+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Cabinets made with Lauan?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    2,300

    Cabinets made with Lauan?

    Hi Does anyone have any views on using this wood species for large speaker cabinets??? The stuff I was looking at was 11 ply 3/4". How does it compare to baltic birch???

  2. #2
    Senior Member edgewound's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,575
    Quote Originally Posted by John
    Hi Does anyone have any views on using this wood species for large speaker cabinets??? The stuff I was looking at was 11 ply 3/4". How does it compare to baltic birch???
    Luaun is a good material for big boxes...less expensive than baltic birch and usually available at Home Depot or Lowes. EV used it for the MT-1 system....I'm sure other mfgs have used it as well. Of course, baltic or Finland birch is the holy grail of plywood, but about twice the price.
    Edgewound...JBL Pro Authorized...since 1988
    Upland Loudspeaker Service, Upland, CA

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    2,300
    Well I can buy the baltic birch for $2.73 a square ft. in the 5ft.x5ft. sheet.
    Or Lauan at $1.18 a square ft. in the 4ft.x8ft. format. Quite the difference??? But I wonder how they compare in weight and density,voids ??? This will be used for some 4350 clones. Also there will be more waste using the baltic birch 5x5 sheets so that drives up the material costs.

  4. #4
    Senior Member edgewound's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,575
    Quote Originally Posted by John
    Well I can buy the baltic birch for $2.73 a square ft. in the 5ft.x5ft. sheet.
    Or Lauan at $1.18 a square ft. in the 4ft.x8ft. format. Quite the difference??? But I wonder how they compare in weight and density,voids ??? This will be used for some 4350 clones. Also there will be more waste using the baltic birch 5x5 sheets so that drives up the material costs.
    Use 1" MDF for the monitors. It'll will keep the cost down, and the weight up...nearly 250 pounds each. Just brace well from front to back to keep panel resonance under control. Save the plywood for your portable speakers. I think everyone will agree that the sonically superior way to go is MDF
    Edgewound...JBL Pro Authorized...since 1988
    Upland Loudspeaker Service, Upland, CA

  5. #5
    Senior Member Steve Schell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Posts
    1,415
    In the piano trade lauan (also known as Phillipine mahogany) is thought to be a cheap, fairly soft and widely available wood, often used to build the packing crates of grand pianos shipped from overseas. It is also laminated with denser woods in the rims of some of these pianos, a practice which has been held in low regard. I have always considered it to be a nasty, splintery, low quality wood. Having said all that, I've never tried it in a speaker enclosure.

    Edgewound, I would disagree with the idea of MDF being the material of choice for larger cabinets. Its higher weight combined with lower stiffness than plywood can create significant resonance problems in the walls of larger enclosures, as Mr. Widget has been discussing in another thread. Baltic birch is fairly light and very stiff, and with adequate bracing should make a very good enclosure.

  6. #6
    Senior Member edgewound's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,575
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Schell
    In the piano trade lauan (also known as Phillipine mahogany) is thought to be a cheap, fairly soft and widely available wood, often used to build the packing crates of grand pianos shipped from overseas. It is also laminated with denser woods in the rims of some of these pianos, a practice which has been held in low regard. I have always considered it to be a nasty, splintery, low quality wood. Having said all that, I've never tried it in a speaker enclosure.

    Edgewound, I would disagree with the idea of MDF being the material of choice for larger cabinets. Its higher weight combined with lower stiffness than plywood can create significant resonance problems in the walls of larger enclosures, as Mr. Widget has been discussing in another thread. Baltic birch is fairly light and very stiff, and with adequate bracing should make a very good enclosure.
    Hi Steve...

    We're talking speaker enclosures here, which are supposed to be acoustically inert...not pianos nor shipping crates. MDF's density makes for a more inert enclosure than any kind of plywood. I've used luaun...it works fine for SR cabinets so long as you have sharp blades to cut it with, and it costs less than half of what baltic does. Yes...baltic has higher overall strength, but that doesn't necessarily translate into higher stiffness. Wood that flexes is stronger before snapping...but an enclosure constructed from a denser material will always yield more output from the drivers and less from the enclosure...and that's what we want here isn't it? I'm excluding stressed curved panels here because that's another discussion.The best enclosure material would be several inch thick concrete or sheet lead because of it's density. Thiel and other high-end mfgs use several layups of laminated MDF and then sculpted at the baffle....why? It's an effective inert enclosure material....and easy to work with....weight aside.
    Edgewound...JBL Pro Authorized...since 1988
    Upland Loudspeaker Service, Upland, CA

  7. #7
    Your Memory Lives On RIP Tom Loizeaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Baltimore, MD USA
    Posts
    669
    I agree with Edgewound that MDF is a less resonate material then plywood, even Baltic birch, and is ideal for speaker enclosures...IF these are intended for fixed instalations! MDF is heavy and will shatter long before a quality plywood. That's why cabinets intended for pro road use usually use Baltic birch ply.
    If you use plywood, brace it thoroughly. Of course one choice would be to use 3/4" MDF with a 1/4" ply with a walnut veneer glued to the outside!

    Tom

  8. #8
    RE: Member when? subwoof's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    fingerlakes region, NY
    Posts
    1,850

    wood

    The best overall compromise in cost / functionality is veneer core birch "shop" plywood. This has 5 interior ( sometimes 7 or 9 ) layers of poplar and is appox 45 bucks a sheet wholesale.

    The "shop birch" is also known as cabinet birch and is much more forgiving on flexed joints. The core accepts any type of hardware and dado'ed and rabbeted joints work well. Cabinet makers use it by the boatload.

    Most of the big lumber chains keep it in stock or call a plywood distributor and ask for a local dealer. GP calls it "savannah birch".

    Now for the other stuff:

    Baltic birch is the holy grail ONLY because of the intricate mitering / routing that can be performed on it. It's glue is not waterproof and since it's so hard, a dropped cabinet will often shatter a glue joint unless really well constructed. And it has a bit of a ring to it and it's real heavy. Any screws put into the edge surfaces have to be carefully predrilled and the mating sheet clamped when joining.

    baltic birch is a trademark name so other "baltic" countries sell their birch with names like russian, polish, lithuanian, etc and all are available in 4X8 and 4X10 sheets in thicknesses from 1/16 ( 3 plys! ) up to 1 1/4 inch. But be careful since their idea of "square" is +/- 1/4 inch along one side.

    One really nice wood is mapleply or appleply. it is used for drum shells and super durable shop templates. This stuff will stop a 30.06 point blank !

    The use of MDF for cabinets is a joke, I have no idea why it is even considered. One hint of moisture and it gets pregnant and it is as sucessful at screwing as a librarian on near beer.

    The luan stuff really STINKS in the shop when you cut it and does splinter and misbehave sometimes. I used a variant of this that has red mahogany top veneer for furniture but it's import is now banned....grr...

    The best way to deal with resonances is to make the joints SOLID in the first place. Then add internal bracing across + between parallel surfaces AFTER the cabinet's glue joints are cured ( 2 days ).

    sub


  9. #9
    Senior Member edgewound's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,575
    Most non-composite material studio monitors are mfgd from MDF. Why? Cost, consistent density, it cuts beautifully, and it sounds good, and it's easy to work with. Don't breath the dust....wear a respirator...you should anyway when working in dusty conditions It won't get "pregnant" from moisture if you seal it with a urethane or some other sealer....don't get it wet...don't set your beer on my gear .

    The original question here was suitability of luan plywood for 4350 clones. I think the best combination of cost, density,sound would be MDF over either luan or baltic/finland birch. 4350's usually don't get moved around alot. You can build 3 or 4 cabinets for the cost of baltic birch.
    Edgewound...JBL Pro Authorized...since 1988
    Upland Loudspeaker Service, Upland, CA

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    2,300
    Well my intent was to perhaps save some cash if the Lauan was a near equal to Baltic birch ,but if it is not I have no problem sticking with my origanal plan of going with the Birch. I will only be making one pair of these (at least that is what I am saying now) and hoping to keep these for a long time so I plan on doing it right!!! I hope
    Thanks guys for sharing all the ideas and opiouns.

  11. #11
    RIP 2009
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Rohnert Park, CA
    Posts
    3,790
    I picked up some JBL AS2212 pro cabinets, (2206H + 2246J), where JBL used birch ply for the cabinets, but the odd thing is the grille frames. When I pulled one off, I commented to a friend, "that's odd - it looks like they used solid mahogany for the grille frames", but now I think it must be Lauan...

    John

+ Reply to Thread

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Building My Own L100 Cabinets?
    By Ralphh in forum Lansing Product DIY Forum
    Replies: 68
    Last Post: 03-17-2007, 01:11 PM
  2. Is it possible to order unloaded JBL Cabinets.
    By Endira in forum Lansing Product General Information
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-01-2003, 09:57 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts