Cutting speaker baffle holes?

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by Little Ricky, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I did something similar to the above, but with the center in a spacer block attached to a scrap piece under the baffle. I cut a rough hole with the jigsaw first, then used the router to remove the last 1/8 - 1/4" and finish it to the final diameter.

    Also, I only did this once. That is, I made a template out of 3/4" MDF with a nice hole in it. Now, I just attach the template board to my baffle (with rough hole already cut) and route it with a 1/2" top-bearing pattern follower bit.
     
  2. Stuggi

    Stuggi TDPRI Member

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    Trick 1;

    Use a big piece of plexi glass, blot it to the underside of your router, drill out the middle of the circle of the baffle for an alignment pin, drill alignment pin holes in the plexi at different radius's from the router bit, for example for 12", 10", 8" and 6" speakers. Cut shallow passes until you're done. A high-power quality router is a good thing to have for this job, invest a bit of money in the router and it's bits, Milwaukee or Metabo are good brands...

    This is how most car audio shops do it...

    Trick 2;

    Get a special jigsaw blade, there are blades that are very narrow front to back that will cut circles without bending, just remember to go slow. These are usually also very fine cutting so they won't mar the edge too much. A sanding drum on a power drill is also a good tool for cleaning up the edges.
     
  3. SamBooka

    SamBooka Tele-Afflicted

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    Since I am actually cutting a new baffle for one of my projects I thought I would post some pics.
    Think in total it takes me 10-15 min to get setup and cut the first hole.

    I use a homemade jig and a router. Could never get a jig saw to cut the way I wanted too..

    Anyway.. here are some pics.
    1) is the jig. I made the arm longer than necessary in case I ever want to cut some radius templates for guitar fingerboards (up to 12 in radius)
    2) The all important nail in a predrilled hole. When I put the jig on the nail has to go securely into the scrap wood that is under the workpiece.
    3) The router attached to the jig which is nailed to the board which is clamped to the table etc etc..
    4) The end result. never quite figured what to do with the nice round cookies it makes.

    Anyway.. I hope this helps.
     

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  4. tantamo

    tantamo Tele-Meister

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    I think a short blade and a steady hand will do it.

    I also think you can approximate a circle with a series of straight lines, so you'd have an octagon or something similar. Then you could just use that as is or round out the hole by further cutting or sanding.
     
  5. FenderLover

    FenderLover Friend of Leo's

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    I like the idea of using a jig, however simple, but it just seems so unnecessary for a baffle hole. Use a sharp blade with your saw, orbital setting, get close to the line, then put a drum sander on your drill or drill press to get all the way to your line. It never takes more than a few minutes, no jig, no problem, finished edges.
     
  6. Justin Belshe

    Justin Belshe TDPRI Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. SimpleOne

    SimpleOne Friend of Leo's

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    Funny CDK!

    Hey I would like a door knob on the front of my Amp though...By the way the perfect template is often a plate, found in your kitchen!
     
  8. Frontier9

    Frontier9 Friend of Leo's

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    You're killing me! That's gotta be the funniest thing I've seen here to date! There are tears in my eyes, I'm laughing so hard!
     
  9. alabubba

    alabubba Tele-Meister

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    If you have any conga playing friends who play seated, the nice round cookies are great for setting the congas on, especially if the club has carpet on the floor. They keep the tone from being sucked away by the carpet.
     
  10. shadowfan

    shadowfan Tele-Meister

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    I used 2 slugs and a bearing to make a lazy suzan for painting guitar bodies.
     
  11. overlock

    overlock Tele-Afflicted

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    There are some very good suggestions above, and Silvatone's results with the router are excellent. But after mulling over the options, I decided I could live with something less than factory perfection. After all, the cut-out will end up overpainted and hidden behind grille cloth.

    Beavers are really hard to find in these parts. The wood-munching type, anyway. So I thought I'd try using the jig saw free-hand. It's the most basic B&D money can buy - no scroll or other fancy features - but I fitted a decent and brand-new blade, which is slightly narrower than the usual ones.

    I marked the outline and bolt holes for the speaker, and drew diagonals through the bolt centres to find the overall centre point. I drew the 11" cutting circle with a compass (that's only 5 1/2" radius, so it's not hard to find one that will stretch to it). Then I clamped the baffle onto my Workmate with half the circle over the central gap, and started cutting very carefully from a drilled hole. Good light was important, and I used a head-torch to illuminate the cut as I went around. I did the whole cut with one stop to turn the second half of the circle over the working area. After stopping, I just restarted the saw a little way back in the cut, which didn't cause any problems.

    The end result was far better than I had expected. I know I drifted slightly off my pencilled circle in places, but probably only by a millimetre or so. The circle looks like a circle, and the finish from the jigsaw blade was really smooth. There was a slight bump between the start and finish of the cut, which I sanded out with a piece of sandpaper wrapped over a round stick.

    If I was doing a lot of these, I might cut a really good template using the router and jig, and then cut baffles roughly with the jigsaw before finishing out with a flush-trim or template-follower bit. But I would only consider this if I thought it would save time, not to improve quality. For my needs, the jigsaw did the job more than adequately. You'd need to do some pretty fastidious measuring to make out that it wasn't machine-cut.

    Thanks to the posters above for all the ideas and opinions.
     
  12. BareBones

    BareBones Tele-Meister

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    I do this all the time.
    Made the jig of 1/4 plywood.
     
  13. BareBones

    BareBones Tele-Meister

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    Way better than my jig.
    But then
    I'm just a thawed out caveman lawyer
     
  14. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I just put a nail in the centre... get some thin steel wire and make a loop for the nail one end.. the other end tie into the base plate of the jigsaw beside the blade...

    adjust for length.... make circles.... :)
     
  15. Dave1234

    Dave1234 Tele-Afflicted

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    My router came with a hole in the fence for a spiked pin. Super simple and works every time. The only flaw was operator error.....a ruler is a complicated tool isn't it?
     
  16. macaroonie

    macaroonie Friend of Leo's

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    markup 016.jpg

    markup 018.jpg

    markup 020.jpg


    The little blocks are to stop the blank falling out and either pinching the router or tearing the material.
    This was a cabinet with the baffle already built in hence no support for the middle that remains.
    Shallow passes , lots of them.
     
  17. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use a router with a circle guide. I start by laying the circle out with a compass then, then I lay layout a circle about an 1/8" larger than the outside of the speaker this gives you a guide to set your speaker just right. I also layout all the all the mounting holes with a compass and square. Then after I cut the hole for the speaker I glue little piece of wood by the mounting holes these give the t-nuts better support. Now that it's all done I use this for a pattern jig to cut baffles for 12" speakers. I cut the rough shape with a jigsaw then use a router with a pattern bit to cut the final shape. The one in the picture is a pattern for the baffle in one of my cabinets, but the speaker cut out will work wit any 12" speaker. IMO everything has to look neat even if you can't see it. Someone said to me once "Would you buy a Ring with a rough inside no one see's it?" that always stuck me.
     

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  18. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    How to route pretty circles in the top of your table saw. :twisted:

    I see you have a backer board but still... Murphy's Law of Woodworking states that if you can damage one power tool with another, you will.

    I'm not sure how they did it but a CNC mill at a local machine shop tried to mill a hole to China. It left permanent evidence in the mill table, a big wide downward sloping slot.
     
  19. randomhitz

    randomhitz Tele-Meister

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    Would a spiral bit be better for something like this?
     
  20. G-log

    G-log Tele-Holic

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    I use a spiral bit with a router jig . It really works well.
     
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