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10/30/03
Dayton Home Theater Project Surround Speakers

After finishing the Eros project I decided to build the begining of a Home Theater system for my mom. Since I had such good luck with Wayne J.'s Eros project I decided to try building his inexpensive HT speakers. While they aren't in the same league as the Eros as far as sound quality goes, they are very nice given how little they cost to build. I was especially impressed with the imaging quality. Plan on building or buying a subwoofer with these speakers since the woofers don't have the kick needed for home theater.


Test Fit Test fitting the cut sections to see if they fit  before cutting the rest of the panels. Measure twice, cut once...

Cut panels Here the stock is all cut and I'm ready to assemble the pieces.

Sanding the boxes Here I'm danding the edges for a flush fit between all the panels. No matter how carefull  I cut all the panels, they never fit exactly. I've learned instead to leave the sides proud so that I can sand it all flush. The box isn't quite square  but you wouldn't ever know unless you took a carpenters square to it.

Filling the holes I don't think its really nessary to fill all the cracks with wood filler since I covered most of the joints with veneer, but it doesn't take much time and the veneer will have a better gluing surface if you do. Since I painted the fronts, it was the only surface that all cracks had to be carefully filled.

Caulking the box After everything had been sanded and filled, I sealed all the interior joints with latex caulk. Even though all the joints are glued, the caulk ensures that the box is as air-tight as possible. Next time I'll caulk the box before I put the last panel on. That way I won't have to use my finger to get the sections the caulk gun couldn't reach.

Ready for finsihing Now the boxes are ready for the veneer. I used a router to rabbet the tweeter cut-out. I had a little trouble cutting one of the rabbets (as you can see on the picture above). Not to worry though, I fixed most of the problems with wood filler so it hardly shows when finished.

Applying the veneer Here I've got the back glued for the last piece of veneer. I used contact cement because its fast and easy. I've heard that white wood glue works the best and lasts the longest but I figure that if the veneer does fall off I'll have a good reason to build more speakers.

Applying the veneerAfter gluing on the panel I used a router with a laminate bit to trim off the excess veneer. The laminate bit is also good for trimming panels flush if they don't fit exactly (like they never do for me).

 Grills All three of the grills. I beveled the edges with a round over bit in the router. I used a hole saw to cut the corners of the grill. Next time I'll just use a sabre saw for all the cuts. I thought the hole saw would make for nice round corners but I couldn't line the hole saw  up the straight cuts well enough to make it worth the effort.

Finishing the baffles Now that all the veneer has been applied its time to start finishing the cabinets.


Painting the  baffles First step is several coats of primer on the front baffles. The plywood is easier to finish than MDF since it doesn't absorb nearly as much paint. I didn't need to use sander sealer on  the baffles before painting.Then comes several coats of Stone Creations textured paint. I've used this paint on all of my projects and like the finish quite a lot.

Finished baffles Here's the finished baffles.

Staining the veneer Next its time to stain the veneer. I used two coats of red oak stain since I wanted these to be a bit darker than my previous projects. I don't think that the second coat did much. They turned out lighter than any of my other projects. Go figure.

Finished veneer After the stain dried I applied three coats of satin polyurethane. Remember to keep the coats as light as possible to avoid drips or runs. You can sand them out if you get them but its easier to avoid them in the first place.

Finished crossovers Three crossovers completed and ready for installation.

Installed crossover The installed crossover. Note the ears I had to route in the tweeter cut-out to accomodate the terminals

Finished product The finished product.

Finished product backs The backs of the finished product.

Done Done!

Dayton Design


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