Intro: PVC and Plywood Speaker Stands for Cheap
I needed some speaker stands for my home studio recently, but didn't want to pay retail for them. I did some searching on the internet and found some instructions for TNT Stubbies, but they were a bit smaller than I needed, so I scaled the design up to meet my needs.
The design is simple: A tube of PVC filled with sand sandwiched between two pieces of wood with all-thread.
These stands should be sturdy enough to hold a pair of full size bookshelves or studio monitors (10x12 footprint) at least 4 feet high.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
You should be able to find all of this stuff at a local hardware store:
~10 feet of 4" PVC (you can use smaller diameter if you like, I wanted a heavier look)
~10 feet of 3/8" All-thread
4'x4' piece of 3/4" plywood (I used some leftover birch plywood from a previous project)
6 3/8" nuts and washers
Spray paint (I used Krylon Fusion for plastics).
Wood stain (optional)
Caulk gun (unless using squeezable caulk)
1" and 3/8" paddle drill bits (or equivalent)
hack saw (for cutting the PVC and all-thread)
circular saw, or something else to cut the plywood
Step 2: Cut the Bases and Speaker Platforms
You'll want to decide on the sizes for the bases and tops based on the size of your speakers and the height of the stands. I wanted my stands about 4 feet high so they were at ear level when I'm in my studio, and the monitors are 8"x10".
I decided on a 16" base so they're nice and sturdy, and a 12"x14" speaker platform to give the speakers room.
Cut the wood to the sizes you need using a circular saw or equivalent. This isn't an instructable about cutting wood, but remember to measure twice and cut once...
Step 3: Cut the PVC Pipe
The PVC Pipe makes up the height of the speaker stand. I needed mine to be about 48" high, so I cut my PVC 46 1/2" long...remember that you need to subtract the height of you plywood from the total height of the stands to figure out how long you need to cut the pipe.
This isn't an instructable about cutting PVC, but I posted some details on my site about doing exactly this: Cutting PVC
The easiest thing to do is find a way to keep it from rolling (I clamped a 2/4" in front of mine) and hold it down (I used the sand I bought for this project). Then, Cut next to the electrical tape that you wrapped around the pipe to keep it straight. Cut carefully (and slowly) and you should end up with fairly straight cuts.
Step 4: Cut the All-Thread
To find out how long you need the all-thread to be, the easiest thing to do is put the all-thread into the pipe, and leave ~3/4" hanging out on either side. Then just mark it off and cut it with the hacksaw.
After you cut the All-thread, do a test fit with you 3/8" nut to make sure that nothing is wrong with the thread where you cut it.
Step 5: Drill and Countersink the Base and Platforms
Find the center of your base and platforms, and mark it ON ONE SIDE.
Using a drill and a 1" drill bit, drill about halfway through the bases and platforms ON ONE SIDE. This is the countersink that will allow you nut and washer to sit flush with the underside of the boards.
You'll want to test fit your washers and nuts to make sure they sit flush with the underside of the board, if they stick out, drill the countersink a little deeper, being careful not to drill straight through the board.
After the countersink is complete, drill a 3/4" in hole right in the center of it, so that the all-thread fits through.
Step 6: Paint the PVC, Stain the Boards
Here is the cosmetic part. Using whatever color stain you like stain (or paint) the plywood boards that you cut. Spraypaint the PVC whatever color you like using a spraypaint that will adhere to PVC (Krylon Fusion worked for me)
I went with some leftover dark stain, and black for the tubes.
If you are just looking to do something quick and dirty, skip this step, otherwise you'll have to wait for everything to dry before continuing...
Step 7: Cork or Felt Your Bases (optional)
Most people use spikes on speaker stands, but mine were going to be sitting on tile so I decided to use pieces of cork. Just cut 1/8" slivers from a wine cork, or cut pieces from a cork board. You could also use felt.
You'll want 4 small pieces per base, one for each corner. Stick them on there with wood glue and wait for it to dry
Step 8: Assemble the Bases
We need to attach the all-thread to the base boards to start the assembly process. The easiest way to do it it to sandwich the board between two nuts and washers.
There is a trick to this:
1. First screw a bolt on one end of your all-thread.
2. Put the washer on underneath it
3. Slip that end through the TOP of the base board.
4. Put a washer into the counter sink on the end that is sticking out of the bottom
5. Screw a nut on the end that is sticking out of the bottom
6. Put the base down on the ground, and pull the all-thread up so that it is flush with the base of the board
7. Screw the top nut down to clamp the all-thread to the base.
The pictures might explain this a bit better
Step 9: Caulk the PVC to the Bases
We need to caulk the PVC tubes to the bases to prevent sand from leaking out all over the place when we add it. This is fairly simple, caulk around the inside edge on the underside of your PVC pipe. Insert it around the all-thread, center it, then push it down where it belongs. Wipe up any excess caulk quickly.
This needs to set for a while, I suggest put the top on the all-thread, and tightening the nut and washer down to keep everything clamped together while it dries.
TIP: Use clear caulk if you can...it's bound to seep out the bottom no matter how careful you are.
Step 10: Fill the Tubes With Sand
Once the caulk dries, unscrew the speaker platform and begin filling the tubes with your sand.
Once you've filled the tube all the way, screw the top back on and lightly knock the stand against the ground. Just pick the entire thing off the ground an inch or so and let it drop. This helps the sand settle in the tube so you can add more.
TIP: Do this step close to where you intend to use these...they are a bit heavy after this.
Step 11: Put the Platform On
Put the speaker platform back on top of the tube, countersink side up, and screw the washer and nut on for the last time. Really crank it, this is what's holding everything together.
Step 12: Use 'em!
Put some speakers on your speaker stands. Turn on the music. That is all.
Here is a picture of my stands in the studio.