This was a really fun project. The original plan was to build these for the Iron Driver competition, and we did, but we couldn't get the SB19 tweeter to get along with the TB W5 woofers. There was a nasty dip between (IIRC) about 2khz and 3khz that wouldn't go away, which made them sound really thin and shouty. So, having built the cabinets already, I had to figure something else out for a tweeter that would fit these, and Craig K recommended I try the Vifa XT25TG30... man am I ever glad he did!! I absolutely LOVE this tweeter . So, the Reclamations were born.
Ironically, I had originally picked the name "The Reclamations" based on the wood I used for the cabinets. There was a good thread here... http://techtalk.parts-express.com/showt ... od+baffles ...that prompted my idea to try to build solid hardwood cabinets. The wood I chose for the majority of the cabinets was 100+ year old rock maple that was the flooring in a farm house I had remodeled years ago; hence the name "The Reclamations". Milling rock maple is a chore in itself because it's so hard, but this was particularly bad because it was laden with carpet tacks, staples, and most of it was coated with carpet glue. I first had to go over each board with a metal detector and remove all the nails and tacks, then I fed it through a wide belt sander (where we found the nails and tacks I missed ), then planed the boards down to 9/16" thick.
A pic of the many, many nails and tacks that were pulled. This picture is after it was belt sanded, but before I fed them through the planer (thankfully I had them thoroughly denailed prior to going through the planer). I wish I had a before pic when they were coated in glue and dirt and stain, but unfortunately that was years and years ago.
Once that was done, I ripped the original tongue and groove off, then placed a minor bevel on the edges of each board, then cut biscuit slots throughout the edges to join the pieces together.
I then joined all the boards together, and started sanding the whole joined panels
There were a lot of fine cracks, and also nail holes throughout this wood, so coated the entire back side with bondo, then sanded it smooth, then gave it about 3 coats of shellac sealer to seal the inside panels up.
Once that was done I cut my braces and rear baffle (bracing and rear baffle are MDF), then rabbeted and dado'd the panels. Note the way the bracing runs vertically, I did this so there wouldn't be much disagreement between the MDF and the rock maple when the maple expands and contracts during different season. Here's a test fit...
The front baffle is made out of solid cherry, joined together the same way as the rock maple panels. I cut the front baffle a tad shy, so it fit fairly loosely in the cabinet. I then glued that in using PL construction adhesive. A pic of the front baffle test fit, as well as a pic of the rear baffle...
And here's a pic of the original design, the one intended for the Iron Driver competition...
Once I decided I didn't like these at all with that original SB19 tweeter, I pulled that tweeter, then glued a board in the center so I had a place for the dowel to use my Jasper jig for routing the cutout for the XT25 tweeter. The XT25 is quite a bit larger than the original SB19 tweeter was, so I had to get creative. I routed the tweeters in so they sit just behind the Tang Band W5 woofers.
The process was a tad tricky, but I made it work. Here's a pic of the recess for the XT25. I also had to strip the already finished front baffle, then refinish it. This is the front baffle with a coat of BLO, but not finished yet.
And some pics of the finished speakers...
I'm thrilled with the way these turned out . So much actually that I decided to use these for my HT system, so I'll also be building a center channel, as a well as a sealed TM version using the same tweeter and woofer for the rear channels. I think for the money (roughly $260 for xover and drivers) these really deliver. I also have a fun idea for the grills, I'll post those pics once those are done.
These cabinets can obviously be built using MDF and it wouldn't change anything. I think this will be a kit offered by Meniscus, and if anyone is interested in this build, feel free to ask any questions. Bang for buck I'm incredibly impressed with them, they have incredible clarity and the output is amazing