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Old 07-14-2002, 07:25 PM   #1

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How do I build an enclosure?

4.5 How do I build an enclosure? [AO]
These instructions are for building a first order (sealed) subwoofer enclosure. Building ported or bandpass boxes is more difficult, and those designs are less forgiving of mistakes. These instructions apply for all box designs, but be sure of the measurements before you make your cut. Building your own enclosure can save you a lot of money, but only if you don't need to buy all of your materials twice because of mistakes!

You will need:

I only use MDF See section 4.6 MDF for Dummies [IDB], but others have reported success using other hardwoods like birch and oak. Do not use plywood - it's far to flexible and porous. Use a minimum of 3/4" wood -- flexing sub enclosures lose precious energy!

For one inch wood use #8 2 inch wood screws. For 3/4 inch wood use #8 1 3/4 inch screws. Double grip Drywall screws also work well.

I use "Liquid Nails" which comes in a caulk tube or a bucket, but any paste type of adhesive will work. Spray adhesives will not work.

Silicone sealant
White, brown, clear, caulk tube, or squeeze bottle, it doesn't matter. Make sure you don't get silicone lubricant (which comes in a spray can)!

Terminals/Terminal Cup
To allow easy connections from your amp.
Besides these materials you will need several tools:

Table saw or radial arm saw
I use a radial arm saw, just because it's a little easier and accurate, but a table saw will work also. You can use a circular saw, but be very careful to make your cuts straight.

Jig saw
For cutting your speaker hole.

You will also need a 1/8" drill bit, a screwdriver bit, and a countersinking bit.

To mark your cuts, make notes, etc.

Measuring tape
Safety Goggles
Face Mask
Breathing MDF dust has not been proven to cause health-related problems, but hang around with with a few installers at your local shop for an afternoon and you'll see why you need a face mask. :-)
Start by marking the cuts you need to make on your wood. Double check your math, and your measurements.

Use the table or radial arm saw to cut your wood. When you're done you should have six pieces of wood which fit together tightly to form a box.

At this point you will need to trace the cut out for your subwoofer onto the front of the box. Remember that if you have a 10 inch subwoofer you do NOT want a 10 inch cutout. The 10 inch measurement is from the outside of the mounting ring. The actual cutout diameter should be with your instructions. Transfer the proper sized circle onto the sub box and cut it out with the jig saw. If you have trouble starting cuts with a jig saw, drill a 1/2" hole in the wood inside the circle. You can drop your blade into the hole and then cut out to the edge of the circle and around.

After you have cut out your mounting hole you will need to cut out a square on one of the sides for your terminal cup. Transfer the proper size rectangle onto the wood and cut it out with the jig saw.

Now you are ready to start assembling the enclosure. Choose one of the ends, and one of the sides. Apply a bead of adhesive along the edge of the end piece. Affix it to the edge of the bottom piece. Flip it over (have a friend hold the other end and hold the end in place,) and screw the edge to the end. Use one screw at each corner and then one more screw about every 8 inches. Drill a pilot hole with your 1/8" drill bit, then drill a countersink with your countersinking bit. Finally, drive the screw in. Make sure that you don't strip the hole.

Repeat the above procedure with the other end. You should now have the two ends connected to one side. Affix the other three sides the same way.

Finally, you'll want to seal the insides of the box with silicone. Apply a bead of silicone across all the inside edges and around the terminal strip.

Allow the box to dry over night and then place your speaker into the hole. Screw it down and you're done!
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