HORN SPEAKERS #1: First Steps

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Blog entry by stefang posted 12-15-2019 11:59 AM 1223 reads 1 time favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of HORN SPEAKERS series Part 2: Time for the rubber to hit the road »

My son was searching for unusual speakers on the web and he found a nautilus seashell style that he liked similar to this one. Most were molded with some type of plastic. The one shown below was 3D printed except for one which was made of plywood.

Here is the only plywood on the net as far as I know. there was no construction information available for this one, so I had to figure out how to make it myself. It was made by James Meacham at this website.

My son asked me if I could make him a pair of small similar speakers. Being somewhat innocent and naive I said sure, no problem. Now I just had to figure out a way to do it. Initially it didn’t seem so challenging. Here are some of the things I would need.

A flat drawing with the segments drawn in like this

3/4” baltic birch plywood wedges cut to the exact size and angle of each separate segment like these

My son did the outline shape and printed it out for me then I drew in the segments. There are at least 11 different radiuses involved, so the inside thickness of each segment was slightly different creating different angles, but I was able to keep several radiuses the same before changing as needed. This did however require just eyeing them in a bit off and on to compensate, otherwise the wedges would become distorted and throw the proportions out of whack and the shape would not consistently curl into the middle.

Each segment would have to be first cut into flat square shapes to the appropriate sizes. Then those squares would have to be cut into wedge shapes as in the drawing. After that, they could then be scroll sawed round and with a hole in the middle to make the eventual shell shape hollow.

In theory this seemed fairly straight forward, but the devil is in the details as they say. After 4 attempts I finally worked out the wrinkles. My next blog in this series will discuss the problems I encountered with the different elements of the work and how I eventually solved them.

I will admit that my reasoning powers are not as keen as some of you, so it will be interesting to hear of any better ways out there to do this work. I am not intending to make any more of these myself, but it might benefit others who wish to give it a go.

Thanks for reading and I hope you will enjoy this series.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

24 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile


5393 posts in 3234 days

#1 posted 12-15-2019 12:05 PM

I will certainly be looking at this blog

View toyguy's profile


1763 posts in 5082 days

#2 posted 12-15-2019 12:07 PM

marvelous ….. great project.

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View Dutchy's profile


4194 posts in 3413 days

#3 posted 12-15-2019 12:56 PM

Looking forward.


View ocean's profile


232 posts in 2078 days

#4 posted 12-15-2019 02:08 PM

Looking forward to this build – very interesting.

-- Bob, FL Keys

View justoneofme's profile


862 posts in 3725 days

#5 posted 12-15-2019 02:14 PM

My mind just boggles at you attempting this challenge Mike!! I’m looking forward to the next installment!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4586 days

#6 posted 12-15-2019 02:23 PM

looks like you got it going good there mike

as usual your approach is always innovative

could i place an order
for 3 different sized sets
say 6” – 12” – 18”
to try out

i’ll send you back the ones i don’t need

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View doubleDD's profile


10706 posts in 3288 days

#7 posted 12-15-2019 02:29 PM

This one looks to be a little challenging. I will have to keep an eye on your progress. Good luck.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View a1Jim's profile


118258 posts in 4822 days

#8 posted 12-15-2019 03:27 PM

Wow Mike, you’re a braver man than I am , I can’t wait to see the rest of the story.


View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4409 days

#9 posted 12-15-2019 03:30 PM

Speakers like this have a new advantage. Active equalization. The equalizers that come with most receivers these days that include a microphone is what I am talking about. With that, you can equalize these speakers and they may actually sound as good as I am sure they are going to look!!! Onward!

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4579 days

#10 posted 12-15-2019 03:31 PM

Thanks all for the comments and interest. A lot of unexpected problems appeared, but the worst part of the project for me was the constant use of my miter saw. I actually got a pretty bad shoulder from it which hasn’t yet improved, even though it’s been awhile since I almost finished it’s use for this project. This kind of leaves me with some negative feelings, but I’m happy that I am now almost finished with it. I quit working on it at the beginning of summer, but I feel ready to continue after the holidays. I just have to cut the final 5 small segments, finish gluing and sand the whole things smooth.

David I would rather die than make more of these (famous last words).

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View tyvekboy's profile


2132 posts in 4258 days

#11 posted 12-15-2019 03:33 PM

I don’t know if this will help you but here are some links on building shells out of wood:

Later. Have a Merry Christmas.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4579 days

#12 posted 12-15-2019 03:38 PM

Tyvekboy Thanks. I have seen these and they don’t really apply to what I made. I will be posting this series on a daily basis for awhile so as to make it less boring and with new stuff every day, and you will see the difference once I get closer to the final product. They are presently about 90% finished.

Jim Bertelson* Thanks, I will pass on that info to my son in case he is not already aware.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View MrWolfe's profile


1669 posts in 1368 days

#13 posted 12-15-2019 04:58 PM

I’m following this blog with keen interest Stefang.
Thanks for posting!

View robscastle's profile


8274 posts in 3449 days

#14 posted 12-15-2019 08:46 PM

OMG Mike, you not thinking of rallying Vikings from out of the fjords are you?

Come to think of it the UK and Scotland are at it again maybe some good old fashioned whipping might knock some sense into them!! ha ha..

On another note (from the horn too)

you can replicate Kiefers bead effect using a router bit.

the bead bit I have looks like this:-

and the details are :-


from memory you have a kitty combination machine, so do you think these cutters would fit your machine?

If they do you can get a Christmas present from Aust!

Also I hope the trouble and strife is up and OK again!!

-- Regards Rob

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4579 days

#15 posted 12-15-2019 09:02 PM

Rob Thanks for the tip. I’m not really thinking about doing any log cabins in the near future, but I was just curious as to what a ‘fly cutter’ mounted on the table saw was. I’m pretty sure those cutters would work on my shaper, but I am not planning to buy any of those in the near future as they cost a fortune here. I bought two shaper blades 20 years ago and they cost me $100 (in Nkr. of course). I don’t even want to think about what they probably cost now!

I appreciate the thought, but please don’t waste your good money sending me those cutters as I am planning to sell my Kitty machine as I have replaced it with a Dewalt contractor saw and a Dewalt planer with a larger capacity. The Kitty has been a great machine, but I am no longer using all of it’s functions so it is just taking a lot of space that I could otherwise use. I use my router instead of my shaper anyway as it is much easier and more flexible use and has a lot more profiles at affordable bit prices.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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