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Building an Electrostatic Speaker
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beun




Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 676



PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Managed to make some time to start with the first side panel, unfortunately I had to do some other stuff later in the afternoon so I will have to finish it tomorrow.


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JustGreg




Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 3098
Location: Kenosha, WI


PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your gracious reply. Thumbs Up

I totally agree about the woodworking skills being important to eye candy but I would VERY humbly disagree with that affecting the sound in a critical way. I guess I get that the framing of the panels needs to be rigid so as to project not absorb but would the wood be that critical unless you chose to go with an integrated conventional driver for sub capabilities? (More of a question than a statement!) I would think the attention to detail when it comes to front and rear stator materials and spacing (and shorts if not done right!) would be the most critical aspect as opposed to quality cabinetry skills?

I only offer my inexperienced opinions to keep this most excellent post alive (and pick your brain in the process... Wink ) so I hope you take my replies in the spirit in which I intended. I can tell from your emphasis on cabinet making that you have the construction and mechanics skills of the ESL assemblies down pat and can understand why you put such emphasis on the quality of the enclosure.

That said, couldn't an ESL project be just as successful even if 'bottom feeder' wood was used? I mean, would the type of wood be really that critical to the quality of the project if the builder didn't really care too much about building fine furniture? Let's say the builder decides he wants to paint them flat black matte so therefore why spend the money for exotic lumber?

Thanks in advance for suffering my questions.

BTW...that is a one NICE looking garage workshop! Well done! Thumbs Up

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Greg

"Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care!" --Jimmy Buffett
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beun




Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 676



PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greg,

I don't think I was trying to imply that the wood made a huge sonic difference for an ESL because you are right it doesn't. It is for eye candy and a professional look, it also helps the WAF by the way.

The frame does have to be strong though, the curved stators do exert some serious force and you don't want the frame to bend over time and change the geometry of the speaker panels itself. My original design used a 3"x2" (I need to check it was originally in metric) hardwood vertical beams which even after 25 years do not bend, alas nowadays this stuff cannot be bought anymore. The new design therefore uses a 3/4" vertical side panels and a doubled up 3/4" beam in a T-configuration for dimensional stability.

Thanks for your praise on the garage workshop, unfortunately I have to share it with the cars so when I need it for wood working I need to move everything around.

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JustGreg




Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 3098
Location: Kenosha, WI


PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beun wrote:
Greg,

I don't think I was trying to imply that the wood made a huge sonic difference for an ESL because you are right it doesn't. It is for eye candy and a professional look, it also helps the WAF by the way.

The frame does have to be strong though, the curved stators do exert some serious force and you don't want the frame to bend over time and change the geometry of the speaker panels itself. My original design used a 3"x2" (I need to check it was originally in metric) hardwood vertical beams which even after 25 years do not bend, alas nowadays this stuff cannot be bought anymore. The new design therefore uses a 3/4" vertical side panels and a doubled up 3/4" beam in a T-configuration for dimensional stability.

Thanks for your praise on the garage workshop, unfortunately I have to share it with the cars so when I need it for wood working I need to move everything around.




Nope you didn't imply that. My apologies. Sometimes I speak in hieroglyphics. Laughing

I can't WAIT to get around to building these! The good news for me is that short of a short (pun intended) I'm half freeking deaf, with tinnitus to boot, so even if you'd probably throw my set into a river I'll bet they sound awesome to me. Laughing

And...I'm about as anal as anal gets so I'd want my cab's to be built from the best materials I can afford to make them as visually pleasing as they are accoustically impressive.

I DIDN'T know the frames could distort over time though. Interesting. That's awesome to me though! That little nugget alone makes it an even more fun and challenging project!

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Greg

"Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care!" --Jimmy Buffett
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Tom.W




Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 6637



PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beun wrote:
Greg,

The frame does have to be strong though, the curved stators do exert some serious force and you don't want the frame to bend over time and change the geometry of the speaker panels itself. My original design used a 3"x2" (I need to check it was originally in metric) hardwood vertical beams which even after 25 years do not bend, alas nowadays this stuff cannot be bought anymore. The new design therefore uses a 3/4" vertical side panels and a doubled up 3/4" beam in a T-configuration for dimensional stability.



Why so hard to find and what wood ?
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beun




Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 676



PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom,

To be honest, I don't remember the name it was more than 20 years ago after all, but is wasn't a common one I do remember that. Is is an amazing wood though, it is dense, it doesn't warp or rot and it has an enormously high friction. Without pre-drilling it is impossible to get in any screw, they go in an inch or so and then you either strip the head or break the screw.

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Last edited by beun on Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Spanky Ham




Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 5643
Location: Comedy Central


PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the DIY guys were going to bamboo .
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Tom.W




Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 6637



PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beun wrote:
Tom,

To be honest, I don't remember the name it was more than 20 years ago after all, but is wasn't a common one I do remember that. Is is an amazing wood though, it is dense, it doesn't warp or rot and it has an enormously high friction. Without pre-drilling it is impossible to get in any screw, they go in an inch or so and then you either strip the head of break the screw.


Sounds like ironwood....

http://waynesword.palomar.edu/plsept99.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ironwood
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Tom.W




Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 6637



PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use to have missionary neighbors across the street that collected several artifacts,over many years, here and they wrote a book about it called Incessant Drumbeat .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Papua_%28region%29

They gave me a very old 5 ft bow and arrow set hand carved from ironwood by the local headhunters....A VERY hard wood and a bit of a long story but I digress.....

Back on topic Wink
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jeffslife




Joined: 17 Apr 2010
Posts: 4128
Location: ohio usa


PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe locust.
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beun




Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 676



PostLink    Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got some time and finished the first side panel, just a bit more time sanding and the first one is finished. The rest is a whole lot easier as I am going to this one as a template and use the router to make three more copies.


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beun




Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 676



PostLink    Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just received one of veneer samples so this weekend I am going to veneer a sample, finish it with varnish so I can ship it to the customer. I will make some photos when it is done.
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beun




Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 676



PostLink    Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got a late start today as life (and the wife) got in the way. She absolutely wanted a new patio set so we had to drive around to find one, pack it in the car, bring it back home and put it together. So after that I finally got the time to finish the other three side panels: first do a rough cut and then use the router to copy the first one.



Copy and paste three times and now we have four of them




The veneer sample I received turned out to be raw veneer instead of the paper backed that I had thought I ordered. This will take a bit longer to finish as I have to flatten it first. I should also get some other glue but it is only for a sample so I don't think I need to.

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Tom.W




Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 6637



PostLink    Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beun can you describe the power supply you are using and the spacing of the elements and why ?
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beun




Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 676



PostLink    Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This time I am planning on a variable HV supply, I will post details later. I need some more time to type up the reasoning for the membrane spacing.

I am going windsurfing now, kill myself for an hour or so.

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beun




Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 676



PostLink    Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just ordered the perforated metal stators, it will take 3 to 4 weeks for them to arrive. After that I will still have to do some deburring and have them sand blasted and powder coated.
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beun




Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 676



PostLink    Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today the South American Rosewood veneer arrived, at least this order is paper backed. The unbacked stuff is now busy flattening.

In a few days I will design the variable HV-supply, I know what and how I want to do it, I just have to find the right components.

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beun




Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 676



PostLink    Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just received a shipment of really strong polyester tape to stretch up the membrane. Also, the veneer glue is on its way as well.
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Tom.W




Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 6637



PostLink    Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beun wrote:
I just received a shipment of really strong polyester tape to stretch up the membrane. Also, the veneer glue is on its way as well.



What kind of glue for the veneer ?
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beun




Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 676



PostLink    Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The glue I am using is called FSV, it is kind of a one side application contact glue and it perfect for paper backed veneer. In contrast to regular contact glue it can still be moved around a little bit before settling.
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