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Discussion Starter #1
May sound silly,

But just wondering what power tools people find most usefull for speaker cabinet assembly?

Due to my line of work, I have never had a real requirement for joinery tools, I have dabbled in the stuff and have home basics, but I am fond of the right tool for the right job, if available cheap.

One item I thought would be handy is a router, I believe building a sub cabinet would be far easier and more accurate if I was to use a router for the inside bracing to outside panels, so would like to utilise 5mm by 19mm or 25mm channels for the bracing to slot together with.
Table or hand router though?

What routers are recommended, what bit sizes, and do you go for 1/4" or 1/2"? A rough guide on what to look for or what others are using would be handy I guess?

I am also thinking of a cheap table saw, would this be preferable to clamping and screwing bits of wood to panels to guide a circular saw?

And what about a cordless circular saw? Are these handy?, look easier to work with, my old thing is used and abused and unweildy.

Clamps? worth adding? Any recommendations?

I have plenty of bicycle components, and I am thinking of selling some to buy some tools for my sub projects, and no doubt I will find other uses. (would like to do a Tuba HT in future, and I have quite a few speaker components in the loft, and a couple of friends who would like some bass scoops for outdoor venues, plus my worshop for my regular work could probably do with some cabinets and worksurface areas, Any excuse for TOOLS lol.)

:)
Steve
 

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And what about a cordless circular saw? Are these handy?, look easier to work with, my old thing is used and abused and unweildy.
I have one and although they are convenient they suck back the battery power. I usually only get several good cuts before I have to change batteries. MDF is very hard wood and a cordless circular saw would not last long on one battery. Ridged makes an 24v cordless circular saw that may do the job well as mine is only the 18v.
 

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For boxes, only a few tools are necessary, so the expense would lie in how much you want to spend, and the cost can get really high. The more you spend and expertise you have, the easier/nicer the cabinet build. I would say a circular saw, drill and jig saw are necessary for boxes.

Sonosubs on the other hand could be done with a jig saw, router and drill, I think that's it if you already have a basic tools like screwdrivers and wrenches. Definitely less tools needed than a box, but then, it's not a box, eh?

Of course other things like sanders, clamps, work table(s), and even drill presses and table saws would be helpful, but increase cost.
 

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I agree. You can build with some basic tools, but a bigger variety of tools will make it easier.

For example, I built my first car sub box with a jigsaw and a straight edge. I hand sanded everything. My second one I used my table saw. It was much easier with the table saw as the joints were tighter, etc. But did I NEED the table saw? No (On the first sub, I just ran lots of sealant around the edges to make it airtight).

When I made my sonosub, I used a router and a circle jig. It was much easier and precise to do this, but again, it CAN be done with just a jigsaw.

Cordless drills are nice, but a cordless circular saw is not a necessity IMHO. I have one and it doesn't have the "oomph" of my corded one. I do like my cordless jigsaw, however.

If you want just two tools, I'd say a drill (cordless) and a jigsaw (corded is fine) will get you a long way. You need more care/precision.

RO Sander is nice, but you can always hand sand.

The biggest thing for me is, I don't like cheap tools, because it shows in the quality fo the things you make with them. I am a Dewalt fan, but there are other good brands out there. I would rather buy two or three good quality "essential tools" than 6 cheap tools.
 

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The biggest thing for me is, I don't like cheap tools, because it shows in the quality fo the things you make with them. I am a Dewalt fan, but there are other good brands out there. I would rather buy two or three good quality "essential tools" than 6 cheap tools.
I definitely agree. Cheap tools will lead to poor work, user frustration, or possibly injury (or all three). Yo udon't need the best, but at leats a certain level of quality is necessary.

I use a panel saw (essentially a sircular saw with a straight edge), router (for ciruclar cutouts), and brad nailer as the only power tools on my sub build. Normally, I'd much rather use a table saw/radial arm saw than a circular saw, but 4x8 sheet sof plywood are just too big. The brad nails held the pices together nicely while the glue dried.

RO Sander is nice, but you can always hand sand.
Many subs are veneered, for which you dont want a RO, but for any other woodworking project, it's the bext $50-$150 you'll ever spend. (At least, if you dislike sanding as much as the typical woodworker.)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well I went out today with the intention of buying a Dewalt router, got to the store and they had their own brand tools at sale prices, I picked up a McAlister router with 1/4" and 1/2" chucks and a small 1200w circular saw by the same brand, the router was half price and the circular saw had £30 off, both for £85 and they have a 3yr guarantee. Also got some new chisels, ,wood glue and a couple of other bits n bobs (well the wife wasn't there :bigsmile:)

The store did not have 1" wide bit for routing out for the bracing though

I know they are not the best brand, but for the amount of work I expect to be doing, and cost saving I think they will do for now, they also come with carry cases. (I have a friend who worked in the building industry who said he preffered using the store brands over brand names, due to the replacement turn around and cost/performance/longevity working out better?)

I am now after some 50" sash clamps, and a 50" router guide clamp, saw guide and mobile corner clamps just because building a sub is the perfect excuse to buy such LOL
 
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