Basic tools required to build and finish Project Phoenix
Table saw (optional as you could have a cabinet shop cut the pieces for you)
Router (preferably a plunge router but not required)
Jasper circle cutting jig (not absolutely required but should be seriously considered. The
Panels required rebates(routed inlays) for the drivers and the jig makes this much easier
Clamps - at least three pairs capable of spanning the width of a panel or the height of a woofer
cabinet. For the Elite panel a min of 4-5 pairs is required
Something to secure the wood pieces together
Screws - drill and suitable bits, wood filler and putty knife
Brads - requires a brad nailer
Biscuits - requires a biscuit cutter
Appropriate tools for securing veneer to wood if not using pre-veneered MDF
Appropriate tools for applying finish
Building the Phoenix components, panels and woofers, does not take any special tools beyond
what is commonly found in a home shop. In my case, being in an apartment meant that a
table saw was not part of that set and I used a local cabinet shop to cut the sheets of MDF
into pieces for me. The rule measure twice, cut once certainly applies here. There are a number
of pieces that make up a panel or woofer cabinet so the chances of mis-cutting are greater.
Take your time to make sure everything is cut to the proper size.
Even using a professional cabinet maker to cut the pieces, I still ended up with the ribs on the panels being about 3/16" too wide (higher than the sides). This didn't show up until I was gluing the ribs into place. To correct this, I glued everything up and then put a board across the back and used the spiral upcut bit on the router to trim the ribs flush to the sides.
Dremel Tool with miniature routing bit and vertical holder
This set-up makes it very easy to cut the holes out of the veneer once it has been glued and partially
finished. Because of the rebates, it is almost impossible to use a flush trim router bit in a conventional
router to do this because the depth of the flushing edge of the bit is too long to sit in the rebate area and
have the cutting edge at the veneer level. There is no flushing bit for the Dremel but I used the roundover
bit and adjusted the height so that the bottom of the beginning of the roundover was level with the veneer.
Since the veneer is so thin, the tiny curvature is irrelevant.
I found it was much cleaner to glue and partially finish the veneer before cutting out the required
holes (tweeter, spline, terminal mounts) as there was no tear-out (splintering on the edges) especially
using the Dremel tool.