Welcome back to the saga that is the Dock of Death. A long story fraught with tales of recycling, repurposing and reincarnation. Did I say death? Well, what else are you going to call it? Dock of Delight? If you want to be nefarious, you gotta start talking tough. Follow me as we get closer to the conclusion of a project that spans generations and galaxies and calls on skills hitherto unnecessary for the hobby of DIY audio.
So, there seems to be no end to the depths that can be explored with building this boombox of the new millennium; painting of switch mounts, filing of heatsinks, sewing of leather coverings; everything can and will be overdone.
Something that has been waiting for some attention is the wood face of the dock. If you recall from earlier testimony, it is some mahogany that has been sitting in my garage for the whole time I've lived in my house and was probably there 40 years prior. Old. Unused. Dormant. Ready for resurrection.
I hollowed out some recesses for the speakers to sit within a while ago and it was time to drill some holes for the music to drip out of. First, I put together a layout in Adobe Illustrator and printed out the template in duplicate. I measured where to lay them both down and glued them to the front face. Gluing to the front saves you the embarrassment of blowouts on the backside of the drill path. When you drill a hole in anything, the drill bit breaks through the back of the material (especially in wood) violently and will take out a chunk of what you are drilling through in the process. You don't want that to happen on the side where the wood shows.
An important thing to note is that not all the holes that you can see in the front are drilled all the way through. This is because you need to maintain pressure inside the speakerbox. By keeping the air on the front and the backside of the speaker separate, you optimize the efficiency of the drivers. Only the area where the actual speaker cone is visible is drilled all the way through.
Then I got myself a new 1" spade bit and drilled out the holes where the ports will be mounted in the heatsink. I am using the original ports from the original speakers to both maximize recycling and minimize re-engineering. These had to be drilled out of the speakers since they were glued in tightly. I just drilled around the circle until I had compromised the integrity of the MDF that held it. Then I peeled back the rest by hand. The tubes themselves needed a bit of sanding to fit in the holes I had just drilled in the heatsink/backplate.
Then I moved on to drilling holes to mount the on/off switch I had massaged sometime back. At first I didn't want to break the skin of the back panel so that it could be totally black and beautiful... I later reconsidered when I realized that the aluminum was too thin to support the threads of the screws that would hold the switch. A few dots of brass poking out would, in the end, only add to the technical look of the product... whatevz. I also tapped the holes so I can easily remove the screws later when I decide that some other unnecessary detail needs to be attended to.
All that is left now is to assemble it and give it some final finishing.