Introduction: Carbon Fiber Spherical Guitar/bass Speaker Cabinet

Picture of Carbon Fiber Spherical Guitar/bass Speaker Cabinet

A super lightweight carbon fiber spherical-shaped speaker enclosure for live guitar or bass performance:

Characteristics:

0.060” wall thickness throughout; so rigid that no internal re-enforcement is required

Suggested 450 watt at 8 ohm Neodimium driver for bass (or) 250 watt at 8” Neodymium driver for guitar depending on enclosure size chosen

Flat response and Ultra-wide dispersion style of enclosure for acoustic instruments

To make:

- Acquire a glass salad bowl or plastic bowl-shaped flower pot. Using a permanent marker, divide the internal bowl side surface vertically into 8 equal sections.

- Coat internal bowl/mold surface with a mold release, like a paste wax

- Acquire cross-weave carbon fiber cloth. Cut into trapezoid-shaped pieces, these sized to be a bit more than the height of the side wall times (x) the bowl circumference (top to bottom) divided by 8, plus a little for overlap. The number of pieces will be determined by the thickness of each piece; ie.: use a laminate of 5 carbon fiber cloth pieces if app. 0.010” thickness per piece.

- Acquire a good 2-part epoxy. Mold release a smooth, flat surface. Mix/prepare the epoxy and apply to/saturate one cut carbon fiber piece, do the same to another and lay onto the first. Repeat until the number of pieces (with epoxy taken into account) will equal about 0.060/0.070” in total thickness when the excess epoxy is screeded out. Screed out the excess epoxy when one unit is laid-up.

- Lay this laminate onto on section of the internal bowl surface, insuring that this laminate’s edges go beyond the marker line for that section. Screed to remove excess epoxy and any air bubbles caught on the mold’s surface.

- Repeat this process for all eight sections.

- Allow to fully cure.

- Remove the carbon fiber bowl from the outside bowl mold.

- Trim the new bowl’s top edge, and trim to remove the edge adjoining the bowl’s flat bottom.

- Repeat the process of lay-up for three additional carbon fiber sections.

- Upon completion of this 3 section piece, cut out a disk at or larger than the size of the bowl bottom opening. This will become the speaker enclosure’s grill.

- Based on the size of the ‘open/top’ of the mold bowl, cut sufficient carbon fiber sheets to lay up one carbon fiber panel. Upon completion of this panel, cut out a round section that will be used for the enclosure bottom.

- Layout a pattern that will become the speaker driver grill onto the disk. Using a Dremel or other tool, cut out the grill pattern.

- Glue the grill to the bowl/enclosure’s bottom opening; flush if the same size… or onto the carbon fiber enclosure surface if larger and intended to overlap.

- Mount inset tabs around the back opening to used for the mounting of the back panel.

- Mount the driver to the internal surface of the grill area.

- Install an output jack, and stuff enclosure with an insulation.

- Screw or otherwise attach the back panel and seal.

- The exposed carbon fiber surfaces may require sanding and a surface coating to pretty-up.

- Note: a port or other method may be incorporated to tune the enclosure relative to internal volume and driver specs.

- This project was inspired by what I saw at www.sonuspeaker.com

Step 1:

Picture of

Comments

spherebone (author)2016-05-24

JoeV24 makes some good points. These effects are most likely to be a possible outcome for those who choose to work with composites repetitively over time, as with Joe the professional. Protective caution is always the best policy. I have worked professionally with these materials since 1979, and totally agree with his suggestions. Please note that the same attention to detail is best paid to working with hardwoods, whose sanding produces fine particulates relatively the size of those for carbon fiber. Also be aware that many exotic American, African and Indian hardwoods are toxic. Indeed masks that leak and/or do not have carbon filtering are of limited usefulness, even when solely attempting to protect lungs from auto exhaust. And some softwoods such as Cedar routinely produce allergic reactions. FYI: it may be best to question this, but the U.S. governments occupational safely administration at least states that Gougen resins 105 and 125 produce no chemical harm to humans. However, their catalysts ( the amines) are quite toxic and should be avoided. OSHA has also stated that you can virtually bath in Acetone with no adverse reaction, but I would certainly not suggest this… use sparingly and with good judgment. Ah yes, common sense dictates wearing gloves when working with adhesives and keeping all particles out of one’s eyes.

JoeV24 (author)2016-05-24

Did you include a serious warning about working with carbon fiber and epoxy? I didn't notice one.

There must be protection from carbon fiber itself as it is extremely damaging to lungs, eyes and soft mucus membranes in humans. Don't just use "comfort" masks for dust inhalation. One MUST use very good quality and tightly sealing respirator masks to filter the fibers out of inhaled air. You cannot use cheap face masks for this!

Keep the particles away from eyes as the carbon fibers are multiple times more irritating than fiberglass!

Then there's the epoxy. It too creates very noxious and poisonous off-gasses during curing and some people are dangerously allergic to epoxy solutions, thinners and catalysts too. Skin contact can be dangerous to some types of people, as well as the fumes can send some people into dangerous breathing spasms.

The mold release, Poly-butyl acetate, (PBA) although the least hazardous, can be a a serious problem of sensitivity and hypersignificance to some people.

CYA》post the typical boiler-plate warnings for this potentially hazardous project. I worked with PBA and many different striated fibers including carbon fiber in the aviation industry for a significant number of years, so I know what I'm saying here.

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-05-21

That is a really cool looking speaker housing.

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