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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just started a new build, it's a center console sub for a single-cab F-150. Will replace the middle seat, and house a single 15" in 3 cubes sealed. No fancy components, and no major damping, just solid cheap stuff... It's for a customer who wants to explore SQ but is on a relatively tight budget.

Pictures starting tomorrow, with updates as the build and installation progress. I just thought I'd give the heads up that I have a build in the works, and the box itself is about 80% complete. Sorry, no fiberglass or cupholders either, just a (hopefully) attractive carpeted box, and a basic explanation of why I did each thing.

:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Okay, pictures as promised. I'll probably have more later tonight.

To start with, I pre-assembled a few of the parts so I could get the screw holes perfect before adding glue:



Next I added a bit of glue inside the joints and continued:



You can see that I have the sides of the box set back 7/8". This is because I will be doubling up the sides when I carpet the box. More on that later.

Here's where I screwed up a bit. I got a little carried away with my table saw and cut the top an inch short. Since it's getting carpet instead of paint, it's an easy fix. I decided to splice it underneath instead of wasting all that MDF. Here's a picture of the scab:



More pictures after the break.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Few more pictures and then I'm headed out to the workshop.

As you can tell, it started getting dark so I moved into the shop for the evening.

It only took me about seven years to learn that it's best to caulk the inside of the box before you put that last piece on. It's also a good idea to be sure that the last piece will be easily accessible from the woofer hole. :D



Here's where my OCD starts to get the best of me. Since this box is inside the cab, and will often double as an armrest, I don't want people to be able to feel the screw-holes through the carpet:



I've occasionally done finish carpentry in the past, and this phase is kindly referred to as "little putty, little paint, make it look like what it ain't."

Finally, here's a close-up of the section I have to scab together. I'm using clean butt joints with plenty of glue, and a splice underneath, without impinging too much on internal volume, so I'd say this a "correct" solution to the mistake I made:



I was making good progress, but got tired of breathing sawdust. So that was the end of day one. Day two starts now, about 5:00 PM. I'll post progress either tonight or tomorrow. It's a very basic design, hopefully someone can appreciate it for its simplicity.

;)

The sub will be down-fired, so I still need to build a pedestal or gasket so it can mount firmly to the seats. I also need to cut the hole and carpet it, but I'm waiting for my router to arrive in the mail. I'm working on coming up with an amp mounting solution, since the amp is massive. The subwoofer is a single 4 ohm 15" Vibe Black Air II, the amp will be a bridged Kole QX2-1920. Nothing extremely fancy, but I've used the same equipment in other installs and I believe it will get the job done respectably.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here's today's progress, minimal though it may be. I went to the state fair this morning and only had a couple hours to work on this in the afternoon. I finished off the enclosure itself, but nothing else. That involved glueing and screwing the last 2" piece into place, using a bit more putty, and sanding the putty smooth. I didn't sand obsessively, because as stated earlier, I'm doing carpet not paint.

It will probably take one full shop day before it's ready for installation. I still need to make the side inserts, the pedestal, cut the hole, and carpet the pig. The pedestal will be painted black so it won't draw attention to itself. It will be only 1.5" high and simply serve as a spacer between the box and the chair mounting rails. I designed it so the back of the enclosure could rest on the structural lip these Fords have behind the seats, without requiring a stepped design. The final benefit of this spacer is it will give the front of the sub some unobstructed airspace, and room for excursion. I hope that makes sense, it certainly should once I have pictures.

I'm considering rounding over the corners on the box before carpeting as well, it just depends how easy the rest of the carpentry details are, and how much spare time I have. It's a nice little detail, but it certainly was not included in the bid. :rolleyes:

So here are the updated pics:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, I have work off, so today will most likely be another shop day. I'm working on getting a couple dimensions from my customer, and then I can cut the holes. In the meantime I will work on the side panels and pedestal. Updated pictures should be available within a few hours, or at least by tonight.
 

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Ok I'm in. I've got a 1994 F350 crew cab, and was thinking about doing the same thing with the center seat. I want to do one that stretches from the front, under the dash, all the way to the back seat. I want to put in two subs, and then the front can house a monitor, and then as well two monitors in the headrests. Then I can use the stock location for a flip up or a media player with a dvd changer or something like that. I'm very interested in your build. Box looks good. Can you show pictures of your truck? Sorry, please!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Scooter99, I have my own '89 F-150 that will be getting a build log soon. This is in a customer's '95, and since he lives an hour away, I don't have any pics of his truck yet. Next time I see him I will get some pics. Keep your eye on this build, and watch for the '89 I'll be doing soon. Should give you some ideas, for better or for worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Okay, lunchtime update. Since it's a cold, rainy day, I decided to work inside. I had to sweep and organize my workshop, and it is now serviceable:



I got a new router the other day, my old Porter Cable was on its way out after many years of faithful service, and I didn't feel like paying to have it fixed. At the very least, it needed new brushes and bearings, and the motor might have needed rewinding. The new one is a Makita, and nothing fancy, but so far it's far superior to a broken PC. :rolleyes:

The only reason I mention that is that buying a new router necessitated fabricating a new circle jig:







So that brings me to lunchtime. I still haven't heard back from my client, so that may be the limiting factor in today's progress. I also might do a mock-up to get a rough idea of where the hole should be centered, and just run with it. The nature of my design does give me a bit of wiggle room, so I'm probably over-thinking it.

For anyone interested, day one represented six hours of work, day two represented three hours of work, and my minimal efforts today represent another two hours. Look for further updates tonight or tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
One more minor update before I eat lunch and get back to work: I've decided that I don't like Freud router bits, at least not the ones with 1/4" shanks. I've noticed that my Freud bits can be a little too snug in the collet compared to all my other bits. It took some WD-40 and a bit of patience to get my bit in, and I'll probably have to disassemble the collet to get it out.
 

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Very nice on the circle jig. I'm going to bet purchasing a router here pretty soon, well maybe. I have a small trim router that has been doing the job quite nicely for me but I worry about it on the larger projects. I'm wondering what you used for the circle jig. Is it just sanded ply? What thickness? Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Very nice on the circle jig. I'm going to bet purchasing a router here pretty soon, well maybe. I have a small trim router that has been doing the job quite nicely for me but I worry about it on the larger projects. I'm wondering what you used for the circle jig. Is it just sanded ply? What thickness? Thanks!
The circle jig is just a scrap of 1/2" Baltic Birch (9-ply) that I had sitting around. I used a hole saw for the opening where the bit goes, then did a 1/4" round-over on all the edges. I did the round-over simply so the edges won't catch on anything while I'm cutting circles. Since the jig is 1/2" thick, and the base plate of my router is more like 3/16 or 1/4", I had to counter-sink the screw holes pretty far. There was hardly any sanding involved, because BB starts with a pretty smooth face, and it's not like I'm painting this.

Anyway, I'm organizing pictures and I'll have an afternoon update momentarily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Afternoon update:

I worked another three hours, and made a bit of progress. I had to rip some material down to 30-1/4" with my circular saw, because my table saw only does 30" and smaller rips. Okay, it can do 30-1/2" rips, but it's a bit uncomfortable at that point. So here's my improvised rip fence:



At some point, Makita (my dog, not my router or circular saw) was curious what I was doing in the shed. She looked confused about most of my tools, and clearly didn't recognize her namesakes. Come to think of it, I almost named her Ryobi.



Next, I cut out the side inserts and tested them for fit. The gap around the edges is to allow for the thickness of the carpet. You can't really tell from this picture, but I had to add a 1/4" MDF shim to the back wall of the box, so I wouldn't have to waste as much material:



Next step was to waterproof the side panels:



I did it on my front porch, and didn't mind if I spilled. After all, that clear Tru-Seal is the same stuff I use to seal the porch every spring. I stained each side with a thick coat, and two or three coats on all the edges. The edges tend to soak up a ton of stain.



I plan to waterproof the entire box before carpeting it. Since the side panels are now ready for carpet, I thought I'd get them drying as soon as I could. My reason for waterproofing it is two-fold:

1) The owner may choose to mount a cup-holder to the top of this at some future date. If that is the case, I don't want spilled drinks warping the wood. No, I won't go as far as Scotch-Garding the carpet, since I doubt it holds much moisture.
2) The owner has a lifted truck, and in case he gets over-zealous and takes it for a submarine ride (I can't imagine why anyone would do that... :D) he'll appreciate the forethought.

That represents another three hours of work, bringing the project total to 14 hours. Now I'm going to take a break and let the stain dry, there is about a 75% chance I'll get back to this later tonight. If not, my work week doesn't start until Tuesday, so I will have updates by Monday at the latest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm assuming that the sub is going in the angled piece correct? If so what direction is that going to face? The front or the rear of the cab? Nice work btw!
Naw, I'm actually going to downfire the subwoofer. I don't think a 15" sub would fit on the angled face. I know it's a bit confusing because I haven't cut the hole yet.

Anyway, here's some further explanation about the shape:
1) It has an angled face on the end nearest the front of the truck. The reason for this is to make sure the box doesn't interfere with shifting, since it's a manual transmission. It's also a cosmetic detail, since the first angle should match the height of the bucket seats.
2) The sub will be downfired so the box can serve as an armrest, and so it won't be quite as obvious to prying eyes.
3) The spacer (or pedestal, as I've been calling it) will be 1.5" thick, and will sit underneath the sub. It is designed to give the front of the sub a little "breathing room", and also to lift the box enough that the back can go past the hump behind the seats. I haven't built any of that part yet.
4) I'm sure there are more details I'm forgetting, I will mention them as I remember them.

I will at least carpet the sides of the box tonight, and the remaining bits will be pushed back a few days. My break (which consisted of installing a deck for a friend) took a bit longer than I expected.
 

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Nice job so far... Everybody with a truck should consider the downfire console...
gotta have space wit the upfront base!
see muh sig...
 

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It took some WD-40 and a bit of patience to get my bit in, and I'll probably have to disassemble the collet to get it out.
I haven't ever posted this here but it is absolutely one of the
best things you have never used! Once used you will wonder
how you have done without it all these years. For just a few
bucks its woth trying, trust me when I say it will be very well
worth every cent.....

I just did a quick Google, you can find it less I'm sure. Also,
I've never purchased from this Co. so I cant say how they
are to do biz with.
MOUSE MILK OIL from Aircraft Spruce

I also just got a new router, have yet to even take it out of
the box. The jig you made is simple and to the point, no need
to pay 40 bucks for the real deal at PartsExp for something not
used every single day.

Nice work on the install!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Evening update:

I started working on the carpeting, and it was slow going. This is different carpet than I usually work with, a little bit thicker. Nice and supple, but it took me a while to get the feel for it. Consequently, I made only minimal progress before deciding to put the rest off until tomorrow. Oh yeah, I decided not to go hiking so I can work on this tomorrow as well!

Anyway, here we go.

Three essential tools for carpeting - stapler, adhesive, and (root) beer:



Recognize me? I'm that scruffy white guy from your worst nightmares. Actually, this is just me gearing up for the worst. Did you realize 3M Super 77 contains 51% volatile organic compounds by weight? Whatever that means...



This picture shows just how much "clear" deck stain changes the color of MDF, even after it dries:



I got the carpet a little lopsided, but this is the side no one will see:



Okay, finally I have one panel carpeted and in place. I'll show you later, but I think it will be a good match for the truck's interior:



And that's when I called it quits. Tomorrow, I have to fabricate the pedestal, cut the holes, and carpet everything else. I might even work on some wiring, since my client is dropping off the truck. Yes, Scooter, I will post pictures of the truck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I haven't ever posted this here but it is absolutely one of the
best things you have never used! Once used you will wonder
how you have done without it all these years. For just a few
bucks its woth trying, trust me when I say it will be very well
worth every cent.....

I just did a quick Google, you can find it less I'm sure. Also,
I've never purchased from this Co. so I cant say how they
are to do biz with.
MOUSE MILK OIL from Aircraft Spruce

I also just got a new router, have yet to even take it out of
the box. The jig you made is simple and to the point, no need
to pay 40 bucks for the real deal at PartsExp for something not
used every single day.

Nice work on the install!
Fly, thanks for the tip and the compliments. I may try that Mouse Milk some time. I also want to try PB Blaster, as I've heard good things about it as well.

I've never been able to convince myself that a $40 to $60 jig would be any better or last any longer than one of these. In fact, I've heard reports of the acrylic cracking on the Jasper jig. Normally I'd make the jig at least as wide as the router base, but this was the best piece I had handy. I've never been one to buy a jig when I can simply build one myself.

By the way, what kind of router did you get?
 
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