, well, I'm happily sawing away with it now, a new blade and its just like new, runs great, heres to B & D!!
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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Yeah, those old B&D (and Craftsman) tools are still great. Usually the metal cased ones still work fine. Somewhere in the late 70's and early 80's, both B&D and Craftsman farmed out their work to China and focused on making tools lighter and cheaper with "space age" materials. The result was cheap plastic tools with motors that burned out, bearings that seized, and casings that cracked.

there is a bit of overlap where you can find some plastic cases with the old motor assemblies and they are good if they were taken care of.

B&D is still in the toilet (they've changed ownership about five times IIRC); no focus on quality -- just cheap and gimmicky. Craftsman is making a comeback, though. Some of their better tools are made by Bosch and Porter Cable -- if you can identify those, they are of great quality. The others are made by Ryobi and no-name Taiwanese and Chinese manufacturing houses. Avoid those at all costs.

I love old tools that work great. I had a Skil saw that looks similar to the one Mongrel showed. It worked great, even at 30 years old) until the motor finally gave out a few months ago.

Sorry if I come across as a tool snob. It's just sad to see once-great tool companies make business decisions for the worse . . . :(


Edit: Caveat -- I actually have a Ryobi bandsaw and B&D drill (so I'm writing from experience here :) )
 
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