The final coat of laquer went down a few hours ago and it looks like I will finally be able to put the living room back together tomorrow. The new products I am using on this project have been great, and the results are pretty good. The guys over at Chicagoland Finishing Materials were extremely helpful. They really took the time to listen to me about my project, my equipment and then make a recommendation. I went with the Chemcraft Variseal and their Varicure precat laquer.
The upper cabinets have been a pain to complete. I went ahead and reinforced the tops, got the batting in and a support for a cross brace. The motorboards were installed, and finally the dampening was completed. FINALLY, I think I can spray these.
Here are a few more pictures from this evening. The first shows the bottom and how it overlaps the butt joint on the lower part of the cabinet. This helps reinforce that joint that is holding all the weight of everything above it.
Then a picture of the front of the upper cab with the textured side panels in place. This shows how far back the panels extend to reinforce those vertical walls.
Then a shot of the final bit of work this evening. I took the spare motorboard that I blew up with the router and used it to test fit the horn. Now I can build the support in the back to hold that driver. Gotta love a wave guide that is as big as your head.
Put the footer and feet on the lower cabs, and followed that up with sealing the motorboard to the front. The seperator piece is attached on top, everything is sealed and ready for laquer tomorrow.
The backs were put in place and pre-drilled for the brass screws. They still need to be sanded before spraying.
I have to eliminate my audio rack because of space issues with the Cornscala's. But I can't fit it all under the TV, thus I am left with knocking out something that can hold my amp and dvd player. I was digging around cleaning out a wood rack and found a nice piece of curly cherry and another of curly walnut. I had been saving them for something special, and this was it.
Next thing was to figure out a design that would use only the two boards. In a fit of madness I pulled out the hand tools and carved a set of legs. I love the hand tools, there is nothing better than feeling that figured wood cut like butter.
The bass section from the Klipsch Cornwall uses a modified motorboard design that moves the ports from the bottom to the side. This allows the 15" woofer to be mounted directly in the center of the motorboard. The assembly is a two piece design. If I build another pair I think I will change a couple of things. One, I will mill a rabbet for the outside diameter. The 3/4" drop is slightly too deep, and the 15.625 diameter is overly large. Other than that the assembly fit the speaker perfectly, and a test fitting to the cabinets was also perfect.
Here is the double sided tape method I use to cut the circles out of the MDF. This attaches the MDF to the backing/waste board so that when the circle is finally cut free it doesn't move around and cause a problem.
The lower enclosures were dampened with carpet padding and automotive headliner fabric. Just some minor dampening to breakup any resonance that might happen, and help to clean up things for a little more clarity. A friend helped me with the final sanding prep using 400 grit. I learned a lot about final prep work, and these cabinets are really looking great. I did a quick stacking of the components to check proportions and get some idea as to what they will look like complete.
The Cornscala upper cabinets are assembled and now need to have the ports milled out in the bottom. I needed another small piece of walnut to finish these up so I picked up some over at Owl. This piece came from a large, commercial kiln that uses steam to blend their walnut. It gives it a more uniform look, but it also dulls it down. I really prefer the vertical strip that you see below that came from a local sawyer who uses a solar kiln.
I went back to a finish that was similar to how I did the family room furniture. The base is a boiled linseed oil that is applied and sits for 24 hours. Then 3 coats of hand rubbed General Finish Arm-R-Seal in high gloss. Each coat is steel wooled and wiped, and after the third coat it is sanded using the Festool RO150 and 320 grit on vibe. That is followed by two coats of Arm-R-Seal in semi-gloss. The first pic shows the backs after the last coat has dried for about 4 hours. I should be able to start working on the bottom cabinets (finishing) tomorrow.
The bottom cabinet shells have the ports routed into the upper chamber. There is a middle piece that has matching ports and serves to divide the upper and lower cabinets. The ports were routed with pattern bits and a template I made from scap MDF. Initial opening is cut with the jigsaw, and then the final cut is done with the pattern bit. Each mid piece is matched to a specific cabinet. It has been 9 years since I did a project with MDF and I would have no problem waiting for another 20 years before doing another one. It is the messiest, dirtiest material I have ever worked with. I had to wear a respirator while milling these parts.
The shells are domino'd and ready for the ports to be cut. The backs are done and the access hole for the cross overs are done. They are downstairs and I am starting the finishing process on those.