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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:53 pm 
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Time for another FAQ. This one is for those of you who want a more custom look to their instals. We are going to take those cheesy neon subwoofer rings that you mount around your subs to the next level. This trick needs some patience to pull it off properly but isn't too hard to do. Were going to make a plexiglass (acrylic) mounting ring and light the enclosure from the inside The effect isnt as in your face as a neon ring on the outside but when the lights are off and there is a glow coming from your subwoofer you're going to get peoples attention ;). There are two ways to do this. Easiest way is if your invert mounting your subs. If you aren't invert mounting its more work to pull it off. I will make a scrap ring later to show you guys how its done but it requires more skill/patience and explaining it without pics probably won't make much sense.

First thing you need to get a hold of is some 1/4" plexi. You can go thicker if you like but 1/4' is the bare minimum I would do to get a nice effect. You will need to measure out how big a piece you will need. My 12" sub needed a ring just over 13" round so don't assume that your sub will measure out exactly what its size (8, 10, 12 etc.) is. Most places that sell plexi will be able to cut it for you. Some will even be able to do the rings for you for a charge. Doesn't hurt to ask. For the rest of us we have the pleasure of doing it ourselves. A jig saw with a metal blade works well. You will need to make the circumference of your subwoofer onto the plexi and then carefully cut out the peice. Use a spray bottle with water to keep the blade cool. Keep in mind that electricity and water don't mix so spray ONLY on the blade or just ahead of the cut. Leave the protective paper on the plexi while you cut. It protects it from scratches (in this case it doesn't matter though) and its easier to slide the saw over the paper. Once you get the circle cut you need to cut the inside out so that the sub can fit in the hole. Again..measure twice and cut once. Once its cut you will have a subwoofer ring that is the same width of the subwoofer lip. I didn't take pics of this part because its pretty straight forward.

Once you have the ring cut out you need to sand the rough edges down. Like anything else you need to start with a rough grit and work up to finer and finer grits. I work my way up to 800 grit which leaves the edge nice and smooth. You need to do the inside and outside edge too. This is what it will look like.

Image

The inside ring needs a treatment of flame polishing. This is simple to do but takes a little practice to get right. Your best to take a leftover scrap piece of plexi and sand it up like you did the ring. The polishing works by melting the surface of the plexi. You take the torch and quickly "brush" the flame over the sanded edge. You need to be careful to get the right speed down. Too fast and it won't heat up enough to polish...too slow and bubbles appear at best...complete melting/discolouration at worst. I make several passes over the plexi and I let the piece cool between flamings so that the piece doesn't get so hot that it becomes misformed or bubbles. Each time passing over will polish it up a bit more. Keep going until its perfect. You can see the difference between a polished section and the prior frosted edge in this pic.

Image

Once the inside is done you need to decide if you want to leave the outside frosted or if you want to flame it too. Each surface has its own distinct look. Frosted is a softer and more diffused look. The polished edge will pass more of the light and look brighter and the colour won't be quite as washed as the frosted look. The pics give you an idea of what it looks like either way but getting it just right was next to impossible with my camera.

This is the look of the frosted edge:

Image

Because the polished edge let more light through, the camera kind of exagerates it and darkens everything else. You get an idea though with how much "clearer" the light passing through looks.

Image

Once you have your "look" figured out you just need to either finish polishing it or hit it with some sandpaper for a last time to make sure there isn't any little imperfections from polishing the inside part. Once the ring is completed your ready for the final step. You need to drill the holes into the ring that will let the screws pass through to mount the sub to the enclosure. This sounds simple but care needs to be taken to not chip the plexi rings. Start with a small bit and work your way up in diameter. Let the drill do the work and don't push on it like you would with other materials. Its easier to drill on a piece of scrap wood so that the bit doesn't pop through the other side and chip the plexi. There are bits made to drill plexi but normal bits work fine if you use little pressure and high speed. Once its all drilled out make sure that the screws slide through the holes without catching. If they catch while your mouting the sub you'll likely crack the ring and have to start over. Heres a boring pic of the ring mounted to the sub...

Image

So the ring is done...now you have to light the enclosure. In my case I'll be using a 10" subwoofer ring (A 12" ring won't drop into the hole) and mount it close to the edge. Becasue my sub will be invert mounted this is the easiest way to do it. No pics of this yet because I haven't decided on the colour yet. once I do I'll take pics of the mounting process and post them up as an update to this...

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 6:29 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 3:53 pm
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That is a great idea!Pitty i cant mount my sub that way(W7)


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