Cutting holes for speaker drivers?

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Forum topic by Adamal posted 06-17-2015 08:46 PM 1325 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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61 posts in 2679 days

06-17-2015 08:46 PM

Hi all, I’m trying to figure out the best way to cut holes for speaker drivers while not spending $40+ on a circle jig.

I need to cut a recess first so that the drivers sit flush and a slightly smaller hole for the driver. I’ve got a router table that I’ve used to make circles, but not to create holes. The tweeter holes are small… Overall, it’s 1.77” and the actual hole is 1.30”.

Any ideas? The speaker I’m building is here so you can see what I’m trying to do.


9 replies so far

View bhorstkotte's profile


5 posts in 1753 days

#1 posted 06-17-2015 08:57 PM

If it was a larger hole, I would suggest making your own extended base for the router, with a pin at a fixed distance from the router bit – which is how a circle jig works. But for something that small, you could use a hole saw of the appropriate size, or make a circular router template to use with either a top bearing bit or a standard flute bit together with a router bushing.

View tomsteve's profile


1006 posts in 1898 days

#2 posted 06-17-2015 09:09 PM

Templates,router, and guide bushings worked for me when I built a set of speaker cabinets.

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2686 days

#3 posted 06-17-2015 09:10 PM

Buy at HD, Lowes, or most any hardware store. But the arbor and just the size blade you need. Or just buy the closest smaller size and use a file/rasp to make it bigger

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3815 days

#4 posted 06-17-2015 09:13 PM

One idea is to buy a Jasper circle jig. Or make a similar jig with pin holes for the sizes you need.

If you route the recess first, including all of the waste inside the recess (so you basically have a big, round, but very shallow mortise), you may be able to find a combination of bit OD and bushing OD that will give you the right sized offset between the recess diameter and the through-hole diameter.

Or route the through-hole and use a rabit bit to machine the recess.

For the tweeter you might be able to get away with using a 1-3/4” forstner bit or hole saw.

If you can make a circle of any size you can use a circle and bushing to make a round cut-out. The diameter of the cut-out is the sum of the diameters of the circle, the bushing, and the bit. This may not work well for very small holes.

-- Greg D.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6082 posts in 3492 days

#5 posted 06-17-2015 09:21 PM

I would use a circle jig and plunge router to make the circle templates in 1/4” thick hardboard, or similar material. Then carpet tape the template to the box, and route the through hole in multiple passes. A guide bushing will let you make the cut in multiple passes. If you want to use a bearing guided template bit instead, I would suggest rough cutting the hole with a jigsaw first. That way the routed operation is done in one light pass.

Then use a rabbeting (bearing guided) bit to create the ledge.

Circle jigs are easy to make and only cost you a scrap of sheet goods.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 1909 days

#6 posted 06-17-2015 09:48 PM

Circle cutter. Use in a drill press or 1/2” chuck hand drill. Woodworkers supply has them. Love mine. You can tweak in any hole size up to 4” or so.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View bhorstkotte's profile


5 posts in 1753 days

#7 posted 06-18-2015 02:36 PM

This was some good practice – hole saw for tweeters, circle jig for mid-woofers:

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 3048 days

#8 posted 06-18-2015 02:51 PM

You can make your own circle jig for the router with some scrap plywood. I did when I made cornhole boards. I didn’t want to take the time to make a jig to keep, that the router could mount to, I just wanted it done. So, cut out a triangle-shaped piece of 3/4” plywood, traced the router base on one end, and free-hand routed a depression halfway through the ply for the router to sit in. Then, I temporarily screwed an extra piece to the underside of the workpiece, so I could rout all the way through without having the middle fall out. Nail the jig to the workpiece at the center of the hole, turn it on, plunge, rout, repeat. After you cut the recess, just re-nail the jig to route out the inner circle.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View frosty50's profile


46 posts in 3026 days

#9 posted 06-18-2015 03:03 PM

Make a circle cutting jig for a plunge router and make a template a for both speakers. Then using the template, with a pattern making bit make the 2 faces of the speaker boxes. Or use the circle cutting jig and make both faces. Make the circle recessed areas first, move the jig over for radius of the circle and cut. The jig can be found on youtube, use hardboard, BB or plexiglass to make. Jig just screws onto the base of router once base plate is removed. If you don’t have a router, a jig saw with circle guide will work to cut the circle or you could free hand it. Harder to make the recess for the speaker to sit in though. Several options available, again youtube and so you different methods.

-- frosty

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