How to build a loudspeaker cabinet
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
Thanks very much Torsten; we'll get some further advice in our discussion