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View Full Version : Eager to start building boxes



type[s5]
06-23-2007, 07:56 PM
Alright so I got about $200-$300 to spend on some tools to start making some boxes. I have screwdrivers of whatever size/type but I don't have a router, jigsaw, clamps, wood glue, or any other saws of any sort. I'm thinking I don't need a table saw yet as I'll just have Home Depot do my initial box cuts, but that's just me. Anyway, can anyone give me some pointers as to what I should buy with my money right now to get started? I'm thinking of buying clamps, wood glue, MDF cuts for a sealed box, and whatevers leftover on a router + router table to start off my weekend. What do you guys think?

spoonraker
06-23-2007, 08:07 PM
Don't buy your wood at Home Depot, their MDF is horrible, it looks like PlyWood. Also they don't do "precision cuts" as they told me, meaning they won't do a half inch or quarter inch cut, only round numbers. After seeing their wood and having them tell me they don't do cuts I just went to Lowes which was a block down the street where their MDF actually doesn't look like plywood and they were happy to do my precision cuts.

Anyway...For a simple sealed box, supply-wise, you'll need wood, a small bottle of wood glue, a box of screws around 2'' long, a tube of caulk, can of spraypaint, spray on glue, and carpet. That is assuming you're painting your port and carpeting your box.

For tools you'll need a good electrical screwdriver with at least two bits, one that matches your screw's head, and one hole drilling bit that is slightly smaller than the diameter of your screws for pre-drilling the screw holes. You'll need two clamps that can match the length of the longest piece of wood you have, I picked up a 36'' capacity clamp at lowes for $15. You'll need a caulking gun. Either a router with a spiral upcut bit, or a jigsaw, depending on how much money you want to spend, for cutting the holes for the subwoofer.

Other things you might find handy are a marker, tape measure, and a friend to help you. Also you'll need a subwoofer and a terminal cup :)

Rawr-DQ
06-23-2007, 08:29 PM
Electrical screwdriver, wow. A drill, its called a drill.
And the difference in MDF, between lowes and homedepot, is the MDF not MDF'y enough, and how can it look like plywood? MDF has no grain?

As for getting the wood cut, I wouldn't use any store, get an inexpensive saw, and then get a nice blade to cut with. A straight edge and some strong clamps (not the spring loaded, they slip) to use as a rip/guide.

A Router is very nice when cutting circles, you'll need a jig which you can order or make yourself. I recommend a 200 jasper jig if you do get a router. I used a jigsaw for the first time I cut the sub hole on my first box, it wasn't too bad.

spoonraker
06-23-2007, 09:41 PM
haha I don't know why, but I couldn't come up with the word drill when I was making that post

As for getting cuts done at lowes they did an absolutely flawless job on the cuts I had them do for me. I made a box for my friend and me and both of them came together and lined up perfectly. They have a huge tablesaw mounted on the wall with like a scope that they look into to line up the measurements exactly, I really don't see how you can get better cuts with your own saw unless they employee at lowe's just doesn't give a crap and purposely rushes everything. It's really not worth the money to buy a saw and all the stuff necessary to make your own cuts if you don't build a ton of boxes.

Oh and I know it doesn't make any sense, but the MDF at home depot looks like plywood. I'll take pictures when I get home, I have a scrap of home depot MDF that I can show you side by side with lowes MDF. There is a clear difference.

tyler_fitz
06-23-2007, 09:45 PM
Anyway...For a simple sealed box, supply-wise, you'll need wood, a small bottle of wood glue, a box of screws around 2'' long, a tube of caulk, can of spraypaint, spray on glue, and carpet. That is assuming you're painting your port and carpeting your box.



wait... what?

Rawr-DQ
06-23-2007, 09:52 PM
Lol, I'd like to see that, maybe I'll look at some at a local homedepot when I need something. The last mdf I got there was fine, but that was a while ago.

My saw cost me 40 bucks, not bad, and I dont have to run to a store to get any wood cut right. To me, it'd be a huge pain. I also got a sheet of mdf for free at home depot, bought two, charged for one.

type[s5]
06-23-2007, 09:56 PM
wait... what?

lol x2.

But hey thanks to everyone who gave their input/humor! I took a nice nap when i got home from Home Depot and I need to get ready for a camping trip with a girl friend of mine. I'll check out Lowe's tomorrow and see how their prices are. I really think that who does better cuts depends on the workers there. Anyway, once I get what I need to actually building something, maybe I'll start a noobie build log and see how everything goes.

spoonraker
06-23-2007, 10:00 PM
Rawr-DQ, So you just bought a cheapo table saw, a new blade, and made your own straight edge/guide thing?

How exactly did you accomplish this, I'm not sure I'm entirely following your brief description. Pictures help also.

type[s5]
06-23-2007, 10:03 PM
As for getting the wood cut, I wouldn't use any store, get an inexpensive saw, and then get a nice blade to cut with. A straight edge and some strong clamps (not the spring loaded, they slip) to use as a rip/guide.

A Router is very nice when cutting circles, you'll need a jig which you can order or make yourself. I recommend a 200 jasper jig if you do get a router. I used a jigsaw for the first time I cut the sub hole on my first box, it wasn't too bad.

Yea I'd really like to buy and work with MDF sheets but I don't have a big work area to play around with.

What's a jig?

type[s5]
06-23-2007, 10:13 PM
They have a huge tablesaw mounted on the wall with like a scope that they look into to line up the measurements exactly, I really don't see how you can get better cuts with your own saw unless they employee at lowe's just doesn't give a crap and purposely rushes everything. It's really not worth the money to buy a saw and all the stuff necessary to make your own cuts if you don't build a ton of boxes.


x2. Unless I start getting better at it and let some friends know :yumyum:

spoonraker
06-23-2007, 10:56 PM
wait... what?

What are you confused about?

The wood is for...wood
The wood glue and screws are for attaching the wood panels together
caulk is used to seal the inside of the box
spraypaint to paint the inside of your port, unless you want a nice carpeted box with a wood colored port
spray on glue is used to attach the carpet....

Dtrickz
06-24-2007, 01:22 AM
What are you confused about?

The wood is for...wood
The wood glue and screws are for attaching the wood panels together
caulk is used to seal the inside of the box
spraypaint to paint the inside of your port, unless you want a nice carpeted box with a wood colored port
spray on glue is used to attach the carpet....

well you said for a sealed box you need spray paint to paint the port. Where I come from sealed boxs don't have ports

spoonraker
06-24-2007, 02:15 AM
wow yeah you're right lol, I'm off my game tonight

type[s5]
06-24-2007, 08:20 PM
What's used to make sure the wood screws go in flush with the MDF?

spoonraker
06-24-2007, 08:36 PM
a steady hand

electropro
06-24-2007, 11:04 PM
;3160680']What's used to make sure the wood screws go in flush with the MDF?



A counter-sink bit. They sell them by themselves or with a drill bit attached to them. I prefer the later...:cool:

Rawr-DQ
06-24-2007, 11:34 PM
Rawr-DQ, So you just bought a cheapo table saw, a new blade, and made your own straight edge/guide thing?

How exactly did you accomplish this, I'm not sure I'm entirely following your brief description. Pictures help also.

Not a table saw, just a saw. Using a straight metal ruler/wood/whatever clamp it to the piece you're working on, measure and adjust it so that you can run the saw along it, measure the piece, align the blade, notch the corner enough to measure, check that with a tape measure, if it's the right size/square go ahead and finish the cut. I was able to get perfect cuts that way.


;3158404']Yea I'd really like to buy and work with MDF sheets but I don't have a big work area to play around with.

What's a jig?

You can have them cut the sheets into managable sizes, and a jig is a guide for the router so that you can make perfect circle cuts.

THUMPPER
06-24-2007, 11:35 PM
if a person needs a tube of chalking to seal a sub box they
built I would say they seriously need to practice using a saw

all you need is carpenter's glue..it has a 3500lb breaking strength
wich is stronger than the MDF itself...

spoonraker
06-24-2007, 11:47 PM
The caulk is just additional insurance to make 100% sure there are no leaks. Sure the wood glue and screws is probably enough, but this way you're sure. Some people even go as far as coating the entire inside of their boxes with a thin coat of fiberglass resin.

Oh and here is the Home Depot wood vs. the Lowes wood that I thought I'd share with you

Home Depot "MDF" is on the left, Lowes MDF is on the right. I swear to god I'm not making this up, Home Depot sold this to me as MDF, they had a whole bunch of it stacked up clearly labeled as Medium Density Fiberboard, I even looked around to make sure I wasn't mis-reading the labels.

http://s87301718.onlinehome.us/wood.jpg

skadude016
06-24-2007, 11:50 PM
lol dude. that is plywood. they had to have put the mdf sticker on the plywood lol

Rawr-DQ
06-24-2007, 11:53 PM
Laugh my *** off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I knew it =p
Someone lied to you, that is clearly not mdf, it had to be labled wrong or whatever!!!!!!!!!

spoonraker
06-24-2007, 11:54 PM
that's exactly what I said...I had an employee helping me. I walked in, asked him where the MDF was, they showed me that crap, I looked at him wierd, asked him if he was sure it was MDF, he said yes....

So I asked him if he had any scraps because I only needed a little piece for my dashboard bezel I was building at the time, so I picked up a little piece for like 50 cents.

I think maybe somebody mis-labeled or stocked the wrong wood. Maybe instead of just griping about home depot I should tell them about their mistake.

Luckily I wasn't dumb enough to buy a sheet of it for my box, I took my business down the street to Lowes.

Rawr-DQ
06-24-2007, 11:57 PM
Hell you could have looked for it yourself and showed the guy real mdf.

So much for retarded workers.

spoonraker
06-25-2007, 12:10 AM
I figured if he didn't even know what MDF should look like, I shouldn't ask him to operate a table saw for me lol

JarvisB
06-25-2007, 12:10 AM
I m building a box in couple of days, Just wanted to know if there is specific kind of caulk I should buy or it will just be labeled as "caulk"?

and will painting the inside with fiberglass resin be necessary? How much does the resin costs then?

EDIT: Also, is it required to smooth out the 90* corner of the ports? I plan on leaving it that way, but if it is required then I can do something.. My box will have only port walls on the sides thats all, there will be no wall on the back you know..

spoonraker
06-25-2007, 12:20 AM
Caulk is usually a good idea. Just the cheap "all purpose caulk" they sell anywhere will be fine. Doesn't have to be some fancy specialized kind.

Resin is definitely not necessary. Although it will guarantee you absolutely no air leaks, it's just really over the top and resin isn't cheap, enough to coat the inside of a decent sized sub box will easily cost you the same amount as the wood and probably more. It's also difficult to do.

putting 45 degree angles in the corners isn't really necessary either.

I'm not sure how big of a difference any of the techniques you mentioned make, but I'm sure they do something, just not something really noticeable.

type[s5]
06-25-2007, 12:31 AM
lol. So i took a look at Lowes and their MDF looked no different from Home Depot's. Also, Lowe's doesn't do precision cuts down here.

Ok so I bought some wood glue, a tube of caulk, measuring tape, a router + straight bit, two 24"x48" precut boards of MDF, a hundred 1 3/4" wood screws, some stands, a 24" clamp, and a 36" clamp.

I swear the workers at Home Depot seem like they never wanna help so instead of waiting around for some help in cutting an MDF board down to size, i just took a couple of the precut boards. I figure I'll need the practice, anyway. Unfortunately, my finances aren't as much as I thought so I'm still in need of a simple table saw to get these precuts down to the size I need them to be. :( Oh well. Looks like another 2-week wait.

Rawr-DQ
06-25-2007, 12:32 AM
I m building a box in couple of days, Just wanted to know if there is specific kind of caulk I should buy or it will just be labeled as "caulk"?

and will painting the inside with fiberglass resin be necessary? How much does the resin costs then?

EDIT: Also, is it required to smooth out the 90* corner of the ports? I plan on leaving it that way, but if it is required then I can do something.. My box will have only port walls on the sides thats all, there will be no wall on the back you know..

Dont worry about resin on a mdf box, dunno what put that into your head.
You don't have to smooth out the corners, some builders do it, because they believe it helps with port noise or something along those lines, but it is not completely nesscessary

Rawr-DQ
06-25-2007, 12:35 AM
;3161255']lol. So i took a look at Lowes and their MDF looked no different from Home Depot's. Also, Lowe's doesn't do precision cuts down here.

Ok so I bought some wood glue, a tube of caulk, measuring tape, a router + straight bit, two 24"x48" precut boards of MDF, a hundred 1 3/4" wood screws, some stands, a 24" clamp, and a 36" clamp.

I swear the workers at Home Depot seem like they never wanna help so instead of waiting around for some help in cutting an MDF board down to size, i just took a couple of the precut boards. I figure I'll need the practice, anyway. Unfortunately, my finances aren't as much as I thought so I'm still in need of a simple table saw to get these precuts down to the size I need them to be. :( Oh well. Looks like another 2-week wait.

Was it a plung router, or a cheaaap one, I'm guessing a cheap one, did you get a 1/4" straight bit? The reason being was because I had a hard time using a 1/2" bit on 3/4" mdf, so with my plung router, I was able to adjust the depth and cut a little at a time, but if you got a 1/4" bit, it should be easier.

type[s5]
06-25-2007, 12:35 AM
hmmm.... I just noticed something after looking at some of the box plans on CA... when you're making boxes and you use a program to do it, are measurements rounded off to the nearest 1/4"?

spoonraker
06-25-2007, 12:45 AM
I guess it just depends on the employee you get.

Like I said the guy at Lowes did an awesome job getting my cuts exactly perfect. The guy at home depot just said we don't do precision cuts and sent me on my way.

Although I did notice going to home depot and lowes a lot recently, that Lowes seems to have much better customer service. Home Depot is like a freaking ghost town, I swear sometimes they have 2 employees in the whole store, whereas as lowes has so many people standing around I wonder how they make any money

type[s5]
06-25-2007, 12:53 AM
I guess it just depends on the employee you get.

Like I said the guy at Lowes did an awesome job getting my cuts exactly perfect. The guy at home depot just said we don't do precision cuts and sent me on my way.

Although I did notice going to home depot and lowes a lot recently, that Lowes seems to have much better customer service. Home Depot is like a freaking ghost town, I swear sometimes they have 2 employees in the whole store, whereas as lowes has so many people standing around I wonder how they make any money

lol both seemed like they had a ton of workers that appeared to just be standing/walking around.

If anything, Home Depot always keeps me coming back because for some odd reason, there's always a few hot women that shop there at any given time. :yumyum:

hempy
06-25-2007, 04:07 AM
I'd totally go far a table saw with as much of your cash as possible. It's best to get fewer better pieces of equipment than a bunch of cheap ones. A router's going to be a pretty heft investment as well, as the cheapest one's ofter top 50 bucks new, and you most likely need carbid tips if you want them to make it through multiple builds. MDF eats through tools. Even cheap bits are often at least 3 bucks apiece.

If you do plan on doing your own cutting in the future, may I suggest a carpentry ruler? They're the folding expandable one. My grandfather gave me the one he'd been using for decades, and it's honestly my favorite tool. They work so much better than tape measures for woodworking, especially when making sure the fence on a table saw is set right.

Just take your time. A good collection can be had cheaply over time, but rushing into things may leave you replacing tools every few months.

type[s5]
06-25-2007, 02:02 PM
I'd totally go far a table saw with as much of your cash as possible. It's best to get fewer better pieces of equipment than a bunch of cheap ones. A router's going to be a pretty heft investment as well, as the cheapest one's ofter top 50 bucks new, and you most likely need carbid tips if you want them to make it through multiple builds. MDF eats through tools. Even cheap bits are often at least 3 bucks apiece.

If you do plan on doing your own cutting in the future, may I suggest a carpentry ruler? They're the folding expandable one. My grandfather gave me the one he'd been using for decades, and it's honestly my favorite tool. They work so much better than tape measures for woodworking, especially when making sure the fence on a table saw is set right.

Just take your time. A good collection can be had cheaply over time, but rushing into things may leave you replacing tools every few months.

Ahh thanks for the suggestion. I'll keep that in mind :)

I agree about getting better equipment. I'll probably realize this if anything that I've already bought breaks or something within the next year, or even in less than a year. But a lot of times, cheapie tools get the job done just the way you want.

The router I purchased was $60 bucks and the straight carbide-tip bit was around $13 >_< Once I have enough for a table saw, I think I'll spend no more than $150 on one.

type[s5]
06-25-2007, 02:05 PM
Was it a plung router, or a cheaaap one, I'm guessing a cheap one, did you get a 1/4" straight bit? The reason being was because I had a hard time using a 1/2" bit on 3/4" mdf, so with my plung router, I was able to adjust the depth and cut a little at a time, but if you got a 1/4" bit, it should be easier.

It was cheap... yes it only takes 1/4" bits. Don't think i'll be needing the ability to use 1/2" bits anytime soon.

Plunge router? I'm able to adjust the depth slowly via an adjustable knob, if that's what you mean...

CrazedCat
06-25-2007, 02:18 PM
;3162381']Ahh thanks for the suggestion. I'll keep that in mind :)

I agree about getting better equipment. I'll probably realize this if anything that I've already bought breaks or something within the next year, or even in less than a year. But a lot of times, cheapie tools get the job done just the way you want.

The router I purchased was $60 bucks and the straight carbide-tip bit was around $13 >_< Once I have enough for a table saw, I think I'll spend no more than $150 on one.

Cheap power tools = expensive emergency room bills

Carbide Up Spiral (upcut) bits work best for general straight cutting.

spoonraker
06-25-2007, 03:17 PM
Ok well I just got back from Lowes, and I'm definitely going there again.

They did all my cuts for me and only charged me for about half of them. Not only that, but the guy who did my cuts was an MECP certified (advanced level) installer. He did perfect cuts, and the box lays out perfectly. He even cut the scraps to the internal height of the box so if something gets messed up on one of the walls I only have to cut it to length.

We had a nice talk about car audio stuff while he was helping me out, nice guy, definitely going back :)

http://s87301718.onlinehome.us/box2.jpg

PV Audio
06-25-2007, 03:41 PM
I agree with the home depot MDF. It is far too soft and flaky, which makes it far easier to split and oversink your screwheads.