Recommended timber for buiding a cab

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monster
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Recommended timber for buiding a cab

Post by monster » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:48 am

I'm about to start building a trusty TL-606 cab to go with my existing cab of 1993 vintage.

My original cab is of MDF and sounds fine, but people overseas are building lighter cabs from (Baltic?) Birch plywood. Someone else also pointed out that one false move with MDF and you've hollowed out a hole that is a pain to fix up...

So... what sorts of plywood do we have available in NZ that would fit the bill?
I know I can get pine plywood from lots of places - is this good stuff to use for a speaker cab?
(Cab will be covered, so looks don't matter).

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john
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Re: Recommended timber for buiding a cab

Post by john » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:56 am

I used pine ply when I made my cabs.
I wanted to keep the weight down so took a gamble and I used quite thin ply and braced the heck out of it.
Don't get ply with knots in it because I hear if a knot in between ply sheets gets loose it can create rattles, buzzing etc

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Re: Recommended timber for buiding a cab

Post by blue » Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:50 am

I did a bit of looking as I'm planning to build a fearful 15/6 at some point. Okoume ply and Meranti ply seem to be strong, light (ish) weight and not ridiculous in terms of pricing.

I found pricing and availability from these guys :

http://lumbershop.co.nz/lumbershop/web/ ... 2440122012

to be some of the best. Haven't bought yet so can't speak to the quality but a friend has got different ply from them in the past and they've been recommended.

Gunnersons and plytech also have a broad range but their pricing is a bit more... 'commercial' read: expensive.

Best of luck!

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Re: Recommended timber for buiding a cab

Post by Harley » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:57 am

You can't buy plain faced Baltic Birch here in NZ. Baltic Birch is a very dense and thus heavy plywood. The closest available equivanet here in NZ is Australian hoop pine, and it's dense and heavy. Be prepared to pay about $145.00 + GS for 8x4 sheet in 1/2" ( 12mm )

The TL606 calls for 3/4" ply or MDF. I'd avoid MDF like the plague. Also 3/4" seem to thick to me. Like John says, go a thineer ply and brace it properly - maxium 12mm and better still, well braced 9mm.

Okoume ply and Meranti ply I'd also avoid unless you get a sado-masocist kick out of dealing with the splinters.

Italian Poplar is very light, but comes with thin outer veneers, so construction method is important.

Use 100% expanding polyurethane glue - Sika SUPERGRIP 2 HOUR 310ML, HOLDFAST® GORILLA GRIP® Express 1 Hour Cure Construction Adhesive, or you can even get the American PL glue ( CRC product ) from Carters Hardware outlets. Do not use the the luquid polyuertahne glues however, just the gel ones in a tube.

Most dedicated ply stores ( steer clear of Bunnings, Mitre 10, ITM etc for ply ) like Plytech, Plyman and Plywood City will stock a South Island ( West Coast ) ply called "SD" It has even ply thicknesses, one side is rougher than the other so use the smooth side out. You'll need to pick through the sheets to get a good one, but this ply is excellent for cabs.

"Gunnersons and plytech also have a broad range but their pricing is a bit more... 'commercial' read: expensive." - yes, but if you are going to invest your time and effort into a cab, skimping on ply quality is a bit foolish really. PLus I have found that if you talk to the guys in the store nicely, you can get the price down and it's not much dearer than $hittie ply from Bunnings or Three Brothers.

"Someone else also pointed out that one false move with MDF and you've hollowed out a hole that is a pain to fix up..." Don't know where you heard that from John, but it's not possible to see any knots inside. Also, the way that SD, Baltic Birch, Italian Polar and Australian Hoop Pine are made, it's impossible for inner venner knots to ever come loose.

You can get ply with voids in however but this is a pain only when you're exposing and edge for rounding off, and this is easily fixed by using automtive bondo-fill and sanding back. Avoiding sheets with visible knots is a good practice though, because those outer knots ( with bits and pieces missing around the fringe ) get in the way of good sealing. Again, if I have no alternative than to get a knotty sided ply sheet, I fill the blips us with Bond-Fill.
Retired authorised builder of Bill Fitzmaurice Design Speaker cabs for New Zealand - http://www.billfitzmaurice.info

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Re: Recommended timber for buiding a cab

Post by monster » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:07 pm

Hi everyone,
Many thanks for your replies - some very useful information here!

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Re: Recommended timber for buiding a cab

Post by monster » Sat May 10, 2014 2:15 pm

Well, I did get the cab built and I've used it for several gigs with no problems :-)

I got pine ply from a local (specialist) timber supplier - Timberco. Even better they cut everything to size for me - they have nicer and more accurate sawbenches than me.
I used 18mm ply (pretty much 3/4"). This is my 1st cab build, so I thought I'd play it safe. I followed the TL-606 plans pretty closely.
Also it matches the existing cab nicely.

Glued and screwed everything, rounded off edges with a belt sander (very high-tech...)

I used felt for sound deadening.

I've installed the original Eminence driver from the 1993 built cab for now, and it sounds great. I may look into fitting a 3015HO to match the other cab, but they're not cheap.

Ironically the new cab cost more to build than getting a 2nd hand one from trademe, but there were none for months and months when I decided to build. Needless to say just after I finished one cropped up on trademe for $50...
Anyhow, the process of building it was very satisfying and all tax-deductible.
20131224_175621sm.jpg
20140216_154538sm.jpg
20131226_225733sm.jpg
20140221_173101smx.jpg
Cab now has speaker grille.

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john
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Re: Recommended timber for buiding a cab

Post by john » Sat May 10, 2014 8:22 pm

Looks great, you must be pretty happy with the result

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monster
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Re: Recommended timber for buiding a cab

Post by monster » Sun May 11, 2014 10:14 am

john wrote:Looks great, you must be pretty happy with the result
Thank you John :-) Yes, I am happy with it.

Two vertically stacked cabs makes a big difference to the amount of air you can shift compared to a single (identical) cab. TL-606's suit my sound and amps nicely.

The carpeting went on nicely and is easy to work with - not sure how I would have gone with tolex.

It is always nice to make (or fix) something with your own hands, although I read a comment the other day that DIY building for music equipment is rarely cheaper than buying 2nd hand so is for personal satisfaction - certainly the case here. So I was rather chuffed when my daughter (7) came into the music room the other day and said 'it looks very professional'. :-)

Rubbish photo from our last gig:
20140419_205151smx.jpg

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Re: Recommended timber for buiding a cab

Post by beagle » Tue May 20, 2014 11:47 am

Yeah that's very nice job monster. They look great.
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Re: Recommended timber for buiding a cab

Post by cjj » Tue May 20, 2014 9:47 pm

beagle wrote:Yeah that's very nice job monster. They look great.
+1! Nice lookin' Rick too...
8) 8) 8)

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monster
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Re: Recommended timber for buiding a cab

Post by monster » Sat May 24, 2014 10:36 pm

cjj wrote:+1! Nice lookin' Rick too...
Thank you! :-)
I enjoy playing it very much. It's a 1980 4001.
What is your one? 4004??

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Re: Recommended timber for buiding a cab

Post by cjj » Sat May 24, 2014 11:32 pm

monster wrote:
cjj wrote:+1! Nice lookin' Rick too...
Thank you! :-)
I enjoy playing it very much. It's a 1980 4001.
What is your one? 4004??
Well, the one in my avatar is a 2008 4004Cii. I've got a few others as well...
http://www.bassplayer.co.nz/viewtopic.p ... 840#p22064

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monster
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Re: Recommended timber for buiding a cab

Post by monster » Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:10 pm

cjj wrote:Well, the one in my avatar is a 2008 4004Cii. I've got a few others as well...
http://www.bassplayer.co.nz/viewtopic.p ... 840#p22064
Mmm! A nice selection there. I'd have trouble choosing which one to play if I had more than one Ric ;)

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