View Full Version : Need Help Making MDF Cuts
Hi! I would like to build a speaker box using 3/4" MDF. Unfortunately, I don't have the tools or the budget for same and was wondering, after drooling at the cabinet table saws in a woodworking magazine, if any of the list members would be willing to supply me at cost plus shipping with the following size panels:
1. 13-1/2" x 11" panels (2)
2. 12" x 11" panels (2)
3. 13-1/2" x 13-1/2" panels (2), with one having a centered 9" hole cutout (routed w/circle-cutter attachment) for the speaker.
Without having the proper tools, I know this will turn into a frustrating nightmare. The cuts and sizes all have to be square and spot on for the box to be level and square. I can then glue and caulk the interior seems to make an airtight enclosure for my long-awaited car subwoofer system.
If anyone will be so kind as to help in this project it will be greatly appreciated!
PS--The pieces will need to be shipped to downstate New York.
Dave in Cairns
11-02-2000, 07:07 AM
Sal , love to help you out but you'd freak at the transport costs. Why don't you visit your local joinery with the MDF and a case of beer under your arm?
Check out the message boards at www.madisound.com and www.partsexpress.com to see if any speaker builders in your area would let you come by and use their tools for the same nominal fee suggested by Dave. Generally, we speaker builders like to help each other out, share ideas and compare projects. You might even pick up some good tips on box construction, dampening, etc...
11-04-2000, 02:41 PM
1a. Checkout your local lumber yards, not the home depots, etc. but real lumber yards. All will cut stock to lengths, but some will take your list and cut the pieces with you either waiting or dropping back to pick up. I have two that will do htis in my area. Pick the best lumberyard in your area, amount of high quality hardwood or variety of hardwoods carried is often an indicator of the one to pick.
1b. If they can't make the cuts (too many or only do simple cut to lengths, then the follow up questions is "know anyone or a custom shop who would?" When I was in your position a number of years ago this would often get an offer to cut the pices from one of the guys who worked at the lumber yead for a very small fee - I would not suggest walking into a lumber yard with the case of beer. (might cause injury with the stampeed)
1c. A Lumber Yard that's a neightboorhood fixture type of place, been around forever, is absolutely the best because they will know a lot of local trades people, and most or a lot personally. If they can't cut your stock, ask for a refferal and you are likely to get a long list.
2. Check the phone book:
a. Custom Cabinet Shops: call around and I'd guess that you will fairly quickly find one that will give you a hand. It's out of their way to do small jobs but I usually found a friendly approach broke down a lot of resistance. Visiting a couple in person (at the right time of day/seek) made a big difference, as did volunteering to come back at a more convienent time for them. And if they can't, never leave without a reference of suggestion of who might.
2b. Woodworking and/or Woodworking Tools: In large metro areas this heading can turn up a number of resources that net a source for getting your cuts done. Once I had a specialty type of cut I needed and did not want to buy or have a shaper. I happened to mention I needed this cut to a guy in the local major tool dealer and he gave me the name of a couple of shops that probably could manage giving me a hand. I of cource got his name and dropped it when I talked to the person he referred me to.
I always did this type of thing in person at an off time (never Monday, Mid week mid morning ideal.
One last thought: Drawings with dimensions works a lot better than a list, but keep/take the list too. If you can draw a diagram of what your trying to build. Show them to the people you ask - makes it very clear and can get them into it.
I always try to find the guy in a shop or lumber yard who looked like he'd been woodworking since time began. I also asked for a lot of advice and listened a lot. Then I always returned to that guy whenever I visited the lumber yard or cabinet shop, etc. The resource and relationship is worth much more than gold. Yeah the local lumber yard costs more than Home Depot or the like, but for me it's well worth it.
Hope it helps.
11-05-2000, 03:49 AM
Thanks for all the advice. When all is said and done I'm just going to buy a pre-fab box. By the time I track down someone to do these cuts and with the possibility of a screw up, I'm better off with a prefab...until I can save up a grand to buy the tools I need to do the job right.