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  #1  
Old 10-15-2015, 02:00 PM
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Default Serious Wall Builders. Steel frame vs all wood??

Before you read this I tend to rant a bit so I highlighted the rant bullshit in red. So you dont need to read it if you dont want to. But its all on topic nonetheless.

Im curious how strong an all wood enclosure (wall) can get compared to one built with a steel frame.
Ive seen regular plate steel used several times for builds but Im more-so asking about the way most builders are doing it these days; which seems to be using square stock to build a frame which you then fasten your wood from the inside using the winged type screws like these. If you arent using these then I strongly suggest you do, saves a ton of time.

And likely, for adhesive the builder would use PL Premium aka wall builders best friend.

To me, if you're going to the extent of putting a wall in your vehicle then youve committed your vehicle forever. Theres no going back. Atleast not the way I build a wall. Otherwise if you want something that you can go back and forth, just build a loud setup thats in the trunk/hatch/cargo area. You can still get loud as **** back there. Trust me. My explorer was doing 157.8 sealed at the dash with 6 stock out of the box 10s and 2 batteries. AKA 160+ in the kick. Add more batts and that score would have gone up substantially. And there are countless examples of other guys doing the same or better without a wall setup. Once you wall your vehicle, its a big decision, you are committing the two for life. Its a marriage lol. The wall to the vehicle...til death do you part
If I were to build my enclosure out of just wood. Id build it the exact same way of course. Being that you first build the frame and have it fastened to the vehicle in several areas to make it as secure as possible in an accident. But also to act as external bracing for your whole enclosure. In my opinion a lot of builders overlook this part of the build. The more the enclosure can be built as one with the car, the stronger it will be...no matter if you're using steel, wood, fiberglass etc. In this case instead of steel square stock id be using 2x4s or 2x6s to build the exoskeleton and then fasten the inside wood (mdf or birch ply typically) from the inside and after that is all easy stuff, just time consuming. Atleast, for most designs; When doing a tunnel, things can get interesting.

Obviously the steel cage route is going to be stronger, I dont think anyone is really questioning that. But to me these are the important questions for stereo guys:

How much stronger is the steel cage method??
-If I were to add layers of wood, at what point would that be equal in strength/rigidity to the steel construction?? Does it need to be 3x as thick?? 5x as thick?? 20x as thick?? I think theres likely a physics calculation that can take care of this one but even so....a sub box is a very dynamic environment compared to a straight physics equation. But still it would be good to know.

Do these strength and rigidity terms really matter for a stereo which will surely be under 170db??
-For instance, if we end up figuring that the steel enclosure is 15x stronger than wood. But wood will still stay remain rigid up to 10 tonnes of pressure then would this strength difference really matter for a stereo producing FAR less energy??


Anyway, if anyone has any thoughts or ideas on this it would be greatly appreciated. Or even someone with real world results that would be awesome.

Thanks for your time
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Old 10-20-2015, 05:57 PM
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For me the biggest advantage of steel cages is strength to space ratio first and second but possibly more important imho on a street driven vehicle is attachment to the car.

Hands down for me steel wins just about everytime. Theres more available space for gear and its easier to tie into the structure in a safe manner.I find it funny that steel is sort of a new thing but when I was working for a shop in the late 90's we really wouldnt touch a job if we couldn't fab up a steel hoop at min for a attachment point on a wall job,granted they weren't full on cages of pain like today.It was more of a safety standpoint.
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:17 PM
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I haven't done a cage yet but a good example is master of all bass on here
Straight stupid build, lots of pics and he had great results
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tymoto21 View Post
I haven't done a cage yet but a good example is master of all bass on here
Straight stupid build, lots of pics and he had great results
This x2 his build really would make me want to do a cage whenever I do a wall especially since I know how to weld already.
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:45 PM
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You also need to think about cost as well. Steele cage is going to cost more to build than a 2x4 cage. I thought abought Steele but I just couldn't spend that kind of money .
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbjunior View Post
You also need to think about cost as well. Steele cage is going to cost more to build than a 2x4 cage. I thought abought Steele but I just couldn't spend that kind of money .
The price of steel is currently VERY low compared to levels in the last few years Granted wood is cheaper but you need less steel.All in all a well designed steel structure can be used with wood to cut down on the amount of wood needed too.There is no rule that says it has to be all steel or all wood
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:03 PM
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I wanted to do a 1/2" Steel baffle for my wall but it was pricey
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tymoto21 View Post
I wanted to do a 1/2" Steel baffle for my wall but it was pricey
And heavy
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Old 10-20-2015, 10:58 PM
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When I was going to wall my truck, the main reason I was going to do an aluminum cage was weight savings
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Old 11-23-2015, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wagonized View Post
Obviously the steel cage route is going to be stronger, I dont think anyone is really questioning that. But to me these are the important questions for stereo guys:

How much stronger is the steel cage method??
-If I were to add layers of wood, at what point would that be equal in strength/rigidity to the steel construction?? Does it need to be 3x as thick?? 5x as thick?? 20x as thick?? I think theres likely a physics calculation that can take care of this one but even so....a sub box is a very dynamic environment compared to a straight physics equation. But still it would be good to know.

Do these strength and rigidity terms really matter for a stereo which will surely be under 170db??
-For instance, if we end up figuring that the steel enclosure is 15x stronger than wood. But wood will still stay remain rigid up to 10 tonnes of pressure then would this strength difference really matter for a stereo producing FAR less energy??


Anyway, if anyone has any thoughts or ideas on this it would be greatly appreciated. Or even someone with real world results that would be awesome.

Thanks for your time
SolidWorks Dynamic Analysis is your friend for questions like this. That would be the quickest, but not necessary.

You can get a very crude approximation by using Modulus of Elasticity deflection-calculations for a uniformly loaded beam fixed rigidly on both ends to intuitively grasp the magnitude of the differences of deflections between two different materials. Of course this assumes no bracing, which changes the whole game and should be considered at all times. None the less, it give a good starting-point when pondering questions like this. The trick is to obtain the correct Elastic Modulus for the wood being used.

Bending, Deflection and Stress Equations Calculator for Beam Fixed at Both Ends with Uniform Loading | Engineers Edge | www.engineersedge.com

True analysis of the deflection of a rectangular plate is beyond the scope of this thread

http://www.ams.org/journals/tran/192...-1501315-4.pdf
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