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Cabinet Building

Torsten Torsten Bätz,
design and builds cabinets for testing,
he is responsible for loudspeaker logistics

How to build a loudspeaker cabinet
Torsten Bätz
interviewed by Peter Strassacker (7/2004)

Torsten, how do you build your cabinets; what are the important aspects, are there ways to make your life easier?

In most cases cabinets are designed with wooden boards put together at a right angle. The easiest way is to send a parts list to a hardware store / timber merchant and pick it up when ready. The boards' dimensions need to be checked whether they are cut with a tolerance of not more than 0.5 mm.

What types of material are you working with?

Mostly MDF. MDF stands for medium dense fibre particle board and is made of wood fibre and glue. They are well priced and have a smooth surface. Chipboard is also suitable, but it's more expensive and the surface is not as smooth as MDF. Multiplex boards could also be used as well as hard wood. But that's quite a bit more difficult to work with. Pine and fir are to light and are, therefore, not particularly suited.

How is the assembly done?

First, I cut-out the driver openings with a compass saw. Then the boards should be glued together using wood glue or ? The boards should be secured with clamps or - when the job is urgent - they should additionally be screwed together with screw holes every 15 cm. Especially when screwing together MDF boards, the holes should be drilled. It's also advisable to drill the holes for the top board with a somewhat larger diameter to ensure that the screws move freely.

Finally, I air seal the cabinet, if necessary, by using glue to close all gaps. As a result the cabinet should be airtight to prevent air noise and acoustic short circuit.

The cabinet is now functioning. If required it may be smoothed over, painted or veneered.

Thanks very much Torsten; we'll get some further advice in our discussion with Dennis.

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