Because I'm gifting my EMPs

Discussion in 'DIY Corner - Tips & Techniques' started by Natrix, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. Natrix Junior Audioholic

    Natrix
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    My nephew is only 6 years old, but he really likes music. Although a little early he asked me for a Lumineers CD for Christmas even though he would have no where to play this CD unless he was in a vehicle. So this got me thinking that its never too early to have a good stereo. So I'm giving him the EMPs I have hooked up to my computer setup. He has my brothers old Iphone (no service) that he keeps some music on, so I also got him a refurbished Denon 1912 with Airplay from Accessories4less so he can use his Iphone as his music source.

    So of course I need to replace the EMPs and fuzz inspired me to try out the Mandolins since his turned out so nice and he appears to really like them.

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    I plan on finishing these with the Pelin Burl veneer above with the Wenge trim around the front that I'll round over. My test piece of using the iron-on technique turned out okay, but I got a couple of cracks. I think I used too much glue as it took twice as long to dry as it should have and this caused the veneer to really curl up almost into a bowl shape even though I had it taped down. I ignorantly tried pushing the edges down thinking it would give without harm, but I was wrong. I'll do another test piece with some veneer softener and less glue before I try applying it to the speaker. I'm still at the dry fit stage as I haven't actually glued anything yet, so the veneering stage is down the road.

    Once I'm done with these I plan on getting back to my Tritons.
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  2. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

    fuzz092888
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    Looks good so far and I'm loving the veneer choice. Hopefully I didn't over hype them and you like them as much as I do.
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  3. Natrix Junior Audioholic

    Natrix
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    You have Phils and still like them so they can't be that bad.:D I have faith in Bagby and have no doubt that they'll sound great. I just hope when I'm done sawing, gluing, sanding, veneering, and finishing that I'll be happy with the results.
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  4. Natrix Junior Audioholic

    Natrix
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    Well I have everything glued except the front baffle. I got all the wires to the crossovers soldered and all the flush trimming done around the edges of the cabinet. I added some Sonic Barrier Lightweight Vinyl Damping material to the interior of the cabinet as well as you can see from the picture.

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    I also got a chance to practice my veneering again and this time it turned out much better. The veneer softener really helped as I had no cracking around the edges. However, there were some minor cracking that occurred at the same exact spot as the first piece which is through a fairly big knot in the burl. It must have happened when I left the veneer to setup after ironing, because I thoroughly inspected it after ironing and didn't notice anything. If this happens when I veneer the cabinet I don't see a huge problem in filling these cracks as they're fairly minor. I will also try spritzing the veneer with softener after I iron it to see if that helps.
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  5. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

    fuzz092888
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    I'm pretty sure you will be. I love mine. I end up listening to them a lot more than the Phils these days, but I have to say after hearing them as a front L/R it kills me a little bit to use them as computer monitors knowing what they can do far field.

    Everything looks good so far :D
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  6. afterlife2 Audioholic Spartan

    afterlife2
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    Dang looking great there Natrix.
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  7. panteragstk Audioholic Chief

    panteragstk
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    Very awesome of you to do that for your nephew. Nice looking build too.
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  8. Natrix Junior Audioholic

    Natrix
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    I thought I'd share some new pictures of the veneering process. Edges sealed and bondo applied (man does that stuff set-up quickly) and sanded. So the veneering process goes like this for the Pelin Burl: Spray the veneer with veneer softener, iron the veneer to dry it out which leeches out a lot of the color, cut to size with a box cutter, tape the veneer down and apply veneer glue to the veneer and the side of the speaker I'm veneering, wait impatiently for 30-60 minutes for the glue to dry, carefully line up the veneer because once the glued surfaces touch each other it doesn't like to be adjusted, and iron with a tee shirt as a buffer, re-spray with veneer softener.

    With the wild grain pattern I've been getting ridges that will not lay down no matter how long I iron, so I've been ironing and then pressing down with a spare piece of mdf and then clamping down a platen board for 30-60 minutes. This seems to work pretty well. I check it after about 30 minutes and if they are any bumps I re-iron and clamp again. It takes at least an hour per side, so this is a slow going process. Anyway on to the pics:

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    I still have the top and fronts to veneer. I'm waiting for a router bit to flush trim the speaker flange cutouts before I'll be able to finish the fronts. I also got some bright red, bordeaux, and red mahogany dyes that I'll try out on some spare pieces to see if I go that route. I'm also rethinking the wenge trim and may just go with a dyed maple...we'll see.
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  9. Natrix Junior Audioholic

    Natrix
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    Fully veneered now. Sanding, filling imperfections, dyeing, Waterlox application and figuring out what trim I'll go with remain. In other words, lots to be done...

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    Got a little overzealous with the depth on the bit I used to trim the flange cutouts for the tweeter as you can see from some of the pictures. Shouldn't be too hard to fix that.
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  10. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

    fuzz092888
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    Looks great. If it were me, I'd go for Bubinga if I wanted something to somewhat resemble the color, while providing a different grain and probably a curly/quilted maple or a sycamore for a light contrast or maybe a wenge for a dark contrast.
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  11. Natrix Junior Audioholic

    Natrix
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    Thanks fuzz. I have looked far and wide and have considered everything you thoughtfully mentioned above. I even took my burl into Woodcraft and held it up against everything they had and that's why I got the wenge as it provided the contrast I was looking for in the store, but now that I have it at home and cut into strips and placed it into the cutouts, I'm not too fond of it. I would really like to use ebony, but I can't find a piece that I can cut down at a reasonable price, plus it is harder and tougher to work with than the wenge and my table saw didn't like that stuff too much.

    I plan on dyeing these with either the bright red, bordeaux, or the red mahogany Transtint dyes I bought if I like the way they look after testing. I got the inspiration from the bright red pelin burl on a set of Cirrus Blacks from Vapor Sound:

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    I'm gonna wait until I have the rest of the speaker finished before I decide on the trim as the dye and Waterlox will change the way they look. If mine turn out even remotely close to the beauties above I'll be elated.
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  12. afterlife2 Audioholic Spartan

    afterlife2
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    That red is awesome looking. Can't wait to see them when you're done.
  13. slipperybidness Audioholic Ninja

    slipperybidness
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    Dang, you do good work. Those things look good! Looks like a LOT of labor though.
  14. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

    fuzz092888
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    Most builds from scratch are.
  15. Nestor Senior Audioholic

    Nestor
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    Great choice for dye!

    Have you considered staining with india ink? You'd get the ebony look without the hassle/expense of ebony.
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  16. Natrix Junior Audioholic

    Natrix
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    I've never heard of india ink, but I'll definitely look into it. I appreciate the suggestion.
  17. ARES24 Full Audioholic

    ARES24
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    I had a thought, what about an ebony stain for the corners, might 'match' the drivers and bring the unit together. (I am thinking about doing it to my tritrix;))
  18. Nestor Senior Audioholic

    Nestor
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    Google "ebonizing". India ink is one way, Iron oxide is another.
  19. afterlife2 Audioholic Spartan

    afterlife2
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  20. ARES24 Full Audioholic

    ARES24
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    I have never used india ink, sounds interesting.
    You can call me lazy but I don't think I would go through this much effort when I can just buy a can of stain for $7. Is there a reason why ebonizing with iron oxide is better?

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