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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone

I'm thinking of building my first diy sealed sub with a 18" 5400, and I'm reading that mdf or baltic birch is prefered. But what I would to do is use a large plate of oak or walnut (usually used for kitchen counters) like the one I've attached in the photo - 1.5" thick oak.
I figure that it would help to easily get a nice finish (without trying and failing using veneer:) ) - but is it useable? (I also thought of lining it with mdf)

Hope you can offer some advice
 

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I have seen many others do the same type of thing, And I would just use your Oak layer for the outside of your baffle and use MDF/Plywood for the inside part of the baffle.

I will be building something similar and using MDF for the sides/back and then use MDF with Plywood inside for my baffle. Then I will be adding a nice hardwood to the outside of the baffle for the finish.

When using MDF on the inside at least you will know that there wont be any leaks in the MDF or void free plywood. Then using Oak like the pic there will be less worry on the stability of the suppliers gluing technique utilizing multiple planks of Oak.

Enough clamps and a good adhesive and you should be fine.
 

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Solid wood tends to resonate, while MDF doesn't. You could certainly put the oak over the MDF, but a thinner piece than 1 1/2" would be less likely to crack over time.
 

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The other problem is that "real" timber expands and contracts with the weather, unlike manufactured timber, either mdf or ply. This will destabilize the structure and possibly cause the box to leak.
If you look at antique tables the top floats on the frame to allow for this.

I would reccomend reading some of the woodwork forums available as they often have sections on speaker building, although they will give the same advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the answers. But does it mean, that if I have an inner layer of .5" mdf and a outer layer of 1" of fx oak it would work?
 

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I wouldn't do it myself, however, if you used a flexible sealer on the inside to minimize the risk of air leaks you could try it and see.
Only someone with much more experience can really advise on the outcome (That's why I rely on the woodwork forums to guide me.)
 

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I can tell you from experience do not use hardwood. Not in speaker building but I've done a lot of woodworking. All woodworkers have experienced the expansion and contraction of hardwood and that would ruin your box.

Use plywood or mdf for the box.
Veneer is very easy if you use the pre glued variety such as from 3M. Just cut it with scissors and stick it on.
If you like oak, you can get 1/8" oak plywood to put on the outside of the box which is very easy to cut.
Both will give you the look of solid wood without the hassle or cost.

You can use hardwood on one side such as the top of the box because it won't effect the sides. But I still wouldn't use what you show as it will look like a butcher block. You can get s4s 3/4" oak from Home Depot. It's very cheap for harwood and comes in all sizes. You could glue 4 pieces together and it would look much nicer.
 
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