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

Inexpensive Speaker Stands

After building a pair of small 2-way speakers, I found myself in need of speakers stands. With the speakers done, what I really wanted to do was listen to them, not spend more time and resources building things. The result is a pair of inexpensive sand-filled speaker stands built from 5/8 inch particle board (sold locally as "shelving" material) requiring minimal time and effort.

Here is a picture of the stand. I gamma corrected it to more closely resemble the actual stand color. Naturally, what you'll see depends a lot on your monitor and its settings. The actual color is deep flat black with a satin topcoat and the wood strips are mahogany.

There are three parts to this stand. - the top, bottom and middle column. Each is easily scalable to fit individual needs. The top and bottom are each made of a single sheet of 5/8 inch particle board (PB) measuring (in inches) 12 x 10 5/8 and 14 3/8 X 11 3/4 respectively. The external dimensions of the column (as viewed from the front) are 5 7/8 wide, 7 deep and 18 1/2 tall. Note that the dimensions used were based on four simple limitations - (1) the size of my speakers, (2) the proportions of the pieces that looked reasonably good, (3) the amount of PB I had on hand (4) and having something that would be able to support the speaker without tipping over.

Construction began with the center column. Each column consists of 4 pieces of PB held together with regular wood glue and biscuits. The joints are simple butt joints - nothing fancy. The biscuits are used mainly for alignment. PB screws can also be used, but they would have to be countersunk to cover them up. Since the joints are all on edges, I decided not to use screws to avoid possibly chipping an edge. I was very generous with the glue since PB has many small voids. Once this was dry, I caulked the inside of each joint with regular silicone caulk. This is to ensure that there are no holes as the column will eventually be filled with fine, dry, play sand. The four outside surfaces are then sanded and the four main edges softened (smoothed over with 100, then 150 grit sandpaper). Spackling paste is then used to fill large gouges and voids, especially on the ends of the PB. When dry, the surfaces are sanded again to the desired "feel". I left mine lightly textured (didn't try to fill all voids) rather than go for that piano look.

The top and bottom pieces are centered and glued to the column. The bottom piece is also screwed from below since those screws won't show. After mounting the bottom and before mounting the top, fill the center column with sand. I heated the sand in the oven first to remove excess moisture. Since I was going for cheap stands I tried real hard to use only what I had on hand. In my case, I did not have enough sand to completely fill both columns. My solution was to add a center partition in the column, thus forming an upper and lower chamber. I only filled the lower chamber of the columns. The addition of the center divider complicates construction so don't do it unless you have to. One caveat - my completed stands weigh in at over 20 pounds each and can be lifted from the top (the glue is darn strong). Filling the entire column will add more weight and further deaden the stand. However, it will place more stress on the glue joint if you try and pick up the stand holding only the top. I suggest you pick it up from the bottom just to be safe.

The top and bottom PB was sanded and spackled in the same way as the center column. When done, the entire unit was spray painted with Rustoleum brand paint. I found this paint to adhere well to PB and spackle. I used two coats of flat black. A safer thing to do is to first apply a primer before the paint. This will provide a more even appearance since the PB and spackle adhere to paint differently. Finally, I sprayed a protective clear satin topcoat (forgot brand, recommended by store clerk. Be sure to check that it won't react with the paint used).

Since my speakers were finished with a rosewood veneer, I decided to cover the edged of the top and bottom plates with thin strips of mahogany. These 3/16 inch thick strips of wood, 5/8 inch wide, cover any defect along the edges (where it's easiest to bang up) and provide continuity with my speakers in overall "look". Since the stands are placed on a thick carpet, I "spiked" the stands by mounting four large 1 inch deep rubber feet to the bottom. These feet are held in place with a nut, bolt and washer. The bolt and washer are visible and I made no effort to hide them. The feet could also have been mounted from the bottom with just a short wood screw.

That's all there is to it. I hope I have adequately described my stands. They are easy to make and easily modified to suit individual needs and tastes. For examples, it's possible to build multiple columns per stand, or to use spray-on textured paint for that rock look and feel. The bottom line is that solid, SAF-friendly stands can be made cheaply and easily using readily available materials.


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.