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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have considered doing a DIY sub, but I do not have any experience in doing wood working. I feel that I could cut the MDF and put the pieces together, but I have fears that I could not make the seams and finish look at all like a manufactured sub. Are there some tutorials that would give me the advice and techniques that I would need to get an acceptable sub built?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Mike,

The degree of difficulty finishing a cabinet will depend on how you want to finish it. What kind of finish are you considering?
I'm not sure what the finish options are. I've seen photos of DIY subs that look stunning. I don't have the knowledge to know what to call the finish. I guess I want a nice wood veneer. Or maybe a eal shinny piano black finish.
 

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I just finished off my first speaker build a little while ago and got a nice glossy white finish that is equal to the white 'foil' that is popular for TV stands.

It would be a long, long post to describe how to get there, but a simple google search on this site and others like it will discover threads on how to do it. This is a very abridged summary.

You can get a good result by using PVA & water as a sealant, followed by 4 or 5 coats of automotive spray putty, followed by half a dozen coats of acrylic primer, followed by half a dozen topcoats of automotive colour (also acrylic), followed by at least another 1/2 dozen of automotive clear coat. Sanding lightly between every few coats. At that point I was petrified of rubbing thru the paint with wet sanding and causing swelling of the MDF (learned from hard experience), so I avoided it and spent hours rubbing down with automitve cutting polish to get the gloss.

All of this was done via spray cans - and it probably added to $250 in cans, so its not cheap at all. If you've got a pressure spraygun, it would be cheaper and you'd probably get a better result.

I chose gloss white to match the entertainment unit, which has the bonus of white being very forgiving of blemishes. Gloss black is the opposite.

Some points I've discovered -

Preparation is everything. As per someone's tag "Do it right, or do it twice" holds true very true.

Don't rush the process - wait for each coat to dry completely.

Piano gloss black is very difficult to achieve - first time round, I wouldnt recommend it.

Paint won't cover joins - they will become even more obvious. I discovered that the foaming polyurathane glues tended not to show the joints as much as ordinary PVA glue - the downside is that its not as strong, and you'll need to sand or rout the overflow away.

This worked for me - but I'm not saying that there isnt a better way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the information Billyo. It seems that I can eliminate a mirror finish from my options. That leaves using a wood veneer as the next choice. I hope that that can be done easier.
 

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If you are looking for a quick cheap finish that also looks very good I have two options for you. One is using hammer coat paint. It's made to fill in imperfections and not be sucked up by mdf. All you would need to do for this is make sure all of the end grain is filled and all joints are filled and level. The just roll it on with a foam roller. If you would like pictures of this finish pm me your email address and I can send you a few.

The next finish is a wood grain vinyl from dayton audio. Parts express sells it in 2' by 18' rolls for around 20 bucks. They have several different options of finishes to choose from. I personally am soon to be using the cherry finish that I bought for a speaker project that looks very realistic. Good luck with your project.
 
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