ZD5 Build: Best glue-up ever

February 15th, 2009
by admin

After my previous bad gluing experiences with the curved sides, I decided to go back to the clamping drawing board, if you will, and figure out a better approach.  I decided on using the same 1/8″ plywood with a clamping caul glued to each side so that the cauls would not slip, as they would have if I simply used them without the plywood.  I cut the tops off at an angle so that the band clamps would exert more pressure on the outsides and so the regular clamps would not slip off.   

In addition to the top cauls, I also attached a narrow strip underneath, along the edge, because the cauls and attachment method limited the amount of pressure I could apply to the edges.

In the top picture, the center band clamp that runs under the jig helps hold the board in position when positioning the jig, and keeps the center from bowing.  So, the only problem is that I can only do one at a time.  I tried doing two at a time, but by the time I got everything glued evenly, the glue was starting to set up.  Also, I don’t have enough clamps.  Since it takes the glue 24 hours to reach full strength (according to the container), it’s going to take 10 days to get the speakers fully laminated.

You may ask yourself, why didn’t he just use kerfed MDF? I think it’s either because I’m stupid or because I wanted the enclosure to be very rigid.  I think that this method will produce that, though I could have glued one layer of 1/8″ plywood around the outside of the kerfed MDF to add rigidity and  smooth out the flat areas you get with kerfed wood. Another reason is that I don’t like working with MDF.  It dulls saw blades and router bits and produces nasty dust.

Unfortunately, I can’t work on the front and back pieces yet because their finished widths are going to be cut according to how wide the enclosures end up being.

Until then…

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