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Thread: Painting inside of a speaker cabinet

  1. #1
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    Painting inside of a speaker cabinet

    Hello,

    I'm building a sub using two 128h's isobaric.. Was wondering if it alright to paint the inside of the cabinet? Will fumes create any problems with speaker foam or components?

    Thanks in advance,
    Tom

  2. #2
    Senior Member Baron030's Avatar
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    Hi Tom

    Applying paint or any other wood sealer to the inside of an enclosure is not going to cause any problems provided you let it dry completely before installing the drivers. And this would also apply to any spray adhesives used to affix filler materials, like fiberglass for example. So, if you can smell any kind of paint solvents, then let it dry a while longer before stalling the drivers.

    Baron030

  3. #3
    Senior Member Loren42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjrad View Post
    Hello,

    I'm building a sub using two 128h's isobaric.. Was wondering if it alright to paint the inside of the cabinet? Will fumes create any problems with speaker foam or components?

    Thanks in advance,
    Tom
    I am confused as to why you would want to. There is no one inside there, is there?

    Paint, depending on the type, will emit VOC (volatile organic chemicals) for weeks or months, so you need to wait all that time before you can use it. If there is any kind of order, then it is still emitting VOCs.

    There is a risk that VOCs may attack the glues used on the drivers.

    You are paying extra money and time to dress up something no one will ever notice. It is like painting the inside of your walls.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Baron030's Avatar
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    Question: Why you would want to paint the inside of an enclosure?

    Back in 1972, I made a pair of speaker enclosures in a high school wood shop class and then I installed JBL 030 system components in them. My wood shop teacher suggested that I apply a wood sealer on the inside of the enclosures to prevent the wood from warping. Since, the exterior finish seals the outside of the wood from moisture, applying a wood sealer on the inside surface keeps the moisture levels on both sides of the wood in equilibrium. And for the last 30+ years, I have not seen any ill effects from "VOCs" on the drivers. All of the wood in the enclosures has never warped and all of the glue joints have remained tight and vibration free. So, I for one would actually recommend applying an interior wood sealer to any DIY project. Particularly, if you live in areas like Chicago, where there are extremely large seasonal humidity changes.

    Question: Why pay extra money and time to dress up something no one will ever notice?

    Well, as with most DIY projects, there are a lot of little things that are done for benefit of the sole person that will ever notice. And that sole person is the maker. So, dressing something up is for no other reason then for the maker’s personal pride. And does the reason really have to make sense to anyone other then the maker?

    Yes, there is a risk that “VOCs” (volatile organic chemicals) may attack the glues used on the drivers.
    So, if you find "VOCs" to be a concern then you don't have to use them. There are a lot of low or no "VOCs" materials available.

    Baron030

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    Senior Member jcrobso's Avatar
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    Yes the weather changes in Chicago are varied and extreme at times.

    I have a set of C-40 cabinets I made in 1969, I never treated the inside and they are fine. John

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    Senior Member DavidF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren42 View Post
    I am confused as to why you would want to. There is no one inside there, is there?..."
    I paint or apply some type of sealant to lock down the dust that I know lingers after the sanding and trimming work.
    David F
    San Jose

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    Ha Ha... Well, you have a point. Not going to show off the inside so maybe I won't be so fancy if I paint... I was just going to do it to seal the wood. I don't think that I will do it. You convinced me that it isn't going to make a difference and I certainly don't want to do anything to damage the drivers...
    JBL doesn't paint the inside of their cabinets...

    Thanks for the advice,
    Tom

  8. #8
    Senior Member 4343's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Loren42 View Post
    ...
    You are paying extra money and time to dress up something no one will ever notice. It is like painting the inside of your walls.
    I worked with a master craftsman building his house to put my self through college, and there are places inside walls that could stand to be painted. We painted the bottom and sides of the T&G decking before putting in on, the framing, and the inside of the wall sheathing on the lower level. (The house was on a levee, so the lower level was below the river level.) Replacing drywall after a flood is much easier if your framing and exterior is mostly dry...
    Of course he told me we missed the end-grain on the frames by painting them after nailing them together, so he wasn't completely anal! Two sump pumps with battery backup notwithstanding.
    Mike Scott in SJ, CA
    Drive 'em to the Xmax!

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    Thumbs down

    Well, Lets hope the water doesn't rise that high... I don't think it would float, way to heavy.

  10. #10
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    Best to apply a coating. A very safe, cheap one is 1:1 diluted woodglue. Cheap, fast, easy, and soaks in. Just don't make a pond inside your speaker.

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