5) ESL Support Frame

Once you have drivers you're going to need something to hold them in place.  If you're skilled and equipped for wood-working you can design and build a piece of art that even your wife will approve of.  If you're like the rest of us, who have neither the skills nor the tools to do a good job with wood, what do you do?  You go to your local home improvement supply store or lumber yard and buy some 2" schedule 40 PVC pipe, fittings, and glue.  You can get the stuff to make two speaker frames for about $30.

PVC offers a lot of advantages.  It is cheap, easy to cut and glue, and it can be made to look OK by either painting or covering with cloth "socks".  The fittings are all made to accurate angles so it is really hard to screw up, and if you do, just get a few more fittings and some pipe and start over- it's cheap stuff!  2" PVC makes a sturdy frame that can be filled with sand, lead shot, concrete, or even mercury if you are so inclined (though I don't recommend it).  Sheet metal and wood screws will hold on to PVC quite securely. 

All you will need to build and assemble a frame is a hand saw.  A rubber mallet or hammer is also handy to dry-fit parts before you glue them together.  Cut the pieces to the required sizes to fit your drivers.  5/8" of pipe goes into each fitting so start with your driver dimensions and add 10/8" to determine the final pipe lengths.  After cutting the pipes, use a rag soaked in acetone to wipe the red or black ink markings off the pipe before you glue the frame together.

Make the frame using 4 tees, 2 elbows, and 4 end caps as shown in the image below.  You can screw some wood strips or aluminum corner stock to the pipes to mount your drivers.  You can also attach dust cover to the frame if you have enough plastic film.  Dust covers are a good idea, and become a better idea as your speaker's bias voltage increases.

PVC cement sets in seconds, so you need to be very sure that you can align the parts in a hurry.  Dry fit everything before gluing it to make sure your speakers will fit.  Use a hammer or rubber mallet to break the pieces apart again so you can glue them.

1) Principles of ESL operation

2) Materials Required

3) Diaphragm Stretcher

4) ESL Driver Construction

5) Support Frame Construction

6) Bias Power Supply Construction

7) ESL Bibliography and Links

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