How to Build a Subwoofer Enclosure

When it comes to installing a top of the line car audio system, most audiophiles prefer to build their components from scratch. Of course; not all parts of your sound system can be constructed from the comfort of your home. However, there are certain parts that you can take up as a DIY project. One of the most popular choices for car owners is a subwoofer enclosure. That’s because in addition to requiring absolutely no technical or electrical skills, the components are easy to find and very affordable.

Designing and building your own subwoofer enclosure can be a very rewarding experience. Not only does it save you money, but a custom sub box is an excellent way to get the look, fit and performance you want. Now, while it may seem quite daunting to construct your own enclosure from scratch, the procedure is actually very simple if you have all the enclosure materials present. Depending on how fancy you want to go with the design, a decent sub box should take you a day or two to finish but only a couple of hours to construct. Here’s how to build a subwoofer enclosure:

1What You’ll Need

  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Carpenter’s glue
  • Tape Measure
  • Liquid Nails
  • Medium Density Fiberboard
  • Speaker terminal cup

2Measure Enclosure Dimensions

The first step in building your sub box is to measure the size for the correct airspace. As always, this will be determined by the size of the subwoofer driver. Take out your measuring tape and size up your subwoofer. To get the precise measurements of your box, measure the depth of your driver and add 2 inches. Next, determine the minimum height of your box by measuring the frame diameter of you woofer. Alternatively, you could check the mounting template that was included in the owner’s manual. Once you have the desired dimensions, it’s important to consider the vehicle space you are willing to devote to the enclosure. This will also determine if your subwoofer box will be rectangular, circular or wedge shaped.

3Construct the Enclosure

When it comes to construction of your speaker box, most experts recommend using high-quality materials such as MDF (medium density fiberboard). Building the actual cabinet will require some form of woodwork, that’s why most people prefer to buy the MDF and cut it at the store for a small fee. If you’re cutting it yourself, make sure you use an electric table saw to guarantee smooth and flat cuts. You can also sand the edges over to make them perfectly smooth and flat.

The recommended standard is to use double thickness MDF for your front panels. Start by mounting two pieces together of the exact measurement. Use carpenter glue and sheet screws to ensure the frame does not move even the slightest bit. Trace your subwoofer over the wood frame so that you have the exact dimensions you need to cut. Carefully use your drillpress to cut a hole on the border of the circle in order for your jigsaw to accurately cut out the subwoofer opening. Be sure this hole does go beyond the border of the circle. Using the jigsaw cutout the circle and follow the exact same procedure to make a rectangular hole in the back panel for the terminal cup. Caulk the edge of the terminal and use a 1/2″ screw to secure the panel.

Place the speaker in it’s designated hole to check if it fits properly. Mark the edges of the holes where screws will fasten the speaker to its new enclosure. You will then need to trace out the rectangular terminal cup and cut it out with the saw. Fit the terminal cup in its new spot and seal up the edges using your silicone caulk. This next step involves fastening the enclosure tightly together.

4Fasten and Glue It Up

To achieve this, ensure that the larger sides of your cabinet align with the smaller ones. Drill a few holes along the edges of the box and fill them with carpenters glue. After it settles, fasten the enclosure in the holes with drywall screws. Proceed to wipe off any excess glue that pops off the top. The next step involves applying a generous amount of silicon caulk all over the enclosure’s internal seams and all openings to guarantee the box is airtight. Experts recommend that for the most effective bonding, leave the box aerated and undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours before proceeding to the last step.

5Set Up The Enclosure and Install In Car

Now it’s time to set up the subwoofer. Start by hooking up the speaker wires from the terminal port to the subwoofer. After all speaker wires are configured, and the connectors are in their appropriate holes, install the subwoofer in the enclosure and fasten it down with screws. Next, cover your enclosure with polyfill and fabric to keep resonance to a minimum. For the finishing touches, seal the subwoofer’s edges using rope caulk for an airtight fit. After a short period of testing to see if everything works out, install that bad boy in your vehicle; hook it up to the car stereo and enjoy the fruits of your hard labor.

Born in a subwoofer box, music has always been my passion. At the proud age of 9 I began driving. The two eventually met and led to my career at Sonic Electronix.

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