Speaker Related Projects

(A T-line and ribbon tweeter 2-way. August-2012)

(A tall, thin, upwards firing omnidirectional speaker. May-2010)

(A powered subwoofer using a 12" driver and 15" passive radiator. Jan-2010)

(A computer speaker; redux. December-2005)

(A computer speaker in a light canister. Jan-2005)

(10" vented subwoofer in a cardboard tube, powered by a Parapix amp. May-1999)

   MTM Center Channel Speaker
(A Madisound design. Nov-1997)

   2-way Surround Speakers
(5" woofer and 1" tweeter. July 1997)

   3-piece mini system
(6" DVC bass module mated to 4" car speaker. June 1997)

   3-way Vented Floorstanding Speaker
(vented 10" woofer, 5" mid and 1" tweeter in a 4 ft tower. Summer 1995)

   NHT1259 Subwoofer
(A 12" woofer in a sealed architectural pedestal. Winter 1994-95)

   Inexpensive Speaker Stands
(Particle board, sand and spray paint. Fall 1994)

   2-way satellite
(6.5" woofer and 1" tweeter. Summer/Fall 1994)

Electronics Related Projects

  900 MHz Audio Receiver
(Better use for bad headphones. Jan-2008)

  Buster - A Simple Guitar Amp
(Perfect for the beginner. Jan-2010)

  A PC-based Audio Console
(Use a PC to play tunes. Jan-2010)

  LM-12 Amp
(Bridged LM-12 opamps. Aug-2003)

(A CD player and FM tuner from spare computer parts. Oct-2002)

   Quad 2000 4-Channel Amp
(Premade modules by Marantz. May-1998)

   Zen Amp and Bride of Zen Preamp
(by Nelson Pass. Apr-1997)


  Backing-up LPs to CD-R
(Whiningdog.net 10-Dec-2002)

  Using Wood in Speakers FAQ
(Work in progress)

   MDF FAQ for speaker builders

   Woodworking Tools for the DYIer
(HomeTheaterHiFi.com Oct-1998)

  Some Thoughts on Cabinet Finished for DIY Speakers

   Large Grills Made Easy

   Some Parts Suppliers

Other Useful Stuff

   DIY Audio Related URLs

  Veneering Primer
(by Keith Lahteine)

   How to get a Black Piano Finish
(by DYI Loudspeaker List members)

   Sonotube FAQ
(by Gordon McGill)

   Excerpts from the Bass List
(Oldies but Goodies)

DIY Loudspeaker List

   Current DIY Loudspeaker Forum Home

   Former DIY Loudspeaker List Subscription Page

  DIY Loudspeaker List Archives

Large Grills Made Easy

This page describes how I made the large 11.75 X 43 inch grill for my 3-way vented speakers using my wife's idea of using screen door retainer splines. The reason for making this a seperate page is that I've found this mounting method to work equally well on all grills sizes.

The grill consists of a wooden frame with grill fabric stretched over all four edges. One important goal in the finished grill is to keep the fabric stretched evenly over the entire length of the unit. In my case, this is 43 inches. Keeping consistent tension on the fabric is a problem. Staples may be used but they are difficult to drive into solid wood and they leave loose fabric dangling. Hot melt glue requires quick placement of the fabric which is diffcult when the fabric is long. Spray adhesives or contact cement can come through the fabric's weave.

My wife's idea is to use the retainer spline found on aluminium screen doors to hold the grill fabric in a groove on the inside face of the frame. Splines are readily available in hardware or home centers as are the insertion tools. Both are cheap - less than $3 USD for 25 feet of spline and $5 of the tool.

First, the frame is assembled using dowels and glue, making sure the frame is square by measuring the diagonals. Now cut the groove on the back side of the frame using a table saw. The actual size (width and depth) of the groove depends on the spline used, so make some measurements first. On my table saw and blade, the width of the groove I need is wider than one blade kerf but smaller than 2 kerfs so I need to make 2 passes with the kerfs overlapping each other. I run all four edges of the frame through the table saw for a first pass. Note that the depth is not as critical as the width - the depth needs to be deep enough to completely hold the spline while the width needs to hold the spline and fabric snugly. Run some additional scrap pieces at this table saw setting. Now adjust the table saw fence in very small increments to widen the groove and cut a new groove on a scrap piece. Test each new width by actually inserting some grill fabric and spline until the right width is found. Once the width is determined, run all four frame edges through the new blade setting.

Installing the grill fabric is simple. The spline is inserted a few inches at a time, and only as much fabric as necessary is stretched at any one time. It's easy to make adjustments when needed. And since nothing is permanent, it's always possible to start over with different color grill material in case the room decor is changed ! When everything is satisfactory, trim off the excess fabric with a sharp knife and it's done.

Here is the grill's upper left hand corner viewed from the back of the grill. The spline is visible on the upper edge of the frame. On the left edge, the trimmed fabric curled over the spline and is thus not visible. Also on the picture is a male grill connector mounted on a triangular corner piece.

And if this just doesn't work out, all is not lost as the frame is still good for most other backup fastening methods :)


Note: The contents in these pages are provided without any guarantee, written or implied. Readers are free to use them at their own risk, for personal use only. No commercial use is allowed without prior written consent from the author.