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biff November 9, 2009 03:59 PM

New Speaker Build
Since Vulcan500rider's build thread got some interest I figured I'd offer up more of the same... maybe get some more interest in DIY speakers going. The build I'm doing is Zaph's 2.5way Waveguide TMM design. I bought the parts for these some time ago and never built it. I've since decided on a different design for my main speakers so these parts were going to find their way into different projects but John (Zaph) is a very highly respected crossover designer and he felt these were good enough to use as his main speakers for a time so since I got the parts anyway I thought I'd slap 'em together for a listen. I'll be changing his blueprints slightly to suit my needs but nothing drastic.

Not sure of my time line. These aren't intended as a permanent solution so I plan to move quickly and not make it too involved. For instance I want to make curved side cabinets for the build that I intend to keep - I won't be doing that here just a basic box. But I'll warn you I work slow and I tend to get lost in little details so it could drag on should you decide to follow along. I want to finish a mod to my table saw before I start but hopefully I'll be making sawdust tonight.

vulcan500rider November 9, 2009 06:15 PM


biff November 11, 2009 08:36 PM

Thought I'd throw at least something up. I got started a couple nights ago - just a few cuts. Yesterday I changed the design a bit, I'm going for a removable back instead of front baffle so I had to recut a few pieces. Plus I found out my cross cut sled wasn't exactly square so the cuts had to be redone anyway. Here's what I got so far:

The wave guide already machined. Sorry I did these a while ago so no 'in progress' pics. I did them on my lathe though instead of a router jig in Zaphs write up.


The WG sitting on a tweeter.


All the drivers.


Trying to layout the crossover. I'll probably go with something very similar to this though. The size of paper it's sitting on is 8.5" x 5.5" (a standard sheet of paper folded in half). I'm happy with that size as it's small enough that I can mount in the empty chamber at the bottom of the speakers.


And finally last night's efforts after I got my sled squared away. Included is the sides of the cabinets, top, bottom & dividers, and a handful of braces. Also have some of the biscuit cuts done.


That's it so far but I'll be doing some more tonight. Hopefully even start the glue up.... maybe.

krazyups November 12, 2009 06:38 AM

That looks like quite the shop you've got there, very nice. Looking forward to watching this progress.

inbalance99 November 12, 2009 08:34 AM

You said you worked slow?

Took me weeks to get that far. But all I had was a cicular saw and a screw driver.

Interesting project, not one very many diy's would attempt. Thanks for the updates.

biff November 12, 2009 07:05 PM


Originally Posted by inbalance99 (Post 286470)
Interesting project, not one very many diy's would attempt. Thanks for the updates.

Yeah, not many have (I don't know why that is) even though everyone who does build it is extremely impressed with it. Recent talk about it on another forum sparked my interest in it again, which is why I'm building it. Might be because of the mods to the Wg but it's really not a big deal.

biff November 15, 2009 11:56 PM

Some Progress! I'd wanted to get at least the main boxes glued up days ago but a hectic schedule over the last few days has limited my shop time but I got some tonight. I had most of the cuts done a while ago but I started making a list of the 'little' things I wanted to do before the main glue-up and it turned out to be a longer list than expected. So here's where I am now.

I put threaded inserts in the bottom panel to give me something solid to bolt into. I used a forstner bit to counter bore them so they wouldn't protrude. I will probably be mounting strips of wood here to screw the XO board into and I didn't want them to be in the way. Sorry the first two pics look a little 'off' - had the wrong white balance setting on the camera.


These are the dividers. I drilled holes in them to route wire from the XO up to the speakers. The are a tight fit around the wire I'm using. Funny enough 1/8" ended up being the perfect size, I tested using a #31 bit which is only 0.005" thinner and there was no way I was fitting the wire through the holes. A little funny pattern I know.... unfortunately I keep forgetting I'm dumb so I make a few errors along the way. I take measures to counteract this but it still comes up from time to time. Initially I made 4 holes in the bottom piece and 2 holes going to the upper chamber. Luckily I caught it in time and drilled holes so I could bring wires up for the tweeter too!


Always makes me happy I catch stuff before hand. I nearly ended up with 3 right hand sides for the cabinets and only 1 left, again caught at the last minute.

Here's all the parts ready for the main glue-up. I like using biscuits. They can be time consuming to do but really aren't that hard. They add next to no extra strength to the joint but are really nice for keeping everything aligned while the glue sets. I've had a few times where part slide away on me during glue-up and end up slightly in the wrong spot. So they are really completely unnecessary but they are helpful when you don't have 17 hands.


Just dry assembling and checking to make sure everything fits.


Holy crap they fit. Both of em!

Prepping for the main glue-up. I have pieces of wood that were trimmed straight in my tablesaw so that when I clamp it it's being pressed against a straight edge to hopefully end up with a straight cab. The 2x4's underneath are to give clearance for the clamps.


Clamps at the ready and adjust to approximately the size I need so I can work fast. wood glue sets pretty fast and once it starts to set you'll damn near have to break the wood to get the joint to move. Biscuits make this situation a little worse as they start to expand when in contact with glue. Oh and a pint for the nerves. Besides I think there's some rule about beer and wood working somewhere....


And finally the first glue-up. Just one side and the in between pieces are being glued. The other side piece is just placed on top to help keep parts aligned and give the clamps something to press against. Notice the scraps so the clamps don't dig into the sides and leave dents. I would have done both cabs but this used up most of my clamps so I didn't have enough left over for the other side. Doesn't matter how many you have, it's never enough.


That's where I am now. I'll get one glued up tonight and hopefully the other one done tomorrow. Here's a few shots of some little tips that you may or may not know about. In the first one here you can see I purposely left the sides just a tad longer than the top and bottom piece. When everything is done and I'm just about to finish up I will use a flush trim router bit and a little sanding to make that joint perfect. The two advantages are you end up with a perfect fitting joint and also being the ends of the large pieces they are subject to wear, i.e. getting dinged while moving them around or checking fit, etc. so the edges aren't pristine but you will now end up trimming that part off.


The next one, when doing putting the glue on the pieces to make sure you have enough and are going to get a good joint you can use one of these disposable flux brushes that you can get at HD for like $1 to spread the glue. Doing that will quickly show you if you have enough glue in the joint or not and guarantees a continuous glue joint for maximum strength and no air gaps... which are BAD for speaker boxes.


Here's a shot of one piece with a nice amount of glue on it.


If you don't get a bead of glue oozing out of the joint when you clamp it then you don't have enough glue on it. You can use a damp rag to wipe off the excess or wait for it to dry and use one of these to trim it off after. I'll use either method depending on the situation.

Hopefully soon I'll have pics of these standing on their own!

vulcan500rider November 16, 2009 07:02 PM

Beauty! Keep 'em comin'!

SugarJ November 16, 2009 08:02 PM

Man, I wish I had room for some tools like that. I've got one bench wedged in beside my car. Oh well, I can always go visit Dad. Nice work so far Biff, keep them pics coming.

biff November 16, 2009 11:22 PM


Originally Posted by SugarJ (Post 288438)
Man, I wish I had room for some tools like that. I've got one bench wedged in beside my car.

Me and the wife have an understanding... If she doesn't park her car in my living room I won't put mine in hers. So far it's worked.

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