How to Build a Subwoofer Box

About: Hello, my name is James Longman. I’m a writer and editor at AudioReputation.

Building your own subwoofer box is a great way to get the look and fit you want, without spending a fortune. All you need is a few basic tools, hardware, and materials.

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Step 1: STEP 1

After the pieces are cut to size, use a compass, or the template that may be included in your subwoofer's packaging, to mark the woofer cutout on one of the identical front pieces.

Step 2: STEP 2

If you choose to use a double-thickness of MDF for the front panel (this method is recommended — it provides an extremely strong, non-resonant mounting surface for the sub), fasten the two identical front pieces together using plenty of carpenter's glue and several sheet metal screws. Also, the double thickness will serve to strengthen the box as a whole.If you don't use a double thickness of MDF for the mounting surface, you should definitely plan to use bracing elsewhere in the box for added strength. In fact, it's never a bad idea to use bracing no matter what, especially if your box is larger than a cubic foot. The box will be subjected to extreme internal pressure, so the stronger it is, the better.

Step 3: STEP 3

Using a drillpress, we made a hole near the inside edge of the circle we had traced, large enough for our jigsaw blade to fit in. If you don't have a drillpress, simply use your handheld drill and a large bit.

Step 4: STEP 4

We followed the same drilling/jigsawing procedures to make a rectangular hole in the box's back panel. This would hold the terminal cup, which we installed next.

After running a bead of silicon caulk around the edge of the terminal cup, we screwed it into place using 1/2" sheet metal screws.

Step 5: STEP 5

Since the back and front pieces were now complete, it was time to fasten everything together. Note: the largest sides of the box should overlap each of the smaller sides to provide the greatest strength. For our box, that meant that the sides were fastened to the front and back first, and the top and bottom were added last.

MDF can be prone to splitting, so we pre-drilled holes for the screws in each of the pieces to be fastened together. After pre-drilling the holes, we squeezed plenty of carpenter's glue between the pieces. The glue, not the screws, is what will ultimately seal the box, so don't be afraid to pour it on.

Step 6: STEP 6

Then, we fastened the pieces together using our cordless drill and 2" drywall screws. Some of the glue will squeeze out during this step — you can wipe it off the outside of the box using a wet rag, but it's OK to leave it on the inside edges (it'll actually help with the seal).

Step 7: STEP 7

The next step is to drop the subwoofer in and make sure it fits. If the box has gotten a bit out of square, you may find that the sub is now a tight fit — if so, use coarse sandpaper or a rasp to enlarge the opening a little.

Step 8: STEP 8

To make double sure that everything was sealed, we waited for the glue to dry and ran a bead of silicon caulk over all of the box's internal seals. We used a hand-held tube of caulk, since it would be tough to get a caulk gun down inside the box at this point.

Let the caulk cure for 12-24 hours before putting the subwoofer back in. Some silicon caulk releases acetic acid fumes while curing, which have the potential to destroy subwoofer surrounds.

Step 9: STEP 9

After the caulk had cured, we hooked up speaker wires from the terminal cup to the subwoofer and placed the subwoofer back in the box, using non-hardening rope caulk (found in the weatherstrip section of the hardware store) to seal it down.

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