This thread will document my new semi-dedicated home theater build. I have collected lots of equipment over the last several years and it’s finally time to get everything going. I have designed all my speakers and, before starting the build, I had to put together a DIY CNC. I followed the MPCNC plans and put one together.
A few years ago I had a master plan to build a bunch of speakers and life got in the way. I was a little stuck because I knew what I wanted to do and I didn’t have the ability/tools to do it yet. Hence the CNC. Also, since that time we had to unexpectedly move, and then kids, and the marriage issues, etc, etc, etc.
We are finally settled and the recent announcement of the XMC-2 got me motivated to get this going again.
I was able to get in on the second XMC-2 upgrade offer and just received my XMC-2 a few days ago. If that’s not motivation to get this thing going I don’t know what is.
I’ll start with my Atmos speakers. I am doing 6 in ceiling DIYSG designed Volt 6 v2s. I received those about 1 month ago and this is my first project with the CNC.
The room has been prepared.
All the wiring is under way. Once I get the volts in the ceiling I will be able to button the walls up. I wired for two different center channels locations and all the other speaker locations to accommodate the speaker installations.
To each speaker location I also ran cat6 and coax just for future flexibility if needed. I ran two dedicated 20 amp circuits back to the pane as well. Should have plenty of power for the emotiva amps and speaker power amps.
The design for the Volts is a trans-lamination based on this design in Fusion 360
I read somewhere that circular ceiling speakers are more aesthetically attractive and expected. We are used to seeing rectangles on walls (windows, pictures, etc) and round things on the ceiling (light fixtures,etc). Also, a cylindrical enclosure reduces resonance compared to a rectangular enclosure.
So I designed a cylindrical enclosure. The enclosures will recess into the attic and be covered with grill cloth.
The flush cut saw put in some overtime. A quick sand and everything looked good.
Prior to doing this project, in addition to building the CNC, I had to learn how to paint. I’ll post some samples of MDF I painted later. For these, I am not looking for perfection so I am just spraying some rustoleum pro but I am catalyzing it. Adding the catalyst makes a huge difference in curing time and it makes the finish much harder/more durable. Best part is the stuff is dirt cheap
A light tack coat follow by a heavy coat of primer.
A quick sanding brings me up to date of where I am now. I am spraying another coat of primer tonight and then I have flip the grills and prime the other side.
Awesome work so far.. out of curiosity, why not just use sonotube?
Good question. 1) I actually didn’t think of it. Someone over on another forum asked the same thing and I just hadn’t considered it. 2) this was a proof of concept that I could successfully do a trans laminated project with my CNC. All 19 speakers in this room will be built with a similar technique but they aren’t cylindrical. 3) I have just never felt good about using cardboard for a speaker enclosure. I know the MDF isn’t much better but it feels more substantial to me.
It definitely would have been easier and less expensive though.
Here is a sample of some MDF I painted. I made some shields for my kids and wanted to test how to get an automotive finish on them.
It was a steep learning curve but the process isn’t too bad now that I know. It starts with polyester primer, I used ever coat slick sand. Then I did a filler epoxy hybrid primer, house of kolor kd3000. Then a sealer coat of the same kd3000. Then, base, metallic, and clear.
This is a custom color mixed 25% Orion max silver and 75% midnight black. I really like it.
I do t know that I will be painting any of these theater speakers these colors, maybe the black with some silver metallic, but I have usually subscribed to the Henry Ford philosophy: you can get it in any color you want as long as it is black.
I had to take a detour to pain my winter wheels for my truck. It ended up being about 20 hours of work this weekend. I am headed out of town for the holiday so I will pick this up after I get back.
I got this set of stock Ford 20” wheels off CL for $200. I have $100 in materials into them so $300 total into four custom wheels. They are painted with House of Kolor jet black with a gloss finish in the dish of the wheel and flat black on the faces.
I know this is all, at best, tangentially associated with speaker building but my thought is, if I can paint a wheel I can paint a speaker cabinet. Plus, it’s fun to share with like minded DIYers.