DIY Speaker Stands for a College Apartment

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by rhillstrom, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. rhillstrom

    rhillstrom
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    After looking in vain for decent speaker stands for my Polk RTi4 front bookshelf speakers at a reasonable price, I decided I would just build some myself. I've seen the resources available from TNT and others which seem like the way to go, but I still have a few concerns.

    My primary goal for these stands is stability/security. Obviously sound quality is nice, but I mainly want the speakers at the right listening level and a bit away from the wall, but this is a college apartment, and with the way the living room is laid out, if I put the speakers at the right height (as in not way to high on the wall) they will be in high traffic areas. I don't have huge raging parties at my place but there is still the potential for harm, which I'm worried about.

    My two main questions are:
    1) Should I get some carpet spikes or something similar to penetrate the carpet? Again this is with stability of the stand in mind, not coupling or isolation. I could get some narrowish, round-headed bolts and use them in the bottom of the stand instead of springing for dedicated carpet spikes as well (budget is an issue). Thoughts on this?
    2) The Polk RTi4 fronts I have weight about 13 lbs each and are 12"H 7W 12D. I know you can make your stands heavy and stable by filling them with sand/lead shot but if someone bumps into the speaker on the top it still might topple off. Does everyone just put their speakers on the stand or is there any merit in securing them in some way. I have no idea what form this securing might take (a strap?). It is just carpet and not a huge drop, but I still have this feeling in the back of my mind that I'll one day mess up something because I could have been more careful. Thanks for reading.

    TL;DR - Help making front speaker stands more stable, with spikes or connecting speakers to stands
     
  2. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    It depends on what resource you have available to you. Do you have basic woodworking tools available, any chance of a woodworking shop?

    With minimal tools, I would use dimensional lumber. For example, it you place a 2" x 4" in the front and back, and put 2" x 4" (standard dimensional lumber) on the side, glue and screw, or glue and nail, them together you have a heavy solid column for the stands. The actual dimension of the column will be 6.5" x 5.5 inches.

    Take a double layer of plywood for the bottom and add the feet of your choice. I would suggest adding the proper sized T-Nuts to accept either rubber feet or spike feet. Make the double layer of plywood into a square of the size you think would be appropriate for a stable base. The top platform can be a single layer of plywood of the appropriate dimensions for your speakers. The top should be solidly screwed on but not glued. That way the top can be removed and it can be sand filled.

    Standard dimensional lumber like this plus plywood is cheap. The problem is getting it cut precisely. For this it would be ideal to have a carpenter or cabinet maker cut them, and they can assure that all the cuts will be precisely the same dimension. With the right miter box, you could cut this yourself by hand. But, the miter box will not help you cut the top and bottom plywood.

    Once you have all this, you can trim the edges as you like, stain and varnish, or paint to taste.

    Or, if you have a friend who is a welder, he could maybe make stands out of metal stock, though that would cost substantially more.

    Again, standard dimensional lumber is very cheap, and if you hand select the board to make sure they are straight and free from defects, it is a college students dream (code for cheap).

    There are a variety of variations to this design, but to complex to try to explain. It gets down to your imagination. And the tools and skills you have available.

    If I bought a new miter box, I think I could make the stands with all hand tools, hand cut saw, etc.... The only power tool I would need would be an electric drill. Though if you have a chop saw and a table saw available, so much the better.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  3. marinemitch

    marinemitch
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    I am not rying to be a party pooper but you said you have been looking for some "decent" speaker stands "at a reasonable price" for your polk's

    it sounds that you are a compitent diyer and like to have a go but for the reasonable price and effort that making stands will cost why not just buy cheaper stands that i am sure will be just as effective as anything you can make.

    OR as i did for my first stands build with metal

    Base. Flat 3mm plate approx 300mm square with holes in each corner for spikes or to screw to floor
    support. 4" round pipe to desired height
    Top. Flat 3mm plate to suit base of speaker, hole in centre to fill with sand
    can be welded easily together and sprayed any colour. Or make from nice stainless steel
    attach speaker with self adheasive foam pads which can be removed fairly easily at a later date

    OR My Next stands were

    Base 25mm mdf sized to suit, routered edges and fitted with brass inserts to take spikes
    Support 6"dranage pipe covered with marble effect sticky back plastic cut to length through which ran a slightly shorter lenght of timber with a screw up through the base then packed with sand
    Top Similar mdf top to mach base and screwed down on to timber core to clamp all together
     
  4. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    There is an element of imagination and creativity here. I can imagine several ways to make the base with minimal tools, but to describe them in pure text is difficult. How well the stand will be is limited only by your imaginations and the tools and skills you have available.

    That said, you can buy some fair stands for less that £100/pr -

    Superfi Online - Search - Speaker Stands

    The ATACAMA NEXUS-i SPEAKER STANDS (PAIR) are £70 and can be sand filled.

    Steve/bluewizard
     

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